The first of the month is right around the corner and Doug Ford has some bold words for renters in the province. The Premier calls the campaign encouraging tenants not to pay their Ontario rent "wrong" during a March 26 press briefing. This comes after renters shared their concerns about not having enough funds for when April 1 rolls around in the face of the impact COVID-19 has had on work in the province.
The website KeepYourRent.com is encouraging tenants to skip their rent payments on April 1.
And signs have been spotted plastered all over the streets of Toronto trying to get others to join the movement.
However, speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ford came down hard on the apparent plan.
"I heard there was a petition going around (saying) 'just don't pay rent'. That's wrong, that's hurting people across the board," said Ford during the press conference.
"We're standing up for the tenants here so please don't take advantage of it."
Ford insisted the government is aware of the difficulties Ontarians could be facing at this time, but he asks those who are actually able to afford their rent to pay it to avoid creating a problematic situation.
"Please, if you have a job, do not take advantage of this," Ford continued. "This is for the people that are most in need, that just cannot physically pay rent.
"If you have a job, we expect you to pay rent. And if you can't pay rent and you're just in an absolute crisis, then you don't have to pay rent."
He also offered a guarantee to tenants whose situation genuinely comes down to paying rent or buying necessities for their family.
Today, Premier Doug Ford said to renters in Ontario: “If you can’t pay rent, and if you’re in a crisis, you don’t h… https://t.co/YDyspzyL2X— Josh Matlow (@Josh Matlow) 1585244136.0
"If you have a choice between putting food on your table or paying rent, you're putting food on your table and the Government of Ontario will make sure that no one gets evicted," he adds.
And, for Canadians who are worried about making ends meet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered a solution.
A Canada Emergency Response Benefit fund is in the works for those who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
In the same press conference on Thursday, Ford ripped into Pusateri's Fine Foods after photos circulated which seemed to show the store charging $30 for one container of Lysol wipes.