BC United makes third attempt to eradicate racial covenants in land titles

VICTORIA (May 14, 2024) – In a renewed effort to dismantle a legacy of racial injustice, BC United MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano, Karin Kirkpatrick, has reintroduced the Land Title Amendment Act, 2024. The bill aims to fully eradicate discriminatory clauses based on race, ancestry, or place of origin from property titles throughout British Columbia.

Despite being legally null and void, outdated racial covenants, such as “No person of the African or Asiatic race or of African or Asiatic descent, except as servants of the occupier of the premises and residents, shall reside or be allowed to remain on the premises,” continue to exist in some of B.C.’s legal documents.

“This language, relics of a segregated era, is both exclusionary and profoundly degrading,” said Kirkpatrick. “It perpetuates division, fosters inequality, and erodes the core values of our community. We must do more to mend the deep-seated wounds they have caused, and uphold the principles of fairness and equality under the law.”

The Land Title Amendment Act, 2024 mandates registrars to not only strike these clauses from the records but to remove them entirely. This is the third time since 2022 Kirkpatrick has introduced the bill, following a petition led by West Vancouver resident Michele Tung, who was “appalled and disgusted” by the enduring presence of such demeaning and racially charged language in land titles.

Kirkpatrick urges support from all parties to rectify past injustice and combat xenophobia. “This act affirms our commitment to a society that stands firmly against hatred and ensure that no one continues to suffer from the remnants of past wrongs. It’s high time for all parties, including Premier David Eby, to move beyond slogans to meaningful action to eradicate racial prejudice,” concluded Kirkpatrick.