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

Historian happily surprised about Morden Mine funding

What took so long for support for restoration work, asks columnist

Lantzville looking to ban beach fires as youths aren’t respecting beaches

Lantzville the only municipality south of Comox Valley that allows beach fires, district staff say

NDSS 50th reunion planned this spring

Organizing committee looking to reach Nanaimo grads from the Class of 1969

Upgrades planned for Gabriola ferry terminal

Plans call for new loading ramp, creation of a vehicle holding area and new terminal building

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

City of Nanaimo ‘100 per cent’ on board with privacy commissioner recommendations

Council satisfied with how private and confidential information will be handled moving forward

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Most Read