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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Rolling Back Human Rights in BC: An Assessment of Bill 53 - the Government of British Columbia's Draft Human Rights Legislation

Policy Brief by Shelagh Day

In May 2002 the Government of British Columbia tabled Bill 53, an Act to amend the British Columbia Human Rights Code. According to Shelagh Day, author of this evaluation of the proposed legislation, Bill 53 is the Government of British Columbia’s response to concerns over the functioning of the BC Human Rights Commission. Day stresses, however, that Bill 53 must be evaluated to determine whether it actually confronts these concerns. The conclusion of her evaluation is that it does not.

The most controversial aspect of Bill 53, Day claims, is the abolishment of the BC Human Rights Commission and the institution of a ‘direct access’ model the Government claims will provide better access for those filing discrimination complaints. Day believes the elimination of discrimination is a fundamental principle underlying human rights law, and one in which the entire community has a stake. Eliminating the Commission, she asserts, will result in a weaker, narrowly focused human rights system that is unable to effectively deal with discrimination. The result of Bill 53, she concludes, is that there will be no body responsible for protecting the public’s interest in eliminating discrimination.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Shelagh Day;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2002; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Human Rights
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Human Rights / 2002


Keywords / Tags:

human rights; British Columbia; discrimination; public interest; law; narrow focus; 'direct access' model; Human Rights Commission; Human Rights Tribunal;