B.C. Human Rights Tribunal refuses to dismiss complaint by senior fighting eviction

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The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has refused to dismiss a complaint filed by an 83-year-old woman who claimed that she was discriminated against by her landlords.

According to the decision penned by tribunal chair Bernd Walter, the complainant, Audrey Bray, and her late spouse rented a mobile-home pad on a property owned by Gordon Liske and G & M Liske Development Ltd. since 1989. By the time Bray’s spouse died in 2010, she was suffering from physical disabilities and was unable to care for herself.

According to Bray’s version of events, her landlords gave permission for her three daughters to look after her, and eventually, one of them, Brenda, became her full-time caregiver. However, in August 2011, the landlords objected to this arrangement and they started eviction proceedings against Bray. According to Bray, the landlords disliked Brenda.

The respondents offered a different version. According to them, they had been regularly advised by Bray that none of her daughters were living with her.

When Brenda became a permanent resident of the property, they asked her to fill a tenancy application and submit to a criminal record check. However, according to the landlords, Bray’s daughter refused. They also claimed that they received complaints about the behaviour of Brenda and her boyfriend.

The landlords also told the tribunal that another daughter of Bray informed them that Bray was being neglected and not being properly cared for, her savings had been depleted, and that Brenda was observed using drugs. They also claimed that their move to evict Bray was taken in order to rescue the latter from the alleged abuse of her own daughter.

It appears the tribunal is the only remaining avenue of appeal left for Bray. The Residential Tenancy Branch has ruled that the eviction was valid. This ruling was upheld on review by a panel under the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed Bray’s application for a judicial review.

The tribunal decision noted that Bray was ordered to vacate the property by September 30.

Walter declined the landlords’ application to dismiss Bray’s complaint even though the RTB and B.C. Supreme Court have made rulings in connection with her tenancy.

Walter explained that the RTB arbitrator did not have jurisdiction over the human-rights issues raised by Bray. The chair emphasized that residential-tenancy hearings deal only with landlord and tenant issues. With respect to the B.C. Supreme Court, Walter noted that it dealt only with a procedural issue, which was the timeliness of Bray’s challenge. According to Walter, only an evidentiary hearing before the tribunal will resolve Bray’s complaint.

Comments (2) Add New Comment
Karencheyne
It is obvious that Audrey Bray would be far better off living in a longterm care facility where she could receive extensive help without the complications of dealing with unsatisfactory family issues. Hopefully, she is still in a financial position to make this possible and that a government agency will help make this happen for her. Is there not a Senior's advocate in BC available to walk Audrey through this turmoil?
I wish her the best of luck in resolving this issue.
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Lori Schofield
There is so much more to this case than meets the eye. It is obvious that Audrey Bray is at her best living with the Daughter that dotingly and lovingly cares for her. The daughter whom Audrey chose to care for her. The harm to Audrey came from the disgruntled family member that was upset because her mother chose a different daughter to care for her. Hence forth the chain of events that followed. Audrey's case was lost because her facts and evidence was not handed in on time for her dispute. Therefore it was won by the landlord on his events of untruths. There was only hearsay presented in this case and it was won on that merit. This time Audrey will be prepared to deal with the Human Rights Complaint. When one is caring for a elderly parent and the stress of dealing with a eviction, it can become over whelming and one can easily slip through the cracks of the system.
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