A Victoria resident looking into buying a property in Esquimalt was shocked to find a racist clause on the land title forbidding East Indian or Asiatic people from occupying the property. (Anna King Twitter)

B.C. woman raises concerns over land title forbidding East Indian, Asiatic people

Racist clauses voided by B.C. government in 1978 but can still appear on titles

A Victoria resident looking into buying a property in Esquimalt was shocked to find a racist clause on the land title.

Anna King, who vied for a seat on Victoria city council in the 2018 municipal election, posted a photo to Twitter Tuesday showing a land title clause that forbade East Indian or Asiatic people from occupying the property.

“I was shocked. It made me feel very unwelcome and reminded me of the trials and discrimination my people faced and continue to face,” King said.

She is now calling on the City of Victoria, the District of Oak Bay and the Township of Esquimalt to strike the racist clauses in property covenants.

“I hope municipalities will remove or strike the causes or show a statement of intent saying anyone that wants to live there is welcome,” said King.

RELATED: B.C. announces anti-racism funding for prevention, education

“Racism of any kind is not tolerated in Victoria. Everyone is welcome,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who was not previously aware of the land titles issue. “Indeed a key action in our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan is to make Victoria a welcoming city, which means an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.”

The B.C. government amended the Land Title Act in 1978 to declare racist or discriminatory restrictive covenants void, but many of the clauses still appear on titles. Though they are “of no effect” King said she had to seek that information out after finding the racist restriction.

“It didn’t say on the title that it wasn’t in effect anymore or that it was void,” King said.

RELATED: Victoria millennial hops into city council race

The property title King found reads: “Building restrictions: That not grant, assignment or occupancy of the land herein devised shall be granted or be permitted to persons of East Indian or of Asiatic birth or origin EXCEPT of the white race.”

The B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority will, free of charge, amend the register and record to show that any discriminatory covenant is cancelled, but it is up to the title holder to initiate the change, leaving many properties in Victory, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and beyond with the racist clauses still on title.

“It makes me wonder about unconscious bias. We think that everything is fine, but I wonder how many people have these clauses on their title and just left them in place,” said King.

Realtor Cassie Kangas with Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island said the racist clauses are becoming less prolific as people become more proactive in getting them removed.

“I had clients purchase a lot in Oak Bay a few years ago. During our due diligence we found a similar clause on title and my clients were horrified,” said Kangas. “After purchasing the property we figured out the next steps and got it removed.”

The clauses are more likely to be found in areas where homeowners have owned their houses for decades, said Kangas, where the titles haven’t been scrutinized by today’s standards.

Any owners wanting racially discriminatory clauses cancelled from their land titles can submit requests to the registrar online through the LTSA Customer Service Centre at ltsa.ca/tips-ltsa-customer-service-centre.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mary Lowther column: Your plants need to feed, too, as they produce your food

Growing plants require extra nutrients beyond what they begin with when sown or planted.

VIDEO: Province agrees to fund investigation of new bypass road for Lake Cowichan

Province won’t build the road but is ready to start the ball rolling by paying for the first step

Business notes: New owners celebrate at Arbutus Ridge Golf Course

The award-winning Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill has a new… Continue reading

Cowichan Green Community eyes funding for value added food processing

The folks at Cowichan Green Community are licking their chops after the… Continue reading

Cowichan lacrosse grads square off in Jr. B playoffs

Delta takes series after win in Duncan

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Most Read