Montreal-area home has clause preventing sale to Jews

Home near Quebec's largest city contains a clause in its deed preventing sale to a Jewish person.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

Home for sale (illustration)
Home for sale (illustration)

A Montreal-area home contains a clause in its deed preventing its sale to a Jewish person, JTA reported on Tuesday.

It is the second home near that city discovered to contain such a “servitude clause” barring sale to anyone of Jewish origin.

In January, it was discovered that a farmer in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu included a clause refusing sale to Jewish people when he subdivided into lots and sold his property about 60 years ago.

Today there are some 350 homes on that land, the Canadian Jewish News reported.

The clause was ordered erased in January by the Quebec Superior Court. Such clauses are not legally enforceable since they run counter to the Charter of Rights, according to CTV News.

A spokesperson for Quebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel told the Montreal Gazette that the government will seek a “collective remedy” to ensure homeowners do not have to go to court to strike the clause from their sale documents.

“This isn’t the first case in which property owners have been affected by such anti-Semitic restrictions dating back to a bygone era,” Eta Yudin, vice president of Quebec’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the Montreal Gazette. “These covenants, common throughout North America until the 1950s, have since been invalidated by the Supreme Court and there is no reason for them to remain on paper.

“I would like to think that anyone of good conscience, if they came across something like that on their public record, would make the extra effort to have it stricken and not leave it as a legacy for someone else to find,” added Yudin.

Montreal, which is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec, has seen some incidents of anti-Semitism in recent years.

Last year, a taxi driver in Montreal was caught on camera violently assaulting a visibly Jewish man in a parking garage.

In 2017, a Montreal judge issued an arrest warrant for a local imam who allegedly used his pulpit at a city mosque to call for the slaughter of Jews.

Data released by Statistics Canada in July of last year found that Canadian Jews were the most targeted group for hate crimes in 2018, a trend continuing from the previous two years.