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Midfield Mobile Home Park residents lose court battle; judge rules in favour of eviction

Click to play video: 'Midfield residents devastated by court battle loss' Midfield residents devastated by court battle loss
WATCH: Residents of Midfield mobile home park in Calgary tried to fight city hall, but lost their battle against eviction on Friday. The homeowners were hoping they could stay and be compensated for their ordeal. Jill Croteau reports – Dec 8, 2017

A judge decided the remaining residents of the Midfield Mobile Home Park must leave by Feb. 19. The judge told court Friday she feels there is a valid reason for the termination of their vacancy.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Kenny decided there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove the City of Calgary acted in bad faith when city officials evicted residents due to failing infrastructure.

She decided the residents will not be evicted before Christmas because she doesn’t think it’s practical or humane.

Despite her sympathy, she said she is bound by the law to dismiss the residents’ request for compensation.

The Guardian Law Group’s Matthew Farrell, who represents some of the Midfield residents, said despite the court ruling, it was important to stand up against injustice.

“We didn’t succeed today but in a way, the legal community and media and Calgarians have shown our mettle and who we are as people.”

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“Basically, we have to abandon our house and take our $60,000-mortgage and we will be homeless,” said Calan Lovstrom, one of the residents who lives at Midfield Park.

“[Mayor] Nenshi said no one would become homeless,” said Laine Sloan, who also lives at the park. “We will become homeless. We are becoming homeless.”

Another resident of Midfield Park said people living there have nowhere to turn.

“We were evicted from Calgary because we live in a mobile home park and there’s nowhere for us to go,” Lori Sperling said. “We’re not done. We’re not done by a long shot.”

The main applicant in the case, long-time resident Rudy Prediger, is recovering from pneumonia and couldn’t make it to court.

Tracey Peterson, who moved out of Midfield Park, delivered the news to Prediger.

“He’s going to be devastated. He has nothing other than his home, what is he going to do?” Peterson said. “He can’t get a mortgage. My biggest fear is that this is going to end his life. He’s a strong man but can only be so strong.”

“The city recognizes that this remains as a challenging time for the remaining Midfield tenants and will continue to compassionately support these tenants in their efforts to secure new accommodations,” the City of Calgary said in a statement issued on Friday.

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The city announced years ago it planned to close the property permanently due to aging and irreparable infrastructure.

READ MORE: Decision to shut down Midfield Park ‘driven by concern over image;’ Calgary facing civil lawsuit

Residents living in the park were served with eviction notices and told they’d have to move out by Sept. 30, 2017. However, a September court injunction delayed the park’s pending closure.

LISTEN: Matthew Farrell on the ongoing battle between the city and the residents of Midfield Park

READ MORE: Court delays closure of Midfield Mobile Home Park in Calgary

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Prior to the judge’s decision, Matthew Farrell from the Guardian Law Group, who represents some of the Midfield residents, talked about what was really important to them.

“For the majority of the people, they’ve already left. So, for the majority of people, the central issue here is compensation – proper compensation — for what’s been done to them.”

READ MORE: Midfield Mobile Home Park residents speak out post-eviction: ‘I live in a truck’

Also prior to the eviction decision, at least one Midfield resident said he refused to leave regardless of what is decided in court.

“They’ll find a lot of good reasons to kick us out of there, but I’m not going no place,” Midfield Mobile Home Park resident Rudy Prediger said. “I told them that a long time ago. If they come and arrest me and haul me out of there with a sheriff then fine.”

82-year-old Rudy Prediger vows to stay as long as he can. Nate Luit

— With files from  and 

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