The Province’s public engagement to shape British Columbia's new human rights commission ends in one week.
British Columbians are encouraged to add their voice into how the new commission should be structured and operate to best serve the people of B.C.
Premier John Horgan announced that British Columbia would re-establish its human rights commission as B.C. is the only province in Canada without one. Since that time, Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon has led a public engagement campaign on the creation of the new commission, offering British Columbians an important forum to share their experiences and ideas on how best to promote and protect human rights in B.C.
The engagement site has received thousands of visits. There have been hundreds of individual responses detailing experiences with human rights violations and ideas for the new commission. Kahlon has held face-to-face meetings with organizations like the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, the MS Society of Canada, Trans Care BC and many more, to garner a deeper understanding of what types of issues are most commonly affecting British Columbians.
“It has been a valuable experience and a privilege to listen to and read the stories and experiences that people have shared during this engagement,” said Kahlon. “While it can be disheartening to hear that so many people face discrimination every day in our province, their willingness to come forward with the injustices they’ve felt fuels my drive to ensure that we build a human rights commission that is effective in dealing with the issues British Columbians face.”
Today, Attorney General David Eby led a discussion with the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law, following a recent stop at the University of Victoria. Another session is planned for Thompson Rivers University.
“A new human rights commission is an important part of B.C.'s continued work to ensure we are a welcoming place for everyone,” said Eby. “British Columbians have offered thoughtful perspectives throughout this engagement that will help inform our government’s next steps and I encourage everyone to add their voices before the engagement closes on Nov. 17.”
So far, the engagement has seen the most participation from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, with climbing numbers in the Thompson Okanagan area. In this last week of the engagement, government is calling for more participation from people in the Kootenays, Northeast, North Coast and Cariboo.
The engagement closes Friday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. Kahlon will then present a report of recommendations for the new commission to Eby.
- British Columbia’s previous human rights commission was dismantled in 2002 in favour of a human rights tribunal, which mediates and adjudicates individual human rights complaints.
- The public engagement that began Sept. 20, 2017, will inform the new commission’s model, in terms of how it helps educate about human rights, prevent discrimination and address systemic abuse.
- Everyone in British Columbia has rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code. The code’s purpose is 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.
Add a comment to the human rights commission engagement:
Read about B.C.’s Human Rights Code:
Read about B.C.’s Human Rights Protections: