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New B.C. Human Rights Commission should be in place next fall

After a 16 year hiatus, B.C. once again will have a Human Rights Commission.

The province has introduced legislative amendments to the Human Rights Code that will re-establish a human rights commission for B.C. that aims to promote and protect human rights.

Jason Murray, a practicing lawyer, who also currently serves as Chair of the Pacific Region of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said education is the best way to prevent acts of hatred and he cites the challenging week it has been for the Jewish community.

“In our week of sharing grief and encountering support from people around us I have been reminded of the important role that our entire society plays in protecting human rights and allowing our fellow human beings to live their lives with dignity and respect. These murders highlight risks of allowing hatred and discrimination to go unchecked because left unchecked, history has a nasty way of repeating itself.”

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Murray was referring to the incident in Pittsburgh Saturday when a man walked into a Synagogue in Pittsburgh and fatally shot 11 Jews.

He said, “According to Statistics Canada the Jewish community remains among the most targeted religious community in this country. We know that antisemitism has historically been an indicator of the overall health of a society’s values. Simply put, those who target vulnerable and minority groups ultimately threaten the freedom and equality of individuals in our society.”

B.C.’s former commission was dismantled in 2002.

It is currently the only province in Canada that does not have such a body.

Attorney General, David Eby said he expects the Commission to be up and running by this time next year.

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