For immediate release
December 6, 2020

Stand with Johnathan! Eviction Moratorium Now!

What: Tenants take action against a Surrey slumlord
When: Sunday, December 6th at noon
Where: In front of 8142 11th Avenue, Burnaby

Jonathan is a long-term resident of the low-income neighbourhood of Whalley in Surrey. His health has deteriorated through years of fighting against his slumlords, Sam Ng and Siu To Chau, for renting him a cockroach-infested suite without a working shower or oven.

He’s now fighting his third eviction notice, while his landlords are in breach of a Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) arbitrator order to maintain their building in a livable condition. The Compliance Enforcement Unit, which the BC NDP established in 2019, supposedly to give the RTB “teeth,” has yet to help.

On top of this stressful situation, Jonathan’s electricity was cut off by BC Hydro last week. In the middle of winter, without receiving any previous notice, he now owes them over $400 before he can get his electricity back.

And on Thursday, Jonathan tested positive for COVID-19.

We’re holding the Province of BC, the City of Surrey, and his landlords responsible for the hardship Johnathan has endured. How can tenants stay safe from the pandemic when they are harassed in their own homes, living in untenable conditions while some profit off their need for shelter? Who is there to protect tenants when the City’s Standards of Maintenance bylaw regularly goes unenforced?

Landlords are a threat to our safety. The City of Surrey and the Province side with them by allowing them to evict tenants and neglect buildings with little to no consequences.

We will hold a picket in front of Sam Ng’s home, 8142 11th Avenue in Burnaby, on Sunday December 6th at noon. We are demanding that Ng and Chau make the RTB-ordered repairs to Johnathan’s suite immediately. Jonathan was able to seek refuge in a hotel room available for people with COVID-19 to quarantine, and we need to ensure he will come home to a habitable suite, so he can recover fully.

Most importantly, we demand that the eviction moratorium be reinstated now. We can’t allow more people to be thrown into the streets to face a heightened risk of death due to the pandemic, violence, overdose, and the cold. No one should be homeless while a few people make millions by commodifying the land.

Our demands:

  1. That the Province of BC reinstate the MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS, NOW!
  2. That the Province of BC stop cuts of electricity or water for low income tenants.
  3. That Johnathan’s landlords make the necessary repairs to his suite and pay him restitution for the hardship he’s endured living in their building.