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

Island businessman opens up about his journey with prostate cancer

Port Alberni’s Kevin Wright shares online journal entries to help others understand

Striking Western Forest Products workers willing to ‘modify position’ if talks progress

Brian Butler, USW 1-1937 president, says union and WFP to meet Thursday, Dec. 12

BUDGET 2020: City of Port Alberni departments ask for more staff

Industrial Heritage Society, SPCA to go over their budgets in Dec. 10 meeting at 6 p.m.

Supportive housing for women, children to be constructed in Port Alberni

Housing will be operated by Alberni Community and Women’s Services Society

Sail Past lights up Alberni Inlet

Annual Sail Past took place at Harbour Quay

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Dogs and cat rescued in house fire in Nanaimo

Section of Old Victoria Road was closed to traffic Tuesday afternoon

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Most Read