Come to City Hall to Support Better Tenant Protections! Monday June 10th at 5:45pm

Come to City Hall to Support Better Tenant Protections! Monday June 10th at 5:45pm
The NWTU Action Team after our Community Meeting Monday May 27th at Qayqayt Elementary 

It’s time to mobilize! This coming Monday, June 10th at 5:45pm at New West City Hall, City Council will be voting on whether to begin the process of strengthening their Tenant Relocation Plan. These are the rules that developers must follow if they tear down old rental buildings to build new towers. We know what we want from a new plan: guarantees that any tenant displaced by redevelopment gets a new suite at the same rent in the new building. While the process of getting our plan adopted will be long, it all begins with making sure this motion passes on Monday at Council. For that, we need the community’s help.

After our successful community action meeting last Monday at Qayqayt Elementary, we’ve gathered a solid lineup of speakers from the downtown New West neighbourhood to speak at the City Council meeting in favour of the motion - but they’ll need support. We’re asking renters across the city to join us at the meeting and wear a tenants union sticker to show that this issue is important to the people of New West.

The motion we’re supporting was put forward by Councillors Nadine Nakagawa and Ruby Campbell. If the vote is successful, city staff will prioritize drafting a new plan that would likely come to a vote at City Council later this year in the fall or winter. Professor Elliot Rossiter, a friend and collaborator with the tenants union, has submitted a policy brief that highlights the need for the new plan to require that developers not only give displaced tenants new suites at the same rent, but subsidizes the rents tenants must pay while they wait for the new building’s construction. It’s inspired by the City of Burnaby’s policy, which guarantees tenants just that. But there are some ways in which Burnaby’s policy is not strong enough, and this policy brief highlights some of the lessons learned. The policy brief was authored in collaboration with us and renters in New West.

City Council meetings can be a challenge sometimes, but having a group of us helps!  Also the larger a crowd of supporters we can bring, the more pressure the City Council will feel to protect the people who live and vote in this city.

We’ll also be presenting to Council the results so far of our “New West Rent Survey,” where we’ve gone door to door and asked renters downtown what they are currently paying in rent. It probably comes as no surprise that most of the tenants we talked to said they could not afford to stay in their neighbourhood if they were evicted today.

Come out, join your neighbours! Meet our Action Team and get Involved!

Where: New Westminster City Hall (511 Royal Ave at 6th Street)

When: Monday, June 10 at 5:45pm

  • Council Meeting starts at 6pm
  • Please join us anytime you are able to make it

Note: At this time we can’t predict when the motion will be heard, or how long it will be debated for

  • There is limited seating inside the City Hall chambers, however there is also a viewing area in the lobby
  • Parking is available at the back of the building off 6th Street
  • The front entrance is the large doors facing Royal Ave

Not able to make it?  

Write a letter to New West City Council showing your support for stronger tenant protections.

You can send your letter to and it will be forwarded to all Councillors prior to the meeting. If you’re not sure exactly what you want to say, you can take a look at the template letter attached to the bottom of this email.

Want to help in other ways?

As we said, this is only the beginning of the process. We need to continue to expand our range of contacts among renters living near skytrain stations and mobilize even more people later in the year when the new plan comes up for a vote. We’d love for you to join us canvassing and door knocking. Send us an email if you’d like to get involved!

Template Letter

This is a template letter you can send to to support the motion. Make sure to send it before the Council meeting on Monday, June 10th. Feel free to change anything and add your own personal concerns to the letter, or write your own.

To New Westminster City Council:

I am writing to you in support of Motion 8.1a raised by Councillors Nadine Nakagawa and Ruby Campbell to strengthen tenant protections from demovictions in this city. As a renter in New Westminster, I know that if my building were redeveloped, I would struggle to remain in the community that I and many other renters call home.

The city’s social planning policies demonstrate that City Council wants to maintain an environment in which all of our neighbours can live comfortably and share in our range of amenities, parks and local culture. On the city’s Community Poverty Reduction Initiative, the city states that poverty “affects not just the individuals living in poverty, but also the community as a whole.” And on multiculturalism, the city says it is “working towards being one of the most welcoming and inclusive communities in British Columbia.”

Policies that protect tenants from demovictions advance the city’s goals to this end. Demovictions without protection force renters to choose between effective poverty caused by high market rate rents and leaving the city altogether. A city that allows low- and middle-income renters to be pushed out for new developments is neither welcoming nor inclusive. This is doubly true knowing that newcomers to Canada are more likely to live off of low incomes.

I believe that City Council wants to foster a community that can grow in ways that don’t sacrifice renters — and that is why I and other renters are asking for you to support tenant protections.

I look forward to seeing you vote in favour of this motion on June 10.

Thank you,


[address if you wish]