Polish immigrants to Lambton County couldn’t go back home after the Second World War

John DeMars speaks with Krystyna Stalmach following her presentation at the Sombra Museum in April. Stalmach spoke about her project commemorating the sacrifices of Lambton-area Polish war veterans entitled Our History, Our Heroes: Polish War Veterans — From Fighting Wars to Farming Fields in Lambton.(HANDOUT/ SARNIA OBSERVER/ POSTMEDIA NETWORK)

John DeMars speaks with Krystyna Stalmach following her presentation at the Sombra Museum in April. Stalmach spoke about her project commemorating the sacrifices of Lambton-area Polish war veterans entitled Our History, Our Heroes: Polish War Veterans — From Fighting Wars to Farming Fields in Lambton. (HANDOUT/ SARNIA OBSERVER/ POSTMEDIA NETWORK)

 Shortly after the end of the Second World War, thousands of displaced Polish immigrants and veterans arrived in Canada, seeking to carve out a life out after their homeland had been witness to tragedy for six years.

While Nazism had been wiped out in Europe, the encroachment of Stalin’s Red Army behind the Iron Curtain meant thousands of Poles who had fought against Hitler’s legions weren’t able to return to their homes, their families or to their land. Soviet oppression had replaced German tyranny as the occupying force in their homeland.

Recognizing that reality and appreciative of the valiant contributions of Polish soldiers during the war, the Canadian government offered refuge to many Polish vets, prisoners-of-war and refugees who were left stateless after the conflict. With a shortage of manual labour in rural Canada, the government offered full citizenship for these immigrants, provided they spent two years working on a farm.

The government’s offer attracted thousands of applicants. From 1946 to 1952, approximately 39,000 Polish veterans, displaced people and refugees poured into Canada. Over half of the new arrivals settled in Ontario and some sought to make their future in Lambton County.

Krystyna Stalmach’s father, Jan Pradyszczuk, was one of those new arrivals in Lambton. Pradyszczuk was a veteran who had fought alongside Allied forces at the Battle of Monte Cassino, a bloody, costly struggle in southern Italy that was the prelude to the Allies’ capture of Rome.

When fighting ceased in Italy and the young veteran realized there was no returning to his occupied homeland, so he decided to take up the Canadian government on its offer.

Vlad-Nicolae Precup sentenced to four years in prison for fatal hit-and-run

Ottawa hit-and-run killer gets four years in prison, expresses no remorse

Published on: March 13, 2015
Last Updated: March 13, 2015 6:41 AM EDT

Vlad-Nicolae Precup has been sentenced to four years in prison for dangerous driving causing death and leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the hit and run death of Mitchell Anderson, 38, in 2008.Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Branded in court on Thursday as a killer who lied to cover his tracks, Vlad Precup is going to prison for four years after a judge sentenced him in the 2008 hit-and-run that killed defenceless pedestrian Mitchell Anderson, 38.

Precup not only knew he had struck a pedestrian at the intersection of Rideau Street and Colonel By Drive but he got rid of his sports car days later, then lied to police about it all.

In delivering his sentence on Thursday afternoon, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Lalonde said he was stunned by Precup’s testimony, notably when Precup gave a new, wildly unbelievable account on the stand, blaming the deadly crash on another motorist, who unlike Precup, stuck around and went to help Anderson as he lay dying in the street.

Anderson’s daughter read a victim-impact statement saying, “My whole life has been nothing but pain, sorrow, and despair, and a long life of trauma.” She noted that Precup killed not just a father, but a brother and grandfather.

GTA: Marek Albinowski, Wladyslaw Pipient and Robert Fitzsimmons charged with human smuggling

Charges laid after Polish nationals smuggled into U.S. through Ontario

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 2, 2014 5:08PM EST

CORNWALL, Ont. — Three Ontario residents have been charged with human smuggling after RCMP say Polish nationals were illicitly transported into the United States through a First Nation near Cornwall.

The Mounties say their probe began eight months ago, after U.S. authorities discovered three people from Poland there illegally.

It’s alleged the three accused would meet Polish nationals at Toronto’s Pearson airport or Trudeau International Airport in Montreal and then drive them to Akwesasne Mohawk Territory.

RCMP say they would then enter the U.S.

Sixty-five-year-old Marek Albinowski of Toronto, 69-year-old Wladyslaw Pipient of Markham, and 58-year-old Robert Fitzsimmons of Cornwall are charged with smuggling-related offences, while Albinowski also faces one count of possession of property obtained by crime

They were due in court on Tuesday.

Read more: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/charges-laid-after-polish-nationals-smuggled-into-u-s-through-ontario-1.2129660#ixzz3KnbiKT00

Richmond’s Newcomers Guide now available in Russian as well

Alexandra Megynskaya and her daughter are having fun settling into life in Richmond

It’s perhaps a year too late for Alexandra Megynskaya, who moved her life to Richmond from Magadan in eastern Russia a little more than 12 months ago.

But finally getting her hands on the Russian version of Richmond’s Newcomers Guide will come in very useful nonetheless.

Now available along with its English, Chinese, Filipino and Punjabi counterparts, the Russian guide was officially launched at city hall last week.

Having browsed through the new Russian guide, Megynskaya said the content is exactly what all new immigrants  need to know when they arrive to start a new life in Canada.

BROSSARD, QC.: Nikolas Stefanatos pleads guilty in acid attack case

Brossard man pleaded guilty in Longueuil court Thursday morning

CBC News Posted: Nov 13, 2014 12:19 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 7:49 PM ET

Nikolas Stefanatos, the Brossard man who sprayed acid on his ex-girlfriend, Tanya St-Arnauld, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

The plea at the Longueuil courthouse came today — three weeks before Stefanatos’ trial was set to start.

The attack, which happened in August 2012, caused second and third degree burns to St-Arnauld’s face, back, neck and arms.

Stefanatos sprayed St-Arnauld with a household cleaning product containing acid, apparently in a bout of jealous anger.

Stefanatos addressed the court to say he was sorry for what he did.  He apologized to St-Arnauld in front of the judge, adding that he would hug her if he were allowed to.

St-Arnauld reminded the judge of the devastating effect her ex-boyfriend’s actions have had on her life, including suffering from second and third degree burns, being in a medically induced coma and undergoing skin grafts. She said that she now has the skin of a 70-year-old.

Stefanatos is due back in court on Dec. 3 for his sentencing hearing.

Crown prosecutor Erin Kavanagh told CBC that he has already reached an agreement with the defence on a suggested sentence, calling it “significant.”

Stefanatos has been held since the night of his arrest two and a half years ago, and that time served prior to his conviction will count as time-and-a-half once he’s sentenced.

TORONTO: Landlord Andriy Budnyy evicts tenants saying his mother will move in and apparently pay rent

REAL ESTATE

When the landlord asks for your apartment back

DENISE BALKISSOON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

Ginette Lapalme had been living in her apartment at Dufferin and Dundas streets for almost five years when her landlord asked her to leave. He and his wife were expecting a baby, he said, and his mother-in-law would be moving into the space.

Lapalme and her boyfriend, Patrick Kyle, hadn’t done anything wrong, but the eviction was his right under the “landlord’s own use” provision of Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.

“It seemed reasonable,” 27-year-old Lapalme says of the eviction, which happened last January. Still, Lapalme and Kyle, both artists, were a little suspicious. They were paying just $1,150 a month for a huge, five-room apartment with loads of sunlight in a neighbourhood that had gone from dreary to trendy in the time they had been there.

Their landlord, Andriy Budnyy, owned a set of units over adjacent storefronts, some of which were empty. He had just let them move back into the apartment after shuffling them into a smaller unit while he renovated, but had never mentioned his mother-in-law during the process.

“We wrote him a letter asking to stay, because we didn’t really understand,” says Kyle. “But there was no budging.” Instead, Budnyy offered the couple one month’s rent to cover their moving expenses. They reluctantly accepted and left on March 1, 2014. Other long-term tenants were also moving out that day, but neither Kyle nor Lapalme asked them why.

“We were trying not to be paranoid,” says Lapalme, but the two kept an eye on the rental listings. In May, two months after moving, they saw what they had been expecting: an ad for their old apartment on the classifieds site Kijiji. The rent was listed at $2,000, almost twice what they had been paying. “It was infuriating,” says Kyle, 26. They took screenshots of the ad and photos, including a shot of the kitchen with a keyholder nailed to the wall that they had forgotten.

Budnyy, whose first language is Ukrainian, says that it’s his mother, not his mother-in-law, who is planning to move into the unit. “My mother is coming soon. This is life. Everything is a little bit delayed,” he says. He also says that he needed to raise the rent after spending $10,000 on renovating the apartment, and that a lawyer told him he could only do that for a new tenant. “He said: ‘This is your choice, this is your property,’” Budnyy says. “I spent money, I have to return it.

In fact, landlords can apply to the province for permission for a rent increase after renovations; individual landlords may not be aware of this.

In Ontario, “landlord’s own use” is the only no-fault eviction method, the sole way to kick out a tenant without having to collect proof of late payments or excessive noise.

Karen Andrews, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, says that the provision wasn’t used very much in the past, but that a growing number of long-term tenants have recently been told that their landlord plans to move in a spouse, child or caregiver. “Certain neighbourhoods are plagued with this – Little Italy, the Beach, Trinity Bellwoods,” she says.

In many cases the requests are legitimate, and are a trickle-down effect of the runaway housing market. Many homeowners are choosing to maximize the space they already have rather than face bidding wars and the cost of moving. This can mean putting an office or playroom in a former basement apartment.

In other cases, landlords may use this manoeuvre to make false claims and induce tenants to leave.

(…)

Right now, the only way for landlords of older buildings to charge as much as they’d like is to get an entirely new tenant – a prospect that doesn’t seem daunting when rental vacancy in the city is 1.7 per cent.

Claiming the apartment is needed for their own use and issuing tenants the relevant form, number N12, allows them to do this. In 2013, tenants contested N12 forms to Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board in 1,555 cases. “The statistics do not tell you about the N12s that are given to tenants who do not put up a fight,” Andrews points out.

Most of her clients who win such cases receive token monetary awards, she says. “Even if you win, you’ve lost housing forever.”

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