Saskatchewan resuming tenant evictions; NDP says no help for struggling

REGINA — Tenants missing rental payments during the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer have protection from being evicted in Saskatchewan.

The government says the Office of Residential Tenancies will start accepting applications from landlords for evictions starting Aug. 4.

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The province temporarily suspended evictions in March to ensure that tenants had the means to stay home and follow self-isolation measures.

Justice Minister Don Morgan says in a statement the province has flattened the COVID-19 curve so it feels it's appropriate to resume non-urgent evictions.

Health officials are reporting nine new infections of COVID-19 over the last three days.

Of Saskatchewan's 805 total cases, 59 are active, with most of them located in the far north.

So far, 732 people have recovered, while four remain in hospital and 14 have died.

The Saskatchewan NDP says the government hasn't announced how it plans to help families struggling financially because of the pandemic once rent evictions resume.

"A spike in evictions as the economy reopens and as parents prepare to send their kids back to school would be disruptive for the economy and for families," said justice critic Nicole Sarauer.

"The province needs to sit down with landlords and tenants and come back with a plan to ensure that we do not see families who have acted in good faith put out on the street."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020

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