Human RightsBC Human Rights Commission to be reinstated

CPPNews-Vancouver    British Columbia will once again have a Human Rights Commission. Newly in-power NDP Premier John Horgan made the announcement a few weeks ago, returning the commission to the province after it was shuttered 15 years ago. The Liberal’s decision to close the commission had left BC as the only province in Canada without a human rights commission.

The provincial Human Rights Commission will be a proactive source of challenging human rights violations, in contrast to the current system which relies on the person involved to make an individual complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal. Having a commission again will mean the body will be party to important cases, and will be able to make significant pushes for policy change.

Pull QuoteThe commission will also have education as part of its core competency, helping to raise awareness of discrimination issues in an effort to stamp it out, as Premier John Horgan said in Vancouver. The attorney-general of BC, David Eby, said the commission will have “the power to do more, to educate about human rights, to prevent discrimination from taking place, and to support people in addressing systemic discrimination.”

Both Premier Horgan and Eby noted recent racial tension in the province as as reason the province needs a commission again. Eby referenced an incident last fall where racist flyers were being distributed in Richmond, BC, as an example.

Consultations with human rights advocates and groups will take place through the fall and new legislation creating the commission will be expected later in 2018.

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