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MPP has bugs in her bonnet

New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo is pushing for a law forcing landlords to be licensed and their premises inspected for bedbugs, saying Ontario is “doing nothing” to stop the growing scourge of pests.

New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo is pushing for a law forcing landlords to be licensed and their premises inspected for bedbugs, saying Ontario is “doing nothing” to stop the growing scourge of pests.

“It protects good landlords and calls bad landlords to account,” the MPP for Parkdale-High Park said Thursday in proposing a private member’s bill.

Her effort follows another bedbug bill by Liberal MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence) in June that would require landlords to present prospective tenants with a “bedbug information report” before a lease is signed.

DiNovo’s idea got a cool reception from Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Rick Bartolucci in the legislature, who said he prefers Colle’s plan.

“It is an initiative that we should pay very, very close attention to and I look forward to seeing that private member’s bill work its way through the system,” he said.

A group representing landlords who own five units or less — often in the same building where they live themselves — accused DiNovo of “political opportunism” for trying to lump bedbugs in with the larger issue of landlord licensing.

“Let’s focus on the bedbugs first,” said Stuart Henderson of the Ontario Landlords’ Association, which encourages its members to inspect and clean units when tenants leave.

 
 
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