Rental property owners ‘happy’ that legislation requiring generators defeated in provincial legislature

rental - GST

Local property owners with residential rental properties say they are relieved that legislation that would have required them to purchase power generators has failed in the provincial legislature.

According to groups representing property owners, the legislation would have added a significant financial cost by requiring owners to purchase and install generators.

The legislation was introduced by a local NDP MPP following the severe storm that hit Ottawa in May 2022, causing power outages that effectively trapped some people who rely on elevators inside their apartments.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

“(The Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization) is happy that proposed Bill 47 was defeated by a majority vote in the legislature on Feb. 23 because it avoids making it more costly to provide rental housing,” said John Dickie, chairman of the organization.

“Private member’s Bill 47 would add significant costs to rental operations in buildings which already are strained to cover current cost increases within the rent control guideline, which is capped at 2.5 per cent, when inflation is over five per cent, and rental operating and financing costs are rising faster than that,” Dickie said before the vote on the bill. 

“These types of policies, and the NDP attitude towards rental housing providers, discourages rental providers from investing more in buildings and from developing more rental housing in Ontario,” Dickie said. “Given the housing crisis we currently face, we should look for ways to incentivize construction instead of imposing additional costs on current rental providers.”

“Bill 47 adds significant costs to rental operations while putting severe limits on recovery of those costs,” said Tony Irwin, president of the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO). “FRPO members take pride in the quality of their stock and the service they provide to residents.”

Ottawa West-Nepean NDP MPP Chandra Pasma said her proposed private member’s Bill 47 was in response to the aftermath of the severe storm that impacted Ottawa in May 2022. 

“The derecho (windstorm) knocked out power in parts of Ottawa for up to 12 days, leaving residents with mobility issues trapped in apartments because elevators couldn’t run and leaving many residents without clean drinking water, as water pumps failed. 

“This bill requires landlords and condo corporations to install backup power generators that are capable of running at least one elevator, lights in common areas, and water pumps for up to two weeks in cases of emergency power failures,” Pasma said in the legislature on Feb. 22.

Pasma introduced the “Protecting Human Rights in an Emergency Act” in November 2022, and it had its first reading Feb. 22. A vote on the proposed bill was deferred until Feb. 23, at which time it was defeated by Conservative MPPs.

Pasma says that it is “incredibly disappointing” that the provincial government won’t mandate that all residential rental buildings with elevators have generators, so that residents don’t feel trapped if a long-lasting power outage affects their building.

“The bill in question would simply increase red tape and costs and make it less likely that Ontarians can find rental housing that meets their needs and budget. As such, our government does not support this proposed legislation,” said Victoria Podbielski, spokesperson for Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark. 

“We will continue to support tenants while making it easier to build more houses and rental units to address the ongoing housing supply crisis,” Podbielski added.

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.