Homeowners who rent out basements in Peel Region often use Kijiji to find tenants and they routinely specify the kind of tenant they are looking for in no uncertain terms, but this week a specific line, “Black guys pls no call” caught the attention and now a lawyer is convinced that it violates Human Right Code.
This was an online ad for tenants to rent a one-bedroom basement unit at 7147 Village Walk, in Mississauga.
In an interview with Can-India, a staff lawyer at the Mississauga Legal Clinic Chantelle Perera reiterated that this was clearly a Human Rights violation. “Discrimination is not limited to people of certain ethnic backgrounds,” she added. She said she was surprised that someone would still post this sort of an ad in this day and age. No charges will be laid on the landlord in this case simply because no one has made an official complaint.
“We would take action only if someone comes to us,” confirmed Ms Perera.
But the Can-India reporter assured her that such ads on Kijiji and other platforms are really quite common and that it was in keeping with certain imported prejudices that has its roots in culture and tradition in the Indian sub-continent.
It is almost certain that the landlord who posted the ad was of South Asian descent.
She referenced the case of Roxanne Thomas, who was awarded $10,000 after a landlord, M.D. Nazmul Haque refused to show her the unit for rent after he found out she was of Caribbean descent.
The landlord was fined $10,000 and ordered to undergo sensitivity training by a human rights tribunal for refusing to rent an apartment to a pregnant woman after being told she was from the Caribbean.
The landlord was also ordered by an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on July 29 to make a public apology to the woman, watch a five-part video on renting housing to the public and take an online sensitivity training course.
Perusing rental ads South Asian landlords often see nothing wrong in specifying the kind of tenant they are looking for. There have been instances where a Hindu vegetarian landlord has categorically stated in his ad that he doesn’t want any non-vegetarian renter. Another Muslim landlord specifies that he or she is looking for only Muslims.
This Can-India reporter brought these examples to Ms Perera who confirmed that such ads go against the Human Rights Code.
Brown on brown discrimination and racism is just as bad as White on black racism. – CINEWS