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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Abbotsford Flea Market reopening on Sunday

Market has been closed since March 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Abbotsford City Hall re-opens for scheduled appointments

In-person meetings with staff can now be booked for the first time since March

Marshall Road upgrades eyed after apartment approved

City staff counted 44 U-turns in one day on side street near proposed development

Peak on the lower Fraser River expected to arrive Monday

Peak predicted for July 6, with flows decreasing from there: River Forecast Centre

Sport Abbotsford calls for opening of Centennial Outdoor Pool

Local sport association claims lack of consulting from City of Abbotsford in decision process

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Most Read