Atlantic Canadians call for rent freeze during COVID-19 pandemic

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For many renters, the start of the month means rent is due and April 1 marked the first time rent has been due since COVID-19 was declared to be a pandemic and Canadians were told to stay home.

Sydnee Blum of Halifax, N.S., is among thousands of Nova Scotians out of work due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Canadian unemployment could hit 15 per cent amid coronavirus pandemic, deficit to $113B

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“I was a part-time worker, and now I’m unable to work because of the pandemic, I’m also a full-time student so I don’t qualify for EI,” said Blum.

“And it’s possibly going to be weeks until I see the [Canadian Emergency Response Benefit] benefit so there’s lots of uncertainty if I’m going to have the ability to pay rent next month, and moving into the summer.”

Blum says it was already a challenge to pay for April, and it’s left her having to make some difficult choices.

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“Am I going to use what little money I have in savings to put food on the table and pay for prescriptions or am I going to put that towards next month’s rent?”

She says she’s heard from many others in a similar situation and as a result has started a petition calling on the Nova Scotia government to implement a rent freeze.

Blum says while benefits being offered by the federal government are a good step,

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