Humanists welcome legislation to restore BC Human Rights Commission

The BC Humanist Association is welcoming legislation introduced today to restore the province's Human Rights Commission.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:

Core to Humanism is the promotion of human rights and the creation of a more just and compassionate society. Human Rights Commissions in every other province play a crucial role in that effort as they provide clear guidance to employers, landlords, service providers and citizens about their duties to respect one another's rights.

The legislation proposes an independent human rights commissioner who will report to the legislative assembly. The commissioner will be responsible for educating British Columbians on human rights, as well as examining and addressing issues of discrimination. The commissioner will have the mandate to develop educational tools, policies and guidelines to promote human rights and combat widespread patterns of inequality and discrimination in society.

The bill also establishes a human rights advisory council to advise the commissioner. It will also extend the timeline to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal from six months to one year.

Last fall, the BC Humanist Association participated in the consultation process for the proposed Human Rights Commission. Humanists have long supported the promotion of human rights and were instrumental in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago.

The BCHA looks forward to scrutinizing this legislation together with the broader social justice community to ensure it reflects those values and that the new Commission will help create a more just and equal British Columbia.

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