:,\ the: matter of the Ontario human rights code 1 961 - 62
- AND -
IN THE MATTER of the complaint of Mr. John R. Harris that ha
was discriminated against in the matter of occupancy of living
accommodations because of his race and colour by Mr. Victor
Bouzide of Windsor.
BOARD OF INQUIRY HI. S. TARNOPOLSKY
I ,M THE MATTER OF the Ontario Human Rights Code, S.O. 1961 - 62,
c. 93, as amended by S.O. 1965, c 55, 5.C. 1967, C. 66, S.O. 1966,
C. 85, and S.O. 1968-69, c. 00;
- and -
IN THE MATTER OF the complaint of Mr. John R. Harris that ha
mas discr iminatsd against in the matter of occupancy of living •
accommodations because of his race and colour by Mr. Victor
3ouzide of Windsor;
— and -
IN THE MATTER OF a Board of Inquiry appointed under the Ontario
Human Rights Code, as provided for in Section 13, to conduct a
hearing to inquire into these matters.
BOARD OF INQUIRY U/. S. TARN0P0LSKY
Mr. Marshall Pollock , - Counsel for the Commission
Mr. A. R. Gatti — Counsel for the Respondent
Miss Florette usoorne . — Southwestern Regional Supprw* snr
Ontario Human Rights Commission.
TO THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION and to the Honourable
Gordon Carton, Minister of Labour of the Province of Ontario:
On the tujenty-f if th day of November, A.D. 1970, I was
appointed as a Board of Inquiry under Section 13 of the Ontario
Human Rights Code to inquire into the above— mentioned matter and
to report to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in accordance
with the said Act. Arrangements mare made for the Hearing to be
hela in Windsor on Tuesday, January 26th, 1971, at the Provincial
Court House, City Hall Square, in Court Room #4. The Hearing
uas continued and concluded on Tuesday, April 13th, 1971, at the
At the closa of the first day of the hearing, after
counsel for the Commission had called as witnesses the Complainant
John Robert Harris, his wife, Rosemary, one additional witness,
Mrs. Kathleen Osborne, and the Human Rights Officer, Miss
Florette Osborne, he declared that at that stage he had no
further witnesses to call. Mr. Gatti, counsel for the Respondent,
submitted that the complaint should be dismissed because, he
said, "there is not one bit of evidence that imputes any
knowledge to Mr. Bouzide that he was aware Mr. and Mrs. Harris
were negroes." He submitted that a motion for dismissal or a
motion of non-suit should be granted "because there is no evidence
not some evidence — there is no evidence, before you which is
vitally necessary, namely, that Victor Bouzide knew that these
people were negroes and for that reason I would think you would
have to direct yourself that you would have to dismiss it."
UJhen I asked Mr. Gatti whether he was prepared to
elect as to whether he would call evidence, he submitted that
in a case where there was in his opinion no evidence, asopposed
to some evidence, he should not be put to this election. Mr.
Pollock's reply was two-fold: —
1. He submitted that by Section 13(2) of the Ontario
Human Rights Code, the powers given to the Board of Inquiry
are those under section 2B of the Labour Relations Act.
He suggested that this was the first stage at which there
was an opportunity for the Board to get all the evidence
which is available. The Human Rights Officer does not have
the search or interrogation powers of the police. There is
power in the Board to issue subpoenas, and the Board is the
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only oody under the Code ujhich can compel witnesses to attend.
Therefore, ha suggested, it was the duty of the Board to
inquire in order to get the whole picture including, if
necessary, calling the Respondent as a witness.
2. His second submission was that there was evidence
at least of associated knowledge, which evidence he should not
be required to submit at that time, unless counsel for the
Respondent is put to his election.
At this point, I adjourned the inquiry to a later
date to give both counsel an opportunity to present their arguments
on these points. Unfortunately, there was a long delay in
transcription of the evidence and so the continuation of the
hearing had to be postponed until mid-April. In the meantime,
I was informed that Mr. Gatti would not be making any written
submissions, but that Mr. Pollock would submit a short one.
!i.'hs. n . T nopnnrl tha hearino on April 13th, I again asked both
counsel for any further submissions they wished to make, and
then gave my ruling. I stated then that my verbal ruling would
be subsequently supplemented by a written one. This follows.
* * •*
The powers and functions of a Board of Inquiry under
the Ontario Human Rights Code is set out in section 13 thereof,
By subsection (l), "the Board of Inquiry shall investigate the
matter complained of", and by subsection (2), it is provided
that "the Board has all the powers of a conciliation board under
section 28 of the Labour Relations Act ." The powers under
section 28 are very wide:
28. A conciliation board has power,
(a) to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses
and compel them to give oral or written evidence on
oath, and to produce such documents and things as
the board deems requisite to the full investigation
and consideration of the matters referred to it in the
same manner as a court of record in civil cases;
(b) zo administer oaths;
(c) to accept such oral or written evidence as it in its
discretion deems proper, whether admissible in a court
of law or not;
(d) to enter any premises where work is being done or
has been done by the employees or in which the
employer carries on business or where anything is
taking place or has taken place concerning any of
the matters referred to the board, and inspect and
view any work, material, machinery, appliance or
article therein, and interrogate any person respecting
any such thing or any of such matters;
(e) to authorize any person to do anything that the
board may do under clause d and to report to the
board thereon. R.S.O. 1950, c.194, s.25.
In the light of the decision of the Supreme Court
of Canada in Sell V. Ontario Human Rights Commission and McKay
(judgment rendered on February 1st, 1971, as yet unreported),
it can no longer be argued that the Board of Inquiry under the
Ontario Human Rights Code is not a quasi— judicial body. This
had been affirmed dy LasKin, J. A. ^ aa he then was) in liiu CuLeniu
Court of Appeal decision reported as Reqina v. Tarnopolsky, Ex
□arte 3ell (1969) 11 D.L.R. (3d) 658. In the Supreme Court
this was affirmed or assumed by both the majority and dissenting
However, it should be noted that this decision by the
Supreme Court of Canada does not prevent the Board of Inquiry,
by exercising the powers under section 28 of the Labour Relations
Act, from enforcing the attendance of witnesses and compelling
them to give oral or written evidence under oath. Almost from
the beginning of their existence, the various Labour Relations
Boards and arbitration boards of the Provinces established under
the various provincial statutes, have been held to be quasi-
judicial bodies. And yet, by section 77 of the Ontario Labour
Relations Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and by section
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z'r.3 statutory arbitration boards, exercise exactly the same
power as is given to a conciliation board by section 28, and
thereby to the 3oard of Inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights
Code by section 13 of the latter. Therefore, the quasi- judicial
character of these various boards does not prevent them from exer-
cising poaier to enforce the attendance and examination of witnesses,
including those alleged to have committed an offence under the
statute in question.
This finding is further supported by the fact that
the reference in all three sections of the Ontario Labour
Relations Act, i.e. , sections 28, 34, and 77, to the power of
compelling the attendance of witnesses and compelling the presenta-
tion of oral or written evidence under oath, is said to be
"in the same manner as a court of record in civil cases."
Not only does this decision emphasize that the quasi- judicial
tribunals we are concerned with are to act in the manner of
civil courts and not criminal courts, but it should further
be noted that by the Ontario Rules of Practise, rule 274, it
is provided that: —
A party who desires to call as a witness at the trial an
oppobito party who is within the jurisdiction may either
subpoena him or give him or his solicitor at least five
days notice of the intention to examine him as a witness
in the cause, paying at the same time the amount proper
for conduct money, and, if such opposite party does not
attend on such notice or subpoena judgment may be pro-
nounced against him or the trial of the action may be
It is clear, therefore, that if counsel for the
Respondent chooses not to dp so, counsel for the Commission or
for the Complainant may call the Respondent as a witness. If
ha dees so, it goes without saying that his examination would be
an examination-in-chief, and that counsel for the Respondent would
have the right of cross-examination. In addition, because I
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believe that this right should in any case ba granted in any
instance where a person is called upon to give evidence in a
situation which could subsequently be used to his disadvantage in
a subsequent civil or criminal suit, I would bring to the attention
of counsel for the Respondent that the Respondent should ask for,
and be given the protections under section 9 of the Ontario
Evidence Act, and section 5 of the Canada Evidence Act.
# * *
After rendering this decision I adjourned the hearing
to permit counsel to discuss and consider their course of action.
Upon resumption of the hearing, I was informed that the
Commission would not choose to call the Respondent, but that
counsel for the Respondent would call several witnesses.
The complaint reads as follows: -
On Monday, August 31 , 1970 , I saw an ad in The Windsor
Daily Star for a three— bedroom apartment at 1292 Wyandotte E.
Tily wife visited the place and was given a number to call the
owner, (966—2523), by a woman in the store underneath the
apartment. (Wyandotte News and Variety). On Tuesday, we
returned and were shown the apartment by the same woman.
I later called the owner of the building, Thursday, September
3, 1970, and was told the building was being sold in two
weeks' time, and there was no point moving into the apartment.
The ad appeared again in the Windsor Star on Wednesday,
September 2, 1970.
I believe this action was taken because of my race and
colour. I am a Canadian— Neg ro . I understand this action
violates Section 3 of The Ontario Human Rights Code.
At the start of the hearing the following set of facta
was submitted to me as being agreed upon by all parties concerned:
The Respondent advertised in the Windsor Star on
two occasions: the first was from August 27th,
1970, through to Wednesday, September 2nd, 1970,
inclusive, and the second was from October 29th, 1970,
tn.rcu.gh to October 31, 1970, inclusive. The advertisement
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op. the first occasion reads as follows:
"Three-badroom apartment, air-conditioned;
private entrance; parking; children welcome;
1292 Wyandotte E."
The October insertion reads:
"Clean three— bedroom apartment; dining-room;
newly panelled; air-conditioned; two private
entrances. S15Q.00. Open Saturday and Sunday
3 to 5 p.m. 1290 LUyandotte E."
There was agreement that the apartment involved is a
self-contained dwelling unit and that the difference in the
street addresses is explained by the fact that the apartment
itself is at 1290 Wyandotte Street East, and the variety
store which is underneath the apartment, and where one
got a key in order to view the apartment, is at 1292
Wyandotte Street East. It was further agreed that the
telephone number referred to in the complaint, i.e.,
966-2523, is the phone number at the Respondent's place
of business, which is called Vic's Farm Fresh Fruit and
In addition to the agreed statement of facts it would
be useful at this time for me to review the additional
observable facts giving rise to the complaint, as I find them
On Thursday, August 27th, 1970, the Complainant's
wife saw the above-mentioned advertisement in the Windsor Star.
Because the Complainant was working on the weekend, it was not
until Monday evening, August 31st, at about 6 p.m., that the
Complainant and his wife drove up to the address given. The
Complainant stayed in the car with the children while (Kirs. Harris
u;ent into the variety store. In the stcro she got a telephone
number "966-2523" from Mrs. Bailey, who was operating the store.
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The J jmpl ainanfc and his wife then droue up to Mrs. Harris'
sLsziz, uhich was nearby, and Mrs. Harris telephoned the number
given zo her. The number was the one referred to above as being
the Respondent's place of business. There was no answer.
The next occasion on which inquiry was made by the
Complainant and his wife about the apartment was on Tuesday,
September 1st, at about 9:00 a.m. by telephone. The slip of paper
upon which the telephone number for the Respondent's place of
business was written had the name "Vic". The Complainant asked
to speak to Vic, and when Vic answered, the Complainant asked
him if the apartment was still available. He was told that it was,
asked what the rent was, and whether it was true that children
were welcome. He was told that the rent was $150.00 a month, and
that children were welcome, and arrangements were made to meet at
the apartment at approximately 11:00 a.m. However, the Complainant
was told that if Vic was not there, that he should obtain the key from
the woman in the store to see the apartment. He asked when thB
apartment was to be available and was told it would be available
shortly. Furthermore, the Complainant was told that if he liked
the apartment to telephone the number 94B— 5948, which was the
Respondent's home number.
The Complainant and his wife drove over to the apartment,
but as the Respondent had not yet arrived, he and Wrs. Harris went
into the variety store. They told the woman that they had been
sent by Vic to see the apartment, and that they had been informed to
obtain the key from her if he had not met them by 11:00 a.m.
Both the Complainant and his wife said that the lady looked
"kind of surprised" and that she said "are you sure he sent you
down?". The Complainant went on to say that he told her that
he had been sent by Vic, and that she, in his opinion,
somewhat reluctantly got the key. Although the Complainant and
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his a if 4 felt that the apartment had not been properly cleaned
up since the last tenant moved out, they felt that with a little
work thay could make it "a very nice apartment", and dsclded to
take it. Since the telephone in the apartment ujas working, they tele-
phoned at the Respondent's home. Since he was not there, they
left a message that they would take the apartment. They then tele-
phoned the Respondent's place of business, and since he was not
there either, they left the same message, the Complainant's name,
and his heme telephone number. The same message was left as well
with the lady at the variety store.
The Complainant and his wife did not receive a call
on uhe Tuesday night, although the advertisement was run in the
paper that night. There was no call on the Wednesday, although the
advertisement was still in the paper that night as well. On
Thursday morning, September 3rd, the Complainant decided to
get in touch with RpsnnndRnt. and called at the place of
business. The Respondent was there, and the Complainant told
him that he wanted the apartment. He was told that there was a
prospective buyer for the building and that there was no sense
moving in for two or three weeks because the gentleman who was
going to buy the building was going to be using the apartment
himself. At this point the Complainant became angry, and went
to the Human Rights Commission Office.
On Thursday, September 3, after the Complainant
had contacted the Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights
Officer, Miss Osborne, called a Mrs. Kathleen Osborne, a white
woman, at her place of work. She drew Mrs. Osborne's attention
to the aa referred to above and told her that the Complainant
had been refused the accommodation on the grounds that the
building was to be sold. Mrs. Osborne was asked if she would
check anc see if it was available.
After ujork Mrs, Csborno want by bus and arrived
a- the variety store between 7—7:30 in the evening. She
qa.q told that the landlord was not in, and that the woman
there did not have the key. Mrs.. Osborne insisted that since she'
had come a long way, without a car, sne would like to see it.
The lady questioned her about who would be renting it and
uhen gave her a telephone number to call. She said it was the
landlord. The number was that referred to earlier as the Respondent'
place of business. Mrs. Osborne was told that Vic owned the
building and that he was not there, but that Vic would be beck
in a short period of time. However, because Mrs. Osborne was
without a car and did not know when she could call back, she
made arrangements to call subsequently, With that she asked
the lady in the storB whether the apartment was vacant, and she
was told that it was available and vacant. Mrs. Osborne left
her name and telephone number.
At 8 a.m. on the following morning, Friday,
September 4th, Mrs. Osborne called the telephone number which
was Vic's residence. When she contacted Vic he told her
that he remembered getting a telephone call about her, that, he
knew she had inquired about the apartment, and was expecting her call
He offered to take her to the apartment to see it, and re-arranged
his schedule for the morning so he could drive her to the apartment
and then on to work. During the telephone conversation he informed
Mrs. Osborne she could have a lease of either one year or two years.
At about 9:30 that morning he picked her up and
drove to the apartment. They were met by his brother, Gerry.
;:'.rs. Osborne complained about the amount of rent for the condition
of the apartment, indicated that it needed re-decorating, and
was informed after a conversation between the Respondent and hi3
brother that they would re-decorate the dining room. She told
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him that she would have to contact har lawyer because ha would
have to approve the living conditions before making a commitment.
7hs Respondent then drove lYlrs. Osborne to work and again repeated
that eitner a one or two year lease would be acceptable. ffira.
Osborne reported to Miss Osborne, and never had contact with Mr.
On the following day, Friday, September 4th,
flr. Harris completed and signed the complaint, and he and the
Human Rights Officer, Miss Osborne, went out to the Respondent's
place of business. He was not there, and so Miss Osborne returned
later that same day.
She met Mr. Bouzida at his place of work at about 6 p.m.
She identified herself as a human rights officer, and said she
had a complaint from Mr. Harris, a negro, who claimed that he
had been refused rental of the apartment because of his race and
colour. Mr. Bouzide's answer was "I told him the piece was for
sale — didn't he tell you?" Mr. Bouzida claimed that he had told
Mr. Harris this from the very beginning. Mr. Bouzide did not
ask who Mr. Harris was, nor did he ask when Mr. Harris had called,
nor how he could identify Mr. Harris from any other person who
had called, nor did he many any reference or query about Mi3s
Osborne's statement that Mr. Harris was a negro. He appeared to
be completely familiar with who Mr. Harris was. Since there was
a discrepancy between these statements and those of the
Complainant, Miss Osborne arranged to meet with the Complainant
and the Respondent on Saturday, September 5th.
UJhen Miss Osborne, Mr. Bouzide and Mr. Harris met,
;.:r. Bouzide mentioned that he was discussing sale of the
property with Mr. Mario Lorenzen on the following day, Sunday.
He indicated that negotiations had begun around the 27th or 28th
cf August. When Miss Osborne asked him if it was not misleading
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-o run ads in the newspaper while negotiating a sale, Mr. Bouzide'3
answer was that "there is no law to prevent this." Mr. Bouzide
mentioned that he had shown the apartment to some twelve or
thirteen people, and named two or three. One of these was Mrs.
Osborne. When Miss Osborne faced him with the fact that within
some twelve hours of telling Mr. Harris that the building was going
to oe sold, he had offered to show the apartment to Mrs. Osborne
and offered a lease to her, he made no reply, but instead he
became red-faced, started to stammer, and "actually covered his
face." Subsequently, he talked about re— decorating the apartment,
and Miss Osborne asked him: "Is this for Mrs. Osborne?" she
got the same reaction from him. Miss Osborne then asked the
Respondent if he would call her on the Tuesday following and
offer the apartment to Mr. Harris if the deal did not go through.
Mr. Bouzide responded: "Well, can't I give it to whoever I want?"
She could not get a positive or a negative response to her
question, but either other questions in response, or no response
Subsequently, Miss Osborne again contacted the
Respondent by telephone, and sent a telegram and a letter asking
whether he would offer the apartment to Mr. Harris if the sale
did net go through.
On September 19th, Miss Osborne contacted Mr. Lorenzen
and was told by him that he had discussed purchase of the building
with Mr. Bouzide, but that the deal had fallen through. However,
Mr. Lorenzen stated to her that there had never been any discussion
about him actually living in the apartment himself.
On October 6th, Miss Osborne called the Complainant to
tell him that the apartment was vacant and that he should contact
Mr. Bouzide right away.
On Tuesday, October 6th, after ffliss Osborne had
zcr.zj.jzoc the Complainant, Mr. Harris telephoned the Respondent
numerous times at both numbers. Finally, on Saturday, October 10th,
ha was able to contact the Respondent, and asked him whether the
apartment was available. He mas told that it mas and that' it
uas ^eing shown on Sunday, October 11th. The Complainant arrived
at acout 12 neon, and a few minutes later the Respondent and his
brother, Gerry, came as well. The Complainant was told by the
Respondent that he was going to offer the Complainant the
apartment and he had to fill out an application which he was
told was a credit application. The Complainant filled it out
and told the Respondent again that he was interested in renting
the place, and was told by the Respondent that his lawyer would
be handling it. Ha said he would get in touch with the Complainant
about whether he could have the place. The Complainant did not
hear anything from the Respondent again.
T T T
Before setting out my findings, I want to make
some comments about the position of the witness, Mrs. Kathleen
Osborne. On other occasions, questions have been raised about
the reliability of witnesses who have been engaged in helping
the Commission and the Complainant to prove or disprove
discriminatory intent by asking for the same accommodation. I
would like to emphasize that I find the conduct of such witnesses
to be not only courageous, but also exemplary in accordance with
the duty imposed upon everyone in Ontario by the proclamation in
the preamble of the Ontario Human Rights Code that,
It is public policy in Ontario that every person is
free and equal in dignity and rights without regard to race,
creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin ...
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As the preamble goes on to state, these principles have been
confirmed Dy a numuer of enactments of the legislature, and
the Ontario Human Rights Commission is charged with the
administration of these enactments.
Initially I want to emphasize the distinction
between the actions of ffirs. Osborne and the "entrapment"
which accompanies such police actions as those involving the
obtaining of evidence of the illicit sale of either liquor or
drugs. In the first place, in the case of entrapment uiith respect
to the sale of drugs or alcohol, the police witness is involved in
the actual illegal transaction. If the witness does not
induce the act of illegality, at least he participates in it.
With respect to an act of discrimination in accommodation, on
the other hand, the act of discrimination is in the refusal of
accommodation to the person who is the Complainant, and not the
act of agreeing to give the accommodation to the other person who
is attempting to help ine Commission aaiauiioii whether an act of
discrimination occurred. I emphasize again, the unlawful act
under the Ontario Human Rights Code is not the act of agreeing
to let to the person who comes along subsequently, but the act
of refusing to let to the Complainant who comes beforehand, and
because this refusal is based upon those characteristics of the
Complainant which are specifically listed at the end of section 3
of the Ontario Human Rights Code,
In addition, I would like to emphasize that the great
difficulty faced by the Commission, a3 well as by Complainants,
is that the unlawful act is not merely the denial of accommodation,
but it is the denial of accommodation for the specifically prohibited
purposes set out in the code. It is not sufficient merely to
record the observable act of refusal, but in most cases it is
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necessary on the basis of circumstantial evidence to decide
what uas in the mind of the Respondent, in order to decide
whether the denial of accommodation was due to the reason which
is prohibited by section 3 of-the Ontario Human Rights Coda.
Furthermore, a person who conducts a "test" for
the Ontario Human Rights Commission is acting not only in the
interests of the whole community, as recognized in the preamble
to the Ontario Human Rights Code, but such a person is also acting
in the interests of those Respondents who have not committed an
act contrary to the Human Rights Code. In other words, it is
sometimes possible that a person conducting a "test", such as Mrs.
Osborne did in this case, could actually provide proof that the
Respondent did not offend the provisions of section 3. Thus, in
order to aid the Commission to get sufficient evidence to see whether
an act of discrimination occurred or not, the person conducting
the test is acting in the ultimate best interests of both the
Complainant and the Respondent , and the community at large.
Therefore, whether Mrs. Osborne was or was not in fact
interested in obtaining accommodation for herself is completely
irrelevant to this investigation. As it turns out she did state
that she was in fact looking for accommodation for herself and
I have no reason to doubt that she approached Mr. Bouzide with
respect to the accommodation for both reasons, i.e. , because she
herself was searching for accommodation, and in order to assist the
Commission in its investigation as to whether an act of dis-
crimination occurred or not.
For all these reasons, I accept her testimony as being
valid and impartial.
* * * *
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In this complaint there are really two matters that
I must deal with. The first is whether the possibility of the sale
of the ouiiding by the Respondent and his brother was the reason
why i.;r.r;arris was denied the accommodation in question. If
I decide it was not, the second question I must deal with is
whether the denial was because of Mr. Harris 1 race and/or colour.
I do not believe that the possibility of 3ale of the
building to Mr. Lorenzen was the reason for the denial in this case.
First, Mr. Lorenzen told Miss Osborne that he had not
intended to live in the apartment even if he had bought the building
and that he did not tell lYlr. Bouzide otherwise. Second, there was
the advertisement and it did run for five days even after the
Complainant left messages saying that ha would take the apartment.
Third, people were being shown around. Mrs. Bailey was being
bothered by large numbers of people coming to see the apartment.
She was distressed and distracted because of her husband's illness.
Surely in these circumstances Mr. Bouzide would not have let her
participate in a charade. He intended to let the apartment.
Fourth, Mrs. Osborne was not only not told about a pending • sale ,
but the Respondent and his brother went out of their way to drive
her there, to promise re-decoration and clean— up. And even
to offer a one or two year lease. This is inconsistent with an
argument that a pending sale prevented the Respondent from
letting the apartment to the Complainant. Surely, they were not
playing games with prospective tenants. Fifth, in his testimony
Gerry Souzide clearly indicated that ha was anxious "to rent or
sail, or, you know, mainly to rent." Ha was anxious to get a tenant
who would pay some rent. He was a half-owner, and by 1971, the full
owner of the building. His testimony does not support his brother's
- 16 -
statement that the denial to Mr. Harris was because the
building might have bean sold.
The second question that must be answered is whether
the denial or" accommodation was because of Mr. Harris' race and/or
colour. The answer to this question must deal with Mr. Gatti's
argument, wnich I referred to at the beginning of this report,
i.e., that, the Respondent had no way of knowing that "Mr. Harris
was a negro." I do not agree. I think that he did, and that he
denied Mr. Harris the accommodation because (Kir. Harris is a black
m a n .
I think that it is quite likely that Mrs. Bailey told
Mr. Bouzide about Mr. and Mrs. Harris. Although initially in
examination-in-chief, she insisted that she had not told Mr. Bouzida
anything about the people who came to inquire about the apartment,
in cross-examination, she seemed to be extremely hazy about a large
number of details, and finally, when Dressed, she admitted foaae
24 of the transcript of April 13, 1971) that if people asked her to
pass the message on to Mr. Bouzide that they wanted to take the
place, she would tell Mr. Bouzide. In reply to a question as to
whether the Harris couple were one of these people her answer was
"possibly". It should be pointed out that Mrs. Bailey was going
through a tremendous strain at this time due to the illness of her
husband and the necessity of looking after her store. She
continually refers to the fact that she had many problems of her
own on her mind and therefore, her answers are unclear. On page 30
of the transcript of April 13, Mrs. Bailey admitted that Mr.
Bouzide could probably have telephoned her to ask whether anyone
came tc look at the apartment, and that he was there from time to
time in person during the period of the ad, "to see if anybody had
been around." Moreover , her reaction when she first saw Mr. Harris
substantiates my conclusion.
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Since the Respondent gave Mr. Harris a reason for
not let'ltfig the apartment fed him, whicn reason I believe to be
false, - believe this substantiates my conclusion. Further,
the evidence of Miss Osborne about her visit with Mr. Bouzide
on Friday anc Saturday, September 4th and 5th, 1970, supports this.
From zha beginning Mr. Bouzide knauj exactly who Miss Osborne mas
talking aaout. He did not say, for example, "I did not know
l''.T . Harris ujgs a negro." Furthermore, he did not tell Mrs. Osborne
that he planned to sell the building. In fact, after the
Complainant had been specifically denied accommodation, Mr.
Bouzide went out of his way to try to encourage Mrs. Osborne to
t ak e it .
Finally, his comments like "Can't I rent to who I
want?" , his refusal even to agree to contact Mr. Harris if the
so-called "sale" fell through, and the failure to accept Mr. Harris
in October, in all the circumstances, or even to inform him,
are further evidence that ne did not want to rent to Mr. fiuriis,
and that this was because Mr. Harris was a black man.
In view of the fact that the Respondent no longer
owns the building in question, it is impossible to recommend that
he be asked to contact Mr. Harris when a vacancy occurs. Thus, a
serious injury to a man's dignity cannot be repaired by gaining
even greatly delayed access to this accommodation for him. Since
there is no evidence that Mr. Bouzide owns any other accommodation,
cannct recommend that he should contact community organizations to
announce a policy of non-discrimination. I think, therefore, that
zr.a Respondent should be required to write a letter of apology to
'•r. and Mrs. Harris, and should be required to pay tham compensation
far the tremendous cost in time and effort in attempting to obtain
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iicccMin'.odation in Soptaiiiber and In Gctobar last year. I would
as tin: at i this compensation, particularly in view of the necessity
of driv:.ng in from out of town to be SilOO.OO. I mould recommend
that no further action be taken against fflr. Bouzide if he performs
as racommended above.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
28th may ,1971 .