The owner of a Toronto Plaza Hotel is speaking out on Wednesday, trying to set the record straight after a long-term resident staying at the hotel told CityNews they were being evicted on short notice to make room for Syrian refugees.
“There is no Canadians going out on the street,” said Rehan Chaudary, the hotel’s owner.
One woman, who asked not to be identified, said when she went to give her weekly $300 payments she was told to leave – that day.
“It’s really hard,” she said. “Many tears. They gave us a whole bunch of reasons but the bottom line was they needed the space.
“Everyone deserves a home and anyone can come to this country to get help, but you can’t take some children out and put them nowhere for others to live.”
Chaudar said that long term residents were not evicted to make room for refugees.
“There is not a single person, I asked ‘you have to leave today,’” Chaudary said. “I said OK, your month is up at this time, if you need a few weeks or a week, we are very compassionate people.”
Garnet Fulton says he’s been living at the hotel for several months with his wife and two-year-old daughter and pays $1100 a month for a small room.
Fulton says he received a notice on Monday saying he had until Friday to leave.
“I am willing to help all of them,” said Chaudar.
“We will get them housing – it’s not a big problem. They’ve just got to come and approach me,” he said.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said the hotel makes its own arrangement with the settlement organization and that they do not tell hotels how to conduct their business.
“We don’t tell hotels how to conduct their business, I understand this is a rare event but this is something we wish had not happened,” he said.
The concern was also brought to Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who said the government owes some answers to Canadians in the situation.