5. Human Rights
Many people experience serious discrimination that is not covered by the Human Rights Code, and can be forced to fit themselves into categories that don’t fully describe their identity or experience. Those who are protected by the Code and who decide to file cases will often experience delays due to an underfunded Human Rights Tribunal.
If elected, would your government:
- Expand the protection of our Human Rights Code to include Indigeneity and Social Condition?
We are calling on the government to add “Indigenous identity” to the Human Rights Code as a prohibited ground of discrimination. This recommendation has been endorsed by a number of prominent Indigenous and human rights groups including the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the BC Assembly of First Nations, and BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, among many others.
We are also calling on the government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of social condition, a move that has been supported by numerous anti-poverty groups for years.
- Remove unjustified barriers to commencing or continuing Human Rights cases?
BC’s Human Rights Code does not allow cases to be filed alleging discrimination on the basis of age if the complainant is younger than 19 or if a tenant shares sleeping, cooking, or bathroom facilities with their landlord. It also does not allow a complainant’s family or estate to continue their complaint on their behalf if they pass away. These restrictions prevent access to our legal system and should be abolished.
- Ensure the Human Rights Tribunal is properly resourced to accomplish its mandate?
Funding for the BC Human Rights Tribunal has not kept pace with increased complaint volume and complexity, resulting in significant case delays that can be harmful to litigants. We are calling on the government to commit to increasing the funding for the Tribunal to a level commensurate with its increased case load.
See our letter to the candidates re Human Rights Reforms here.