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

Just Posted

Mill Bay students petition for formal graduation

“We have a few realistic ideas in mind that could provide a safe and healthy grad celebration”

800 meals donated for Cowichan frontline workers

They were at Cowichan District Hospital on May 25 handing out prepared meals to grateful workers

Cowichan CMHA officials respond to report, probation order

“there are important improvements needed to ensure greater fairness within our housing program.”

Cowichan RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Editorial: Minimal risk in sending kids back to school

Time to poke our heads out of our comfortable nests and venture out into the world again.

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read