Discrimination case offers landlords a key lesson

A woman in Nova Scotia is claiming her landlord discriminated against her after she was evicted from her summer home at a campground in Dartmouth, according to a Chronicle Herald report.

The tenant in question, Melissa Clattenburg-Pace, suffered a devastating head injury in 2008, and said that she was discriminated against because of what her head injury might mean for the rest of the tenants living on the campground.

Rather than pursue legal action, Clattenburg-Pace and her family filed for a restorative board of inquiry with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and met with the owners of the campground in front of a mediator at a Halifax hotel earlier this week, according to the Herald report.

“I was told I was evicted because of my disability,” she said in an interview with the Herald. “They didn’t want my type there. People react like that to me all the time, whether I’m at the grocery store, a campground or anywhere.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m tired of getting beaten around because I have a label.”

Perry Boutilier, owner of the campground, said at Wednesday’s meeting that he never discriminated against the tenant and told the mediator she was evicted for violating park rules.

“I recognize she has a disability, but that’s not why [she was] evicted,” he told the Herald. “A lot of people in the park have disabilities. If I had something against disabled people, I wouldn’t have let her in. [She] just broke the rules.”

The landlord denied any wrongdoing or discrimination for evicting the tenant in 2012, saying that Clattenburg-Pace was using too much power; however, the tenant’s family doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“They told us we were evicted because we had an extra fridge and because we used too much power. But the fridge was broken, and they knew about it. They were just looking for reasons to kick my daughter out of the park.”

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