After 20 years of operation, the Quebec City Hall is pushing, the most highly rated on TripAdvisor and Travellers Choice, Castel d'Amérique Française, the B&B in Old Québec City, into bankruptcy so a mafia member can purchase the property at auction including the laywer who instead of defending the owners, wanted to buy the property.
Following the owner's refusal, the lawyer managed to block them access to justice !
My daughter, Natalie, and I, Jolanta, are the owners of Castel d'Amérique Française, a Bed & Breakfast that we have operated for 20 years, located in Old Quebec. Our 5-story house, which we saved from collapse when we purchased it in 2002, we renovated several times while respecting the architectural appearance of the time. Our B&B has become the most highly rated on websites and it represents architectural pride for the City of Quebec, but it is condemned to be closed! Why ??
The City of Quebec refuses to give us the certificate of conformity so that the Ministry of Tourism can redo the classification at our property. The City declares our house non-compliant with zoning which is established as strictly residential, although Street Sainte-Ursule is dotted with many other businesses.
Our B&B should stop operating even though our business has been established for 20 years, tourists love our place which has a magnificent view of the Château Frontenac, the Ursulines garden and the Charlevoix mountains.
The City is cornering us, as is our own lawyer who made a mistake in his mandate and who, instead of defending us, wanted to seize our property ! Following our refusal, our own lawyer even managed to block our access to justice.
We received the official B&B permit from the Ministry of Tourism, which was renewed several times, but with the change in the law, the City of Quebec refuses to allow the Ministry of Tourism to review the classification
at our property.
The City Hall is pushing our business into bankruptcy. Why ?? The City wants to close the business which contributes greatly to the local economy and supports those who need to be supported. The City wants to close the business which is operating and which has been the only source of income for Natalie, the owner of the B&B, for 20 years. We ask ourselves and we ask ourselves again - why? What is the real reason for this rigid rule, which dates from a century ago? Is this the real reason to preserve the residential aspect which only applies to the number on our street? Is it true ? We believe that this is not the fundamental reason.
The City's real concern is not the residential aspect on this street dotted with businesses. The City is pushing our business into bankruptcy to allow a member of the mafia to buy our property at auction. For a long time, we have been invaded by unknown and bizarre purchase offers. Even our own lawyer offered to buy our property instead of defending us! And, following our refusal, he managed to block our access to justice!
Our lawyer, who considered our case to be extremely interesting, managed to crush us. At the beginning, we were assured that a lawyer would perhaps help us. He took charge of our case. He prepared two motions, one for the Municipal Court to contest our fines and the other for the Superior Court concerning our acquired tourist exploitation rights. However, along the way, instead of defending us in Municipal Court, our lawyer offered to buy our house. We refused. So, he was able to persuade us not to contest our fines and to withdraw our own charges against the City in Municipal Court so that we could instead focus on our application at Superior Court. We reached an agreement, but following the withdrawal of our charges against the City, our lawyer who was supposed to meet with us the following week to strengthen our defense points at the Superior Court, put our case aside and he never followed up. He abandoned us and he doesn't even answer our emails.
The silence of our lawyer and his refusal to respond to our emails is causing us serious psychological harm. Does he collaborate with the City? Did he take our file just to corner us? He offered to buy our house, perhaps it is in his interest that we file for bankruptcy so that someone can take our property at a good price? Is it the City or an underground organization that threatens him because he continues to represent us? We wonder whether our request was withdrawn from the Superior Court, without our knowledge. We ask ourselves all these questions. We did not expect that our own lawyer could corner us like this and block our access to justice.
We have been victims of administrative harassment from the Permits division of Quebec City for a long time. Our B&B permit, received from the Ministry of Tourism, is continually invalidated by the City of Quebec. Our permit to rebuild the house, following the fire of the property in 2017, was manipulated and still remains blocked until today by the director of the Permits division, who insists on keeping our house non-compliant at all costs.
Following the fire of our house in 2017, the director of the Permit division did everything possible to delay the process of rebuilding our property. Our insurer, Desjardins, could not even submit the permit application to the City for the reconstruction of our house. because he had to wait for almost a year for special authorization from the City to do so! So, there was a sort of special authorization that our insurer had to receive before submitting a permit application. In the meantime, the director of Permit division reported us to our insurer Desjardins for illegal activity with the aim of having our insurer to stop insuring us. Since then, we can no longer obtain insurance from any insurer, as long as we do not obtain authorization from the City for the Ministry of Tourism to redo the classification with us.
Since 2015, each new Technical Notice that we have received includes new, absurd and insurmountable technical requirements to meet the invented requirements. Our architect was dismayed by the new demands which she described as “unheard of in her career as an architect”. She had to take professional leave to abandon our file which was taken over by another architect. At the beginning, he was sure to quickly finalize our supposedly non-compliant requests in this solarium/walkway construction and for which we had already received all necessary approvals from the Planning Commission as well as the Ministry of Culture and Communications , but he ran into a concrete wall. He said: “The director of Permit division is coming after you, he wants to demolish what he can legally demolish, according to the rules which justify his decisions.”
Our multiple challenges and attempts to appeal, either to the mayor, municipal councillors, lawyers of the City of Quebec, against the ethical treatment of our files by the Permits division, were ignored and rejected due to the conflict of interest . The City is too powerful for us to be able to oppose and contest our rights, especially when we are targeted in a personal way and with a conflict of interest, i.e. in the context of the purchase of our renovated property at a good price.
We need help. We ask the mayor of Quebec, we ask the municipal councillors, we ask the deputy of the City of Quebec and Canada to allow the Ministry of Tourism to redo the classification for us so that we can continue our professional activity that we have started 20 years ago.
We ask you to take into consideration the human aspect, the precariousness of the environment in which we live, to carry out an investigation into the manipulation and blocking of our various permits in the permit division at the City of Quebec, as well as to remove from our house this zoning rule, which dates from a century ago and which aims to destroy our lives.
Thank you for your attention.
JolantaTardif by Moidrey, the owner of the website: castelquebec.com email@example.com
Telephone: 418-262-0048 31, rue Sainte-Ursule, Quebec (QC) G1R 4E4