Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31st - On this day in Marineland History...

March 31st 2011 the body of Paula Millard was found in her home, located at the Green Oaks Trailer Park.  She committed suicide on the day she was to be evicted.  Paula was not overtly religious however she did believe in Karma.  She left a final note written on the walls of her home directed at the landlord and property owner, the president of Marineland John Holer which read:

"A Blessing on John Holer - May you get exactly what you deserve - 10 fold."

Millard and 46 other families many of whom included seniors and people with disabilities were evicted from Greek Oaks by  Marineland owner John Holer who seven years earlier had purchased the park which is located adjacent to Marineland's property.   Holer continued to allow families to buy into the park and build their homes on the site while others made significant investments in their homes.  Marineland unexpectedly served eviction notices to residents in February 2009 saying they wanted to use the land to build maintenance facilities.  Unable to move the permanent structures built on the site, many residents lost their entire homes while continuing to have to pay their full mortgages.

Residents appealed to the city of Niagara Falls for assistance and despite the city having existing legislation in place that could have helped the residents, Niagara Falls City Council decided not to get involved.  Marineland did not offer fair compensation to residents and refused to negotiate with them.  John Holer began driving through the park several times a day harassing residents which resulted in several confrontations and police being summoned.

Residents took Holer & Marineland to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board where they presented key pieces of evidence showing why the eviction should have been dismissed immediately however adjudicators inexplicably sided with Marineland.  Even a year after the evictions as the site sat empty and unused, residents returned to the Tribunal with even more evidence Marineland acted in bad faith and were turned down by adjudicators.   The homes of residents sat abandoned and became the target of arsonists and vandals.  In the fall of 2012 Marineland was ordered by the Niagara Falls Fire Department to secure the park. The abandoned homes were not demolished until 2013.

Despite already owning hundreds of acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the site, Holer claimed he badly needed the 6 acre park so he could build maintenance facilities for Marineland.  Paula Millard felt she had nowhere to go and that her home was all she had.


To this day, Marineland has built nothing on the land where Paula's home once stood.

To learn more about the residents of Green Oaks, visit Go Homeless.

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