PUBLIC engagement is now underway with British Columbians as the Province looks to re-establish the Human Rights Commission.
On behalf of Attorney General David Eby, Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon announced that he will lead dialogues over two months with individuals and groups, both online and in person. This will help to inform his recommendations on developing a modern, efficient and effective human rights commission that will help to build a safer and more-inclusive society.
From September 20 through November 17, British Columbians are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas on how a human rights commission can promote and protect the principles of dignity and equality in the province.
Public engagement will be conducted through a dedicated website, where weekly discussion questions will drive ongoing conversation and provide an outlet for written submissions. Additionally, Kahlon will hold meetings throughout the province with various organizations and interested parties.
The Parliamentary Secretary’s recommendations will be presented in a written report and submitted to the Attorney General in December 2017. Legislation is expected to follow in 2018.
Eby: “Discrimination and intolerance have no place in our province. Our government is re-establishing a Human Rights Commission to proactively address issues that act as barriers to a free and just society. Through this engagement, we invite British Columbians to share their priorities with government so we can reinstate a Human Rights Commission that advocates effectively on behalf of those who need it most.”
Kahlon: “I am looking forward to hearing from British Columbians about their experiences, challenges and ideas regarding human rights in our province. Our government is determined to build a new commission that addresses today’s issues in modern and effective ways that can truly make progress against systemic discrimination and inequalities in B.C.”
* Join the conversation at #BCHumanRights.
* Currently, British Columbia is the only province in Canada without a human rights commission.
* B.C.’s previous Human Rights Commission was dismantled in 2002 in favour of a Human Rights Tribunal, which mediates and adjudicates human rights complaints after they have occurred.
* On August 4, the B.C. government announced that it would re-establish a human rights commission.
* Public engagement will inform the new commission’s model in terms of how it educates about human rights, prevents discrimination and helps address systemic abuse.
* Everyone in British Columbia has rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.
* The code’s purposes are to promote a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal, to prevent discrimination, and enable people to participate equally in the economic, social, political, and cultural life of British Columbia.