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Lastman urges Davis action on rent control

Toronto Star - October 10, 1975

North York Mayor Mel Lastman yesterday urged Premier William Davis for immediate action on rent controls.

He said he was very concerned about statements by Davis and Housing Minister John Rhodes that Ontario may scrap its promised rent review boards in favor of "an alternative system."

"It's not something he (Davis) can toy with," the mayor said. "He promised the people rent review boards in the election and he can't stall on them now. People have to have confidence in their politicians and their promises."

Lastman, who ran as a Conservative candidate in the Sept. 18 provincial election but was defeated, has come out on several occasions against the early proposals for rent review boards put foward by Davis.

He said the proposals, which did not give the boards any power to roll back rents but only suggested excessive abuses wold be controlled by publicizing them, did not go far enough to protect tenants.

Davis twice changed his stand on rent review boards during the election campaign, promising more teeth in the legislation, a move that Lastman favored.

"The biggest problem in North York is still rent control," Lastman said yesterday. "I have no power at this moment to do anything about it, but we must have fast action."

He said about 51 per cent of the people in the borough rent, rather than own, their homes and apartments.

Lastman cannot see any alternative to rent review boards, but said he woule be willing to look at any provincial proposals.

"I don't mind seeing something better -- providing it will prevent people from rent gougers," he said.

The mayor added that rent control was of great concern to all North York residents, not only low-income and fixed-income renters

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