The BC Humanist Association today submitted its response to the Government of BC's consultation on re-establishing the province's Human Rights Commission. As part of that brief, we pointed to the 1000 people who've signed our petition calling for "nonreligion" to be made a protected class in the Human Rights Code.
In our brief, we highlight some of our concerns with religious privilege and discrimination against the nonreligious in BC. We made five recommendations to the government:
- Make “nonreligion” a protected ground
Restore the Human Rights Commission’s mandate to provide education; doresearch; produce guidelines or policies; conduct inquiries, reviews and
special reports; and initiate complaints and interventions
- Enshrine the use of evidence in the human rights system
- Close loopholes in the Code
- Streamline and properly fund BC’s Human Rights system
Humanists have a longstanding commitment to promoting human rights. The Government of BC has a major opportunity to make BC a global leader in advancing rights and creating a more just and equal society.
On Tuesday, BCHA Executive Director Ian Bushfield met with Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon to discuss our recommendations in person. Last week, the BCHA submitted a comprehensive brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage highlighting how religious privilege continues to marginalize the nonreligious across Canada.
The BC Government's consultation closes on Friday at 4 PM. You can add your voice online until then. After that Mr Kahlon is planning to prepare his report and recommendations by the end of the year and the government will look to bring forward legislation in the spring to amend the Human Rights Code.
In the meantime, please make a donation to support our work promoting human rights.
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