Strategic Group, a major rental housing provider in Alberta, Canada, announced that all new tenants need to show a vaccine passport to live in its properties. Critics claim the renter’s vaccine mandate sets a dangerous precedent.
“Vaccination of everyone in our community is the only way we are going to get through this pandemic and back to a sense of normalcy,” said Riaz Mamdani, founder and CEO of Strategic Group, in an October 28 press release.
“The safety of our team and our residents is a top priority, so ensuring full vaccination across the board is the least we can do.”
The press release said that “all employees, residents, and prospective residents” have to be vaccinated. Existing tenants will have to show proof of vaccination. Anyone “unable to be vaccinated (i.e., children under the age of 12) is exempt until able to receive the vaccine.”
“These rules apply to all of Strategic Group’s residential communities in Alberta.”
The renter owns more than 1,00 1 and 2-bedroom units in Edmonton and Calgary.
The Canadian Press reported that the Strategic Group COO Tracey Steman said that the company was “very proud” of the mandatory vaccination policy.
“And we’d like to see other landlords implement the same policy… It will help to end this pandemic,” Steman continued. “We’ve had really good feedback from our tenants.”
According to the company’s CEO, residents inspired the new policy as they were saying that “they value knowing that all their neighbors are vaccinated – they feel even safer in their own homes.”
Eva Chipiuk of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) told LifeSiteNews that Strategic Group’s vaccine mandate for tenants “sets a dangerous precedent in Alberta and in Canada.”
“According to this renter’s policy, you do not deserve a roof over your head unless you have taken an experimental injection,” said Chipiuk.
“Such a policy, utterly unthinkable two years ago, is now frighteningly announced with pride,” she added.
“Under what authority is this policy being made?”
Chipiuk noted that the laws banning smoking indoors were discussed in “government housing.”
“This is not the same. These rental companies are taking the law into their own hands. If we allow this to happen, what will be next and who will find themselves without a place to live?” the lawyer asked.
In an article on The Lawyers Daily, landlord-tenant lawyer Caryma Sa’d explained why it is illegal for landlords to enforce vaccine passport mandates for tenants. Sa’d noted that refusing a potential client because of their vaccination status is discrimination.
Also, “landlords cannot simply make unilateral changes to the terms of the agreement, which would include imposing proof of vaccination as a condition of the tenancy.”
“This would prevent a landlord from attempting to evict a tenant based on vaccination status, unless it can be established that the tenant is substantially interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of others within the unit or otherwise causing serious problems at the residential complex because of their vaccination status,” the lawyer continued.
The president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations John Dickie told the Canadian Press that it was “possible” for some landlords to follow Strategic Group’s lead and implement a vaccine passport mandate, but that was not likely to be “very widespread.”
“We’re not the health police,” said Dickie.
“Rental housing providers realize people need housing. We’re not in the habit of inquiring into people’s political views.”