St. Brigid’s deal fell apart after TUPOC failed to make $100,000 deposit

Court documents filed by the owners of the historic church for an eviction hearing scheduled for September 2 shed more light on the dispute

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The United People of Canada group’s failure to pay a $100,000 deposit torpedoed its bid to purchase the former St. Brigid’s Church in Lowertown, owner Patrick McDonald said in a court affidavit.

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The owners are going to court on September 2 in a bid to evict TUPOC from the church property on St. Patrick Street. TUPOC leased the space on a monthly basis pending the attempted purchase.

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There has been a confrontation at the church since last week between TUPOC supporters who remain at the church and neighborhood protesters who want the group out because they are concerned about its ties to the movement. » convoy of freedom”.

A bailiff affixed a lease termination notice to the church and adjoining rectory last week, but TUPOC spokesman William Komer said he believed they still had a valid lease.

Documents filed by the owners for the eviction hearing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice shed more light on the dispute over the historic church that once operated as an arts center and housed the National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre.

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According to McDonald’s affidavit, TUPOC failed to pay two months’ rent, failed to provide proof of insurance including sellers on policy as required, and painted church door bright red in violation possible agreements registered on the title deed against the alteration of the heritage elements of the building.

Additionally, the TUPOC supporters took a barbecue belonging to McDonald’s from a church garage whose doors had been opened after being locked by the usher and used it to cook outside, the affidavit states. of McDonald’s.

Two attorneys who use the church parking lot filed affidavits saying that TUPOC supporters blocked their entrance to the parking lot.

TUPOC Director Komer was asked to comment on all of these allegations and explain his earlier statements that his organization tried to pay the rent but the landlord refused to take the money.

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In an email response, Komer did not answer any questions, but said TUPOC would issue a press release.

In the statement released Saturday afternoon, Komer said he had not seen or received the court documents.

According to the media, « we understand that this affidavit knowingly contains false statements, » the statement said.

If so, it’s « quite concerning » and « can be considered a case of perjury, which we believe is a serious criminal offence. »

Komer’s statement said there is « an active criminal investigation into the actions of the owners and their agents regarding what we understand to be an attempted unlawful eviction. »

His organization is awaiting the results of the Ottawa Police Service’s investigation, the statement said. When TUPOC receives the court documents, it will hold a press conference.

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On Friday evening, a bailiff arrived at the church to deliver Komer the court file, but he was not there. A TUPOC supporter took the documents and handed them to a protester at the scene.

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In a phone conversation with Komer on Friday, the bailiff also said the documents « are also served on your company » — an apparent reference to TUPOC’s head office in London, Ontario.

In earlier interviews, Komer said he believed the group had a valid lease, had insurance, and believed painting the door red did not violate the Ontario Heritage Act.

In an earlier press release, TUPOC said the attempted eviction was « retaliatory » after the group accused the owners of violating Ontario’s Human Rights Code for « refusing to discriminate against people because of their beliefs ».

TUPOC also said it had created its own private security force and « private prosecution team » to try to bring charges against the intruders.

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Earlier this week, Komer sat on the church steps wearing a crown, aluminum scepter and yellow gloves as two TUPOC supporters stood guard with super-tempered pistols to make people squirt. Komer explained it as an attempt at comic relief.

What the court documents say

TUPOC made an offer to purchase the church and adjacent properties on June 13 for $5.95 million, pursuant to the purchase and sale agreement signed by Komer and filed in court documents.

The offering included four properties: the church and rectory owned by a numbered company whose sole director is McDonald’s, and an adjacent two-story office/retail building at 300-302 St. Patrick St. owned by jointly owned by the same numbered company. and Ottawa businessmen Francis Healy, Rosemary O’Brien and Patrick Kelly.

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The sale was expected to close by December 6, 2022.

The sellers have agreed to provide a repossession mortgage of $1 million for one year at an interest rate of 6%.

The purchase agreement included a lease that allowed TUPOC to lease the church, rectory basement and garage, outdoor grounds, and parking lot, subject to the rights of tenants who also had agreements to park there. The rent was $5,000 per month plus HST.

A series of deposits had to be made by TUPOC as part of the sale. The due dates for the filings have been extended twice by mutual agreement, according to the documents.

TUPOC made the first deposit of $5,000, but failed to pay deposits totaling $100,000 due August 10, according to McDonald’s affidavit.

TUPOC violated the terms of the sales agreement and lease, which were terminated by the landlords on August 11, according to McDonald’s affidavit.

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An email from real estate agent John Zinati in Komer, dated August 11, is included in the court documents. He said Komer was in default of the purchase and sale agreement. « …this agreement is now dead and no longer binding on either party, » Zinati wrote. « Furthermore, as stated in the agreement and given that the agreement is now null and void, you will be required to leave the church. »

« Sorry you weren’t able to raise the funds for the deposits as agreed. »

  1. A bailiff named Dave, left, who declined to give his last name, arrives at St. Brigid's Church in Lowertown to serve legal documents on William Komer, a director of the United People's Organization of the Canada, regarding an eviction hearing in an Ottawa court on September 2. The landlord is trying to terminate TUPOC's lease, resulting in a week-long stalemate.

    Court hearing scheduled as deadlock in St. Brigid’s enters second week

  2. William Komer of the United People of Canada holds court outside the group

    United People of Canada digs at St. Brigid’s as eviction notice deadline passes

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