Letter on the Parkdale Rent Strike

To the Board and Management of Alberta Investment Management Corporation,

The Board and Staff of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (Guelph) contacts you to express our complete and firm support for the Parkdale rent strikers and their demand that MetCap withdraw its applications for above guideline rent increases in Parkdale.

We write further to express our collective disgust that AIMCo, a crown corporation, would profit off the displacement of working and immigrant tenants in Parkdale. In your inaction, thus far, MetCap has acted outrageously against tenants—in one case, with MetCap president and CEO Brent Merrill nearly running down a protesting tenant—while one of your main investors, the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE), remains troubled by the worsening situation.

This rent strike follows years of neglect and decay in MetCap’s properties—as reported by tenants and in the media. Therefore, all that stands between Parkdale renters and justice is you. You have the power to end this situation and start the work of improving the lives of these renters. Your inaction can only evict and perpetuate the neglect and outright violence of MetCap’s management. But, we believe you can change that.

We call on you to direct MetCap to withdraw the pending above guideline rent increases at these buildings. Parkdale tenants have the right to defend their homes and their neighbourhood. Until MetCap meets their demands, we will be supporting the tenants’ ongoing actions against MetCap, AIMCo and any of AIMCo’s clients.

End the neglect and violence of MetCap and open the way to justice for Parkdale.

In solidarity with Parkdale,

The Board and Staff of OPIRG Guelph.