‘Renovictions’—two sides to every story

    As dissension erupts among the borough council concerning ‘renovictions’ – we present to you the ins and outs of the discussion … and on both sides of the spectrum, and all before the council is to reconvene with another impromptu meeting this week

    As was reported last week, a disagreement erupted during last week’s borough council meeting. The topic of discourse was ‘renovictions’ as they have come to be known—evictions by landlords by reason of renovation; the reasons of which can be plentiful and determined case by case.

    But there were those for the motion and those opposed. It made for a pretty dicey moment during the live broadcast, and the community was made to voice its concern very shortly after the council meeting aired online. Mary Deros, as well as three of the other council members … Josué Corvil, Rosannie Filato and Sylvain Ouellet, feel one way about it, the mayor another.

    A reaction on social media

    Members of the community posted on line—in groups or on personal pages—many who found themselves finding fault with the motion for.

    During the proceedings last week it was evident that Mayor Fumagalli was against the motion and in statements she made herself this week on social media, she plans to stand her ground.

    A public statement by the borough mayor

    In her social media statement, Mayor Fumagalli said (translated from French): “We will have an extraordinary council (date to be confirmed) to debate the joint proposal of the advisers of Ensemble Montreal and Projet Montreal tabled in regular session this week. I take this opportunity to clarify my position on housing and announce that I will vote against the motion. I was ready for relaxations that broke my heart to try to protect part of our households from evictions. With this new version, the regulation is nothing more than an empty shell.

    Here are my commitments and what I defend within the administration:

    – Prohibit, as of right, mergers and the subdivision of housing for all plexes;

    – Issue a permit for major renovations and / or extensions if and only if a temporary relocation plan with the necessary compensation for tenant households is filed with the permit application.

    – Issue a permit for a substantial expansion if and only a notice of eviction from the Tribunal has been issued.

    – Set up a public register of permits authorized by the borough; and

    – Set up a rent register.

    Speaking of merger, when will Ensemble and Project merge in VSP?”

    A strong conviction indeed. Those for the motion also had conviction all their own … four of the borough councilors are apparently joined in this, on the very same side of the discussion at hand.

    A conversation with City Councilor Mary Deros

    In a telephone conversation I had with Councilor Deros, she stated that she was for the motion, her dedication leaning towards the families that wished to renovate apartment buildings that they owned and lived in for reasons of expanding their respective families.

    “The Mayor was very strict in not listening to all the terms … and not flexible at all,” City Councilor Deros stated. She stated that those for the motion worked hard to compile a list of the families concerned … to remove former regulations that were adopted in May by listening to the responses of the borough majority who were not at all in favor. They are also thinking of the tenants … and the focus here is the families wishing to expand their households, Mary Deros stated.

    A community lashes out

    And perhaps these days, social media has more of an impact on how politics and municipalities are run. Many are opposed to such ways of getting your point across, but yet there it is, in black and white, every single day … people getting their message across and hopefully to the right people.

    All week long, many have been voicing their opinion and as it seems and stands right now, a lot of support tends to be going in favor of Mayor Fumagalli’s stand and/or viewpoint, but time will undoubtedly tell.

    What now?

    Well, according to City Councilor Deros, this has never been done, historically speaking … against a mayor’s proposal, and they will be convening on the 14th in an impromptu borough council meeting to hash out the details, or so is hoped.

    This of course hasn’t happened as of press time, but we’ll have more on this issue and hopefully a decision rendered as of next week with details.