Write or Email your MLA

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Suggested text:

[Name of MLA]

Member of the Legislative Assembly
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC  V8V 1X4

 

Dear [Mr./Ms. _______ ]

I am writing in support of the petition to amend the Residential Tenancy Act (and associated Acts) in British Columbia so that landlords are no longer allowed to put “no pets” policies in place.

According to the BC SPCA, over 1,774 domestic pets were surrendered to shelters in 2016 due to no pets rental restrictions, the leading cause of all surrenders. Animals surrendered by their human guardians make up nearly a third of all animals taken in by shelters (CFHS 2014 Animal Shelter Statistics, http://cfhs.ca/athome/shelter_animal_statistics/). Clearly, surrender of animals is a problem in British Columbia.

Related to this is BC’s housing crisis. Of the nearly 400,000 rental households in BC, there is a vacancy rate of only 1.3 percent (CMHC, 2016). One third of the tenants occupying these units have pets, yet only 9% of advertised rental units allow cats, and only 3% allow dogs (SPCA, 2014). By comparison, half of all homeowners have pets.

For most people (including many landlords and homeowners), pets are treasured members of our families, with whom we have an emotional connection. For some, including elder citizens and people living with disabilities, companion animals represent their only close and regular companionship. To permit landlords to separate families via “no pets” policies is unjust, and causes much unneeded suffering among families and people who are the most vulnerable members of our society.

Ontario has had a provision in its Residential Tenancies Act prohibiting landlords from imposing “no pets” policies on their tenants since 1990, and Ontario landlords and tenants are doing just fine, twenty years on.

Clearly, the time has come for British Columbia to enact a just and equitable law that allows renters to keep their families together. The petition before the Legislature now will do this in BC, and represents a move toward a more equitable and humane world.

Over 14,000 British Columbians have signed an online petition to change the laws in BC so they are the same as in Ontario, and a paper petition is also circulating, which will be presented to the next Legislature in Victoria. I signed it, and many other people in your constituency have signed it too. I ask that you, as my elected representative in the BC Legislature, please vote in support of this petition and the amendments to our laws that will bring about this most needed change.

Yours truly,

[Insert Name & Address here]