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Vancouver lawmakers aim to strike out racist land titles as area’s hate crimes increase

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by Fighting Irish 1977

Vancouver councilmembers Marcus Wong and Sarah Kirby-Yung are confronting the racist segregation of Vancouver’s neighborhoods through land deeds, The Globe And Mail reports. 

The lawmakers aim to redact racist language in land titles, some of which remain attached to Vancouver properties. 

According to Global News, Wong grew up the only Chinese student in a mostly-white West Vancouver neighborhood known as the British Properties. When he purchased his own home, Wong found the language in his paperwork “shocking.” 

An excerpt from the land deed notes, “No person of the African or Asiatic race or African or Asiatic descent except servants of the occupier of the premises in residence shall reside or be allowed to remain on the premises,” Global News reports. 

These excerpts were legally binding, according to historian Henry Yu. Selling a house to a person of color made the owner liable, Yu said. However, these outdated provisions are no longer enforced.

Yet, according to Global News, Yu opposes Wong and Kirby-Yung’s motion. 

“It [would be] as if the history didn’t occur,” Yu said. 

The motion will be put to the test in a vote in the fall, Global News reports. 

The move comes after several cases of xenophobic attacks in Vancouver, including the assault of an Asian woman at a bus stop, the smashing of a car window with two Asian woman inside, and the vandalism of a Chinatown lion with racist graffiti. 

The assault of a 92-year-old Asian man with severe dementia also occured in March. 

According to The Province, the perpetrator of the crime, Jamie Bezanson, was recently charged with one count of assault. 

Bezanson yelled racist remarks at the victim in a convenience store and reportedly pushed the victim, causing him to fall and bump his head. 

Police have called the act a “hate crime,” The Province reports.

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Picture: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-wearing-blue-jeans-besides-gray-steel-fence-2416602/


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