The dispute is being taken to the B.C. Human Rights Council, with the English owners saying they’re victims of race-based voting manipulation.
Here’s an excerpt from a Richmond News story by Graeme Wood:
A group of Richmond homeowners has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal after allegedly being discriminated against by a new Chinese-speaking strata council.
Andreas Kargut, who filed the claim on behalf of several other Wellington Court strata members, told the Richmond News a group of Mandarin-speaking homeowners purposefully voted to expel non-Mandarin speaking members from council.
Since then, the new council has moved to conduct all official business, including council meetings, in Mandarin.
“Anyone they deemed who was non-Mandarin speaking, they ousted,” said Kargut.
The new council was largely formed in 2014 after one Chinese member gathered a large number of proxy votes to expel the non-Mandarin speaking council members, contended Kargut.
An email from the new strata president, Ed Mao, states: “We have no intention of using English during the meeting on December the 8th. That’s the most efficient way for the team this year.”
Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Homeowners’ Association, told the Richmond News he’s never seen a case like this.
While he’s seen “three or four” instances in Richmond over the past five years concerning language problems, all of them have been resolved “quickly” with English-to-Mandarin translation services, not the other way around.