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Implying renters create slums is offensive, discriminatory: Coquitlam mayor

Last Updated Dec 17, 2019 at 10:24 am PDT

Members of city council and the general population gather on Dec. 16 at a public meeting. (Source: Twitter/@MayorStewart)

The mayor of Coquitlam says calling renters a different 'quality' of person is discriminatory

A speaker at a public meeting on Monday night expressed concern about a new development of small homes

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – The mayor of Coquitlam says suggesting renters are a different quality of person than homeowners is offensive, after a public meeting brought out detractors of a proposed development.

Richard Stewart says he heard from a speaker on Monday night who said a development for small, single-family homes in Maillardville would bring a different “quality” of person to the city, making it “slummy.”

But Stewart says nearly half of those who live in Coquitlam already are renters, and city councillors did not take the speaker’s message kindly.

“It is a sentiment we get a couple times a year, but not very often do we hear someone equate renters with slums, and he did so, and that really, really troubled me,” he says. “To suggest that there’s some kind of a different quality of person in a person that is renting a home rather than buying a home is offensive to me.”

The development proposes four single-family houses in one lot on Edgar Ave., part of bringing in more “gentle densification,” Stewart says. The development will be strata, and was approved by council eight to one.

Stewart adds it’s important to push back against sentiments that discriminate against entire groups of people, including renters.