B.C. Human Rights Tribunal dismisses discrimination complaint against strata council

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The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a discrimination complaint from a woman whose strata council opposed her son taking care of her.

Jacqueline Perry alleged that the council had breached the Human Rights Code by not permitting her 43-year-old son to live with her to provide full-time medical care.

Tribunal member Enid Marion ruled on January 13 that the strata council’s actions did not contravene the code.

Marion noted in her decision that she couldn’t find a link between Perry’s family status or physical disability and any alleged adverse treatment at the hands of her strata council.

Perry was fined by her strata council, which has a bylaw prohibiting individuals under the age of 45 from living in the building or occupying a lot for more than 30 days in a year.

Marion also noted that the council “refused to exempt [Perry] from the application of the bylaw because of the age of her son”; Perry had not alleged a breach of the Human Rights Code based on age.

The strata council’s age bylaw is permitted under the Strata Property Act, which allows councils the power to restrict the age of residents in a strata lot.

Perry, who is disabled, told the tribunal that after an illness, her son stayed with her at her home for three weeks to assist in her recovery. During this time, Perry stated that her son was not living with her and maintained a residence outside of her home.

After receiving notice of the fine and a letter from her doctor recommending home care, Perry applied to her strata council for an exception to the age bylaw to permit her son, a home-care provider, to live with her. Her request was again refused.

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