Accused in alleged Winnipeg apartment threat evicted
A Winnipeg man who faces arson and other charges is being evicted from a downtown apartment suite where potential explosives were found earlier this week.
Joel Calder, 49, has been charged with two counts of arson and one count each of possession of incendiary material and possession of explosives with the intent to cause damage to property.
The charges came after an apartment building on the 300 block of Assiniboine Avenue was evacuated for several hours on Tuesday, on reports of a strong smell of gas.
Emergency crews found combustible materials inside one of the suites. Calder was arrested a short time later, according to police.
Some tenants in the apartment building told CBC News they have felt threatened by Calder, who also lived there.
Angela Anderson, who smelled the gas and left her suite on Tuesday, said Calder was aggressive and she and several other neighbours have tried for months to get him evicted.
A hearing before the provincial Residential Tenancies Branch was scheduled before the alleged arson incident took place. The hearing was held on Wednesday.
The provincial government confirmed on Thursday that the landlord's application to have Calder evicted has been approved.
The apartment building's property management told CBC News the decision to evict Calder was based on safety and security.
Property managers frustrated
It can be difficult for landlords to evict tenants who may be dangerous, says Avrom Charach, a spokesperson for the Professional Property Managers Association.
"It can be very frustrating," he said.
"I've had situations where you understand the logic of the law, but you just don't understand why you can't get someone out. And sure enough, in the end, something happens where you feel like saying, 'I told you so' to the government."
Charach said proposed legislation that would make it easier for property managers to evict potentially dangerous tenants is currently awaiting a vote in the Manitoba legislature.
Bill 40, which was introduced in the legislature in May, proposes allowing landlords to end a tenancy in response to unlawful activity if it damages the building or poses a safety risk to other tenants.
Calder remains in custody. Tenants said they learned on Thursday that he will not seek bail, meaning he'll stay in custody while he awaits trial.
Anderson said even if Calder did seek bail and it was granted, she is glad to hear he cannot return to the apartment building.