The Royal Bank of Canada is being accused of discriminating against a mortgage applicant based on their political beliefs.
Specifically, Ezra Levant, journalist and publisher of Rebel News, says it was this media outlet that was turned down while trying to obtain a commercial mortgage to buy itself offices in Calgary.
Levant says that there shouldn’t have been any problems with the application: the company behind Rebel News has no debt, the bank was shown financial statements going back years, and he personally has been the bank’s client for years – and willing to guarantee the mortgage.
It seemed like a strong application that would not face much if any problems, but then the loans officer he was dealing with at the Calgary branch reportedly didn’t even try to hide that a politics-based “review” would have to be done at the bank’s HQ in Toronto. Having “strong” – and “wrong” – opinions on Canada’s current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was apparently reason enough to decline the mortgage application.
“I recorded that phone call, because it’s too incredible to believe without proof,” Levant writes of the conversation during which he learned the application got canceled on political grounds; “It’s an absolute scandal: the Royal Bank has a blacklist of Canadians it considers political enemies,” he continues.
The irony is not lost on Levant: the main reason why Rebel News wanted to purchase its own office building was to avoid canceling and deplatforming – but the way the system is set up, the media outlet got canceled and deplatformed during the very process.
The office building was meant as a co-working space not just for Rebel News but for other conservative-minded outlets represented in Calgary, as well as activists who would have a space to speak and work freely, and hence its importance in Levant’s eyes – and the determination not to give up on the idea.