Government members have voted to support Bill 204, the Residential Tenancies Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence Amendment Act, authored by independent Calgary Bow MLA Deborah Drever.
The Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act to allow tenants affected by domestic violence to break a lease early without financial penalty. A lease may be terminated if an individual receives a statement from a certified professional – including a doctor, nurse, social worker, psychologist, or peace officer – verifying that domestic violence is occurring.
“I commend Ms. Drever for her commitment to survivors of domestic violence. Bill 204 will help ensure that survivors of domestic violence are safe and have the supports they need to maintain their independence.”
Shannon Phillips, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
“No one should feel trapped in a situation of domestic violence. We will be reaching out to stakeholders in the New Year to ensure everyone understands their role in protecting tenants who have experienced domestic violence.”
Danielle Larivee, Minister of Service Alberta
The legislation will be proclaimed after consultation and drafting of supporting regulations with key stakeholders including landlords, tenants, and women’s organizations.
Service Alberta will begin regulatory development and associated consultations in January 2016. Regulatory development and drafting is expected to take six to eight months.