Dispute over Bassenden house project
What started as a hard luck story turned into a good news story but has now turned into a case of conflict and dispute.
A local contractor who offered to build a new home, free of charge, for a St. Lazare family left homeless by a fire almost two years ago, has been booted off the project, accused of being a scam artist.
Since their home burned down in March 2011, Allen Bassenden, his wife, their daughter, and their grand-daughter have been living in a small trailer, out of money and embroiled in a legal battle over insurance.
Local contractor Francis Charron stepped up, spearheading the rebuilding project.
But that collapsed last month, with Bassenden alleging Charron made off with over a thousand dollars in donations and gift cards collected for the new house, suggesting Charron is a fraud artist.
"Everytime we question him what he's doing with the money, we never get any answers," Bassenden said.
Charron flatly said it's not true. While admitting he did file for deconsolidation last year, Charron said the project he started is on the up and up. Charron insisted the money is accounted for, with the receipts to prove it and that they and the gift cards will be turned over to a local tool rental centre acting as witness and mediator.
"It's simply a matter of miscommunication. I wish the Bassenden family absolutely nothing but the best. It's heartbreaking that they've asked me to step aside," Charron told CJAD 800 News.
Another contractor is supposed to be taking over the project.
Photo: Bassenden family