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Legislation re-establishing human rights commissioner due in B.C. this fall

Photo Shutterstock The British Columbia government says it will introduce amendments to the Human Rights Code when the legislature resumes sitting this fall.
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 Photo ShutterstockPhoto Shutterstock

The British Columbia government says it will introduce amendments to the Human Rights Code when the legislature resumes sitting this fall.

Attorney General David Eby says the government wants to re-establish the position of human rights commissioner and support progress on gender equity and LGBTQ rights.

The commissioner would report to the legislature and have the mandate to develop educational tools, policies and guidelines to promote human rights and combat inequality and discrimination.

An all-party legislature committee would select and unanimously recommend a commissioner but the candidate would be subject to approval by the house.

The province's former Liberal government shut down B.C.'s human rights commission in late 2002, citing delays and duplications between the commission and the Human Rights Tribunal, originally created to hold hearings and make rulings on human rights issues.

In a news release, Eby says British Columbia has been the only province without an organization dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights for the past 16 years.

Spencer Chandra Herbert, the New Democrat member representing Vancouver-West End, says Friday's announcement offers a great reason to celebrate as Vancouver holds its annual Pride Parade this weekend.

"When groups are targeted by hate, we as a government and a society must act. These changes will be a big step forward toward building a more inclusive and welcoming community for all," he says in the release.