A landlord in Canada has sold his home to pay the $12,000 fine levied by a human rights tribunal that ruled he harassed Muslim tenants.
"I don't have any money. It has just shattered me," John Albi, 53, said of the $12,000 fine imposed by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
The tribunal levied the fine in April. It ruled that Albi created a "poisoned housing environment" when he refused to take off his shoes when asked by the Muslim couple who were renting the ground floor of his Brampton home, The Toronto Sun reported at the time.
The tribunal also cited as evidence an anti-Muslim joke Albi posted on Facebook and a terse text message he sent the male tenant.
"Welcome to Ontario, Canada," Albi texted when the Muslim couple complained that the landlord can enter the apartment to show it to other potential tenants when the wife was at home by herself.
The couple lived in the apartment for only two months and much of the dispute surrounded the landlord seeking access to show it to potential renters, the Sun story recounted.
The tribunal acknowledged that Albi, by law, had the right to enter with 24 hours' notice to show the apartment to other tenants. But one of its members suggested he should have accommodated their request for five minute's notice to ensure the wife was modestly dressed.
The tribunal also claimed there was "absolutely no evidence" the Muslim couple was imposing their "way of life" on Albi, the newspaper reported, even though the tribunal obviously ruled he violated their religious rights by refusing to remove his shoes and wait longer to enter the apartment.
"It's something of a fascist or totalitarian regime," observes Dr. Charles McVety, who has fought Canada's left-wing progressivism as president of Canada Christian College.
McVety compares the Human Rights Tribunal to a Soviet-era court, where evidence and defense don't matter.
"They are coming up with just the most insane attacks on Canadian freedom," he warns.
In a follow-up story in May, the Sun revealed that Albi is a Nigerian who came to Canada two decades earlier. The apartment rental helped pay the home's mortgage, he explained, and he had been doing so for 15 years before the Muslim couple filed a complaint against him.
He also told the Sun that the Muslim couple sought to punish him by finding the Facebook post to support their allegations. Regarding taking off his shoes, he told the newspaper he had worn them in the apartment numerous times without complaint, suggesting that accusation was also created to hurt him.
"I just see everybody as human beings like me. That's why I took them in," he told the Sun. "We got along. And then all of a sudden I'm a racist?"
"Today you have gay privilege," observes McVety. "And if you don't treat Muslims correctly, remember they have Muslim privilege that is way over and above anyone else in our society."