A Superior Court Justice has granted an application for the owners of St. Brigid’s in Ottawa’s Lowertown area to evict The United People of Canada (TUPC), a group with ties to the Freedom Convoy.
Justice Sally Gomery’s decision, released Friday, also orders the controversial group to pay $53,000 in costs to the property owners within 30 days.
Patrick McDonald, who owns the property near the ByWard Market along with three other partners, alleges a deal for TUPC to buy the building collapsed because TUPC failed to make deposits totalling $100,000, according to court documents.
His sworn affidavit states not making those payments, coupled with the $10,000 the group owes in rent and its failure to provide proof of $5 million in liability insurance, entitles the landlord to terminate the lease.
Notices were posted on the buildings in mid-August indicating the deal was terminated, but TUPC refused to leave the property.
On Monday the group’s lawyer argued it had a “verbal agreement” with the owners rather than a written lease, while the landlords say the only agreement was one of purchase and sale, which Komer signed.
That agreement shows the site was to be sold for $5.95 million.
In her decision, Gomery wrote the terms of the lease were set out in the sale agreement and TUPC “materially breached the agreement” when it did not pay the $100,000 “despite two extensions of the deadline.”
The judge also stated the notice of termination was valid and TUPC is not entitled to any relief from consequences because it still hasn’t paid what it was supposed to under the agreement, and “has not come to the court with clean hands.”
Gordon Douglas, lawyer for the landlords, said he has submitted a draft order to the court, which will have to be signed by Gomery. A court sheriff will eventually decide when to enforce the writs of possession, according to the lawyer.
The judge’s decision follows months of tension between Lowertown residents and the group. TUPC repeatedly called police to the site and supporters, including Komer, had sprayed people with water guns.
Officers were called to the area so often that police pledged an enhanced presence around the property until the situation is resolved.