Handful of tenants still fighting to stay at Causeway Bay Hotel

Causeway Bay Hotel tenant Robert Wall got his eviction notice overturned. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Causeway Bay Hotel tenant Robert Wall got his eviction notice overturned. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

Some people have successfully fought an eviction notice issued at Causeway Bay Hotel in Summerside, P.E.I.

The notice was issued in October after building owners claimed tenants or their visitors damaged some units.

But tenant Robert Wall said after filing an appeal to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, he received a phone call from the commission telling he is allowed to stay.

"As for now we are safe, but it still makes me sad because some of my friends here still got evicted," he said. "It's not fair."

Wall has been advocating for about three months for himself and other tenants in the building,

He said he wasn't told why he won his eviction hearing and others lost.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

Cheryl MacLean is one of about five people left who are still fighting the evictions.

"I might be out homeless," she said.

She and others in the building received a phone call from IRAC last week telling them their eviction would be upheld. She has been told she will need to leave by Nov 13.

"I'm going to try to fight for it, to try and stay here," she said.

MacLean is confused as to why her eviction was upheld when others like Wall had theirs overturned.

"There's holes and all that in my room and bubbles that I didn't even do. That was like that when I moved in," she said.

MacLean has another call with IRAC to appeal the decision this coming week, she said.

Even Wall, whose eviction was overturned, isn't confident he will be allowed to live there long term.

"My guess is we will get another eviction notice come the middle of the month again and we'll keep fighting," Wall said.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

Wall and MacLean said they'll do what they can to stay in the apartments they've been calling home. However, MacLean has looked into other housing options in the Summerside area as a backup plan in case she loses her appeal.

The building owners haven't talked to Wall during the eviction process.

He said tenants would be in a better position if the hotel was bought by the province.

In the P.E.I. Legislature earlier this week, Social Development and Housing Minister Matthew MacKay said the government did enter into negotiations to buy the hotel.

However, in a phone call with CBC News, Vishal Patel, president of Causeway Bay Hotel, said no official offer was ever received.

"The only thing which we got initially from their office was kind of an intent to purchase, intent meaning there were no numbers," he said.

The owners responded with a dollar amount, said Patel. He did not disclose what the amount was. Patel waited for three weeks to hear back from the province, he said.

"Nobody returned the call," Patel said.

Hotel plans

Patel and a group of investors purchased the hotel on Aug. 15 with a plan to renovate the hotel and move away from long-term housing, he said.

Because of that, he said he will keep fighting to have the long-term tenants evicted.

"Definitely we will go for it because again we want to create a hotel here and it is not going to be an apartment building," he said, adding he hasn't had the chance to speak with his lawyer about issuing another round of eviction notices.

IRAC doesn't comment on initial hearings, which are private, but if an appeal is filed on either side it will appear on the public hearing schedule. However, if a new eviction notice is issued the entire process will restart, the commission confirmed in an email.