World & Canada News - May 24, 2018 issue

In the World…

Judge in New York rules 30-year-old son will be evicted from parents’ home

By Sean Previl/Global News/May 22, 2018

It took numerous eviction notices and even an offer of money to leave, but after a month-long effort, a 30-year-old will now have to leave his parents’ home after a judge ruled in favour of an eviction order - and the son is not happy about it.

Michael Rotondo appeared in the Supreme Court of New York State for about 30 minutes on Tuesday after a petition had been filed by his parents, Christina and Mark Rotondo, stating they wanted their son to leave.

After debating with the judge in a back-and-forth, with Rotondo arguing he was entitled to six months more time - a “common-law requirement” that family members must give a six-month notice before eviction, and the judge countering that an appellate court decision ruling family members don’t get special treatment, Justice Donald Greenwood made his decision.

It was a decision Rotondo called “outrageous.”

“I don’t see why the judge wants to throw people on the street,” he said.

The whole ordeal started a little more than three months ago when Mark wrote his son a letter which said after discussion with Rotundo’s mother, “we have decided that you must leave this house immediately,” according to the letters obtained by Syracuse.com.

Rotondo ignored this request to leave, resulting in three months’ worth of letters including one from his mother warning him not to resist.

“Any action you take that can be construed as threatening or harassing … us or prevents or obstructs our ability to use the house or property at 408 Weatheridge Drive as we see fit will result in your immediate removal from the premises,” Christina wrote in a letter dated Feb. 13.

Other messages include them saying they will take “appropriate actions necessary” to ensure he leaves the house “as demanded,” and presents solutions for an issue about Rotondo’s car.

A response filed to the court, reported by CNYCentral.com, shows Rotondo stated the notices did not provide a “reasonable amount of time” for him to leave, citing the common-law requirement. In an earlier response, he also claimed no cause was given and that the effort to make him leave was retaliatory.

Rotondo, according to CNYCentral, also said in the filing he has “never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises,” claiming it’s part of his living agreement.

“I’m not a burden to them at home,” the 30-year-old said in court on May 22. “They don’t provide me laundry or food.”

He also said he does have a job, but would not provide details to media outside the court.

Asked how he interacts with his parents, he told Greenwood he did not talk to his parents, CBS News reports.

Prior to Tuesday’s court hearing, Rotondo asked for the court to dismiss the request.

During the hearing, the couple’s lawyer told Greenwood they were looking for a court order that sheriff’s deputies could enforce, Syracuse.com reports.

Greenwood still tried to find a different solution, however, before making his ruling, asking Rotondo to speak with his parents while he waited but he refused, saying he had made his arguments.

“I’m granting the eviction. I think the notice is sufficient,” Greenwood said in making his decision.

Throughout the hearing, Rotondo maintained what Greenwood was doing was wrong and when the ruling came down, he kept up this refusal.

“I’m seeking an appeal. I move to close,” he told the court.

No specific deadline was given in court for Rotondo to vacate his parents’ home.


And in Canada…

B.C. sues Alberta over turn-off-the-taps legislation
Statement of claim in Alberta court seeks declaration legislation is unconstitutional

By Megan Thomas/CBC News/May 22, 2018

The B.C. government has filed a statement of claim in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench over legislation that would allow Alberta to restrict oil and gas shipments to B.C.

The legislation was passed last week in response to B.C.'s continued opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. If it is used, it could cause already high gas prices at B.C. pumps to spike.

The statement of claim seeks a declaration that the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act is unconstitutional and can't be used.

"The government of Alberta introduced and supported the act because it asserts British Columbia is responsible for 'delays' to an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline," the statement reads.

"Alberta seeks to utilize powers under the act to punish British Columbia."

The B.C. government is being unfairly blamed for delays facing the Trans Mountain expansion, said B.C. Attorney General David Eby.

"We have granted permits at the same pace and with the same process as the previous [B.C.] government," he said Tuesday.

"There has been a mischaracterization of B.C.'s role here."

He noted the project is facing a number of legal challenges, including one by First Nations that challenges the environmental assessment process and was underway before the NDP formed government in B.C.

Law could cause 'irreparable harm,' B.C. says

The B.C. government argues in the statement of claim that a significant amount of gas and diesel consumed in the province comes from Alberta.

"A significant disruption in the supply of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia would cause British Columbia irreparable harm," the statement of claim says.

It also notes cutting off the supply could injure human health. Many remote communities in B.C. rely on diesel generators for electricity and could suffer if fuel supplies were suddenly cut off, Eby said.

The B.C. government has been accused of delaying the pipeline through a reference case in the B.C. Court of Appeal. That case seeks to determine if it has jurisdiction to limit expanded shipments of heavy oil through the province over environmental concerns.

Eby maintains the government is only taking the step to protect B.C.'s coast from spills and that the federal government could expedite that case by referring it to the Supreme Court of Canada - something the federal government has declined to do.

Alberta responds

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday she is not surprised B.C. has moved ahead with legal action, but called it premature because Alberta has yet to proclaim the bill and design the regulations for restricting oil and gas shipments.

She also disagreed with B.C.'s assertion that it has not delayed the pipeline expansion, citing the legal action in B.C.

"If we thought that was the very last thing that they would do, and they would commit to that, then we could probably move forward," she said.

"They are still reserving the right to play legal rope-a-dope until the cows come home."

The legal action by B.C. comes a day after Notley pulled out of meetings between the western premiers in Yellowknife.

Notley said her time is better spent at home ensuring a deal is reached with Kinder Morgan to shore up the pipeline expansion. The company has set a deadline of May 31 to decide if it will continue with the project.