Ottawa Lawyer, Michael Thiele Weighs In on the Announcement
In a recent interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Michael Thiele, an Ottawa lawyer who represents both landlords and tenants, offered his views on the latest announcement by the Ontario government. Attorney General Doug Downey announced that over the next 3 years, Ontario will spend in excess of $19 million to help facilitate faster decisions at the Ontario Land Tribunal and the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Thiele’s perspective is, “More money to make things faster does not mean that things will be fair or reasonable. Fast decisions are worth nothing if they are not fair decisions. Without fair hearings, no decision can be perceived as fair even if the correct decision happens to be made.”
A partner at a leading personal injury law firm, QTMG, Thiele, along with other Ottawa lawyers, is concerned that the province is likely to move hearings online permanently, and this digital process has already proven to be confusing and stressful for all parties.
In many cases, neither the landlords nor their tenants have the required technology or adequate skills to work through cases in a digital environment, he said. When it comes to residential landlord and tenant law, in-person meetings in a pre-pandemic world are the best way to clear backlogs, and this must continue now that the economy has opened up again.
While the province is confident that the infusion of funds will help create more affordable housing by reducing delays at the Landlord and Tenant Board, Thiele’s opinion is that “People are fighting before the board to keep rental housing because they have no place else to go. They are motivated to slow down the process.”
You can read the full article here.