Freedom Flyer Fall 2000 Cover

Freedom Flyer 34

the official newsletter of the
Freedom Party of Ontario

Fall 2000

As one of Susan Eagle's cohorts in their failed attempt to turn London landlord Elijah Elieff's buildings into government sponsored co-op housing, Jacqueline Thompson's diatribe against Freedom Party, Fp president Robert Metz, and Elieff does not speak to the facts and calls her own credibility into question. Thompson's patently false and potentially libelous statement that Elieff launched his $1.3 million lawsuit because he was "egged on by the Freedom Party and its own agenda", is only one of the many inaccuracies contained in the rebuttal below. Elieff's intentions to sue Susan Eagle were already on record (as transcribed by the official Board of Inquiry court reporters) long before he and Metz met for the first time.

Moreover, the article also represents at least the second time that Thompson has gone on record trying to discredit Freedom Party, its supporters, and Elijah Elieff. Referring to Elieff's Cheyenne Ave tenants as her "clients", Thompson testified before the Board of Inquiry hearings against Elieff on February 2, 1993 that Freedom Party members were passing information to Elieff while he was sequestered in the hallway during the testimony of one of his tenants. Claiming that she heard the words "bugs", "stairwell", and "garbage" used in conversation between several members of the Freedom Party standing in the hallway, Thompson was joined by fellow social worker Faith Coates and Ontario Human Rights Commission counsel Geraldine Sanson in a concerted effort to minimize Freedom Party's presence at the hearings, including even eliminating Fp's electronic recording of testimony.

Article electronically reproduced from:

Scene Magazine

January 13, 2000


Landlord Elijah Elieff was the architect of his own demise

Scene's Nov.4 centerspread story by Robert Metz, president of the Freedom Party of Ontario, is called "inventive, distorted and misleading nonsense

SHAME ON Scene for permitting Robert Metz, the president of the Ontario Freedom Party, a personal platform to try and turn one of London's most notorious landlords - Elijah Elieff - into a victim, at the expense of one of London's finest citizens - Susan Eagle (Scene, Rev. Susan Eagle a Co-Defendant in $1.3-Million Lawsuit, Nov. 4/99).

Mr. Metz was given free rein to cast aspersions on Ms. Eagle with a specious defence of Mr. Elieff, who was the architect of his own fate. Metz's interpretation of the 'facts' is inventive, distorted and misleading.

Yes, Susan Eagle has represented and helped tenants; Elijah Elieff was the most uncooperative and unresponsive landlord she ever encountered and it's little wonder Elieff's tenants had so much trouble with him. Elieff was a property owner who violated building, fire and health codes and rent control laws, repeatedly refusing to bring conditions up to snuff despite requests from the tenants' association, bylaw inspectors and court orders. Elieff demonstrated utter disdain for the law by ignoring it.

Mr. Metz conveyed the impression in Scene that a human rights complaint initiated in 1989 by one of Elieff's tenants, contributed to his demise as the owner of two apartment buildings. The 1989 human rights complaint against Mr. Elieff had nothing to do with the loss of his two Cheyenne apartment buildings in 1993.

In 1993, Justice Browne ruled that Elieff was required to pay $20,000 into the courts for unpaid utility bills; in 1996, the Divisional Court awarded $6,000 in damages pursuant to the human rights complaint --- damages which he has yet to pay.

Mr. Elieff's financial downfall began after he was found guilty of violating provincial rent control laws and was ordered to rebate about $30,000 to tenants who were overcharged. Simply put, this was a landlord who failed to operate his business in a responsible manner.

One housing expert estimated Elieff allocated only four per cent of his rental income to maintenance and repairs, while the average among responsible landlords is about 17 per cent. Not surprisingly, his buildings fell into disrepair --- cockroaches, raw sewage in the basement, drafty and leaking windows, worn screens and alarm systems that didn't work, etc.

Susan Eagle, a community worker employed by the United Church, helped the tenants organize an association to press for improvements. Mr. Elieff, however, routinely rebuffed their requests. He was completely uncooperative and, as a result, building, fire and health inspectors were called in. The rest is history.

All of the troubles Mr. Elieff suffered came after negative reports were filed by officials charged with the responsibility of ensuring adequate property standards. There were also various orders from judges; Elieff was regularly found to be a witness lacking credibility.

Both before and after the National Bank of Canada decided to take control of Elieff's apartments in 1993, Ms. Eagle and the Cheyenne Tenants Association offered to buy, refurbish and convert them into a co-op, but they didn't get the funding until days after the buildings were sold to another landlord who invested in repairs and improvements.

Mr. Elieff invariably acted as if every judgment against him was unfair. Today, he still seems unaware he'd be prospering if he had provided safe and sanitary housing and kept his buildings in a marketable condition. He blames those he mistreated for his problems and claims he's the victim.

Egged on by the Freedom Party and its political agenda, Elieff has launched a lawsuit for $1.3-million against Rev. Susan Eagle, the United Church of Canada, Neighbourhood Legal Services and the National Bank of Canada.

In Canada, everyone is entitled to make allegations in a statement of claim in a civil lawsuit. In the end, however, Mr. Elieff will have to face all outstanding judgments against him and prove his claim in a court of law. Until then, his lawsuit lacks the credibility of proven allegations.


Jacqueline Thompson is the executive director of life*Spin, a london-based advocacy group for the disadvantaged.

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