It’s fitting the report on the new BC human rights commission be released on International Human Rights Day.
In the report are 25 recommendations for establishing the commission in five separate categories: creation, purpose, functions, powers, and early priorities.
There are three early priorities.
“First, to consult and collaborate with Indigenous groups to develop policies and practices that honour the principles of the United Nations declaration on the rights to Indigenous people,” explains Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon.
“Second, to address the issue of gender as an identity marker in public documents; and finally, to address discrimination against immigrants and newcomers to this province.”
When asked to compare B.C.’s commission recommendations to other provinces, Kahlon says he is confident.
There is some similarities between Ontario’s structure, meaning the three streams, we have the Human Rights Tribunal, we have the Human Rights Commission, and we have the [Human Rights Clinic], Kahlon says.
“But this would be a higher level than even Ontario in that the human rights commissioner will report directly to the legislature as opposed to having any reporting function to the Attorney General.”
The recommendations come following an eight-week public engagement between September 20th and November 17th which saw 13,253 site visits, 531 online comments, 70 written submission, and over 80 in-person or telephone meetings.
Attorney General David Eby will meet with the federal, provincial, and territorial counterparts over the next few days, looking at key human-rights priorities for Canada.
This is the first time in 30 years all ministers responsible for human rights in the country will meet about the issue.
B.C. is currently the only province in Canada without a human rights commission after the previous commission was dismantled.
BC is the only province w/o a human rights commission. On #HumanRightsDay, we're pleased to announce the findings of our Human Rights Commission Public Engagement. With these findings we can begin working towards effective human rights support & services British Columbians want. pic.twitter.com/uJNM5laaPV
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 10, 2017