West Lodge (Toronto) Tenants Association
Tuesday 22 January 1991
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GENERAL GOVERNMENT
Ontario MPP's in attendance:
Parkdale Community Legal Services,
Angry Tenants' Association,
Phil Wynn Tenants' Association of Parkdale,
West Lodge Tenants' Association
The Chair: The first presenter this afternoon is the Parkdale Legal Services. They are duly seated before us, ready with their presentation. We have allotted 40 minutes for your presentation, ladies and gentlemen, 20 minutes for an oral presentation and a further 20 minutes for questions and answers from the committee. I would ask that all people at the table please introduce themselves or have one spokesperson do that and also the positions they hold within your organization.
Mr Poesiat: Good afternoon. My name is Bart Poesiat. I am a community legal worker at Parkdale Community Legal Services. I am here this afternoon to introduce three tenants' associations, representatives of three tenants' groups in the Parkdale area. These groups and the people who will be deputing today represent approximately 5,000 tenants in the Parkdale area. Parkdale Community Legal Services has had a long involvement with these tenant groups. They are client groups and we have also acted in an organizing and an advocacy capacity.
Luke Utti is the president of the Phil Wynn Tenants' Association of Parkdale. This tenants' a ssociation represents tenants living in six buildings in the Parkdale area owned by Pajelle Investments, the principal owner of which is Phil Wynn, hence the name. Mr Utti will be saying a few things about the state of disrepair, the conditions in the buildings and the extraordinary rent increases that the landlord has been getting in spite of that situation under the Residential Rent Regulation Act.
Next is Joyce Routley. Mrs Routley is the treasurer of the West Lodge Tenants' Association, representing approximately 3,000 tenants living in 720 apartment units in two related complexes, 103 and 105 West Lodge. The building is a disaster zone. It should probably be condemned. In spite of that fact, the landlords have been getting large rent increases due to a financial loss situation due to the acquisition of the building, so there again these tenants have their own horror story to tell.
Next is Judy Rintoul. Ms Rintoul is the secretary of the Angry Tenants' Association, representing tenants living at 96 Jameson, 109 Jameson and 166 Jameson Avenue. Those buildings, as some of you may recall, originally belonged to an organization known as Toronto Apartment Buildings Co Ltd, or TABCO, which company for a long time charged very high rents for quasi-hotel suites.
After this illegal venture was stopped by action of the tenants, a new landlord, the Franklin Group, bought these buildings and applied for two successive rent increases in 1989 and 1990. Both were financial loss propositions under the act as well as a lot of unnecessary renovations, so the prospect is that these tenants will face rents that will go up by at least 100%.
Each of these tenants and these tenant groups has its own story to tell. To point out that in front of you, you have some fact sheets that briefly describe the facts and also each individual tenant group has some material it will present when it starts making its submission.
Behind me are a number of tenants from all three groups who have come here in support in spite of the fact that it is a working day and it is 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I should also point out that it was unfortunate that these three groups could only get 40 minutes to make their deputations or their submissions, but we understand that at the particular point we put ourselves on the list it was impossible to get any more time. We will try to hurry as fast as possible. Without much ado, I will introduce Ms Rintoul from the Angry Tenants' Association.
Ms Rintoul: I am Judy Rintoul from the Angry Tenants' Association. I am representing three buildings on Jameson that Bart spoke of; 96, 109 and 166. We support the changes in Bill 4. The saying "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" sure does not apply here, for it is very badly broken and needs fixing and we are glad that someone is about to do that. The previous system allowed landlords to rake in tons of money and tenants had to pay through the nose. That system allowed landlords to speculate and flip buildings and purposely allow excessive deterioration and a variety of scams and schemes, all of which we have lived through.
Now a short history of our horror story. Since the early 1980s under the previous landlord, TABCO, we had, as Bart mentioned, hotel-like accommodation that was rental by the hour, day or week with lots of money being made and none put back in the building -- never any maintenance, no upkeep, no nothing -- and illegal rents, lots of them, were proved in court and fines given to the company, which did not stop it. It is still going on now under the landlords that we have.
Those furnished suites had cheap furniture -- and that was several years ago; it is now worn out -- up until before this renovation scheme. Most tenants had already thrown it out, but they have been paying then and now for furniture that is either too old, too decrepit or is already gone. They are still paying and they cannot get out of paying that $100-plus a month.
The buildings were allowed to run down into a slum condition long before Mr Franklin made his little public outcry about how they would be slums if he could not do what he wanted to do. In November 1989, Mr Franklin and his group bought the three buildings, which appeared to be a flip. On this they intend to make up to about $1 million each and that is per building, not total. Since then we have gone through two proposed rent increases, one 35% and another 94%. That is over a two-year period, and this totals 124%.
The wholesale renovations then started. The operative words there are "wholesale" and "fire sale" because that is the type of equipment and activities that were used to get this thing going.
We had a security system -- $40,000, they said, in this one building; in other buildings, it was more expensive -- which has not been programmed and does not work. That was two years ago. Riser renovations to change the pipes in the building: there were holes in our building for months but they were finally done. At 109 Jamieson, Mr Franklin walked off the site and left the holes in the walls. That was November, and the holes are still there. Replacement of sinks, toilets, taps, showers, cheap paint jobs, counter tops that did not match or did not fit but were put in anyhow. They took out relatively new carpets and put in ones that looked to me not as new as the ones they took out.
Fire doors with deadbolts: these deadbolts were billed at one place, someone told me, for $176. They were actually $5 at Lumber King, where most of the stuff has to be bought for these renovations. Very abusive, unskilled and underpaid workers, break-and-enters: they just walk into your apartment whether you are there or not. One lady went to the laundry room, came back and her apartment door was gone. They were replacing it. Cockroaches, mice, bats, two fires that I know of in my building, water shutoffs, heat shortages and heat shutoffs, very poor quality and sloppy work that not one of you would pay for.
We also had to go through this other scenario: press conferences, different types of press, rent strikes, threatened suits against us, injunctions and now this hearing. It is not easy for regular people who are not used to the turmoil and public speaking, while Mr Franklin and his high-profile friends are crying the public blues with the $20,000 ads in the New York papers, the rent-a-construction-demos you see outside here and other various Saddam-like tactics. His intention is to double the rents in these buildings and resell by 1995 at double the price he paid for it; once again, that is per building, not all together. Would you sit through any of this?
Mr Poesiat: Next we have Mr Utti from the Phil Wynn Tenants' Association.
Mr Utti: Since Bill 4 was first introduced, there have been a lot of negative remarks about the impact the bill will have on the standard of maintenance and repairs. But the irony is that little or nothing has been said with regard to the horrendous rent increases our tenants have been subjected to over the years. We as tenants cannot afford to take out ads for thousands of dollars as the landlords can.
Under the previous legislation, the landlords have been able to apply a lot of the money invested in so-called capital expenditures to the tenants' rent. The only recourse we have is to go back to the rent review office and ask them to give us the opportunity to present our case in a way that we will find some justice, but this has not been the case. Under the old legislation, we found that rather than just paying our rent, we have been contributing to the cost of running most of these buildings.
Little or nothing has been said about the conditions our tenants are currently facing. The Phil Wynn Tenants' Association was formed after years of trying to get our landlord to see things our way. We tried on several occasions, by letters, by telephone calls, to tell the landlord of the various problems we have, such as cockroaches in the building, ceilings falling in, bathrooms not working properly, bathroom faucets falling off -- we have floods in the bathroom.
I could go on and on, but the problem is time. I do not think there is much we can enumerate in under five minutes. I will tell you one thing, though, if the current legislation is allowed to stay, you are going to find a lot of our people on welfare rolls. This is not what the province wants to see happen to the innocent tenants in this province today. If Bill 4 is allowed to pass, at last in this province we will be able to say we have recourse to justice.I ask you, Mr Chairman, and all members of this panel to take one thing into consideration: the fact that a lot of the members of our association are not making a whole bunch of money so that they can afford tomorrow to go buy their own homes. Keep in mind also that over the years, on account of the past legislation, this landlord has millions of dollars stashed away but has not put it back into maintenance of the building. I have copies of work orders that were issued, dating back three, four, five years, with 60-day compliance notices that have not been abided by.
In conclusion, all I can say is that our only hope lies in Bill 4.
Mr Poesiat: Next we have Joyce Routley, from 103 and 105 West Lodge, the West Lodge Tenants' Association.
Mrs Routley: My name is Joyce Routley. We, the tenants of 103-105 West Lodge Avenue, totally agree with Bill 4. We hope it will be passed. The landlords cannot then flip their properties and claim "inflated mortgage payments." We do not have to remind you of the now infamous Cadillac flip which cost the government, and therefore the taxpayers, thousands of dollars. The then government promised to put a stop to these practices, yet they still occur, over and over again. The buildings at 103-105 West Lodge have been flipped many times since 1980. The result: large rent increases.
Since 1987, there have been 407 work orders outstanding in the common areas alone at 105 West Lodge Avenue. Since then, 103 has another 491 work orders outstanding. These include the garages and the grounds. These do not include the individual apartments. I have copies in front of me, which you may have, of the outstanding work orders; also, some pictures of the deplorable state of apartments.
Mice are putting out the welcome mat in the front lobby. Roaches are doing the Mexican hat dance, which means no proper health maintenance. No elevators, or very sporadic, for the past three years. The roof leaks, plumbing is falling apart, walls and ceilings are falling down, no window screens, which is against the law, stoves and fridges are dilapidated, laundry facilities are practically non-existent, garbage rooms not cleaned, guards harassing the tenants -- the list is too long to mention in the limited time permitted.
Yet we still got a 10.2% increase with another 9.8% phase-in increase. This comes, if my calculations are right, to 20%. Yet Zaidan Realty applied and was granted a tax reduction of $250,000 a year retroactive to 1987. I also have papers for that. Will that profit the tenants? No, it only enriches the landlord's pockets. Furthermore, Zaidan is suing the Ontario government for $2 million for delay of rent review. I also have papers on that.
Since May 1990, approximately 45 of the tenants of 103 and 105 went on a rent strike, and now Mr Zaidan is suing the rent collectors of West Lodge Tenants' Association and Parkdale Community Legal Services for $1.5 million. This shows you the character of Zaidan, our landlord. The tenants believe some people should never be allowed to be landlords, and Zaidan is one of them.
Mr Poesiat: I would like to point out in closing that it is very difficult to come up with concrete proof in a beautiful committee room like this about the state these apartments are in and have been allowed to deteriorate to under a rent review process. So we have made voluminous copies of work orders, orders from the standards board, things which date back in the past and never got repaired or took three years to repair. I have submitted them all; it is just a small sample.
There are also some pictures there. They are just small samples. In order to bring in every bit of evidence, which we could have done, we would have had to bring in a few boxes. That really makes little sense. I do not think your committee has time to go through all that. Also, there are some pictures there which, unfortunately, we have to take back because we need them for court. They are illustrative of the disrepair conditions at 103 and 105 West Lodge Avenue.
This ends our submission. We are ready for questions.
The Chair Remo Mancini (Liberal): Could I have everyone's attention for a moment? We have an overflow of visitors today in the committee room. I made plans for an overflow. I want to tell those who are standing who wish to obtain a seat to watch our proceedings that we have made arrangements for room 230, on the second floor of the west wing, to be made available, and there is live TV coverage of the proceedings. Also, on this floor, next to room 180 there is an open room -- that is in the east wing -- and we have live coverage there. You are all welcome to stay or you are welcome to obtain a seat in those two other rooms we have made available.
Margaret Harrington (NDP): I would like to thank you very much for coming this afternoon. I just looked at those pictures you passed around. I did go to West Lodge two weeks ago. It is the kind of building you go into and feel you should be turning around and leaving right away. Living under that kind of lack of maintenance and lack of care must get to your very being and influence your total feeling about your life, because even if you try to take care of your own apartment there is no way you can avoid that disaster around you.
This morning we heard a quote from one person saying that no government has the right to be unfair. What I am saying is that your presentation has shown that there is a total unfairness in this society, and that is what we are up against. That is what we are trying to get at, that this system we have had in effect for the last five years has been totally abused. Those buildings, particularly the West Lodge, are three huge buildings, a complex which was probably built about 20 years ago and at that time were luxury buildings.
Mrs Routley: Twenty-five.
Margaret Harrington (NDP): Twenty-five years ago. Total abuse of that situation by the landlords to get as much money out of that as possible has led to the situation now. There is no way the tenants are responsible. It must be the people who own that building who have led to that kind of situation. The total injustice of the financial loss provision in the bill has done this, and probably even before that as well.
We are here to try to address this total injustice, and I would like your help in the long run to get some better legislation. Maybe you can come back and give us some input on that. I think what we are looking at now is a change of philosophy, because the question really is -- to everybody, not just people in the Legislature who are on this committee -- what is housing? Is it just an investment or is it a home? If it is a home, is it a right? And if it is a right, then we have to change things.
I would like you to comment to see if there is any way out for these particular buildings you are talking about. It is going to be a long haul to try to change the situation in those buildings. We have to get people there.
The comment was made about trying to run co-operatives. That is maybe one way out, but certainly we need the private sector and responsible landlords. We cannot just have everything turn into a co-op, even though we would like to, because that way people have an input, just like owning a home. That is how I see co-ops; you have that pride of ownership. Nearly everyone in this province wants to own a home. If you cannot do it, then I say being part of a co-op is a wonderful experience. We do need the private sector as well and we want to work together with it. If you have some further comments about what we can do in the future, I would appreciate it.
Ms Rintoul: One solution is not to allow renovations, because I went through that one and that is not the solution. They need renovations, but not under the present system or they will be paying --
Mrs Routley: We do not need the renovations; we need repairs.
Ms Rintoul: Repairs. Sorry, I made a mistake.
Mrs Routley: There is a great deal of difference between renovations and repairs.
Dennis Drainville (NDP): I want to say two things. Again, we have the opportunity to speak with tenants who have had a severe impact on their lives in terms of the accommodations they have had and the difficulty of trying to make those accommodations into places that are homelike. What has been very helpful, and I want to commend you for this, are the photographs we are passing around the committee at this time and the other documentation that indicates the battles, the struggles and the fights you have had to try to ensure that you have an acceptable place to live.
In some of the documentation, letters you have received from the property managers, particularly Curtis Property Management, I saw a letter to the tenants dated 1 March which said that the owner intends to spend the total budget they had set aside for renovations. This was an indication that counter tops, windows, a new fridge and stove, balcony panel repairs, etc, were being done. We see in some of those photographs an indication of some of the kinds of renovations that are brought about by the owners. I think the distinction you are making here between repairs and renovations is a very important one.
There have been tenants who have come here, and I would like to get your view on this, and indicated that they too believe there are times when there needs to be a new roof. But what happens is that when it goes through the present system and legislation to get that new roof, you are paying for the rest of your lives in that building. Some people have said that rather than that, when there is a major capital expense that has to be put out, why can it not be that after that has been paid for, rent goes down appropriately.
There are two views on this, and I am not taking one or the other. Some people say that as far as tenants are concerned, it is up to the landlords to make all sorts of repairs; it is their responsibility and they should take money out of the rent they receive to do that. There are other tenants who have given us the view that they believe it is fair for major capital expenditures like a new roof. They do not mind helping as long as at the end, when that has been paid for, their rent goes back down to a reasonable amount, and that once it is paid for they are not paying for the rest of their lives money out of their own pockets. Where do you stand on that particular issue?
Ms Rintoul: I do know about that, but I want to tell you about 109 Jameson, where Mr Franklin walked off. There were orders for the garage to be repaired for, I think it was something like 10 years. So among his renovation schemes he repaired the garage. He spent, I have no idea how many millions there, how much of his millions of dollars he said, but as it turns out it was better before than it is now. It is the quality of work; a lot of stuff is being done and it is overcharged, overbilled and inflated to make it look really good at rent review. Once the bills hit rent review they see nothing else, they just see the grand total. They do not come downtown or down to Parkdale and look and see that you have an absolute mess left.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal): Mr Chairman, I find this presentation very difficult. It is very difficult to know that so close to where we are sitting conditions like this exist. In fact, I used to spend a lot of time on Jameson Avenue because that is where I met my husband, but that is a long time ago and I guess things have changed somewhat since then.
I do find that things you have brought to our attention -- and I certainly am pleased that you brought the pictures -- and in the Angry Tenants' Association brief are indeed described in the way in which they are. They are unlawful. They are not anything to do with existing legislation. They are the result of irresponsible behaviour on the part of landlords in this city, who I hope, and from what you have said you have, through extensive legal and political action in at least one case, the ones on Jameson Avenue, brought to task. There is a Residential Rent Standards Board that I hope has been of help to you in some of that and no doubt you have had input from MPPs.
What I would like to ask each of you to respond to, if possible, is how Bill 4 is going to help you.
Mr Poesiat: The tenants feel that where Bill 4 will help, and each of the tenants here will respond to that, is that the rent increases that landlords have been able to get for absolutely nothing -- that is one of the points of the presentation here and it is hard to bring that out in a few minutes. Take as an example the West Lodge buildings or the buildings belonging to Pajelle Investments, for that matter. These buildings have been run totally into the ground, but the landlords have been getting their rent increases every year. Where did that money go? That is why these tenants support a freeze on extraordinary rent increases, because what did Mr Wynn do in 1989 and 1990? He applied for 55% to 65% rent increases. I should point out these have not been determined yet, but they will not be affected by Bill 4. He applied for these large rent increases because he put in new windows and video camera systems which do not work, and if they did work, I guess it was to keep track of the mice and the cockroaches in the building, because there are no locks on the door.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal): Are you telling me Mr Wynn had conditional orders?
Mr Poesiat: No, these are not. These are orders that are still basically sitting in the pipeline.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal): Have they got a first effective date of 1 October or previous to that?
Mr Poesiat: The first effective dates for all the applications are previous to 1 October 1990.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal): Are you suggesting that these are under appeal by tenants?
Mr Poesiat: They are not under appeal by tenants. They have not been determined yet because they are still backlogged at rent review, but they will come through. The tenants at least know that under Bill 4 this kind of thing will not be allowed to happen again. That is why the tenants support it.
Ms Rintoul: I am still in the same boat, where both of our applications are due before the moratorium deadline. So whatever rent review gets, and I hope it is less because of things like this, there is no way I can afford to double my rent. Jameson was nice when you were there probably, but now it is changed. You have drug addicts, you have vagrants coming up and down the stairwells, all of this sort of stuff.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal):I know of the conditions on Jameson. If I personalized too much --
Ms Rintoul: If I am going to pay $800, $900, $1,200 rent, I am going to a condo on the lakefront. There is no way that I am going to support Mr Franklin and his buddies down in the Bahamas or wherever they are going to be.
Yvonne O'Neill (Liberal): I just wondered, more directly, how Bill 4 would help.
Ms Rintoul: Bill 4 should stop them from these excessive renovations and the inflated bills, the flip-flops of the various buildings, like this lady said, three and four times. Those financial costs cannot be passed on. I have not got all the fine details. I am not a lawyer, so maybe I am a little off whack.
Vice-Chair Michael Brown, Michael (Liberal): My questions really are following along Mrs O'Neill's. I am also wondering how this specific legislation is going to help. Do you see that your building at the end of this year or perhaps next year, because this is a two-year moratorium bill, will be in better shape or worse shape that it is today?
Ms Rintoul: It could not be in any worse shape.
Mr Utti: If you will excuse me, if I might comment on that again, there is this notion that Bill 4 will have an impact on the standard of maintenance, but the reality is that a lot of these landlords have walked away from maintenance and repairs over the years. So what they have done on that -- I will not say the old one is still in existence -- is that any time we have a whole-building review, they spend a whole bunch of money correcting a lot of things that could have been done as per the work orders issued three, four years ago. When you look at the cost-revenue statements, a lot of these figures are applied on a new application for rent rebate above the stipulated guideline, so it would not really make any difference. These guys have walked away from the maintenance over the years, so this is one thing I cannot understand. If you say that if this goes through the landlords will not carry out more repairs, they will not do this, they have stopped this for years, so it really will not make any more difference.
Vice-Chair Michael Brown, Michael (Liberal): What you are telling me essentially is that they have not done anything, so it is not likely it is going to change anything?
Mr Utti: That is right.
Vice-Chair Michael Brown, Michael (Liberal): I wonder if you are aware in your own particular part of the world, in Parkdale, of buildings that are maintained with reasonable rents, that have good tenant-landlord relationships and why you think that is occurring in particular cases and not in others.
Mr Poesiat: I happen to know a particular example of a landlord in Parkdale, because I am lucky enough to live there, and the address is 22 Close Avenue. It is close to Jameson. I was lucky enough to move in there 9 or 10 years ago and I guess I will never leave. The landlord has not applied for large rent increases for the last eight years. The building is well maintained and recently some risers were renewed, new boilers were installed and it all comes out of the rent because we pay our guideline rent increases every year.
This is a long-term investment for our landlord. He has got a cleaning staff of four people and it seems to operate quite well. All the tenants I am working with are asking me, "When can we move into your building?" There is a long waiting list and nobody can move in there and the people who are in there sit tight. I am afraid that this building, at least in the Parkdale area, is a bit of an exception. But there are other buildings like that. Those landlords have never asked for large rent increases.
The Chair Remo Mancini (Liberal): Sir, thank you for your answer. We have to move right along.
David Tilson (Progressive Conservative): I too have some connection with the area. My grandparents owned buildings that existed before the apartments arrived, so it obviously would have been a completely different neighbourhood for a young boy growing up in that area, but as a result of that personal connection with Parkdale, and specifically on Jameson Avenue, I have always followed it. I am simply amazed as to what you people have gone through and how you are continuing to go through it. I think that gets to the real question of the last piece of legislation that the previous government had and this legislation. This is temporary legislation and we know there is new legislation coming. We do not know what it is going to say, but will it solve your problem?
I guess I am following along the same line of questioning. Yes, it will effectively freeze rents. There will be no more phase-ins. There will be no more pass-ons for capital expenditures. I understand where you are coming from with that, and obviously the stories that you are telling have been in the press and I sympathize with you. It is terrible, what you are going through.
But at the same time, landlord after landlord is coming to this hearing and saying: "Why would we do anything? We don't have the money. If we don't have the money, we go to the financial institutions. The financial institutions won't provide us with the money to do even maintenance." One can say there is enough money in the rent they are getting to do maintenance, but the landlords are disputing that. Maybe they are lying, I do not know.
Ms Rintoul: They are.
David Tilson (Progressive Conservative): Maybe they are in specific cases, and that is the difficulty of course, that you have listed flips and luxury apartments. The Ministry of Housing has given the government's own statistics as saying that these examples do not appear to be in the majority of applications that have come through. There is a small percentage. They have given landlords a bad name, probably. There are a lot of good people. We have had people weeping in here who are literally going bankrupt.
I guess I am going to ask the same question to you. I trust you have all read Bill 4. Will Bill 4 solve the problems that you are raising, the horror stories that you are raising of probably breaking municipal, provincial and probably every law under the sun? Will Bill 4 resolve that? In fact, if you do say yes I will dispute it, because it does not, but I will give you a chance to comment on what I have said.
Mrs Routley: You did not give me very much of a choice there, did you? We have lived under those horrible circumstances for so long that we can live another year under those circumstances and Mr Zaidan will still have to provide us with the basic necessities, will he not?
David Tilson (Progressive Conservative): Do you think he will or will he use this as an excuse not to provide it?
Mrs Routley: This is what I am saying to you. If landlords were supposed to have a licence I would never give him one.
David Tilson (Progressive Conservative): They are going to use this as an excuse not to provide it for you, this bill. It is not going to work for you.
Mrs Routley: I do know, but at least we are only paying 4% and not 20% and 40% and 50% and 200% increases.
David Tilson (Progressive Conservative): I understand that.
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): First of all, I want to say that I sympathize very much with the presentation you have given from the standpoint of what it is that you have been putting up with and what it is that you have to endure. You mentioned work orders outstanding for years and you mentioned that every law possible has been broken. I do not think any one of us in this room can accept or permit those things to continue. I notice one headline you have given us here is "Rent Hikes up to 128% Scare Tenants." Any excessive rent hike scares everybody because everybody is budgeting today generally almost to the margin.
What really concerns me is that there are tenants, not only in Toronto but around this province, who think that Bill 4 is going to be their salvation, who think it is going to solve the kinds of problems that you have got these excellent photographs illustrating very well, that it is going to solve those problems and it is going to remove the kinds of conditions that you are paying for at any rent. For the conditions you are putting up with, the fact is that you are paying excessive rents today if you never had another increase for 10 years. The fact that you have work orders outstanding which are probably in contravention of municipal bylaws under the property standards act, and I am assuming what some of those infractions are, but what I think is so sad is that you are here illustrating a very grim situation for which this current government is not giving you the answer. All they are saying is that your rent increase will not go up. But is it really fair to sit back and let you live with and endure the kinds of conditions that you are paying any good money for?
Ms Rintoul: Some step is better than no steps.
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): And what is that "some step"?
Ms Rintoul: At least something that is positive. It gives you something to look for, it might help. Everyone is so astute out there, they are probably going to find loopholes as are found in everything in the world, but hopefully they can be rounded out and straightened out in time and things will all work out. I know that is heaven and all that sort of stuff and I do not expect to quite reach there, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): But can you tell us how it is going to help? That is what three people in a row have asked you.
Ms Rintoul: If I knew --(interupted by Margaret Marland, MPP)
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): Let me ask you the question another way.
The Chair Remo Mancini (Liberal): Very quickly please.
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): Is it fair that you have to pay rent and live with the conditions and the problems that you have?
Ms Rintoul: It never was before, so it is not now.
Margaret Marland (Progressive Conservative): It is totally unfair, it is totally unjust, but do you really believe that only limiting the rent increase is the answer? That is my question to you.
Mr Utti: If I may say something, we are by no means under the illusion that Bill 4 is going to solve all our problems, but it is good to know, though, this is about the first time in the history of this province that some government has taken a stand to protect the rights of the tenants.
The Chair Remo Mancini (Liberal): Thank you very much. I want to thank the delegation for coming before the committee today. Your information was very useful and we appreciate the effort you put into your presentation.
West Lodge (Toronto) Tenants Association