APTN National News
When Patricia Sewap began looking for a place to live in Saskatoon she used the online advertising website Kijiji to help her find what was for rent.
She found one advertisement and called the landlord who asked a startling question.
“He asked me if I was Native. I said yes. It went quiet for a while then all of a sudden he hung up the phone on me,” said Sewap.
She texted him saying he was a racist.
The landlord wrote back.
“Rent from a Native then don’t pay your rent or always be late,” he said. “Also, wreck his apartment and see how he likes it.”
He also told Sewap to “get a job and stop being a welfare bum.”
According to the text messages, he didn’t stop there.
“If I live the way you do I would probably think about running a straight razor across my neck,” the man said.
Sewap said she felt belittled and broke down.
She’s been receiving social assistance after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and arthritis.
She said covering the rent wouldn’t have been a problem.
David Arnot, of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, said they don’t get many complaints over race issues from tenants.
“Over the course of the last three years we’ve had six or roughly two a year, so it really isn’t that many,” said Arnot.
APTN’s Larissa Burnouf has more.