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B.C. re-establishes Human Rights Commission

British Columbia will re-establish a provincial human rights commission, which was dismantled by the former Liberal government.

“Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Premier John Horgan in a press release. “By re-establishing a human rights commission, we will create a more-inclusive and just society, where we work together to eliminate inequality and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”

British Columbia is the only province in Canada without a human rights commission. The previous commission was dismantled in 2002 in favour of a complaint-driven tribunal.

“Building a better B.C. that is vibrant and full of opportunity starts with making sure everyone feels welcome to be a part of that future. Not only must we address discrimination when and where it happens, we must also educate, reach out, and take proactive steps to address systemic inequalities,” said B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby. “I have asked Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon to lead the public consultation process and I look forward to receiving his recommendations.”

The consultation process will include both online and face-to-face meetings with British Columbians, stakeholders and human rights experts, and will seek to learn what a renewed human rights commission could look like. The consultation is expected to start this September and continue through the autumn months, with legislation expected to follow in 2018.

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