Saskatoon landlord tells First Nations woman to kill herself when applying for apartment

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.



11 thoughts on “Saskatoon landlord tells First Nations woman to kill herself when applying for apartment

  1. Shame on the landlord.

    Did anyone check to see if he actually has rental property? Just saying…

  2. She should make a FORMAL COMPLAINT and slam the landlord with a fine….discrimination happens BECAUSE NOBODY speaks out against it…USE THE LAW AND SPEAK!!!! ))))

  3. That’s most likely due to the fact they dissuade a great deal of inquiries to begin with.

  4. That is just crazy!…I am sure it is WAY higher than that!…In my past experiences,I have run into a few managers and landlords that were racist.and I never had a phone to phone and make any complaints.I got a phone 8 yrs ago and have lived under the same landlord for the same time too.I am lucky.The thing is,I look okay,my clothes are clean,I bathe,but there are those landlords that see me and automatically they will say the apt is taken,even though the sign is there outside the building for days later.Or everything is fine,I phone and make an appointment to view the apt,everything is fine,even buzzing the manager and then,I get that look,like oh no! and then the person is not so friendly anymore!…I know I should’ve complained to The Human Rights or is it The Ombudsman?…Yeah,meanwhile,I was adopted and raised in a middleclass home,went to a private school till grade 9,I mean,I could kick myself for not reporting them and lodging complaints.If I ever have to apartment hunt again,I will!!…Oh and another thing,it is against the law for a landlord to ask for your SIN(Social Insurance Number) you can report them if they give you an application form and it says SIN ____… Alberta Human Rights(You have 1 yr to file a complaint with them)780-427-7661..800-10405 Jasper Ave…Canadian Human Rights Commission-TollFree-1-888-214-1090Mon-Fri(EasternTime)8am-8pm, 344SlaterStreet,8th Floor,Ottawa Ontario…Ombudsman In Edmonton,Phone: 780-427-2756
    ,Fax: 780-427-2759,Edmonton Mailing Address
    Alberta Ombudsman
    10303 Jasper Avenue NW, Suite 2800
    Edmonton, AB T5J 5C3…Later…Jeanne : )

  5. If I were her, I would submit a complaint to Human Rights AND I would take that to a lawyer as well since there is proof of racism right there. It’s about time we started standing up for ourselves when this sort of thing happens. It is also illegal in Saskatchewan to refuse to rent to someone because they are on social assistance so if he backtracks and tries to say something about it not being about race but because he didn’t think she would be able to pay her rent properly.

  6. Obviously there are no fair housing laws in Canada as there are in the States. Here, he’d be drummed out of the landlord business pronto. The Tenants Associations in cities and towns don’t take to kindly to bias based on ANYTHING…

    And landlords take a dim view to having their reputations blackened by something like this. Yeah, he’d be history and blacklisted real fast!

  7. There is little doubt the guy has had some bad experiences with tenants. There are people here who also have problems with FN tenants. It is mostly simply the facts, and it is time to clean up the act, maybe. Surely there are workshops, etc, about how to care for a home.

  8. who cares how many they’re are, one is too many, an Aboriginal people are generally not aggressive people, but passive, so my guess is that there just hasn’t been people who have brought there concerns forward…

  9. PPl like that should lose their rental properties and rent them to low income tenants…being racist is a crime

Comments are closed.