Moms, kids, stuck in middle of Moncton's water dispute with landlord
It's been three days since Melody Thibodeau and her family have had any running water.
“It's difficult. We can't flush our toilets, we have no drinking water,” Thibodeau said while holding her son. “I can't bathe him, I can't wash his diapers.”
Ashley Melanson and her two children also live in this four-plex.
On Monday the tenants received notice in the mail, letting them know their water would be shut off because the building operator wasn't paying the bill.
“Typically, we would advise the tenant to contact the office of the rentalsman,” said Isabelle Leblanc, spokeswoman for the City of Moncton.“That's why that office exists, to help and assist tenants in their dealings with their property owner.”
That's what Thibodeau did. She was directed by the rentalsman to write a letter to Service New Brunswick.
She's still waiting to hear back.
In the meantime, tenants are frustrated to say the least.
“I tried to put water into my toilet to flush it, it took up to five two-litres of water and now that left us with no drinking water,” said Melanson.
The current building operator says the trouble began with the death of the previous landlord.
In an e-mail, Shawn Cote says he took over as administrator in the interim, but says it’s been a perfect storm - with one bill piling up after another.
He says he feels bad for the tenants, but that the building is now in foreclosure, with the estate filing for bankruptcy.
The mothers say their biggest fear right now is eviction. Not knowing where they'd go if they were to get evicted. And while most people have friends and family to lean on, that's not the case for Melanson.
“I lost both of my parents,” she said. “My father just passed away this summer. I honestly don’t have help to just pick up and move away.”
As mothers, they say it’s an urgent matter.
“It's not for me, it's for the kids,” said Thibodeau.
The tenants say not only do they want their water to come back on, but to have the answers to all of their unanswered questions; especially, ‘What comes next?’
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.