PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release
Quebec, May 25, 2023 — Andrés Fontecilla, MNA for Laurier-Dorion and Québec solidaire’s housing critic, introduced a bill today to allow companion animals in rental housing, following through on his commitment in March to introduce the bill before the current session of Parliament comes to an end.
The MNA made the announcement alongside Québec solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé and Sophie Gaillard, Director of Animal Advocacy and of Legal and Government Affairs at the Montreal SPCA.
“There are 36 days left before July 1, and what we’re seeing in the field is that finding animal-friendly housing in the midst of a housing crisis has become a real uphill battle. It’s already especially tough to find affordable housing this year—it’s even tougher if you have a companion animal. It’s unacceptable that thousands of Quebecers have to choose between giving up their four-legged friend or finding a place to live, when the solution is simple,” said Fontecilla.
Bill 494, introduced by Mr. Fontecilla, would amend the Civil Code to render ineffective lease clauses that prohibit companion animals. Upon entry into force of the law, all new leases would no longer be able to include a prohibition on companion animals. Existing leases would also be covered by the law under a transitional provision.
Speaking at the press conference, Sophie Gaillard, Director of Animal Advocacy and of Legal and Governmental Affairs at the Montreal SPCA, reminded the audience of the high number of animals abandoned in Quebec during the rapidly approaching moving season.
“As is the case every year, moving season hits us hard at the Montreal SPCA. Trouble finding animal-friendly housing is one of the main reasons why animals are abandoned at shelters. That’s why we’ve been fighting for over ten years to ban no-pet clauses in residential leases. We are filled with hope as we lend our support to the bill Québec solidaire tabled this morning,” said Sophie Gaillard, Director of Animal Advocacy and of Legal and Government Affairs at the Montreal SPCA.
“The health benefits of having a companion animal are well known; they reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even help alleviate loneliness among those living alone, especially seniors. Some studies even suggest that seniors with a companion animal go to the doctor 30% less than those without! Allowing people to keep their animals in their homes can improve tenants’ well-being at a time when the housing crisis is taking hold,” added Manon Massé.
You may recall that last June, Manon Massé tabled a petition from the Montreal SPCA at the National Assembly calling for a ban on residential lease clauses prohibiting animals, a petition that garnered over 33,000 signatures.
The public can ask their MNA to support this inclusive bill by signing the letter here.
Source : Montreal SPCA
Information : Sandrine Bourque, Québec solidaire Caucus Press Secretary (514) 560-0361 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Montreal SPCA public relations officer : Jeanne Beauchamp, public relations account manager, tök communications, 514-535-0326 | ext. 201, email@example.com
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montréal in 1869, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now better known as the Montreal SPCA) was the first animal-welfare organization in Canada. The SPCA has come a long way since its beginnings and is today the largest animal-protection organization in Québec, speaking on behalf of animals wherever there is ignorance, cruelty, exploitation or neglect.