Hamilton’s mayor is urging city staff to apologize to the public for failing to enforce their pest rules for more than four years.
Mayor Andrea Horwath’s tweet on Thursday came in response to a CBC Hamilton story about how tenant calls to the city for help with roach and bedbug infestations have gone unheeded.
Kevin McDonald, the city’s public health director who oversees the healthy environments division, previously said Hamilton’s public health division halted pest control in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
That means landlords who fail to keep buildings free of roaches, bedbugs or rats, as required by the city’s property standards statute, have not faced statute warrants or charges.
“This is completely shocking and unacceptable,” Horwath posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I have told city staff that I expect an apology to the public and immediate steps to address this issue and restart law enforcement.”
This is completely shocking and unacceptable. I have told city staff that I expect an apology to the public and immediate steps to address this issue and restart enforcement. The Council and I will work together to make sure this situation is addressed. https://t.co/upDrRVGRNP
She said the council will make sure the situation is addressed.
City councilors Cameron Kroetsch (2nd district) and Nrinder Nann (3rd district) gave their support to the mayor.
“Our residents deserve to see health and safety issues like these quickly addressed,” Nann said on X.
“Landlords must be vigilant in ensuring safe homes for our renting neighbors. And when they’re not, city charters are key to accountability.”
Public health manager Matthew Lawson previously told CBC Hamilton that there is little evidence to suggest that rats, cockroaches and bedbugs carry disease.
Bedbugs They are not known to spread disease, but their bites can cause allergic reactions, anxiety and insomnia, according to Health Canada.