12/23/2015 12:58 EST | Updated 12/23/2016 00:12 EST

Strata council accused of discrimination after meetings held solely in Mandarin

RICHMOND, B.C. — A Richmond, B.C., man has filed a human rights complaint alleging his strata council's decision to conduct meetings in Mandarin amounts to discrimination.

Andreas Kargut says he filed the complaint as a last resort after the council informed residents that all meetings would be conducted in Mandarin, instead of English, for reasons of efficiency.

Minutes and all other documents are translated to English, but Kargut — who served on the strata council from 2003 to 2014 — says refusal to conduct the meetings in English discriminates against some residents.

No laws require English to be used at strata meetings and Mandarin is spoken by as many as 70 per cent of those living in the complex, which borders Vancouver International Airport.

Kargut says the strata council has ignored a recommendation to hire an independent translator for all meetings, and instead hired a translator that he alleges was unable to handle the task.

Ed Mao, the president of the Wellington Court strata, says council never said it would exclude English, but members find it more efficient to use Mandarin during meetings. (CKNW, Global)


The Canadian Press