Thursday, June 30, 2005
in these days of moving...
Poor justice 2003
>> A mass eviction highlights the lack of protection afforded low-income tenants
commentary by TED WRIGHT
The law is an ass. Sound familiar? It is. Politicians have once again failed to protect their low-income voters and someone has made a lot of money [As per the Mirror story "The right of return," June 5]. As for the poor, no problem. They’re immigrants, ethnics and easy to abuse. No one cares.
Article 1936 of the Quebec Civil Code says we have the right to return to our home. A testament of true justice, except:
1. If the law is broken.
2. If the landlord doesn’t want you back.
3. Condo conversion will make someone else loads of money.
4. The city politicians are "helping" you.
5. A landlord with "connections" wants the building.
6. The politicians need to look good.
7. The Justice Ministry won’t make laws to truly protect you.
8. You are a minority, immigrant, poor and expendable.
9. The neighbourhood is "targeted" for "re-vitalization."
10. You have to rely on city authorities to protect you.
Funny thing how the City of Montreal knew about the dangerous state of the building at 3330 Bedford. But for some unforeseen reason the city did not know how to protect the tenants when a rich landlord came calling, both to buy the building and destroy their homes, and this same lucky landlord was fortunate enough to get a city renovation grant. The whole system just happened to fall apart. Just long enough to guarantee profits and hurt innocent people.
Thank God for Claude Dagneau, of housing group OEIL. He has shown how false and useless and ineffectual the law truly is. Any city government can hire competent people as consultants and advisors to make certain that laws are followed and tenants protected. But Claude Dagneau seems to be doing the city’s job.
No one stopped the Bourque government from closely monitoring the situation. They made the political choice to not do so. Will the Tremblay Team do the same?
Follow the paper trail
Let’s find out the truth:
Check the time line of the inspections of the buildings at 3330 Bedford and 4715 Plamondon.
Check the time line of the construction permits.
Check the time line of the new landlords’ renovation grant.
Check the time line of each decision of the city.
Check when each document was signed.
Check the signature on each dotted line.
Find out who told every person what to sign and when.
Uncover each and every transfer of information to everyone but the tenants.
Find out when and where the negligence occurred.
Verify every name and document.
Scrutinize all the appointment books of all the politicians.
See who has the most information missing.
Watch who does not want to provide the required information.
The question that must be asked and absolutely answered is, "Who didn’t do their job?" And maybe, who ordered them not to do their job? Who ordered the type of intervention that caused the tenants to be forced illegally out of their homes? Who made the policy that guaranteed profit to a millionaire and more poverty to immigrants already living a difficult life? Is it too much of a coincidence that Claude Dagneau and his group could not buy the building and also were not pursued and informed about the big renovation grant money available from the city?
Where were the politicians’ proactive decisions to protect its citizen-immigrants and keep a few more low-cost housing units? Is it really a coincidence that the buildings were renovated in such a manner, with the right city permits, to guarantee that the tenants could not possibly move back in, no matter what the law guarantees?
It’s just a funny thing that, in law, the people harmed do not receive adequate compensation to pay for all their losses, but that the person who is breaking the law usually earns much more profit than he will ever have to pay out for breaking the law in the first place.
The courts know this. The lawmakers are complicit when they do not make and enforce laws that guarantee protection. The politicians could make Article 1936 truly adequate. They simply do not want to do it. Law is arbitrary. Immigrants, poor people and the weak are expendable commodities.
It is clear to anyone with a thought process that something happened somewhere behind some closed door. We have enough intelligent, competent housing activists, that, if hired, can make sure rights are protected. Except that the politicians make specific choices to keep housing activists out of on-going, meaningful, continuous consultation.
Instead, a new landlord appears out of nowhere.
He overpays for a building.
He applies for and gets a $560,000 renovation grant.
Seventy-two lower cost housing units are removed from the city.
Building permits are issued.
One department does not communicate with another.
No city official thinks it important enough to watch the case.
No city official checks anything enough to red-flag it and protect the tenants.
OEIL is not assisted as much as the millionaire landlord is helped.
The building interior is changed with the complicity of the City of Montreal.
Tenants lose legally guaranteed rights.
The city does nothing.
The tenants lose their homes and their rights at the Rental Board.
The Quebec Ministry of Justice is not aware enough to know of the miscarriage of justice.
Politicians look great for city re-vitalization.
The first landlord makes a killing after breaking housing regulations.
The second landlord makes millions after Article 1936 is broken 72 times.
NO FINES. NO JAIL. NO RESPONSIBILITY.
Profit trumps all
Now the Rental Board says that new tenants, the ones who are there due to profitable law-breaking, have more rights than the old ones. Funny thing that profit once again guarantees negligent mistakes and harm to the weak. Another of these unforeseen coincidences. The law has once again guaranteed that profits override legal protection. Profits are guaranteed. Human rights are not.
Each tenant should sue to the limit of the Rental Board ($69,999).
Each tenant should ask the court to make the new landlord and the City of Montreal pay the maximum under penal provisions in each case ($28,975).
Each tenant should sue the new landlord and the City of Montreal for the maximum allowed under the Quebec Charter of Rights, Article 49, for moral, punitive and exemplary damages.
I think that each case is worth $100,000–$150,000. Go for it Claude.
Ted Wright runs the Westmount Legal Clinic and specializes in tenants’ rights. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
So called Justice is only served when those whos job it is to serve it actually do their jobs for the people the way they are supposed to!
We are not talking about the US right now so I will not start quoting leagal documents from there.
Even the policemen need to get off their butts and quit eating donuts, and actuall do thir jobs that they are supposed to be doing for the people!! Not just to get a pay check!
How can justice be served if they don't even do their jobs right! Too many donuts give them a sugar high and make them not think clearly when they need to be clear headed!
Ban Donuts for a month from the policemen and see if they can do their jobs better! No donut eating on duty!
The officials really need to see who it is that they are helping when they back the people selling out the buildings and thoes buying them just for PROFIT!!
Profit can be such a DIRTY word!!
That is all people think about!!
Forget family and friends, lets go spend all our time at the office making all the money I can!!
Every one of you profit hungry mongrals are going to end up just like Ebenzer Scrooge!!
Who cares how much money you have! Do you have to take peoples homes away to do it? Do you have to kill the dreams of those less fortunate than you so you can make some cash?
All of you who step on others to gain your (profit) are despicable, heartless, guano infested, butt kissing, immoral, fools!! You all deserve each other! Leave the weak and defenceless, poor, and less fortunate alone!!
Just because they don't have money and power like you does not give you any right in this WORLD to take advantage of them!!
Here is something Luminous for the Luminous Blog in my rant here.
Psalm 82: 1-4
1. God presides in the great assembly;
he gives judgement among the "gods".
2. How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?
3. Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4. Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
From the NIV Bible
I pray that God will work in your favor for all the things about this topic that are affecting you and those around you!
Here is a verse for you, to give you hope!
This verse is from God to all those who need hope!
11. "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
From the NIV Bible
More nice commentary too here - fom our anon faithful - *lol*
"All I can say is that I PRAISE GOD I still live @ home and I PRAISE MY PARENTS for allowing me to! After reading this, the thoughts of wanting to live out of a camper sounds MOST PLEASING! Canada-United States, we've all become slaves to the system and that's what they want. Jack up the prices, so that we have to work MORE hours, so we have NO life, so we have NO more time for personal exploration-it's garbage! No wonder there are tons of "mentally ill" people out there-who fall back into the system for help and become brainwashed. It's a HUGE DISGUSTING CYCLE! The poor immigrants probably would be better off staying in their home countries-whether or not they are suffering abuse there-we ABUSE just as much over here-it's just approached in a different manner-BUT IT'S NO DIFFERENT IN THE END! Luckily, I will say, that my parents have always been FAIR and RESONABLE landlords and my friend's first landlord was also the same. I have not heard of too many landlord horror stories-in fact, most of them have always been good, but still, there are crooks out there and I do feel horribly sad and sorry for citizen/immigrants alike, because the first things we all need is SHELTER, FOOD, and CLOTHING and it is so hard these days just to accomplish these basics without much grief."
No wonder art takes such a backseat, more and more so, and is the privilege of a social elite - those who DO NOT have to fight for the bare essentials on a daily basis...