" ... Between May 1, 2002 and August 13, 2007, when the respondent Attorney General of Ontario (“AGO”) obtained a preservation order, there were 311 documented police occurrences. During the same period, 21 search warrants were executed at the Property, primarily at three apartments, resulting in 49 arrests, with 119 charges being laid. Most of the arrests related to drug charges.
" In contrast, two neighbouring properties that were similar multi-unit residential buildings had five and 12 police occurrences during the May 1, 2002 to August 13, 2007 period.
" Despite being aware of the criminal activity taking place at the Property, Marlowe took no meaningful steps to evict the problematic tenants. For example, he did not seek police assistance to evict any of the tenants. Accordingly, it cannot be said that Marlowe [a joint owner] did all that could reasonably be done, in the language of s. 7 of the CRA, “to prevent the property from being used to engage in unlawful activity”."
" ... The application judge explicitly addressed this court’s interpretation of the interests of justice exception to forfeiture under the CRA ... As relevant here, those factors were the connection between the property and the illegal activity, the reasonableness of the conduct of the party whose property is the subject of the forfeiture application, and the value of that party’s interest in the property compared to the overall value of the property that is tainted by the unlawful activity.
" The reality here is that the Van Dusens are the exclusive owners of a relatively small apartment building where several units were used for a substantial amount of criminal activity over many years."
It can be expensive to challenge these forfeiture orders. As well as losing the apartment building, and paying their own legal fees, the owners were ordered to pay $10,000 in costs to the Crown. (Para. 24.)
On that basis, the owner of the apartment building could not qualify for the "responsible owner" forfeiture exception in s. 8(3) of the Civil Remedies Act, 2001.
See Ontario (Attorney General) v. 51 Taylor Avenue, (2014 ONCA MacPherson)