Advocates for poorest tenants in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have taken a rare step of acquiring 10 arrest warrants against a notorious landlord. The Pivot Legal Society is scheduled to host a news conference this morning, asserting that George Wolsey owes more than $18,000 to residents of the Wonder Rooms SRO which he has made no effort to pay back. Pivot will unveil more details into the more than three-year battle between Wolsey and tenants, where his former residents will also be present to add about their experience.
Pivot Legal Society lawyer, Douglas King, alleged that “we kept hearing stories of bedbugs, cockroaches, holes in the wall, sinks and plumbing not working for weeks at a time, one shower being shared in the entire hotel with dozens of people.” The organization explained that Wolsey has failed to appear at several court dates, ignoring repeated demands for the landlord to turn himself in. King says that Pivot is now planning to place wanted posters around the neighbourhood.
King further mentioned that “we decided we wanted to make these wanted posters and put them up in the neighbourhood so not just landlords in the neighbourhood and tenants understand that there is some resolution to this case [but] we want to bring this landlord to justice.” Back in 2008, media exposed Wolsey for forcing tenants to fill prescriptions at his pharmacy or be evicted. His former tenants are expected to speak out about their experiences later today.
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