Anti-poverty group requests meeting with mayor

ACORN Canada requests a meeting with Halifax mayor to do something about “slumlords” in Halifax

Protestors stand outside of City Hall to present a letter for Mayor of Halifax. (Photo: Heather Brimicombe)

With fake rats and signs waving for the rest of downtown to see, protesters fighting against “slumlords” gathered in in Halifax’s Parade Square in hopes of getting a meeting with the mayor.

Leading the protest, ACORN Canada is a national organization of low- and moderate-income families that fight for social justice.

The protest was aimed at the recent complaints of indecent conditions at residences run by the Metleges, the owners of property companies in Halifax such as Templeton Properties and Wise Man Investments. The Metleges are just one of a number of companies the protesters are targeting in Halifax.

“We wanted to take a proactive approach,” said Evan Coole of ACORN Canada. The association’s so-called “Rat Parade,” started in the middle of the Grand Parade and moved to city hall, where Coole presented a letter requesting a meeting with Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

“We don’t blame the city for the situation,” said Coole, who said the letter was a friendly invitation for the municipality to begin registering landlords who rent out properties.

Jonethan Brigley is a resident of a Dartmouth property.

He said many tenants don’t want to complain for fear of being evicted. He said the conditions at his apartment are less than ideal.

“I don’t even got a smoke detector in my place.”

Brigley urges students to talk to Dalhousie Legal Aid before signing leases or renting a property to be sure they know their rights.

Coole, who recently held a tenants’ rights workshop at the University of King’s College, echos the same concerns for students renting, urging them to be aware of the province’s Residential Tenancies Act.

“ACORN is here for students,” said Coole.