Residents’ Committee “Save the Mont-Carmel” Wins Another Round

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On October 30th, the Superior Court of Quebec confirmed that it had the necessary leeway to decide the dispute between the residents of the Mont-Carmel Residence in Montreal and Henry Zavriyev, the owner of this private residence for seniors (RPA).

“Under the circumstances, it is a gift from heaven for all the happy people involved in bringing about justice and peace…” said Marie-Paule Lebel, member of the Residents’ Committee to Save Mount Carmel.

This new decision allows the trial to continue. It follows a Superior Court order issued last July that prohibited the new owner from making any changes in the status of the building.

“We’re adding up the gains! For sure, the file is not yet settled, but we are now firmly committed to the continuation of the trial. We will finally be able to debate in court the heart of the dispute which concerns the clause in the contract of sale of our building, in which Mr. Zavriyev committed to respect its operation as a residence for seniors,” said Constance Vaudrin, a member of the Committee.

Members of the “Sauvons le Mont-Carmel” (Save the Mont-Carmel) Committee at the François Saillant award ceremony- Photo credit: the « Sauvons le Mont-Carmel » Committee

“With this judgment, it is clear that our fight is making progress and that it will continue to do so… There is also the effect of this incredible mobilization led by several networks of activists from various backgrounds who see it as a matter of rights and dignity for all tenants of seniors’ residences,” says Suzanne Loiselle, also a member of the Committee.

Along with the continuation of the civil trial, let it be noted that the owner of the building has been summoned to appear before the Superior Court on November 21 to answer a charge of contempt of court. The residents accuse him of acting in complete contravention of the safeguard order, pronounced by the Court last July 26. This judgment required the owner to take the necessary measures to maintain the operation and certification of the building as a private seniors’ residence (PSR), pending the trial on the merits of the case. Renewed on September 19, the Court ordered the owner, Henry Zavriyev, to act in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation respecting the certification of private residences for seniors and the Act respecting health services and social services (AHSSS).

In closing, it should be noted that this case is also being pursued by members of the Association of Religious for Women’s Rights (ARDF). Several of its members are residents of the Mont-Carmel Senior’s Residence and are directly involved in this judicial saga to ensure that the rights of seniors are respected.

To learn about other more human aspects of this issue, read Aurélie Lanctôt’s commentary in Le Devoir newspaper (French only).