No-pet policy discriminates against the poor: Yellowknifer

Anne Marie Giroux says she shouldn't have to get rid of her two cats just because she can't afford an alternative to public housing. She's taking the Yellowknife Housing Authority to court.

Cat-owner, Anne Marie Giroux, appeals eviction notice from Yellowknife Housing Authority

CBC's Erin Brohman reports from Yellowknife 2:25

A Yellowknife woman is hoping the N.W.T. Supreme Court will show some compassion to her and her two cats in her fight against an eviction order for ignoring a no-pet policy. 

Anne Marie Giroux has until March 1 to be out of her Yellowknife Housing Authority home, but she says the decision to evict her violates her human rights.

Giroux and her children have lived in the apartment with their two cats for the last three and a half years, but pets are not allowed in Yellowknife Housing Authority buildings.

Giroux says she shouldn't have to get rid of her pets just because she can't afford an alternative to public housing.

"I'm not to be controlled and nor are my kids. If that's the way I've lived and if it makes our life in this place a little bit better to have pets," Giroux says. "If it was a private house I respect that because it's a private house and they can do that, But this is public housing."

The Yellowknife Housing Authority says there are too many people — without pets — on a wait list to move into buildings like this one. They say they don't have the time, or money, to repair damage and clean up the mess left behind by pets. 

Yellowknife Housing Authority CEO Bob Blies says tenants are well aware of the no pet policy before they move in. 

"To me, the sacrifice of not having a pet to having a roof over your head — you can't compare the two," he said.

Giroux makes her first court appearance on Jan. 24 to ask for permission to stay where she is until the court makes its final decision.


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