'No natives please': Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint

A Kijiji ad to rent a three-bedroom home in Prince Albert, Sask., has been pulled after complaints of racism.

Advertisement says that 'being funded or a stay at home mommy are not jobs'

The ad posted to Kijiji read, "no natives please." It also insisted that renters have a job. (CBC)

A Kijiji ad to rent a three-bedroom home in Prince Albert, Sask., has been pulled after complaints of racism.

The title of the ad read, "3 bedroom east flat house, no natives please."

The title of an ad Kijiji deemed offensive read, "3 bedroom east flat house, no natives please." (Kijiji)
The text of the ad said newcomers to Canada were welcome, "but aboriginals will not be considered."

When Jeanne Labelle saw the ad, she was shocked and contacted Kijiji to complain.

"I just find it so offensive that somebody would not be able to see deeper than their own prejudices," Labelle said.

The ad, which was offering a 1,000-square-foot home for $1,200 per month, also insisted that renters be working and said that "being funded or a stay at home mommy are not jobs".

Kijiji calls ad 'offensive'

After Labelle asked Kijiji to pull the ad, the company responded via email: "This is indeed offensive, not to mention against the law, so we have deleted the ad from Kijiji."

A former landlord herself, Labelle called the ad deeply offensive.

"At first I thought it was somebody's idea of a sick joke, like a prank ad," said Labelle. "But after investigating and having Kijiji respond to me, I discovered it was indeed an ad that had been posted."

She noted the ad violates Saskatchewan's human rights code.

For Catherine Lemire of Saskatoon, the ad hit close to home. 

Lemire and her mother, who are aboriginal, encountered racism when trying to rent a downtown Saskatoon apartment a few years ago.

Her mother, who has an accent, called to inquire about a vacancy and was told the space had been filled. 

Lemire's mother then asked her to call because she does not have an accent. 

"I didn't want to believe my mom. I figured it was all in her head. But I called exactly two minutes later the same number. Spoke to the same person who said there were two vacancies," said Lemire.

She hopes the Kijiji ad gets people talking about racism, which is something she has encountered all her life.

"I grew up with this type of racism and I'm just surprised that 25 years later, things haven't really changed," she said.

Chief optimistic

Kimberly Jonathan, interim chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, said she sees the reaction to the ad as a positive sign.  

"The outpouring of support against racism is heartwarming," Jonathan said. 

The federation will continue to work on public education and with governments to address the issues of racism, she said

"There may be a turning point in Saskatchewan where racism is not acceptable," she said. 

CBC News sent an email to the person who posted the ad seeking comment, but so far there has been no response.

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