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Protesters rally at Queen’s Park, in front of Toronto mayor’s condo over Ontario evictions bill

Protest against Ontario government’s Bill 184 ends up outside Toronto mayor’s condo
WATCH ABOVE: Catherine McDonald speaks to an organizer who says Mayor John Tory needs to intervene in what he calls “a COVID and housing crisis colliding.”

Protesters gathered at Queen’s Park and in front of Toronto Mayor John Tory‘s condo building on Monday to rally against an Ontario bill advocates say will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants as coronavirus regulations continue to ease.

Videos posted on social media Monday evening appeared to show police and protesters getting into physical altercations at times outside of the downtown Toronto condo. A police spokesperson said no one was arrested.

Some protesters reported being pepper-sprayed, but police said tear gas and pepper spray was not used by officers.

Read more: Advocates say new Ontario bill gives an unfair advantage to landlords over tenants

The protest came after opponents of Bill 184 gathered at Queen’s Park.

The bill, if passed, would provide a number of new avenues for landlords to both evict and collect unpaid rent from current and past tenants.

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The changes would apply retroactively to when the province first declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Ontario to suspend all eviction notices, enforcement amid COVID-19 spread

Currently cases involving back rent and evictions are heard before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Bill 184 would allow landlords to offer tenants their own repayment plan.

Aaron Matthews said he wanted to attend the protest in support of those who could be at risk of losing their homes.

“This is a death sentence because when you sign that, if this bill gets passed, if you have any missed payment on that at all, you can be evicted without having a proper hearing at the Landlord Tenant Board,” he told Global News.

— With files from The Canadian Press