Midfield Mobile Home Park motion fails at Calgary city council

Calgary city councillors weren’t in the mood to further discuss the closure of Midfield Mobile Home Park at Monday’s meeting.

Motion by Coun. Jeromy Farkas sought increased compensation and continued support for residents evicted

Coun. Jeromy Farkas couldn't get another member of council to second his motion around Midfield Mobile Home Park, meaning it wasn't debated. (CBC)

Calgary city councillors weren't in the mood to further discuss the closure of Midfield Mobile Home Park at Monday's meeting.

A motion was put forward by Coun. Jeromy Farkas seeking more compensation for evicted residents, continued support, an immediate release of the city's future development plans for the area and a report on lessons learned, but no-one on council moved to second it, meaning it wasn't debated or voted on. 

"I'm feeling disappointed, I felt like as a council we could do more for the Midfield residents, but that said, there's a lot of services that are on the table and I'm going to be working hard to make sure no family goes homeless," Farkas said after the meeting.

"I don't take it as a personal slight."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Farkas brought his motion forward without first building consensus.

"In my job as traffic cop for council, I think I would have suggested bringing this forward without all of the media storm and frenzy around it, so that the issue could be discussed without all of that extra noise," he said.

There are five tenants left at Midfield.

Nenshi says the city's commitment is to now work with each person still at Midfield to ensure they have a safe and decent place to go.

He adds while the site will eventually be redeveloped, the city has no plans at this time.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city is working with residents remaining at Midfield Mobile Home Park to ensure they have a decent place to go after being evicted. (CBC)

"I think there's been some early design work just to get it started but there is no developer who has an interest," he said. "And I've said many, many, many times, that land will be redeveloped eventually but that is not the reason Midfield is closing."

Asked whether he accepted that, Farkas was non-committal.

"Unfortunately, as a member of council, my hand is so tied on legal matters like these," he said.

"I'm incredibly frustrated. I want to be able to share with the public more about how this decision was made, as well as more of the background. That said, I think the city has a lot further to go to be the model for transparency that some claim us to be."

Built in the 1960s and turned over to the city in the 1970s, Midfield Mobile Home Park sits on 16th Avenue N.E., just west of Deerfoot Trail.

Three years ago, residents were told they would have to be out by Sept. 30, 2017. But just days before eviction day, a lawyer managed to get a court order delaying the eviction until arguments could be made at a hearing in November. A judge ruled earlier this month those remaining will have to leave by Feb. 19, 2018.

The city offered a lump sum of $10,000 per home and up to $10,000 each for moving expenses for residents and that deal is still being made available to those who have so far refused to leave.