On December 10, 2017, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports and Multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon released his much-anticipated report and recommendations on the re-establishment of the B.C. Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”). This followed the announcement by Premier John Horgan in August of this year that the government intended to re-establish the Commission.
Since the previous iteration of the Commission was abolished in 2003, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) has operated as the sole government entity responsible for addressing human rights matters in the Province. The purpose of the Tribunal is to independently adjudicate human rights complaints.
Mr. Kahlon’s report, entitled “A Human Rights Commission for the 21st Century: British Columbians Talk about Human Rights”, makes 25 total recommendations concerning how the revamped Commission, the Tribunal, the Human Rights Clinic and the Attorney General should operate in conjunction with one another. Significantly, the report recommends that the Tribunal maintain its direct-access model, while the Commission’s primary goal should be to educate and promote equality in the Province. The report further suggests that the Commission report directly to the Provincial legislature, as opposed to the Attorney General, in order to ensure the Commission be non-partisan and independent of the government.
The report is now being evaluated by Attorney General David Eby. It is expected that a formal proposal concerning the creation of the Commission will be presented to the legislature in early 2018.
The full report can be found here.