Privacy legislation failing to protect tenants while heating support programs inadequate
Recent reports have raised serious concerns about Newfoundland Power pressuring landlords to disclose tenants’ personal information to them, resulting in tenants having their power cut off. The Liberal government’s cancellation of the Home Heating Rebate Program in 2016 has further exacerbated the challenges for low-income people struggling to keep up payments on their power bills.
In Question Period today, NDP Housing Critic Gerry Rogers stated that both BC and Alberta have provincial privacy legislation that prohibits landlords from disclosing tenant information to debt collectors without the tenant’s consent, except for collecting overdue rent on behalf of the landlord.
“Will the Minister of Justice introduce provincial privacy legislation that would prohibit Newfoundland Power from collecting, and landlords from disclosing, tenants’ private information?”
Rogers continued that other jurisdictions have passed legislation to make it illegal for utilities to disconnect power for unpaid bills during the winter months.
“The price of power is escalating. I ask the Premier, will he direct the Public Utilities Board to look at similar provisions to protect our people from power cut-offs during the winter?”
Rogers also asked if government would look at programs in other provinces that help low-income people who are struggling to keep up with their power bills.