*Names have been changed to protect the persons in the article
They’re too poor to move, too unsafe to stay — that’s what Northview residents told Yellowknifer following an incident involving bear spray, Feb. 15.
Aurora Pointe resident, Sarah, was enjoying a routine night.
She reclined on the couch and watched a show on Amazon Prime while her partner relaxed in the bedroom.
Around 10 p.m., Sarah bolted upright.
“Suddenly I felt something spicy in my throat and I started choking. I couldn’t breathe.”
She ran into the bedroom to alert her husband, yelling, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!
Her partner offered to call 9-1-1 and she swiftly declined.
“I didn’t want to make a big fuss. I don’t like hospitals, I don’t like doctors,” she said.
Then, she saw her reflection.
“I looked like I been hanged,” she said. “My face looked funny, my eyes bulged, tongue was poking out.”
Her partner drove her to the hospital. At one point during the panicked drive, she said she thought she was going to die.
After an examination, she was given the all clear and returned home to found the source of her aliment — bear spray.
A neighbour told Sarah police had visited the complex after someone used bear spray in the hallway.
Yellowknife RCMP confirmed bear spray was indeed to blame in press release, Feb. 17.
“Police attended and conducted multiple inquiries in the building to determine the identify of any suspects, who had fled prior to the arrival of the police. This matter remains under investigation,” wrote Const. Chris Hasties.
Sarah says she and her partner have been living at Aurora for over 20 years.
They requested Yellowknifer withhold their names as they can’t afford to move.
But they say they don’t feel staying is safe, either.
The bear-spray incident is just one issue in a long line of issue the couple says have impacted their health during their stay at the complex managed by Northview — they’ve previously complained of loud foot traffic and constant debris in the hall.
For a brief moment, years ago when Northview took over the management of the block, Sarah said conditions improved temporarily.
“There was a change to the building, good changes. Now, it’s really bad.”
Sarah said she emailed Northview about the incident and received an apology and that they will look into the issue.
As of press time, Sarah had yet to hear back from Northview. This is hardly surprising given its reputation which was unpacked in a four-part investigative series by the CBC last August.
The last three Google reviews for Northview are just one star each.
“Would not recommend if you can rent from this place” wrote Justice Unka. “Hands down the worst group I have ever rented from anywhere in the country” wrote Jacob Cook.
Like Sarah, reviewers complain of dirty hallways, dubious neighbours and paying out of pocket for upkeep.
Northview owns 32 residential properties in Yellowknife and is the biggest rental agency in the NWT. Despite this, they had only one apartment available to lease from Mar. 1 (on Gitzel Street), despite advertising over 20 units online.
Yellowknifer has attempted to contact Northview and awaits their response.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111 or Crimestoppers at www.p3tips.com. In the event of an emergency call, 9-1-1.