Gender, Indigenous, immigrant issues priorities for B.C. human rights commission: report

Delta-North MLA Ravi Kahlon outlined 25 recommendations

Early priorities for the new independent B.C. Human Rights Commission should include fighting discrimination based on gender, Indigenous identity and immigrant status, a report by Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon stated.

Kahlon, who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, outlined 25 recommendations in a report to Attorney General David Eby released Sunday.

He described B.C.’s past with human rights commissions as “rocky,” pointing out that the province is the only one in Canada without one after then-Premier Gordon Campbell eliminated it in 2002.

READ: B.C. announces restoration of Human Rights Commission

Campbell’s government had retained the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, an an independent, quasi-judicial body that deals with human rights complaints.

Chief among the recommendations was that it be an independent body that reports to the B.C. legislature, rather than the Attorney General.

“There was a strong sense from the engagement process that people wanted some stability and some independence,” said Kahlon.

The report noted the flaws in B.C.’s current Human Rights Tribunal, stating that “as an impartial mediator and decision maker, the tribunal is not able to take on systemic discrimination by instituting preventative measures to combat discrimination or taking on province-wide educational and advocacy functions.”

Kahlon said his report was based on eight weeks of consultations with people across B.C.

“The report released today recommends a commission that is mandated and resourced to prevent and resolve systematic issues of discrimination in B.C.,” said Kahlon.

Along with the 25 recommendations, Kahlon’s report included three early priorities: collaborating and consulting with Indigenous groups to develop policies in agreement with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; to look at whether gender needs to be included on public documents and to look at how foreign credentials and instances of discrimination against immigrants are handled.

The report outlined a suggested structure for the commission that would include one appointed commissioner supported by staff, an advisory council working groups and community partnerships.

Kahlon said that he sees the commissions role as separate from that of the human rights tribunal and that the new body will focus on creating education tools, workplace and organization policies and awareness campaigns regarding human rights.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

Trio of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock events planned for Port Alberni

Cancer Society volunteers work behind the scenes to fundraise for tour

Man rescued from cliff on Harbour Road in Port Alberni

Fire department uses new equipment in rope rescue

Alberni Valley firefighters head to Fort St. James to assist with B.C. wildfires

‘We need to make sure first and foremost our community is protected’: Gilday

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Two hurt in car wreck on old Island Highway

Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday at highway intersection in Nanaimo

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read