Judge Sally Gomery’s ruling, issued on Friday, also ordered the controversial group to pay $58,000 in costs to landlords within 30 days.
Patrick MacDonald, who owns the property near ByWard Market with three other partners, claims that TUPC’s deal to buy the building collapsed because TUPC failed to make deposits totaling $100,000, according to court documents.
His affidavit states that these payments were not made, along with the $10,000 owed to the group in rent and her failure to provide proof of $5 million in liability insurance, giving the landlord the right to terminate the lease.
Notices were posted on the premises in mid-August indicating the deal had been terminated, but TUPC refused to leave the property.
The group’s attorney argued on Monday that it had a “verbal agreement” with the owners and not a written lease, while the owners say the only agreement was a buy and sell agreement, which was signed by TUPC Director William Comer.
This agreement states that the site was to be sold for $5.95 million.
In her decision, Gomery wrote that the terms of the lease were stipulated in the sale agreement and that TUPC “substantially breached the agreement” when it did not pay the $100,000 “despite the two-time extension of the deadline.”
The judge also stated that the notice of termination was in effect and that TUPC was not entitled to any relief from consequences because it had not yet paid what it was supposed to pay under the agreement, and “did not come to court with clean hands.”
Gordon Douglas, the landlord’s attorney, said he has submitted a draft order to the court, which Gomery must sign. According to the attorney, the warden will ultimately decide when to carry out the warrants of possession.
Pack their bags
On Friday afternoon, people were seen taking bags and other items from inside the church and putting them in the vehicles.
Later, a shouting match broke out between community members and TUPC, with a chorus of trumpets in the background. The escalation quickly dissipated as the two camps separated.
Kommer said they intend to appeal the decision, but will comply in the meantime.
“If the court wants us out, we’ll get out as quickly as possible,” he said.
Watch | Ottawa mayor ‘very pleased’ with decision to evict group occupying St Brigid’s Church:
The judge’s decision came after months of tension between the Lorettetown residents and the group. TUPC repeatedly called the police to the site and its supporters, including Comer, sprayed people with water cannons.
Officers were called to the area so often that the police vowed to beef up their presence around the property until the situation was resolved.
Sylvie Bigras, president of the Lowertown Community Association, described the past few months as “alarming.”
“We didn’t want this to become some kind of headquarters or a gathering place for future caravans,” she said outside St Brigid’s home on Friday afternoon. “That was really one of our concerns and we’re glad it doesn’t look like that now.”
This is a great victory for the people of Lowertown who had to put up with complete bullshit by this outdoor group. Screaming, spitting, and tossing people with water pistols showed just how childish and immature this group is. What a misfortune for these crackpots https://t.co/EqIvqXFE46
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Mayor Jim Watson said he hoped the group would be pressured into ensuring the money they ordered was paid.
“I’m very pleased with the judge’s decision,” he said. “It was very clear. The people of Laureate and nearby neighborhoods have put up with a lot of nonsense by this group.”
“The sooner they get out of this building, the better for everyone.”