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The public is being reminded of legislation that allows for speedy evictions of people engaged in criminal activity.

The legislation, which allows for an eviction or hearing in five days in situations where a tenant is involved in unlawful activity, has been in place for many years. But Sel Burrows, chair of the Point Douglas Residents Committee, says, previously, in his experience, that didn’t actually exist. He’s confident it does now.

“They may have had them before but they weren’t working before; now they’re going to be working, and if there (are) issues and problems we’ll work together to fix them up,” said Burrows Friday, during a press conference in Point Douglas meant to increase awareness of the legislation. Justice minister Cliff Cullen and Point Douglas landlord Gord Sims were also a part of the presser.

“This is an awareness campaign to make sure that the public is aware of this five-day notice period. That’s really what it’s about today, is making sure people appreciate what is available through the legislation,” said Cullen.

Sims said the government and the Residential Tenancies Branch have made a commitment to an expedited hearing and eviction process (when criminal activity is involved).

Minister Cullen said the community can act as well.

“If the community members recognize that there’s activity that appears to be illegal or unlawful, they can also report it, and they can report to Manitoba Justice. We have a Public Safety Investigation unit that will specifically go and investigate these activities,” said Cullen.

According to the province, the PSI unit has responded to 435 complaints about properties with chronic, problematic behaviour since 2016; all but 10 of them were confirmed to have drug-related activity. 375 of the properties were closed because of the PSI investigation.

The province says information about provincial resources for landlords and concerned community members will be distributed over the next several weeks.

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