BC 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.
The 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.