Wednesday, June 2, 2010


                        Luke  18
Quebec lawyers, judges and courts conspire against justice for the sake of expediency. If innocent people suffer because of it, there is really nothing the victims can do. But we can tell. We can let the world know.
That is why I am writing this report about the injustices suffered by Xiuwei and Xiaolin in Montreal in 2003
Two months after being welcomed as Canadian citizens, a young student couple from China living in the Cote des Neiges district in Montreal learned a painful lesson about Canada's injustice system..
Dear friends who are Christian missionaries asked if I might help these new Canadians.
On May 15, 2003, Marc Nelson, the landlord at 4720 Linton, accompanied by his janitor, stormed into their apartment without warning, brandishing a camera. Nelson bullied his way through the apartment taking pictures everywhere, even inside their washing machine.
The wife, Xiuwei, weighing perhaps a hundred pounds soaking wet, tried to stop Nelson, to grab the camera. Her husband, Xiaolin rushed to call 911.
Apparently the landlord called 911 as well. He charged the young couple with assault.
I quickly arranged to meet Xiuwei and Xiaolin in their apartment. What I found there was so appalling, I contacted Jim Duff, the editor of the Montreal weekly newspaper, The Suburban, and later I wrote this letter.
Date: 6/20/03 6:04:17AM
Dear Editor,
Nobody should have to live like this: 
I went out to Xiuwei Wang's apartment on Thursday, June 19, to see conditions there for myself. It's hard to believe that people have to live in such conditions in Canada.
There is a huge hole in the bathroom ceiling - as Xiuwei accurately said - "the size of a computer keyboard". You can see the rusty pipe in the hole, as long as my arm. It is obvious that water brought down the plaster and whatever crumbly support there may have been under the plaster. The whole thing just dropped in one big piece with a number of auxiliary particles. The part that came down was in the bathtub where it landed. If anyone had been in the tub when it fell, it could well have cracked their head open.
But that's not all. The water that brought down the ceiling there, also ran down inside the walls and down the window, and one wall is all cracked and crumbling. This is the second time this has happened. No wonder the landlord wouldn't answer calls from The Suburban. The problem goes far beyond patching up some plaster as the landlord has clearly tried to do. It is a major job requiring reconstruction of wood and supports and replacing the plumbing - probably throughout the building.
The ceiling in the living room also has a very long, deep curving crack. I pray no one will be sitting there when that big ceiling comes down. Almost all the walls and ceilings in the apartment appear to be crumbling and there are holes everywhere.
The rotted wooden floor outside their kitchen is spongy. It creaked and sank under my feet. In my opinion the floor there could collapse too. There is another long, deep crack where two walls meet in the master bedroom near the bed. Spotty brown mould is thriving in it - a health hazard for anyone sleeping there.
There are several old, brown spidery cracks in the bathroom sink so water runs through them into the cupboard under the basin. The window sills are all rotten and mouldy. Some feeble attempt has been made to patch them with some sort of white plastic putty.
Xiuwei told me that there are mice (or rats?) in the building. She and her husband caught two baby mice there very recently. I'm afraid I missed seeing those personally.
Based on what I have seen with my own eyes, I can tell you with confidence that I do not consider Xiuwei's apartment to be fit for human habitation. I believe the conditions are not only unhealthy but really dangerous.
Pictures will be coming to you ASAP.
Phyllis Carter
Two reports on this case by Diodora Bucur were published in The Suburban weekly newspaper in Montreal in September 2003 following my reports to Jim Duff.
June 5, 2003
To Jim Duff, Editor,
The Suburban
Xiuwei took my advice to heart and recorded the details of the progress of events. As a journalist and an investigator, I am really impressed by how accurately she recorded the information.  I will not comment further except to draw your attention to the way that, at every turn,  Xiuwei is bounced back to Officer Marie-France Fortin who, from the start, took the landlord's side. There seems to be no way to connect with anyone impartial.
I admire Xiuwei's determination to see this through and I will be at her side, with God's help. Xiuwei has authorized me to share her report with The Suburban. She is grateful for your help and she trusts you to present her case fairly.
Phyllis Carter

The landlord and the janitor knocked on my door around 10:30am on May 15, 2003.
When I opened the door, the landlord entered the apartment directly without permission. He just rushed right past me and went directly into my kitchen. The janitor followed him in but he soon went out again. When my husband came out of the bedroom, the landlord was already in the  kitchen taking pictures. He told us, " You are not allowed to have the washing machine in the apartment. You have  to sell it." While he was saying that, he was taking pictures of my washing  machine, and he opened it to check what was inside the washing machine (I keep my dirty laundry in the washer).
I said:" No !, You are not allow to do this. We don't use it. We just put my dirty clothes inside." However, he did not stop doing that. He also took pictures in the bathroom and bedroom. There is mould there but  he told me it is our fault and he will not fix it.
After that he said "Let us make an agreement. If you agree to the increasing rent, everything is fine (He wrote a letter for increasing rent in March. We refused the increase. He opened a file in the rental board. We opened a file in the rental board for the repairing in April).  "If you don't agree to the raise, you have to remove the washing machine and the satellite dish immediately."
 I said "We will remove the washing machine, but you already agreed that the satellite dish could stay on the roof since we did not make any hole to install it." The landlord said " I never said that." My husband said: " You are a dishonest man."
I followed the landlord around my apartment trying to speak to him but he just ignored me . I lifted one hand like we do in prayer or to take an oath and I said to the landlord, "Face God, and tell me - can you promise that you are saying the truth?" He reached out and pushed my hand and he rushed to the front door. I said: "You should not take these pictures away with you because you did not get our permission." The landlord said: "You gave me permission to take pictures." (It is a lie to my face!)

At the front door, the landlord came close to me and suddenly he had my hand in his hand. I was so scared and nervous and upset. My husband tried to separate him from me. At this moment, the janitor came back and grabbed our hands and tried to do the same thing as Xiaolin was doing. Xiaolin went to call 911.Then the landlord called police.
Before the police arrived my home, the landlord laid down on the floor and said: "OK, now we will see. I  have been doing business for more than twenty years. You are a new immigrant. We will see who the police believe. I will make you pay much more for the lawyer than increasing rent."
The landlord told the police that I blocked the landlord's way out. I was just stand  near the door waiting for the police coming. If you see me, you can see that I cannot block his way. I am not so strong to block landlord if he want to go out.
A few minutes later, two police officers came. I told the police, " The  landlord came in and took pictures without our permission." Officer  Marie-France Fortin said to the  landlord: "you are not allowed to do this."
We went back into our apartment with another officer to explain what had  happened. Then they asked who is landlord, and separate landlord and janitor with police officer Marie, another officer came in the apartment with Xiuwei and Xiaolin. Xiuwei told the officer: "He came in and took pictures that I did not agree." The officer asked how we touched each other. I told  him: " I tried to get the camera so he would not leave with the pictures of my apartment but I cannot." 
When officer Marie-France Fortin came back, she told us we are under arrest since we assault the landlord. I tried to explain to her "We called for help. The landlord came into our home without any appointment and permission and took pictures that we did not allow."
The  police officer Marie-France Fortin said: "It does not matter who called police. You did not let him go. Sometimes murderers also call police for  help."
I said  "If someone comes inside your house and does whatever he wants, then I have to let him do it?"

Marie said, " If someone comes and take your TV, it is different. But, he only took pictures."
She gave us a paper and said, "Will you sign this or not?"
When we try to explain the facts, she said the police are not judges. It does not mean we are guilty.  The judge will decide." 
Finally we signed the Appearance Notice (File no:  deleted here).
 I want to charge the landlord.

 · He entered my apartment without my permission and without any notice, this is trespassing.

 .    He assaulted me. He pushed my hand. It was just open and up like prayer, not like fist to hit.

 · He threatened me, and tried to force me to accept the rent increasing.
But until now, police refuse again and again to accept my report and to charge the landlord. They accept only what the landlord said. This is not justice. This is like China. Law in China is only for rich people.       
 Xiuwei & Xiaolin
 The police officer Marie-France Fortin said:

 1. The landlord is not a stranger.
 2. The landlord taking pictures for helping repair the bathroom.
 3. Police will not decide who is right and who is wrong.
 4. We do not let him go –"assault him".
 5. Everything the landlord did was just to protect himself from me.
 6. The pictures thing is civil law; it is up to us to find some way to deal with it.
 7. Officer Marie said to me that I am "twenty times more aggressive than landlord". She is not impartial in my opinion. She said police do not decide but she already decided that I am wrong and since the beginning she always refused to charge the landlord.


May 17, 2003 (11:40pm) Poste de quartier 25
Xiuwei, Xiaolin and a human rights volunteer, Phyllis Carter, went to Police station 25 at 11:40 pm. We talked to the police officer about what happened on Thursday. The three officers there told us that they cannot add my experience to the file. They said we should talk to officer Marie-France Fortin who was on the scene on Thursday. Meanwhile, one officer gave us his business card and wrote the schedules that we can reach the officer Marie-France Fortin.
 May 19, 2003 (4:00pm) Tel: 514-280-0125
I called the officer Marie-France Fortin and I asked if we can make an appointment with her and talk more detail on Thursday.
I said: "After I read the criminal code, I know I have the right to charge the landlord."
She said: "  No. Some people want to change things after they go back thinking about it."
I said " I told you on Thursday that the landlord coming in without my permission and even my reaction. In that time, I did not know about my rights. I did not know how I can say "I want to charge the landlord."
She said: "Police only record facts. In that day, you (Xiuwei) seem twenty times aggressive more than the landlord. You only focus on the pictures."
At that time, I was so upset, all my thinking is in all direction. What to do? What is happening ?
She asked me: "If it is really the case as you said, why do you not allow your landlord come in? Did he push you away?  Do you have something to hide?" I asked her: "Do I have to let the landlord come to my apartment anytime without notice?" t
The officer said:" Did your landlord call you before he came?" I answered, "No."  She said, "Did you contact to Regie?" I answered "No." She said she would call back after she talks to another officer. But, she does not call back.
 May 20, 2003
Xiuwei called Regie de Logement at 9:30 talked to Ms. Walthers  Tel: 514- 973-2245
1. Question:
Can the landlord come anytime without an appointment and permission?
No. The landlord can only come to your apartment if things are urgent, such as fire or flooding. Otherwise, he has to give you a notice before 24 hours.
Q: The landlord just came and knocked the door.
A: You should not open the door.
Q: I opened the door and he came directly without my reaction.
A: Well, it is hard to say since he is already in.
2. Question:
The landlord wants me to sell my washer. Since I cannot sell it for the price I want, can I still keep it if I do not use it?
Yes. The landlord cannot force you to sell things. As long as you do not use it, you can keep it.
3. Question:
I had satellite dish on the roof. The landlord sent me a letter to move. When I asked janitor how to get to the roof to move the satellite, the janitor and the landlord told us: "Leave it there, because you didn't make any holes and it just stay on the shelf."  Should I remove it?
Since you don't get any paper agreement, and the roof doesn't belong to you, you have to remove unless you get a paper agreement. The landlord's oral agreement is hard to prove.
 4. Question:
 How about the pictures?
It depends what you want to do. If you want to claim compensation, you can  send him a registered letter and tell him what you want. If he doesn't answer, you can send him again and remind him.
 May 20, 2003 2:00 pm We went to Legal Aid at 800 Maisonneuve Est
The lawyer Pierre Girard told Xiaolin, almost the same thing that the lawyer Nathalie Pepin told me: We are not eligible for the legal aid, not because of  the income, but just because our case is "too small".
They asked: Did we have any criminal records?
We said: "No."
They asked: what is your status?
We answered: we are Canadian citizens and full time students. We will graduate this summer. We just get the citizenship two months ago.
Xiaolin asked: Do we have right to charge the landlord?
The lawyer Pierre Girard answer: Yes.
Xiaolin asked:  But the police officer does not allow us to make an appointment to see her. What should we do?
The lawyer answer: You can go to see the police captain.
 May 21, 2003
I do thank all the kindly people that tried to help me.
At the morning around 9:00  a.m, I called the police station and asked: Is it  possible to see the captain? The kindly police officer told me: " Yes. You can come and talk to him."
My husband and I went to the police station 25  again but they said we could not see the captain. The police officer Brirre (4728)  told us almost the same - that we cannot charge the landlord. We asked  him: "Could we have a copy of the police report since we cannot find a  lawyer?" We also told him that we went to seek legal aid and lawyers told us  that we are not eligible for the legal aid not because of the income, just because of the case is too small.  He gave us a telephone (280-2970) to try  to get a report copy. But, he
doesn't know if the report is already there.
Around 11:00 a.m, we kept little hope. We went to Chinese association. I think that Chinese association spending most time to help new immigrant to settle down. They may not even have lawyers. To my surprise, the nice lady told me that there is actually a lawyer there today. I begged her: please let me talk to him even a few minutes. I was lucky enough to have a chance talked to the lawyer Vincent Basile. I quickly told my case in summary.
He said: "Normally, the police will charge both side". I told him: There was no charge for the landlord. That is why we are trying to get the police to make the charge against him. The lawyer said: "How do you know that the police did not charge the landlord?
The police may not tell you". Then he called the police station 25. The police officer told him that he had to talk to officer Marie-France Fortin during this afternoon.
I was keeping waiting and waiting. Until 4:30 p.m, I asked my husband to call  the lawyer Vincent Basile back and asked what was happening.

The lawyer Basile told us: 1. Trespassing cannot be charged. 2. Because I am accused of blocking the landlord's way, the assault cannot hold. But, finally he agreed that he could represent us if we really need him. He also asked us that are we eligible for legal aid? I told him that the legal aid doesn't  accept us because the case is too small. He said, it doesn't sound right to him.
I was not blocking the landlord's way. I was standing in my apartment near my door waiting for the police to come. He could leave if he wants. I want him to wait for the police too, but he is stronger than me. If you see me you can see it is true. But he did not try to leave. When my husband called 911, the landlord went and called too. Then he laid down on the floor and said I will pay so much more because I do not agree to rent increasing. If he is injured, why did he call the police and then go and lie down on the floor ?
 At 6:30 PM, Ms. Grace Moore, who is represent the Arnold Bennett housing Clinic went the police station 25 again. The same answer came from officer  Gouthier(5174). He said we can do nothing until hearing from the court.
Around 7:30 p.m, I final got a call from officer Marie-France Fortin. She told me that she already told the lawyer Basile all my information. If I want to know more, just call him.  I told her, Basile is not my represent lawyer yet. I also cannot get a legal  aid because the lawyer told the case is too small. Marie said: Well, this is not police job. She is crown side, she cannot give me any legal advice. I asked her: What is " crown" mean? Marie answered: It is us, police, accused you. You should have a lawyer. Other things, we will talk in the court. More things, please ask your lawyer.

May 22, 2003
At 9:00 a.m, we went to the municipal court with Grace Moore.
The prosecutor, a nice lady, Megaetave Blatel, told us that she doesn't have time since she is a prosecutor for today's Court. Also, our case is too soon and too new to do anything. The investigator will do something. We can do nothing until the appearance, which is September 18 th.  Now, I remembered  that police officer Marie-France Fortin told me: she is one of the investigators. I don't know how the system works. I can only wait and wait.
 May 25,2003
After so many months waiting, at May 24 afternoon, the janitor fixed the wall and the janitor painted the bathroom at May 25 although the wall was not dry yet.  
Date: 6/20/03 7:53:09AM
From: Phyllis Carter
I cannot stop thinking about the injustice that has been done to you. It seems to me that you should be eligible for legal aid. Will Lawyer Lerner look into that for you?
Also, I definitely believe that whoever represents you should charge the landlord. Only the police-crown prosecutor can press criminal charges. But a lawyer can press civil charges. And your lawyer should definitely demand that the landlord pays damages to you and your family.
A. A refund of a part of your rent money because you have been living in a place that is not fit for humans. I would not keep a dog in such conditions. If someone did, the humane society (animal protection) would charge that person for cruelty to animals.
B. Damages because of loss of peaceful use of your premises - dangerous conditions plus harassment plus unwarranted criminal charges, etc.
C. Damages to your reputation by lying to the police about your character and actions. Damages to your race, by suggesting that Chinese immigrant people are dishonest and violent.
D. The lawyer should also sue the landlord on your behalf for all your legal fees and court costs since none of this would have happened if the landlord had not trespassed into your apartment.
The lawyer should review all this, as well as Arnold Bennett. You should ask them for their opinions.
Afterward, you may be able to get the police to press criminal charges against the landlord
You should have your lawyer consider the following charges against the landlord too.
1. Trespassing

2. Pushing you -assault.

3. Threats - blackmail - Pretending that you hurt him in order to try to get
you to agree to a raise in your rent.

4. Perjury - for making a false report about you to the police.

5. Invasion of privacy - for opening your washing machine and looking
into your dirty laundry and taking photographs of your worn under-garments
in there without your permission and with no just reason for doing so.
He had no business opening your washing machine. That is your private
business, your private property, not part of his building. He had no right
whatever to touch it, let alone open it and take photographs.
The landlord claimed that the issue was that Xiuwei and Xiaolin refused a $12.00 rent increase.
Marc Nelson died due to unrelated causes before the case came to the Quebec Rental Board. Under pressure from the commissioner at the Rental Board hearing, his brother Rony Nelson admitted that his calculations for the rent increase were wrong.
On May 21, 2003, Xiuwei and Xiaolin were obliged to go to a police station where they were photographed and fingerprinted.  I accompanied them there.
After Xiuwei was fingerprinted, I could see that she was about to break. I held her tight in my arms as she wept.  Her whole body was shaking.   
Phyllis Carter
When the case came to court in Montreal,  Xiuwei and Xiaolin's lawyer, Ivan Lerner, came out of the court room and escorted Xiuwei, Xiaolin and me into a small office.
There he advised them to take a deal or risk criminal charges even though they were clearly the victims in this matter. He said that innocent people are convicted all the time and there is never any way to know how any judge will decide. The suggestion was ominous, the risk, frightening.
The couple never entered the court room and never spoke to a judge. Everything was arranged by the lawyers.
The deal - Pay five hundred dollars to a "charity of your choice".
We were all devastated. This young couple and their little son came from tyranny in China to this nightmare. They cried night and day, all the while trying to shield their child from this awful reality. Indeed, Canada is not much different than China after all.
I didn't dare to suggest they take the risks of criminal prosecution by fighting for their rights. I hated myself for not encouraging them to stand up for their rights. What if they lost? I was torn apart.
We went to the Montreal Children's Hospital immediately in bitter winter weather and Xiuwei and Xiaolin paid the $500.00 "voluntary donation."
The clerk who took their money said the courts and the lawyers make these deals all the time. She said the hospital benefits greatly from these no-contest deals.
Only rich criminals can afford to hire expensive lawyers to defend them. The innocent don't dare to risk our injustice system.
Xiuwei and Xiaolin and their son left Canada for brighter prospects.
" When I became a Canadian citizen, I was really proud that I would enjoy freedom as any Canadian and I could have never imagined that someone could try to destroy my future just for fun - or for a $12. Rent increase. We left our hometown and tried to find a better place where we could enjoy freedom and personal right. In China if you have money or a powerful job you are always right. Poor people can never get fairness and don't have the right to speak out." 
No one has the right to enter your home without permission - not a king nor a thief, not a landlord nor a beggar.  After all, this is Canada.
Phyllis Carter

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