From the Winnipeg Free Press
March 14, 2019–Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government is looking to make it easier for victims of sexual or domestic violence to break residential leases to protect their safety.
Currently, tenants must report incidents of domestic violence or stalking to police and obtain a no-contact order from the courts to be eligible to terminate a lease.
Justice Minister Cliff Cullen said a bill he introduced in the legislature Wednesday would no longer require these steps.
“This legislation allows victims to get a statement from a range of professionals who are well-placed to assess danger. These professionals include physicians, psychologists, social workers or individuals employed at a shelter,” he said.
A statement from one of these individuals, along with any other relevant information, could be taken to the Justice Department’s victim services branch, which would issue a certificate that could be used to end a lease if there is risk to a tenant’s or a child’s safety. Bill 19, which amends the Residential Tenancies Act, also broadens who can qualify for early lease termination to include victims of sexual violence, Cullen said.
Rochelle Squires, the minister responsible for the status of women, said the amendments were developed based on advice from victims of violence.
“This is a tool that will help empower survivors at the time of their greatest need,” she said.
To read the rest of the story please click here.
To read the government press release please click here.