NDP calls on Ford government to take action on elevator maintenance


At condo and apartment towers around Toronto there are residents who claim no matter how loudly they complain about out-of-service elevators, they get the shaft.

Ontario NDP Tenant Rights critic Suze Morrison says elevators that spend endless weeks and months on the fritz are a growing problem in this city, and across Ontario.

"People deserve to be able to access their homes," she says.

"When we have vertical communities that rely on an elevator ... there's no accountability for elevator access."

Morrison says not only are deactivated elevators a nuisance for tower residents, they also present serious complications for people with limited mobility.

"We need more accountability measures for landlords who are not taking care of high-rise buildings -- especially the older ones -- and we need stronger regulations around elevator access." she says.

Complaints about elevators that seem to perpetually malfunction have been blamed on everything from shady property managers to a shortage of skilled technicians to diagnose and perform the repair work.

Morrison accuses the Ford government on dragging its feet on what might be a first step in solving some of these issues.

Before being defeated at the polls last year, the Ontario Liberals passed a bill that would require landlords and condos to fix elevators within certain timelines, or face penalties.

It is up to the sitting government to put the legislation into force by proclamation of the Lieutenant-Governor.

So far, the Ontario PC's haven't indicated when that might happen, if at all.

A written statement from the Ministry of Consumer Services says it is working to "better understand and address the causes of elevators being out of service ... We are committed to making real changes that are appropriate, enforceable and effective without placing unnecessary regulatory burden on industry."