Thursday, November 29, 2018

Adding Social Condition as Prohibit Ground in the Code - Another Step Towards Socialism

Landlords, do you know that there is currently a private member’s bill (Bill 35) in the Ontario legislature that proposes to amend the Human Rights Code to have "social condition" plus three additional grounds become prohibited grounds of discrimination?  If the bill becomes law, poverty and economic status could be used to seek accommodation from those who provide housing, goods, services, employment etc.  Existing prohibited grounds include things like gender, receipt of public assistance, disability, age, creed, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, family status etc.

This change would legitimize claims of discrimination in cases where a landlord looks at a prospective tenant’s previously acceptable financial information, things like credit score and income, and denies housing on that basis. Adding these grounds to the current list of protected grounds would be another nail in the coffin for businesses, entrepreneurs, risk-takers, investors and most certainly, small landlords.
I wonder if this amendment would apply to banks?  Would they be required to provide loans to people without any reasonable prospect of re-payment?  I think not...but small landlords are such easy targets.

Hopefully, a supposedly conservative government will not allow this to happen? This is bigger than issues with the Residential Tenancies Act which itself requires much-needed change (read here). This is an existential threat to the ability of investors to safely use property for residential rentals as part of their portfolio.

I’m suggesting that all conservatives, people who still believe in the value of free markets and the benefits of capitalism, call their MPP’s and ask that this private member’s bill not be supported.  It must be stopped cold.

Instead of introducing their own government Bill 40 (introduced by Christina Maria Mitas, PC Scarborough Centre) which if passed would add one additional prohibited ground, the PC’s should look at the Human Rights Commission.  It is an agency with an extreme left-wing ideological bent.  The Conservatives should find a new Chair and fix the Commission's 2009 policy guideline on Rental Housing which is a ticking time-bomb threatening every small landlord.  The policy guideline basically says that landlords should chose blindly without regard to risk.  It states that you can't equate no credit history with a bad credit history, no rental history with bad rental history, you can't look at income on its own as a factor, and you can't look at employment stability.  Doing any of those things might be construed by a court or tribunal as being discriminatory.

Has the world gone mad, or is it just me?

No comments: