Bisexual, HIV-positive Indigenous man evicted from Vancouver hotel alleges discrimination

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      By the man’s account, bad things were said to him.

      “Fucking half-breed.”

      “Fucking faggot.”

      “You guys should have been killed a long time ago in the smallpox epidemic.”

      “We don’t want Aboriginals here you fucking piece of shit.”

      And also, that his HIV medication is “not gonna fuckin work for very long”.

      All of these were related by Paul Singh, a member of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, in a ruling related to a complaint brought forward by an Indigenous man against a Vancouver Downtown Eastside hotel.

      The man was a resident of the hotel, and he was evicted.

      The man has claimed that he was harassed by hotel staff, and eventually kicked out because of his race, sexual orientation, and disability.

      The man identified himself as of Indigenous heritage, bisexual, and HIV positive.

      The hotel and two employees cited in the complaint countered that the man was lawfully evicted, and allegedly fabricated allegations of harassment.

      Although neither of the parties asked for anonymization, tribunal member Singh chose not to name the parties for purposes of his reasons for decision.

      In his reasons for decision, Singh denied the application made by the hotel and its employees to dismiss the complaint without a hearing.

      According to Singh, the matter “requires a hearing for the Tribunal to make factual findings about what actually occurred”.

      In his version of events, the man, identified only as D.D., claimed that he witnessed hotel employees D.P. and D.Z. “verbally abusing tenants at the Hotel on a regular basis”.

      D.D. reported the matter to the hotel manager R.N.

      D.D. also told the manager that D.P. and D.Z. were selling drugs and unlawfully entering tenants’ rooms.

      After making the report, D.D. claimed that the two employees began to harass him daily.

      “As an example, D.D. says that on September 23, 2017, D.P. told him that ‘we don’t want Aboriginals here you fucking piece of shit, we want to get rid of you all [and] out of this hotel’,” Singh recalled.

      In another incident, D.Z. announced to everyone at the hotel that D.D. was HIV positive.

      The hotel has a different version.

      According to the hotel, it wanted to get the man out because he “allowed an unauthorized guest to interfere with the other tenants’ right to quiet use and enjoyment of their units”.

      Following a hearing at the Residential Tenancy Branch, the hotel’s application for eviction was granted by the provincial agency.

      The man started living at the hotel in 2003.

      On April 12, 2008, the man moved out and transferred to another hotel.

      “The Respondents say that D.D. has fabricated his allegation of harassment against them as retaliation for his otherwise lawful eviction,” Singh related.