Green Caucus calling for rent control
On November 5, Fredericton South MLA David Coon called for the Higgs administration to establish rent controls to protect vulnerable Fredericton citizens from unreasonable rent hikes.
Coon claims that the Residential Tenancies Act is weaker than similar acts of other provinces and puts New Brunswickers at a disadvantage. In New Brunswick, landlords must give two to three months notice of a rent increase, but there is no limit as to how much rent can be increased.
In recent years, Coon had called for rent controls, but the bill was tabled by Coon as rental property developers felt the pressure and called for the government to vote against it. Now, two years after tabling the initial bill, he is once again calling on the New Brunswick government to take action.
Megan Mitton, MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar and Green critic for Service New Brunswick, is working with Coon to call Mary Wilson, Service New Brunswick Minister, to introduce legislation that will help establish rent controls.
“Housing is a human right. Large, unjustifiable increases in rent will have negative consequences such as increasing homelessness and deepening poverty,” stated Mitton in the Green Caucus press release.
New Brunswick Relaxes Travel Restrictions
On November 13, New Brunswick announced that they would be relaxing restrictions on travel for families at the international border. Many view this as a controversial decision, but most are overjoyed with the thought of seeing their family members again after a long period of separation.
This decision comes in time for the holiday season, and will give New Brunswickers an opportunity to spend that season with their loved ones. It is a more relaxed protocol than that of the federal government, which is still restricting travel within Canada.
At the beginning of the pandemic, all travel between the US and Canada at the land border was restricted, with a change being made in June to allow immediate family members to cross the border. The changes announced on November 13 will extend travel allowances to include significant others, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and children over the age of 18.
Individuals travelling to, or from, Canada will still have to undertake the mandatory two-week isolation period to ensure safe re-entry into the country.
Coronavirus in New Brunswick
On November 15, the province announced three new cases of the virus, following the announcement of six new cases the day before, which was the largest single day increase since last month. This brings the number of active cases in the province to 22, and the total number of cases to 367. Thus far, the province has seen six deaths from coronavirus.
The recent cases were located in Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John, and all individuals are self-isolating. The Moncton area cases came after the announcement of potential exposure at a gym and shoe store, and other cases are travel related or under investigation.