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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal)
Candidates’ messages: Columbia River Revelstoke

The Bulletin offered each candidate in Columbia River Revelstoke space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

Earth from Space.
Morning Start: It would only take one hour to drive to space

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read