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CHATTER: Brodie barred from 104 Harbord (Oct. 2019)

October 17th, 2019 · No Comments

In July, the Gleaner reported that once again the illegal pot dispensary operating out of 104 Harbord Street just west of Spadina had been raided by police. Jeff Brodie who claimed to be a legal residential tenant of the premises was evicted because the building was being used as an illegal cannabis store. Police erected concrete barriers to the storefront making access for any purpose impossible.

Brodie recently lost his bid to be allowed to return while he challenges the constitutionality of the law that had allowed his eviction. An Ontario judge decided that allowing Jeffrey Brodie to go back home would allow the unlicensed pot retailer, CAFE, to start up inside sales again. Many illegal dispenaries had sought to employ residential tenants as a way of confounding police efforts to blockade the storefronts. In July the province amended the Cannabis legislation taking away the tenant rights of people living in illegal dispensaries. 

“I recognize that (Brodie) is in difficult circumstances,” Superior Court Justice Peter Cavanagh wrote. “However, (he) has failed to discharge his onus….of satisfying me that if an order is made that entry to the premises cease to be barred, the use to which the premises will be put will not involve resumption of CAFE’s illegal business.” Brodie through his lawyer argues the “draconian” law contravenes his charter rights in part because it allows eviction of law-abiding tenants, and the seizure of their belongings, without due process. 

After the most recent raid, authorities placed concrete blocks to barricade the entrance. CAFE then moved its operations outside, but Brodie lost access to his second-floor apartment and most of his possessions. Perhaps ironically the only legal use of the site was Brodie’s alleged occupancy which is now barred. The illegal use continues now in full view under a tent in front of 104 Harbord Street. 

Justice Cavanagh accepted Brodie’s claim that he had no knowledge of the retail pot operation happening in his apartment. 

—Brian Burchell, Gleaner News


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