VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

Residents of a Salmon Arm assisted living facility woke up Friday morning to the detrimental news they soon won’t have a place to call home.

Staff along with the 34 residents of McGuire Lake Congregate Living discovered a “courtesy notice” taped to several of the doors explaining that the building they call home will be closed as of Oct. 1.

“Please note that this building will be closed as of Oct. 1. Utilities will be disconnected and the building will be sealed,” read the notice, posted by the owners of the building at 551 Trans-Canada Highway.

“The tenant operating as McGuire Lake Congregate Living and Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary has been served a Notice of Termination effective July 29, 2019. The date for vacant possession has been extended until September 30 in exchange for an orderly exit.

This notice is given as a courtesy to any occupants and/or sub-tenants renting from the tenant noted above as it has come to our attention that the tenant has likely not informed all occupants of the need to vacate.”

At 10 a.m., Friday McGuire Lake Congregate Living owner and operator Dan Shields met with staff and residents to explain the situation.

He confirmed he had received the first notice on July 29, stating the lease was being terminated immediately and asked him to contact the building owners’ lawyers.

Shields said the lawyer was looking for, “a proposal for some monies that I owed them from the past, and what we were going to with this building in the future as far as beginning to renovate.”

But, then he had heard nothing more from the lawyer or the building owners until Sept. 4. Instead, he received another letter demanding that the building be emptied by Sept. 30.

“All of which is absolutely ludicrous, all of which cannot be done,” Shields told residents. “It’s not legal, it can’t be done. He cannot do anything he wrote on here, he cannot cut off the gas, he cannot cut off the power, he cannot cut off the water.”

Lorenz Eppinger, representing the numbered company 951624 Ontario, Ltd., which owns the building, explained Shields is “in serious default with us,” and was given notice in July. He reiterated how the date for possession had been extended two months to allow residents time to relocate.

“During that time, we’re paying for water, we’re paying for all of this,” said Eppinger, explaining the building’s owners are not licensed to operate an assisted living facility.

“We are very concerned because we wanted everyone to not have to scramble at the end, because legally I can’t do anything when Dan Shields is gone at the end of the month… So this is an extremely upsetting situation for us and for everyone involved.”

Eppinger noted there are concerns with the building, stating at this point it wasn’t known if the building could be saved.

Shields told residents he had been in contact with the province’s Residential Tenancy Branch and the building’s owners cannot just cut off utilities.

READ MORE: Centennial Field purchase under fire at CSRD open house

READ MORE: Worldwide women’s motorcycle relay to roll through the Shuswap

“If he sold the building he has to tell us he sold the building, in which case he has to give us four months notice. Or any major renovations to the building, it’s four months notice. Otherwise, he could technically serve us with two months notice,” said Shields.

Residents were upset by the news and at least one of them was angered with Shields.

Donna Benn, a resident of the facility for about six years, said she moved into the facility with her husband because its proximity to the hospital allowed her to be close to him when he became ill. Benn said she enjoys living at the facility and was stunned to learn of the notice on the door.

“My biggest reaction to this is pure shock. That couldn’t be,” said Benn.

facebook

During the meeting, Shields also said his restaurant, the Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgery, will remain closed.

Shields later explained to the Observer the assisted living home never had been a moneymaker, though it was meant to be his retirement project.

“I’ve put nine and a half years into this place and I’ve never received a dime of profit from it,” said Shields, who also resides at the facility.

READ MORE: Salmon Arm residents find joy in singing together

READ MORE: Fighting to rid the Shuswap of prickly plants

While his days at McGuire Lake Congregate Living may be coming to an end, Shields said he would do what he can so his fellow residents don’t find themselves out on the street as of Oct. 1.

“You don’t do it this way. You certainly don’t have a group of seniors waking up to a notice telling them you’ve got 17 days and then they’ve got no hydro, no gas and water. Who does that?” said Shields.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP busts drug dealer operating out of View Royal apartment

Officers found cocaine, xanax, magic mushrooms and more

Rummage sale returns to Oak Bay’s Monterey for leap year Saturday

Early dropoffs have rummage sale volunteers busy sorting

More transit resources needed in Sooke, says mayor

Maja Tait votes against proposal for fare-free public transit for youth

BREAKING: First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Island Food Caring launches program to tackle food insecurities

Victoria Foundation and five local grocers team to launch campaign on Feb. 27

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

UPDATE: Son, 5, dies in hospital after crash that killed dad, older son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Most Read