The last legislative sitting in Victoria was a historic one for the BC Green Party, as two private members bills were adopted for the first time in this province.
Green leader Andrew Weaver presented Bill M206, the Residential Tenancy Amendment Act and it made it through first and second reading, through committee and was adopted as law.
Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau said the amendment will allow apartment tenants to break a lease if they’re in an unsafe situation because of another tenant.
“The amendment that was brought in by the BC Greens makes it possible for that. This is really about people who suffer harassment, or violence, or sexual violence in their living arrangements,” said Furstenau. “Somebody who is not their spouse, but who lives either in the same apartment complex or as a roommate in your living arrangement.”
Furstenau said, “This gives you the right to say ‘I’m not safe here and I need to break my lease.'”
The local MLA said the bill didn’t suffer the usual fate and was made into law.
“The bill was introduced as a private members bill, but instead of dying on the order papers, it was brought up for second reading, it was brought to committee stage and it passed through third reading,” said Furstenau. “The bill was passed and made into law, as it was introduced by the private member (Andrew Weaver).”
Another historic bill surrounding benefit corporations or companies that pursue a triple bottom line, focusing on social, economic, and environmental goals was passed, making BC the first Canadian province to pass such legislation.