‘It is unacceptable to take away this right’: Quebec tenants demonstrate for lease transfer

Tenants plunged into uncertainty demonstrated in large numbers in several Quebec cities on Saturday against a provincial bill that would allow property owners to reject a lease assignment.

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“Law 31 has not yet been passed […]“It is important to send a message and tell the government that the transfer of the lease is unacceptable in order to take away this right,” he concludes Newspaper Cédric Dussault, spokesman for the Regrouping of Housing Committees and Tenant Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ).

Cédric Dussault, spokesperson for the Regrouping of Housing Committees and Tenant Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ)

Laurent Lavoie /JdeM

The RCLALQ event brought together more than 1,000 people in Montreal on Saturday afternoon and stretched from the Préfontaine subway station to the Pie-IX station. The Montreal City Police Department has not recorded any violations.

Contingencies were also heard in Quebec, Rouyn-Noranda, Rimouski and Sherbrooke.

QMI Agency / Sidney Dagenais

“Everyone hates landlords”, “Tenants in solidarity, tenants angry” and “For the right to housing” were chanted by the demonstrators in Montreal, among other things.


Tenants of all ages were eager to denounce the Legault government’s bill.

QMI Agency / Sidney Dagenais

Marie Samuel, who lives in the Plateau-Mont-Royal district, was also accompanied by her 7-year-old autistic daughter Annette.

“It is not easy to find apartments. We don’t have high salaries, we work part-time [qu’]She cares. “Every time we have been able to get an apartment, it is thanks to a rental assignment,” argues the 37-year-old, adding that this option is “essential.”

Marie Samuel, who lives in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, was also accompanied by her 7-year-old autistic daughter Annette.

QMI Agency / Sidney Dagenais


All people interviewed by The newspaper stated that the bill, if passed, would increase their exposure to property owners.

“I am a single mother whose apartment block is for sale, so this affects me directly. Who knows when it will blow up in our faces? » says Joëlle Bouchard, 38 years old.

“Evictions, abusive increases, this is real,” emphasizes Mélanie, a tenants’ rights activist with Action Location, an organization in Drummondville.

Mélanie, a speaker with the Drummondville organization Action Location, was present at the demonstration against the Legault government’s Bill 31 that took place in Montreal on Saturday.

Laurent Lavoie / Le Journal de Montréal

Mobilization in Quebec

In Quebec, from the Parc de l’Amérique-Française to the Place de l’Assemblee-Nationale, there were smoke bombs, signs and songs.

The demonstrators also made it clear that they were “fed up,” as the Émile Bilodeau song that was heard during the march says.

“For Duranceau and his friends, only profit matters” and “Let us keep the lease transfer, the CAQ ciao bye,” were heard during their passage through the Grande Allée, to the applause of several people sitting on the terraces.

Nicolas St-Pierre / Le Journal de Québec

In addition to the hundred demonstrators, the co-coordinator of the Regroupement des Committees Logement et Associations de Tenants du Québec, Martin Blanchard, also had a message to convey.

“The main message is that Bill 31 will not pass. Transferring the rental agreement ensures that people who are discriminated against or cannot find affordable housing can find it. “We are in the middle of a housing crisis, it makes no sense to repeal this provision,” he stressed.

As a symbolic move, a giant “ministerial transfer” was also placed in the Marie Guyart building, which houses the offices of the Société d’habitation du Québec.

Note that these demonstrations are taking place as new data released this week suggests that more than 10,000 people are homeless in Quebec. In almost 25% of cases, forced evictions are the cause.

This observation was made during a census in fall 2022.

Martin Blanchard, co-coordinator of the Quebec Housing Committees and Tenants Associations Group. | Photo credit: Nicolas St-Pierre

Nicolas St-Pierre / Le Journal de Québec

What they said

“It was really contemptuous of the minister; She made amends but didn’t apologize. This shows that the Housing Minister is out of touch with the reality of tenants. The least we could do is invite each other to a discussion. »

– Martin Blanchard, co-coordinator of the Quebec Housing Committees and Tenants Associations Group

Nicolas St-Pierre / Le Journal de Québec

“We must make it clear to the government that this bill is doubly unacceptable in the context of the housing crisis, the social crisis and increasing homelessness. There is nothing that justifies allowing owners to make additional profits in the context in which we currently live. »

– Jonathan Carmichael, spokesman for the Housing Animation and Information Office of Metropolitan Quebec

Nicolas St-Pierre / Le Journal de Québec

“We see a deterioration in tenant protection. It comes at a critical time because the leading causes of homelessness today are evictions and evictions, and if we do nothing we will only make the problem worse. I was at the Homelessness Summit and regretted the absence of Minister Duranceau. She should have been there because the bond is very strong. »

– Etienne Grandmont, solidarity representative for Taschenreau

Nicolas St-Pierre / Le Journal de Québec

Juliet Ingram

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