In a shocking turn of events, AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) a CROWN corporation that manages the pension plans of Alberta's unionized government workers is taking steps to evict tenants in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood who are engaged in a rent strike due to that above guideline rent increases they are facing and to ongoing issues with outstanding repairs.
AIMCo is a partial owner of the buildings, which means that a crown corporation -- in a province with a social democratic NDP government -- that claims to be a "socially responsible" manager of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees' (AUPE) pension funds has started working to throw what are primarily working class and immigrant tenants out of their homes!
This is inexcusable.
Yesterday, rent strike organizers released the following statement:
May 23 – The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) has initiated evictions against tenants on rent strike in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. To bring attention to their situation tenants have launched the website aimcoevictstenants.caYou can visit their website http://aimcoevictstenants.ca/
AIMCo, a crown corporation of the government of Alberta which manages Alberta government workers’ pensions plans, owns three of six Parkdale mid-rise apartment buildings facing rent increases above the Ontario rent guideline.
“Instead of negotiating, AIMCo wants to evict us,” said tenant Diane Rajaram, of 87 Jameson Avenue, “I don't believe working Albertans want to see their pension money being used to push my neighbours and I out of our homes.”
Two hundred tenants in six Parkdale apartment buildings commenced a rent strike on May 1. The rent strikers are withholding their rent to demand the withdrawal of applications for above guideline rent increases at the buildings and do necessary repairs in their units.
“AIMCo claims socially responsible investment practices. We fail to see what is socially responsible about evicting low-income people from their homes in the middle of a housing crisis,” said Cole Webber of Parkdale Community Legal Services
You can also directly help by sending an email to James Ridout, Director, Private Equity for AIMCo at this link and by donating to their Rent Strike Fund campaign.
This disgraceful situation can and must be stopped. AIMCo and AUPE must end any support not just for possible evictions but also for the above guideline rent increases.