News & Updates

News


  • 2018 updates

    November 27, 2018 

    The Human Rights Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 50), received Royal Assent today. 

    The following amendments come into effect on Royal Assent 

    • The time limit for filing a complaint is now one year. Section 22 and 27(1)(g) are amended. The Tribunal has amended the forms and Rules to reflect this change. 
    • The office of the Human Rights Commissioner is created and given powers. 
    • The Commissioner has the right to intervene in a complaint. Section 22.1 and the definition of “intervenor” are amended. 
    • Sections 5 and 6 of the Code are repealed. 

    Some amendments will come into effect by regulation: 

    • Responsibility for special programs will shift to the Commissioner. Sections 42 will be amended; s. 27.3(2)(l) will be repealed; and the new s. 47.12 will be amended. 
    • The commissioner will have the power to initiate inquires. 
    • The commissioner will have the power to obtain copies of complaints and responses. 
    • The Legislative Assembly will be able to refer a matter to the Commissioner. 
    • Anyone who participates or may participate in an inquiry will be protected from retaliation and the definition of discrimination will be amended. 

    November 16, 2018 

    The Tribunal is asking for input about how to protect both privacy and freedom of expression in relation to its process. See the tribunal notices page for more information. Please provide your input by December 14, 2018

    November 16, 2018 – archived notice
    The Tribunal is asking for input about how to protect both privacy and freedom of expression in relation to its process. Please provide your input by January 14, 2019 to BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca or by mail. 

    The Tribunal must protect privacy, transparency, and freedom of expression in relation to its process. 

    The Tribunal is seeking input on whether it should limit the use that parties may make of the information in a complaint file. If not, why not? If so, why? 

    Any limit must be clearly understood. If you recommend limits on publication of complaint file information, what clearly understood limits would you propose? 

    Background 

    The Tribunal’s practice is set out in rule 5 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure, Complaint Process Privacy Policy, and Public Access & Media Policy. In general, the Tribunal does not make information in complaint files available to the public except as follows: 

    • The Tribunal publishes decisions that contain information from complaint files 
    • After a complaint is on the hearing list, certain documents are available to the public 
    • Hearings are open to the public 
    • If there is a judicial review, material filed in court is available to the public (unless a party gets a court order) 
    • People can apply for access under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act 

    A party can apply to the Tribunal to limit the Tribunal and others from publishing information. Subject to an order limiting publication and rules regarding confidentiality of certain information, people may speak publicly about a complaint. 

    Parties have asked whether the right to speak publicly about a complaint includes reproducing a complaint or response to complaint or making public any of the information in a complaint file including, for example, medical diagnosis or other highly personal information. 

    The Tribunal’s Rules and policies do not answer these questions. 

    The Tribunal is seeking input on ways to protect privacy, transparency, and freedom of expression in relation to its process. 

    You may wish to address the following questions, identify other issues, or make general comments. 

    • Is privacy currently protected enough by operation of other laws? 
    • Should parties be required to seek an order limiting publication? 
    • Should the Tribunal limit what complaint file information may be made public? 
    • Should the Tribunal amend its forms to allow a party to identify information they consider requires protection? 

    November 1, 2018 

    The BC Government today introduced the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2018. The legislation will establish a Human Rights Commissioner. On Royal Assent, the legislation will also change the time limit for filing a complaint from six months to one year. See the Government’s News Release

    October 17, 2018 

    On October 23, 2018, the Tribunal is scheduled for a computer hardware refresh. We may experience minor interruptions to our telephone and email service during this time. We thank you for your patience. 

    August 9, 2018 

    The Tribunal is pleased to announce that Barbara Korenkiewicz, currently a Tribunal Member, will be joining the Tribunal’s legal department as Legal Counsel, effective September 4, 2018. We wish Ms. Korenkiewicz much continued success as she transitions into her new role with our legal team. 

    August 1, 2018 

    The BCHRT’s Annual Report 2017-2018 has been filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and is now available to the public. 

    May 30, 2018 

    The Tribunal has amended its Rules of Practice and Procedure to add rule 36 – Reconsideration of Decisions. The new rule 36 sets out the requirements for an application to reconsider a decision, including a new 14 day time limit. 

    May 28, 2018 

    The Tribunal Chair has issued a new practice direction regarding legal authorities

    May 18, 2018 – archived notice

    Invitation for intervenors 

    On September 10 – 13, 2018, the Tribunal will be hearing the case of Morgane Oger v. Bill Whatcott. The complaint alleges that Mr. Whatcott violated s. 7 of the Human Rights Code [Code] when he distributed a number of pamphlets about Ms. Oger ’s fitness for public office in light of her gender identity. The complaint raises issues of general public interest, including: 

    • how s. 7 of the Code is interpreted in light of ss. 2(a), (b), 15 and 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and 
    • an application of the legal principles set out in Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, 2013 SCC 11, to the facts of this case 

    The Tribunal has granted intervenor status to the Canadian Association for Free Expression and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, pursuant to s. 22.1 of the Code. In light of the legal issues raised by the complaint, the Tribunal is inviting further intervenor applications up until June 15, 2018. Applications should identify the nature of the applicant and how they will be able to usefully contribute to the legal issues raised in the complaint. 

    May 8, 2018 

    The BCHRT is recruiting for a part-time, 0.8 FTE, Legal Counsel. The closing date is May 28, 2018. Friendly reminder that applicants must apply on the BC Public Service site posting linked above. We will not accept applications sent to the BCHRT. 

    April 24, 2018 

    The Tribunal welcomes three new members to our team, Beverly Froese, Pamela Murray and Paul Singh.

    Congratulations to Devyn Cousineau on her appointment as a Tribunal member. We wish her much success in the transition from Legal Counsel to a Tribunal member. 

    March 28, 2018 

    The Tribunal has posted a revised Members’ Code of ConductMediators’ Code of Conduct, and process for making a complaint about the Tribunal’s services

    March 7, 2018 

    The BC Court of Appeal clarified the test for proving retaliation under s. 43 of the Code in Gichuru v. Pallai, 2018 BCCA 78. We have updated our information about retaliation and leading cases

    February 28, 2018 

    The Tribunal is establishing a working group to address Tribunal process for complaints brought on behalf of a child. By March 28, 2018, send your expression of interest, identifying your relevant experience, to the attention of: 

    Diana Juricevic 
    Chair 
    BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca 

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