St. Brigid’s purchase deal fell apart after TUPC failed to pay $100,000 in deposits: Court documents

A deal that would have seen the United People of Canada (TUPC) buy a religious building near downtown Ottawa fell apart because the controversial group failed to make deposits totaling $100,000, according to court documents .

The sworn affidavit of building owner Patrick McDonald says TUPC failed to make three separate payments for the purchase of Old St. Brigid’s Church when they were due August 10.

This violated the property’s purchase and sale agreement and, 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 TUPC’s lease, reads the document filed in Superior Court Thursday.

Those allegations will be tested in court in a scheduled September 2 appearance in an ongoing deportation effort.

« We are seeking a writ of possession, » the owners’ attorney, Gordon Douglas, wrote in an email. “The affidavit speaks for itself.

William Komer, one of the directors of the TUPC, said Friday afternoon that he had not yet seen a copy of the affidavit and wanted to review it before commenting.

« This is new to us, these claims are being made, » he said in a statement to CBC News.

The affidavit is the first time this month that the owners of the former church have shared their views on the landlord-tenant saga that worries many residents of Ottawa’s Lowertown neighborhood, where the property.

A July 25 statement from St. Brigid’s Center for the Arts said the response to the potential sale had been « overwhelming » and turned those involved into « targets. » The group has remained silent ever since.

The TUPC has ties to the Freedom Convoy protests that paralyzed downtown Ottawa this winter, though it denies those links.

‘Freedom Convoy’ Linked Group Pledges to Remain in Ottawa Church

Members of the United People of Canada say they will remain at St. Brigid’s Church in Ottawa after a deadline to remove their belongings expired on Thursday.

The deal was to buy a property for just under $6 million

Court documents say McDonald, along with three other owners of various properties around the church, reached an agreement to sell them to TUPC on June 13.

A sale agreement dated June 8 – electronically signed by the owners and Komer – says the site was to be sold for $5.95 million. This was accompanied by a series of deposits, starting with $5,000, which were to increase over time.

The McDonald’s affidavit shows that a second payment of $10,000 was due 14 days later, followed by a payment of $30,000 at 30 days and another of $60,000 at 45 days.

When all conditions were lifted, which was to occur within 120 days of acceptance of the offer, a fifth installment of $200,000 was to be paid.

st brigid s church eviction attempt wednesday aug 18 2022
Vehicles bearing decals related to the Freedom Convoy were seen at St. Brigid’s, located in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighborhood. (Falice Chin/Radio Canada)

McDonald writes that the initial $5,000 was paid, but over time, TUPC twice requested that payment dates be pushed back until the second, third and fourth payments — totaling $100,000 — were made. all due August 10.

When that date passed and the funds were not deposited, the owners decided to terminate the agreement to purchase the properties, according to court documents.

Termination Notices Posted Last Week

The affidavit states that the agreement to purchase the church included the option for TUPC to lease the church building, outdoor grounds, the basement of the art house in the parsonage next door, and the parking lot. between them, although other tenants are expected to be able to use the lot as well. The rent was set at $5,000 per month plus HST.

The tenant’s notices of termination – posted on the buildings and dated August 17 – stated that the lease had been terminated for more than $10,000 in unpaid rent and failure to provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $5 million.

An attached notice states that the TUPC is also in violation of the Ontario Heritage Act.

People dressed in red and wearing fake crowns and water guns look at the camera.
William Komer, center, is one of the United People’s Trustees of Canada. He is shown here, surrounded by supporters, outside St. Brigid’s on Thursday. (Alexander Behne/CBC)

In his affidavit, McDonald said he believed the TUPC broke heritage rules and regulations by doing something that immediately caught the attention of community members: painting the front doors of the church in « bright red ».

He also points to videos uploaded by someone he claims is a TUPC supporter, showing « building and renovation work » taking place.

A spokesperson for the City of Ottawa told CBC that a permit is not required to paint the doors, according to Heritage staff.

The Ontario Heritage Trust did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Komer previously told CBC the doors were painted with the owner’s permission.

Komer also shared a heavily redacted piece of paper with the words « insurance certificate » at the top, which is impossible to verify without the broker’s information, which had been blacked out.

He further showed reporters a copy of a bank draft for $5,650, dated July 15, and what appeared to be the original of another draft, dated August 15, for the same amount.

Komer claimed the landlord refused to accept this month’s rent.

Court documents indicate that a payment of $5,000 was made on July 15 and applied to the first month’s stay, but the rent for July-August and August-September was not paid by TUPC.

Other tenants share their concerns

Other allegations outlined in court documents include that the bailiff who tried to change the locks on the church was prevented from doing so.

While the Rectory Art House’s locks have been changed, McDonald writes that when he visited the property last Sunday, he discovered that the doors to the garage, which provides access to the basement of the building, had been « forced « .

The owner said he saw people he believed to be associated with the TUPC setting up tables and chairs near the now open garage and that a « large barbecue that I own », which had been locked inside, was now outside.

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Among the documents are separate affidavits from other tenants with access to the property who were supposed to have access to the parking lot.

A pair of lawyers whose office is next to the church said they were not allowed to enter the parking lot.

Sebantu Ruhanamirindi alleged that those blocking the way belonged to the « people of Canada » and that they were not letting people park to « pressure » the owner. Customers « felt intimidated », added Ruhanamirindi.

Andrea Mueller, who rents an artist’s studio in the Old Rectory, wrote in her affidavit that she arrived at work on August 19 to find the wooden doors to the garage had been forced open and metal bars put in place by the bailiff were on the ground.

The garage is connected to the rectory art house, she said.

« I am concerned about the safety and security of businesses and people working in construction. »


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