Mayor pledges assistance to Bel-Habitat Homes bankruptcy victims

‘This is a drama without precedent,’ Demers said during the July 6 city council

Speaking during the July 6 Laval city council meeting, Mayor Marc Demers pledged on behalf of the city to provide assistance to the dozens of families and individuals who entrusted large sums of money to Bel-Habitat Homes, a company whose owner has declared bankruptcy while vanishing with an estimated $17 million in deposits.

‘Unprecedented,’ said Demers

“This is a drama without precedent,” said Demers, after listening to questions and comments sent in by e-mail by an extensive list of families and individuals from Laval who have been directly impacted by the unfolding financial scandal.

“I am speaking on behalf of all the members of city council to say that we are moved by these events. Yes, we will be taking action to come to the assistance of the people caught up in this litigious issue, this scam, if I may allow myself to use that word.”

LPD is investigating

According to Demers, the Laval Police Department has opened a file and is currently investigating allegations that the law was broken and charges may be pending.

“I can promise you that no effort will be spared in this dossier and we will be asking the police to show diligence. I have already asked them to regularly furnish follow-up reports on the progress of the investigation, up to what is allowed in terms of information they can release.”

Get in touch with GCR

In addition, Demers said the Laval Police have entered into an agreement with Guarantie de construction résidentielle (GCR), a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to protect the interests of buyers or beneficiaries of guarantee plans for new residential buildings.

‘I can promise you that no effort will be spared in this dossier and we will be asking the police to show diligence’

The mayor said all individuals and families impacted by the bankruptcy of Bel-Habitat should get in touch with GCR in order to open a file, as well as to facilitate the investigation being conducted by the Laval Police. “GCR also offers psychological help, for people who might need it, on their site,” added Demers.

City exploring other means

Given the magnitude and extraordinary circumstances of the situation, Demers said he had asked administration officials at city hall to look into what resources are available and within the means of municipalities in order to provide assistance to those impacted by the Bel-Habitat bankruptcy.

“And we would also like to receive clarification from our legal team,” he continued. “They are lawyers who have a specialty in legal law, who may be able to help and provide some useful information.”

He said he felt certain that city council is unanimous in the view that the city should be involved to provide the Bel-Habitat victims with help.