Loading articles...

'Lack of compassion': renter says he's being evicted by UCP MLA

Last Updated May 21, 2020 at 8:07 am MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – An Alberta man says a United Conservative MLA’s company has given him an eviction notice, in the same month the province’s eviction ban expires.

Dustin Cartwright claims he tried to arrange a payment plan to First Choice Property Management in Medicine Hat, owned by Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes.

Cartwright was unemployed before March and doesn’t qualify for federal CERB payments.

He wrote to the company offering a $300 a month payment on April 1, down from the $949 he would owe that month.

Cartwright says he tried calling and didn’t hear back, but he did get an email May 3 with the company saying it’s willing to defer rental payments, noting about $2,000 was due.

However, a staff member later messaged him and asked if he moved out and or if he would pay the rent he owed.

Cartwright then says Barnes showed up to his home to handover a 24-hour notice for the company to enter the property.

“I did say like, you’re supposed to be working for the people. You have an opportunity to do something about this and you’re not.”

In March, the province announced new rules to protect renters, one being tenants can’t be evicted for missed rent or utility payments before May 1.

Cartwright says he received a letter on May 15 giving him 14 days to leave.

“I shouldn’t have to choose between food and my rent and with how long this could go on, my EI runs out next month.”

Premier Jason Kenney has encouraged landlords to work with their tenants, while the NDP has called for the government to extend the eviction ban.

Cartwright hasn’t left his rental property rental. He works in IT and has an interview on Friday for a job in B.C.

“I would prefer not to have to uproot my life. But at the same time, there’s no prospects out here and there’s a lack of compassion. I think this is pretty, pretty telling.”

Barnes didn’t respond to a request for comment and staff at his constituency office told CityNews, this is a matter for First Choice Property management to speak to.