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Province confirms that HRM Order doesn’t automatically end tenant’s lease

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Halifax, NS (November 1, 2022) – The Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services, which is responsible for the Residential Tenancies Program, has confirmed to CBC Nova Scotia that a municipal Order to Vacate an Unsafe Property doesn’t end a tenant’s lease. This is contrary to the claims made by landlord Marcus Ranjbar (4364812 Nova Scotia Limited).

On October 31, 2022, CBC Nova Scotia’s Nicola Seguin reported: “The provincial department in charge of Residential Tenancies says when a building is condemned, the tenant must leave. But it doesn’t end their lease. Both the tenant and landlord have the same rights as before. If a landlord wants to evict their tenant, they still have to serve them a Notice to Quit. If the tenant disagrees, it goes through a hearing just like any other dispute.”

On October 25, 2022, municipal officials notified Ms. Gomez that the landlord had been issued an HRM Order to Vacate Unsafe Property for his Church St. building due to elevated levels of mould detected in an air quality test. Mr. Ranjbar has been seeking to renovict Ms. Gomez since March 2022. On October 25, 2022, the landlord served Ms. Gomez with a Landlord’s Notice to Quit – Additional Circumstances (Form F). He has wrongfully claimed that her tenancy was immediately terminated as a result of the HRM Order.

Municipal officials have also stated that the HRM Order did not impact Ms. Gomez’ tenancy.

On October 25, 2022, HRM officials Shawn Kennedy (Assistant Building Official), Adam Sadler (HRM Building Official) and Officer Bing with HRM Compliance came to notify Ms. Gomez of the HRM Order. “Everything under the landlord tenancy act, all those rights, that all still applies. This has nothing to do with that,” said Officer Bing to Ms. Gomez in a video shared with the media.

On October 28, 2022, Ms. Gomez says she also spoke with an official from the Mayor’s office who reiterated: “You still do have your tenancy rights.”

“Municipal and provincial officials have confirmed that for people in my situation, our tenancy rights are still in effect. This means my lease is still in place. Will Marcus Ranjbar continue to wrongfully claim that my lease is up?” said Ms. Gomez.

On October 30, 2022, the landlord removed Ms. Gomez’s possessions from the unit, without her authorization. Ms. Gomez continues to assert her tenancy rights, and her goal of returning to the unit she calls home once repairs are completed.

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K’omoks First Nation signs draft treaty with B.C., federal governments

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COURTENAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Officials with the K’omoks First Nation and the B.C. and federal governments have signed a draft treaty in a step toward the nation’s self-governance.

K’omoks Chief Ken Price says it was an “exciting, memorable, and emotional day” for the community on Vancouver Island as it marked another step toward a treaty.

Price says in a statement that many K’omoks leaders have been part of negotiations over the last 30 years aiming to “build the best treaty possible.”

He says treaties are “the highest form of reconciliation between nations.”

The draft treaty must still be ratified by a vote among K’omoks members, and Price says the next step is to ensure questions are answered to ensure their community members feel they are making an informed decision.

A statement from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada says the initialling marks a milestone on the nation’s path to self-governance.

If the 351 registered K’omoks members vote to ratify the treaty, the statement says the B.C. and federal governments would then adopt it through legislation.

The full ratification process is expected to take three years, with the treaty coming into effect in 2028, the statement says.

The minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, Gary Anandasangaree, says the initialling “marks a pivotal step away from centuries of colonial policies.”

“After 30 years of negotiations involving K’omoks, Canada, and British Columbia, this treaty embodies transformative policy innovations crucial to advancing reconciliation,” he says in the statement. “For Canada, achieving this milestone … represents a significant stride toward genuine nation-to-nation relationships built on mutual respect, partnership, and the full recognition of rights.”

K’omoks is the latest First Nations to sign a draft treaty with the federal and provincial governments, following proposed deals with the Kitselas Nation and the Kitsumkalum Band, part of the Tsimshian First Nation in B.C.’s northwest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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More zebra mussels found in Manitoba, this time in a popular reservoir

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WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is dealing with another discovery of zebra mussels.

The province says two positive samples have been detected in the St. Malo Reservoir — a popular swimming, kayaking and camping destination in a provincial park south of Winnipeg.

Conservation officers are monitoring the area to make sure boaters clean their watercraft.

Zebra mussels are an invasive aquatic species that can harm fish populations and clog water intake systems.

Last fall, Parks Canada found live zebra mussels in Clear Lake north of Brandon, Man., and later closed the lake to most watercraft.

Earlier this month, Parks Canada found an adult zebra mussel in a cove in Clear Lake, suggesting the mollusks are building a presence in the lake.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Tenants offered accommodations and support after surprise mass eviction

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WINNIPEG – Some tenants of an apartment building moved back in Monday, more than a week after they say they were forced out on a few hours’ notice by a new landlord who put some of their belongings on the front lawn.

“(I’ll) start over, I guess,” said Devony Hudson, who picked up a new set of keys Monday morning as police officers, a private security firm and Manitoba government workers kept an eye on the three-storey brick building, built more than a century ago.

Some of the building’s windows were broken or boarded up. A notice on the front door from the Winnipeg Fire Department said the fire alarm and sprinkler system were out of service.

Hudson said a caretaker came to her door two weekends ago, told her she had to leave immediately and offered her a few hundred dollars. Shortly after, her belongings were outside.

“I just went for a walk, just for like 10 minutes, came back and it was … all on the front lawn.”

Hudson has been spending the last few days in a nearby house that does not have working electricity.

In another suite, Kyle Lemke got a knock on the door. He said he was told the locks were being changed, and a man he had never met who said he was the owner told him he had to leave within 24 hours and offered some money.

“I threw out so much stuff,” Lemke recalled while standing outside a hotel where he has been staying.

“I had maybe four garbage bags and a laundry bag, but I wasn’t able to take everything,” said Lemke, who walks with a limp after almost losing a leg months ago to necrotizing fasciitis.

Lemke said he was told everyone had to leave because of an order from the city over fire hazards, but the city never gave an evacuation order.

Attempts by The Canadian Press to reach the building’s owner were unsuccessful.

The Manitoba government moved last week to support the tenants.

The provincial minister for housing, Bernadette Smith, said the actions the tenants described are illegal and an investigation is underway.

The residential tenancies branch issued orders to the landlord, had the locks changed and made arrangements for the tenants to start returning. The province offered tenants emergency accommodations and per diems for food.

But some tenants were not able to be tracked down.

Marion Willis, who runs an outreach program that helps people find housing and other services, said some tenants had previously been in encampments and had nowhere to go when they were told to leave.

“We have tried to find people. There’s people in encampments, there’s people that are couch-surfing in other buildings. There’s people that are just sleeping out on the street,” said Willis, executive director of St. Boniface Street Links.

Some tenants may be reluctant to return for fear that they may simply face a more formal eviction process and end up homeless again.

Lemke said he has no interest in going back, and had a new apartment lined up. He’d like to see someone held accountable.

“I would like to see justice,” he said.

“You can’t just do that to people.”

The provincial government said Monday at least two tenants had returned over the weekend and a probe of the landlord’s actions was ongoing.

“In this situation, the (residential tenancies branch) has a number of options available, but is still working through the investigation,” said a written statement from the government’s central communications office.

“Depending on the outcome of the investigations, these measures could include the imposition of further orders, administrative fines and prosecution for contraventions under the legislation.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.



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