In what can only be described as horrendous, the situation at River Valley Park (RVP) mobile home community continues to plunge homeowners into further trauma.
Last week, (Oct. 17,2018) Algoma Power sent notices to homeowners at RVP stating that on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, power to the park would cease to be provided.
In a statement to Superior Media on Friday, Oct. 20, from Peggy Lund, Algoma Power Supervisor – Customer Service, she said, “Unfortunately, we cannot speak specifically about a situation involving our customer(s) due to privacy regulations. Please be assured that Algoma Power works with our customers according to regulations prescribed by the Ontario Energy Board.”
Lund further stated that, “API makes every effort to work with its customers in an effort to mitigate the disconnection of power. In this particular case, API has gone beyond what is required by regulation. Historically, the majority of situations have ended successfully. The disconnection of power is, of course, a very last resort.”
The notice received by homeowners in RVP from Algoma Power, is due to contractual issues with the owner of the Park, who presumably has stopped making payments to the power distributor. RVP Inc. collects hydro payments from each homeowner based on usage at each address. Those funds should have been directed to Algoma Power, and questions remain with homeowners I spoke with as to whether or not that has happened. “If Mr. Dusanjh has not been giving Algoma Power the money my wife and I have been paying him for our hydro, then I want to know where the money went. If it did not go to Algoma Power, when it was specifically collected for our hydro usage – then that is fraud in my definition.” stated a homeowner who wished to remain anonymous.
The notification that Algoma Power will be disconnecting hydro as of October 24th, 2018, has added insult to injury, leaving homeowners who were already scrambling to find accommodations by Oct. 31st in a dire situation. And outside temperatures continue to drop to drop.
Quotes shown to saultonline regarding moving one mobile home to Beaumont Mobile Home community north of RVP come in around $3,000.00. In the quote, there is a stipulation that due to unforseen circumstances that can occur during a move, the homeowner could expect the final cost to be substantially more. And that is just for the move. This does not include getting water and power hooked up at a new location.
Attempts to reach Mr. Jasbir Dusanjh proved unsuccessful as of publication. A gentleman who was hired by Surrinder Dusanjh (Pioneer Acres mobile home community) to dismantle abandoned mobile homes at RVP, and was doing so while I was there on both Saturday and Sunday, reiterated to Superior Media that Mr. Jasbir Dusanjh is the owner of RVP.
Mr. Jasbir Dusanjh has essentially cut off all contact with homeowners and to the best of my knowledge, has not supported any homeowner either through physical labour or contactors he has hired to help a homeowner move. And there is a whole lot involved in such a move. From digging underneath the mobile home – to digging a trench around the mobile home – to dismantling power lines – water lines – you name it – it is being done solely by an individual homeowner. They are getting absolutely no support from the owner of RVP.
The provincial government has been nowhere insofar as helping homeowners to move, or intervene through an emergency measure to keep the park from closing or delaying the October 31st date set out by Jasbir Dusanjh. Neither the provincial or federal government(s) have answered the call from homeowners to intervene in any meaningful way.
Michael Mantha MPP (Algoma-Manitoulin) did attempt to provide support to homeowners through community meetings and as a facilitator for the owners of RVP with the province and APH to navigate the issues brought on by the failed septic system, and charges under the Ontario Water Resources Act.
There has been some success in emergency, temporary shelter for a few residents to move to sault ste marie, but there are several who are about to find themselves homeless. Unable to move on the 24th, they are opting to stay and employ the use of a generator for limited power.
River Valley Park Inc. was in Provincial Court in the Sault in June, 2018. The court appearance was in relation to charges filed under the Provincial Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resource Act. Mr. Jasbir Dusanjh showed up to court without a lawyer and without any relevant documentation to prove he was, in fact, the owner of River Valley Park Inc. On that day, the judge ordered that all documentation be submitted to the court within a timely fashion and that he return August 22nd, 2018 – ready for court proceedings.
After being found guilty under the Environmental Protection Act, (Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks) as well as the Ontario Resources Water Act, on August 24th, 2018, the former owner, Mr. Harjeet Singh Dusanjh was ordered to pay fines totally $71,250.00. River Valley Park Inc. was found guilty of one violation under the Environmental Protection Act, was fined $60,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $15,000. On the same date River Valley Park Inc., was also found guilty of two violations under the Ontario Water Resources Act, was fined $5,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $1,250.
the photo gallery posted below represents Oct 20/21, 2018.
Saultonline visited RVP on Saturday and Sunday. People are indeed working against time and in cold temperatures to try to salvage what they can, with some attempting to move their homes. One gentleman was seriously injured when, in very cold temperatures, he was attempting to work under the mobile home with a grinder, and cut his left hand wide open, requiring 17 stitches.
“The owner and his agents abandoned us to our own devices to survive in the Park until if – or when – we are able to move.” shared a homeowner. “This is absolutely despicable, inhumane, and traumatic. We are already losing so much and now they are making it even more difficult to leave. No one should have to endure the hardships we are experiencing at the hands of the owner of River Valley Park and his agents. This notice from Algoma Power leaves all of us (homeowners) with no power or water, which hinders the process of moving our mobiles to another Park.”
Excerpt from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
In a mobile home park or land lease community, the landlord has these additional responsibilities:
- removing or disposing of garbage or ensuring that arrangements are made to remove or dispose of garbage on a regular basis,
- maintaining roads in the park or community in a good state of repair,
- removing snow from the roads,
- maintaining the water supply, sewage disposal, fuel, drainage and electrical systems of the park or community in a good state of repair,
- maintaining the grounds and all buildings, structures, enclosures and equipment that are intended for the common use of tenants in a good state of repair, and
- repairing any damage to a tenant’s property (including the mobile home) that was deliberately caused by the landlord or resulted from the landlord’s neglect. Use of contractors, trades and equipment A tenant has the right to purchase goods or services from whomever they choose. However, a landlord may set reasonable standards for mobile home equipment.
On July 23, 2018, RVP Inc.’s Jasbir Dusanjh issued a letter to homeowners stating that he intended to close the park on Oct. 31st. The letter that Mr. Dusanjh wrote doesn’t even meet the standard (under the landlord tenant board) for eviction, however, Mr. Dusanjh has plowed forward regardless.
N13 forms were supposed to be filed for each homeowner. Unless it happened overnight, I can find no such forms on file with the Province of Ontario.
An N13 form is required for each homeowner individually, and would cost approx. $6,000.00 for all of them combined.
This form is a requirement for eviction. Under the provincial legislation, mobile home park homeowners are required to have been given ‘at least one year’ for any eviction. Excerpt from N13 form below re eviction. (Landlord Tenant Board, The Social Justice Tribunal Ontario.)
‘The termination date the landlord sets out in this notice must be at least 120 days after the landlord gives you the notice. Exception: If you live in a mobile home park or land lease community and you own the mobile home or land lease home, the termination date must be at least 1 year after the landlord gave you this notice.’
Superior Media will have more in the coming days on this story.