The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Konik being evicted
Lee Konik of Toronto has just called me (6 a.m. Vancouver time, no less) with word he has now received a formal letter from a lawyer for the co-op in which he lives, advising him that he is, indeed, being evicted.
Shotgun readers will remember Konik from a few weeks ago, when word began spreading that he faced eviction because of a pro-heterosexual-marriage sign he placed in the balcony of his apartment, which is located in the heart of Toronto's gay district. It was his second such offence.
Konik says the letter, from Bruce Woodrow (416.598.0184), informs him that he will shortly be contacted by a sheriff, who will oversee his eviction. There is no suggestion of appeal.
Konik, who is on welfare, is now looking for a lawyer of his own (a pro bono one would be best, of course) and is in touch with the Catholic Civil Rights League.
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This is good news. Homophobic welfare bum.
Posted by: ralph r | 2005-08-03 8:40:51 AM
I defend the right to evict as a legitimate property right of the owner. I suspect, however, that the left-libs would be be first to complain, litigate or legislate if the reason for eviction were for reasons they differed with such as racial, political, religious etc.
Defending property rights isn't always "nice" but essential to a free society.
Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-08-03 9:08:25 AM
Ralph, caling somebody homophobic just means you're at loss for words and unable to put together an intelligent combination from your limited lexicon. Its as childish as caling somebody a dummy or stupid. Grow up, the only homophobes are people who flee from homosexuals and desire to kill them. Lets apply your logic, lets say this same person was opposed to...overtaxation? Would you call him a taxaphobe?
Posted by: Andrew | 2005-08-03 10:03:42 AM
Sorry for the spelling errors.
Posted by: Andrew | 2005-08-03 10:05:54 AM
Yes I agree that he should be allowed to print anything he wants on his sign. For example if a Jesus parade went by and he wrote "Jesus sucks big *****" or "Jesus takes it up the *** and likes it" I think he should be allowed to stay.
Oh and just curious - if I didn't use **** would my post have been evicted?
The people at the co-op have a right to define their own boundaries and so do the adminstrators of this blog. Get it?
Posted by: Justin | 2005-08-03 10:13:02 AM
That's enough of your religious slurs of hate. Opposing Jesus by putting up a sign that says "Allah will save us all" is not objectionable but what you wrote is downright childish and rather offensive for that matter. You're a hateful, disrespectful person. If I recall correctly, that man's sign did not say that gays take it up the posterior but rather stood up for real marriage and not this joke that you've made of it. His sign was Marriage= 1 man + 1 woman. I do not see the problem with this entirely correct statement. You see, your comment about Jesus was an attack on him. Konik's sign was not an attack on homosexuals but rather standing up, constructively, for the truth. Your statement was just shameful and sheds light on your true character.
Posted by: Andrew | 2005-08-03 10:29:16 AM
So, I guess you fellows would all be in agreement that ANY landlord should have the RIGHT to refuse to rent to homosexuals if said landlord feels that the "gay" lifestyle lies outside "their own boundaries".
Posted by: Pd | 2005-08-03 10:30:17 AM
If I recall correctly, the lease agreement stated that the tenant in this case would not post any more signs (as he had done previously). Mr. Konik signed this lease and then proceeded to violate it. I don't see how his actions can be defended in this case. It is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with his views. He violated the contract and the landlord is simply enforcing his rights under that contract. If the lease was silent on whether or not such a sign could be posted, this would be whole different discussion.
Posted by: Strong and Free in AB | 2005-08-03 11:04:20 AM
This is all just a little different from what Justin and John are making it out to be.
The Co-op is not simply a landlord tenant arrangement but really is a government service for those living in the rent assisted or rent geared to income units.
It seemsunreasonable and an abuse of power that he can be evicted, i.e. denied a government service for doing something within his unit that is legal free speech. Call me cynical, but I am sure that if he put up something like "Sodomy Rules" or "Felch 'til ya puke" he would not have had any problems.
Similarly, if Justin put up his signs as the Popemobile motors by, more power to him.
Not to get overly legal here, but most of the rules and regulatins that condos and landlords try to put onto the tenants are not enforceable.
Although the applicable legislation exempts co-ops, it seems odd that you could not be kicked out of a privately-owned apartment building for putting up the sign, but could be kicked out of the co-op for doing same thing.
If anything, the standard for the Co-op board should be higher since, as a government-supported entity, its actions would be subject to Charter or human rights review. At the very least some enterprising lawyer looking to get his or her name in the paper should at least take a run at knocking down the law that excludes co-op tenants from the protections under the Tenant Protection Act.
(Sorry about that last bit, but if we are stuck with the Charter, we might as well use it).
As someone who was one of the market-based tenants in a co-op who pushed a co-op board for three years to do something about certain tenants who were openly dealing drugs, trashing the property (including laying big coils in the stairwell) and performing other anti-social behavior but was brushed off because the City agencies would not stand for it, it is disappointing that this fellow is to be turfed for being politically incorrect.
Posted by: Cranky or Just a Crank | 2005-08-03 11:27:13 AM
True free speech is the right to speak rude and unpopular things. That said, people should honour contracts.
If an individual signs a contract to rent a room at an inn, and that contract states the individual is the only person allowed in the room after 10:00 pm until 8:00 am next morning, they have signed away their right to peaceable assembly in the accomodation during said interval.
Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-03 12:35:17 PM
I agree with Konik's sign. I don't know why he wasn't on the street outside holding a placard.
Maybe he didn't have the courage of his convictions. Maybe he thought he could have his cake and eat it too.
People sign contracts limiting their rights all the time, though.
Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-03 12:49:55 PM
can we set up a defense fund for this poor guy? Elitist urban pricks.
Posted by: Shawn | 2005-08-03 10:15:33 PM
It seems the so-called conservative groups are all talk and no action. The guy still doesn't have a lawyer.
Posted by: diogenesnorth | 2005-08-04 5:12:31 PM
Late to the party here but I have been busy today, just came across this and whatever my personal opinion of the tenant’s sign, if he signed a lease agreement that prohibits the public display of signs then the landlord has every right to initiate eviction procedures. That’s not to say that he doesn’t deserve his day in court to defend himself.
I would hope that this zeal extends to all tenants in the building for public displays of any signs, maybe someone should check come election time?
Posted by: Brent Colbert | 2005-08-08 12:07:20 AM
The Landlord in this case is trying to evict someone who has expressed a personal comment. Just because he had signed an agreement to not dislay any other signs is silly and very harsh on the landlord's part. I beleive we all have a right to freedom of expression and are protected under the Chater of rights and freedom. A sign on
someone's window or balcony does not constitute
adequate grounds for eviction. I beleive that the so called agreement the tenant had signed was
co-erced by this landlord and is probably illegal
under the Charter and the Landlord and Tenant
Protection Act. I hope that some Lawyer helps this
tenant out before its too late. I beleive he is on welfare therefore could use assistance from a pro-bono lawyer or student legal aid from Osgoode Univ.
Posted by: Joseph Trudel | 2005-08-10 7:02:21 PM
Agreements you sign in rental contracts covered by the Ontario Tenant Protection Act (formerly the Landlord and Tenant Act) are meaningless and that is exactly what an adjudicator (member) at the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal would tell you. For example, it means nothing if you own pets or put up signs in violation of any agreement you have with your landlord and you therefore cannot be evicted for either because all agreements between landlord and tenant are overriden by the Tenant Protection Act. If you don't believe me, read the Tenant Protection Act, as at the beginning of it it says exactly what I said.
However, having said that, co-ops are not covered by the Tenant Protection Act, which is one of the main reasons I moved out of the co-op I lived in (David B. Archer) and rented an apartment in a building a block away. Co-ops are covered by the Co-operative Corporations Act and are overseen by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (a division of the Ontario Ministry of Finance). Any time a co-op member (resident) wants to fight an eviction all he/she has to do is ignore the co-op's order to move out and wait for the co-op to serve them with a notice to appear in court at an eviction trial. The judge will then decide if the co-op has reasonable grounds to evict the co-op member.
Few lawyers seem to know much about co-op law. One who seems to, however, is Joseph Kary of Kary & Kwan (416-363-2278); 116 Parliament St., Toronto, M5A 2Y8. Unlike many lawyers, Mr. Kary has won cases when the lawyer for the co-ops trying to evict people was Bruce Woodrow.
Posted by: John Gelmon | 2005-09-05 6:42:16 AM
There is some very useful information on the Ontario Tenants Rights site http://www.ontariotenants.ca
Posted by: Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal | 2005-11-20 5:42:23 PM
I want to thank John Gelman for the compliments concerning the work I have done defending co-op housing members in eviction cases.
I have moved to a new address since he posted his comment:
90A Isabella Street
Canada, M4Y 1N4
I would be happy to meet with anyone who is facing eviction and needs some advice
Posted by: Joseph Kary | 2006-02-15 4:56:20 PM
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