New Westminster – On December 9, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada informed the City of New Westminster that it has dismissed an application for leave to appeal the Rental Units Bylaw Amendment. This decision follows a ruling in the City’s favour by the BC Court of Appeal earlier this year upholding the City’s right to adopt the bylaw amendment to deter the practice of renovictions and help preserve affordable rental housing in New Westminster.
“Thank you to the Supreme Court of Canada for dismissing the leave for appeal and confirming once again our right to use our powers to take bold actions to protect tenants,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Cote. “The housing crisis is long from over and we are committed to working to ensure housing affordability and rental stock are available to anyone who needs it.”
Since the ruling, the Province of British Columbia made changes to the Residential Tenancy Act that help protect tenants against renovictions throughout the province, rendering New Westminster’s bylaw amendment (Part 6 of the Rental Units Bylaw) inoperable. On November 15, 2021, the City of New Westminster repealed Part 6 of the Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Bylaw.
“I’m proud to work for and represent a city that fights for its most vulnerable residents,” said Emilie K. Adin, Director of Climate Action, Planning and Development. “I’ve seen our bylaw amendment working as intended to keep residents in their homes. I am so pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada agrees with the important work we’re doing.”
The City of New Westminster was the first municipality in British Columbia to use municipal regulations to take action against the issue of renovictions and, as such, is a leader among municipalities for its bold and direct action to protect tenants. The decrease in the number of renovictions since the new regulations have been in place has been dramatic.
The City will continue monitoring the housing situation in New Westminster and looks forward to working with other municipalities and the provincial government to advocate for and protect tenant rights and ensure adequate affordable housing is available. Learn more on the City website at www.newwestcity.ca/tenants.