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B.C. condo language dispute sparks human rights complaint (merged with

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Multiculturalism, this is not.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-area-condo-owners-file-rights-complaint-over-language-dispute/article27917646/

A group of condo owners in the Vancouver area have filed a human-rights complaint against their all-Chinese strata council after its members refused to conduct meetings in English.

Andreas Kargut, who lives in a 54-unit townhouse complex in Richmond, a city where roughly half of residents identify as Chinese, filed the complaint on behalf of himself and three other owners at Wellington Court. A new strata council – made up entirely of Mandarin speakers – was elected in July. Mr. Kargut said he and a neighbour asked to observe a strata council meeting earlier this month amid concerns the council had been excluding English-speaking residents from the decision-making process.

In an e-mail response to the owners, council president Ed Mao welcomed them to the meeting but noted the council had “no intention of using English,” and that, for efficiency, “the council team for this fiscal [year] is using Mandarin as the preferred language for communication.”

“I felt unwelcome and my dignity was damaged,” Mr. Kargut says in his complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. “We are denied our owner’s right to understand all proceedings and discussions at this meeting.”

The provincial government, which regulates strata, says it’s the first time it’s come across such a complaint, though British Columbia’s condo owners association says it’s aware of several other similar disputes. While the B.C. Strata Property Act doesn’t include any specific clauses related to the language of council meetings, it does say all records must be accessible to owners, and councils must accommodate requests by owners.

The HRC must be squirming now that they have a white privileged male making a complaint. But he was one of the first owners and he's being pushed out. How can you not have condo meetings in English? I understand most Condo boards across the country only speak in English but that's the majority language of the country.

These Ethnic Silos aren't a good thing for this country.

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A good part of the HRC's squirming is probably due to a bunch of right-wing conservatives cackling in glee at the prospect of aggravating the issue.

That'll help the country for sure.

Edited by eyeball

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Chinese are a 90%+ majority in many neighborhoods of Vancouver and its suburbs, especially Richmond. This is inevitable given the immigration rates that Canada accepts. People will speak the language they are comfortable with... you can't really blame this strata council for doing that.

Edited by Bonam

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Chinese are a 90%+ majority in many neighborhoods of Vancouver and its suburbs, especially Richmond. This is inevitable given the immigration rates that Canada accepts. People will speak the language they are comfortable with... you can't really blame this strata council for doing that.

According to the article there was a deliberate effort to eject all non-Mandarin speakers from the strata council so, if true, I would say you can call the strata council prejudiced and unreasonable. Obviously there are going to be some people in that complex that can't understand the language of the meetings but the obligations should be to provide adequate translation services for non-English owners. The council business should be conducted in English unless 100% of owners approve a non-English language. Edited by TimG

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According to the article there was a deliberate effort to eject all non-Mandarin speakers from the strata council so, if true, I would say you can call the strata council prejudiced and unreasonable. Obviously there are going to be some people in that complex that can't understand the language of the meetings but the obligations should be to provide adequate translation services for non-English owners. The council business should be conducted in English unless 100% of owners approve a non-English language.

Translation services are in all probability, what will happen.

As Bonam suggests this sort of friction is inevitable so exactly what is the point of Boges using gasoline i.e."These Ethnic Silos aren't a good thing for this country" as a lubricant other than to blow it all up into another battlefront for the anti HRC/multiculturalism crowd? How is that a good thing?

Edited by eyeball

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Since, Mandarin isn't an official language I agree with Tim that translation services should be provided at the meetings. However, if meetings were conducted in either English or French, I don't think translation services would be necessary to meet the language needs of all members.

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Translation services are in all probability, what will happen.

As Bonam suggests this sort of friction is inevitable so exactly what is the point of Boges using gasoline i.e."These Ethnic Silos aren't a good thing for this country" as a lubricant other than to blow it all up into another battlefront for the anti HRC/multiculturalism crowd? How is that a good thing?

This is not an example of Multiculturalism though. Seems the goal of the condo board is removal of a multicultural living space.

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This is not an example of Multiculturalism though. Seems the goal of the condo board is removal of a multicultural living space.

It's only an example of friction Boges. Seems your goal is to turn it into a conflagration.

It's like the spanking thing, it's just a corner that past and present circumstances have painted us into. So we make a few footprints on the way back out and paint over them. No big deal.

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It's only an example of friction Boges. Seems your goal is to turn it into a conflagration.

It's like the spanking thing, it's just a corner that past and present circumstances have painted us into. So we make a few footprints on the way back out and paint over them. No big deal.

I'm just debating something. Not pouring "gasoline" on an issue.

I'm very familiar with living in a multicultural environment.

This is not that. I think this owner most certainly has a beef. Is his sin not realizing he's living in a largely Chinese part of Canada and not accepting that it means he'll be pushed out?

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I think the condo owner has a very legitimate beef too - and what on Earth are you talking about when you say sin?

I don't think your beef with multiculturalism has any legitimacy. Your familiarity with it doesn't imply anything whereas the phrase Ethnic Silos implies something that's diametrically opposed.

I didn't notice anything in the article about the issue of multi-culturalism but you can't seem to avoid inserting it anyway. Why?

Edited by eyeball

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I didn't notice anything in the article about the issue of multi-culturalism but you can't seem to avoid inserting it anyway. Why?

Multiculturalism would be when people of different ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds live in the same places and coexist.

This would be the exact opposite of that.

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I don't see anyone being thrown out of their places do you? I mean, I suppose if boards of directors were doing that on the basis of race you'd have a point but...

Edited by eyeball

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I don't see anyone being thrown out of their places do you? I mean, I suppose if boards of directors were doing that on the basis of race you'd have a point but...

So not having meetings in English isn't a problem to you? We have a country were we're forced to have things offered in English and French yet this board chooses not to do business in either language?

Even their "attempts" at helping owners understand the meetings didn't work.

The annual general meeting at which the new council was elected was conducted in both English and Mandarin. At the time, English-speaking owners asked for an interpreter so they could understand the Mandarin speakers; when council hired one, they complained that the interpreter wasn’t fully qualified.

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Chinese are a 90%+ majority in many neighborhoods of Vancouver and its suburbs, especially Richmond. This is inevitable given the immigration rates that Canada accepts. People will speak the language they are comfortable with... you can't really blame this strata council for doing that.

Richmond is not 90% Chinese. It is approximately 65% and I'm pretty sure the elected officials are mostly white.

While I agree that the strata meetings should be translated to English I haven't seen the stats of the nationalities living in that complex.

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While I agree that the strata meetings should be translated to English I haven't seen the stats of the nationalities living in that complex.

According to The Province 30% don't speak Mandarin. Also it appears this behavior will run afoul of the Strata Act which has provisions which prevent councils from acting in ways that are grossly unfair to a minority of owners. Edited by TimG

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According to The Province 30% don't speak Mandarin. Also it appears this behavior will run afoul of the Strata Act which has provisions which prevent councils from acting in ways that are grossly unfair to a minority of owners.

I agree it's unfair and I hope they do something about it. On another note the city has advertised for someone to encourage businesses to put up English signs, not just Chinese signs. This is also a big problem for Richmond. I have driven many times through parts of Richmond and it is difficult to find English speaking signs. this is a bigger issue facing Richmond.

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This is also a big problem for Richmond. I have driven many times through parts of Richmond and it is difficult to find English speaking signs. this is a bigger issue facing Richmond.

This is a lesser issue for me because I can choose to take my business to places that have English signs and sell the same goods and services. This is different from the strata issue because once one has bought a property one no longer has a real choice when it comes to the strata council because the costs of moving are so large. Edited by TimG

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This is a lesser issue for me because I can choose to take my business to places that have English signs and sell the same goods and services. This is different from the strata issue because once one has bought a property one no longer has a real choice when it comes to the strata council because the costs of moving are so large.

I think it's a bigger impact on tourists and English speaking residents. Although if you are looking for an authentic Chinese restaurant you don't need an English sign.

If I were a condo owner in Richmond I would have a problem with this issue. Although attending a strata meeting would be like watching paint dry.

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I think it's a bigger impact on tourists and English speaking residents. Although if you are looking for an authentic Chinese restaurant you don't need an English sign.

I am an English speaking resident of Richmond. And, yes you do need English signs and English menus if you want an 'authentic Chinese' restaurant but there are lots of such restaurants that do offer these. Tourists may or may not benefit from English signs it really depends on where they are from. Edited by TimG

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I am an English speaking resident of Richmond. And, yes you do need English signs and English menus if you want an 'authentic Chinese' restaurant but there are lots of such restaurants that do offer these.

Well there you go. Maybe not such a big issue after all.

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So not having meetings in English isn't a problem to you?

No, just the lack of translation is all.

We have a country were we're forced to have things offered in English and French yet this board chooses not to do business in either language?

Even their "attempts" at helping owners understand the meetings didn't work.

And now that attention has been given to the problem it'll very likely be resolved and probably without making it a constitutional affair.

It's no big deal.

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Well there you go. Maybe not such a big issue after all.

Good thing this wasn't about a director refusing to remove their niqab at a meeting.

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Good thing this wasn't about a director refusing to remove their niqab at a meeting.

Naw. This is an Asian thing. Enough bigotry to go around here. No need for Muslims.

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