When Suzanne Loiselle received a letter in January informing her that rent at her private seniors home in Montreal would be rising and services would be cut, she vowed to fight the new owner’s decision.
On Friday she and dozens of fellow residents took the first step in their fight to the Superior Court of Quebec to defend the rights of the 100 remaining tenants at Mont-Carmel Residence.
The group is asking for services including 24-7 nursing care, around-the-clock reception and a beauty salon to continue until their appeal is heard on Sept. 19.
These services at the residence located on René-Lévesque Boulevard East are expected to end on Aug. 1, so while their fees will be rising by three per cent, they’ll actually be receiving reduced care.
“The most important thing is the health and security of these people and that’s what we’re asking the court to guarantee at least until we settle these more complicated legal questions,” said Manuel Johnson, lawyer for the Mont-Carmel residents.
There was standing room only in the Montreal court room Friday, as more than 50 elderly residents and supporters listened to both sides present their arguments.
The day in court concluded without a decision, but Loiselle still left the court room with a smile. She said she has a good feeling that the judge understands the social context of the matter.
“At a certain moment I felt he understand our situation and our fight for our rights and the kind of injustice going on,” she told Global News.
The group’s lawyer said the day went well.
“We were able to explain it really is an urgency to protect the scrutiny and the milieu de vie of these residents,” said Johnson.
Quebec judge Sylvain Lussier says he recognizes the urgency of the case. His decision is expected before the Aug. 1 deadline.
Global news spoke with the lawyers representing the residence owner at the courthouse but they declined to comment.