The fence may be down, but the dispute between the residents of the Port Edward trailer court and owners Stonecliff Properties is far from over.
The fence surrounding the property, which restricted vehicle access and required residents to be accompanied to and from their trailers as work to replace failing water, sewer and road infrastructure begins, was up for approximately 24 hours. Stonecliff said it wasn’t anything to do with construction that caused the removal of the fence, but some of the language coming from tenants.
“It was moved because the tenants called the employees and the contractors Nazis and said they were being kept in a concentration camp. That was never our intention as the fencing was put up to keep people safe … it was simply moved because of the kinds of things the people at the trailer park were saying about the workers and the company,” said a spokesperson for Stonecliff, noting Nazi references are not the only things coming from residents.
“We have had threats and had to remove our employee from the site for safety reasons. Another woman threatened to start a fire inside the park and another resident threatened one of the contractors.”
While Port Edward Manufactured Home Association president Ed Day said the removal of the fence was something the group wanted in the first place, it doesn’t mean everything is okay in the park.
“We are working on a class-action suit to deal with everything that is coming out of here,” he said.
“People are pretty upset about what is happening.”
One of the concerns of the residents is warning notices being distributed by Stonecliff. These include everything from not following safety procedures and driving through the work area to insulting contractor personnel and threatening to shut down the site down with a call to the Worker’s Compensation Board to not having pets in the area controlled. Each of the notices includes threats of future legal action if the problem persists and the possibility of a Notice to End Tenancy.
“Everyone is getting written up for everything. The warning notices all have to be disputed and each dispute costs us $50. They’re trying to wear us down,” said Alice Kruta.
“The stress is killing me.”
But the company said these notices are needed, and are not handed out lightly.
“Anybody who threatens an employee or a contractor, we are going to take immediate action against. It is not something that can be allowed to happen again,” said the spokesperson, noting the association has yet to include Stonecliff or have any communication directly with the company as it relates to their concerns.
“We’re going to continue to try and work with those who will work with us, but if people threaten employees on the site we will follow the letter of the law.”