With Occupy Wall Street protesters looking like they will stand to live another day, focus has begun to shift on the company that recently tried to evict them: Brookfield Properties.
Brookfiled is actually a subsidiary (technically it is 50% owned) by Brookefield Asset Managment, a company that is headquartered in Brookfield Place in downtown Toronto. The Media Co-op Investor Series has previously featured Brookfield.
Brookfield owns Zucotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street protesters had set up shop and have been camping for the past few months. However this week, Brookfield threatened to evict the protesters.
According to the CBC New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the eviction was postponed after Brookfield received threatening calls from New York elected public officials, although no one has confirmed who they might be.
The New York City branch of the National Lawyers Guild also wrote a letter to Brookfield saying the eviction would violate the "constitutional rights" of the protesters. "There is no basis in the law for your request for police intervention, nor have you cited any," they wrote. "Such police action without a prior court order would be unconstitutional and unlawful."
The irony is that Brookfield could have the same problem in Canada. In addition to owning Zucotti Park, site of New York Protests, Brookfield also owns the massive 242,000 square metres Brookfield Place, right in the heart of Bay street Toronto. Though it has not been stated where the Occupy Toronto protests will take place, they could, hypothetically, target Brookfield property given its size.
Brookfield Asset Management' board is loaded with political bigwigs including:
-Frank McKenna, former Premier of New Brunswick, Canadian Ambassador to the US and touted Federal Liberal leadership
-Jim Pattison, the 4th richest Canadian and onwner of the Jim Pattison Group, the third largest private company in Canada
-Jack Mintz, an economist who has been frequently quoted in the press over the past few years as the go-to guy for Canadian economic and tax policy. He is in favour of the HST and the constant lowering of corporate taxes
In a twist showing the embedded connections between rich companies like Brookfield and politicians, the subsidiary, Brookfield Properties, has it's own politically connected board member:
Diana Taylor, partner of Michael Bloomberg - Mayor of New York.