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Man fighting strata over Mandarin-only council meetings moves out of Richmond

Click to play video: 'Strata owners battle over Mandarin-only meetings' Strata owners battle over Mandarin-only meetings
Tue, Jul 4: A strata fight over meetings held only in Mandarin has escalated once again, with some residents saying a resolution reached last year isn’t being followed. John Hua reports – Jul 4, 2017

A man who filed a human rights complaint after the strata council at his Richmond condominium complex conducted meetings only in Mandarin, has moved his family out of Metro Vancouver.

“We had actually wanted to stay in that townhouse until the kids were gone and we retired, but things just kept on escalating and getting worse,” Andreas Kargut said Tuesday.

Kargut and his wife had lived at Wellington Court since it was built in 2004. He was part of a group of condo owners in Richmond who were angry that strata meetings were being conducted entirely in Mandarin.

WATCH: B.C. condo owners file human rights complaint after board holds meetings in Mandarin

The group won the right to take their case to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, and the strata appeared willing to compromise.

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Still, Kargut said he felt he was being marginalized and it was best to move his family to Vernon, B.C.

“Whenever our kids would go outside, their kids would all go inside,” he said. “About two minutes after our kids would go inside, their kids would go outside and play.”

Kargut’s former neighbour, Alex Tan, said he was sad to see a young family feel that they were pushed out of their community.

WATCH: Richmond condo owners to take language dispute to Human Rights Tribunal

Click to play video: 'Richmond condo owners to take language dispute to Human Rights Tribunal' Richmond condo owners to take language dispute to Human Rights Tribunal
Richmond condo owners to take language dispute to Human Rights Tribunal – Feb 22, 2016

“Normally, in summertime they will be running around the complex, playing games and stuff like that,” he said. “But now, we don’t hear.”

Wilson Jin, the new strata council president, said changes were made to council procedure last year.

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“We set up this new bylaw that at every council meeting, if somebody wants to attend the council meeting and he can’t speak Chinese, we speak English,” he said.

Tan said council’s efforts at inclusion “seemed to have gone away” and they appear to be “imposing their own rules.”

Now, 500 kilometres away from his old home, Kargut said he’ll keep fighting until his human rights case is heard.

“It’s a class-action complaint and we want to set a precedent,” he said.

 

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