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Vancouver B.C. – B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, will announce the topic of the first public inquiry to be conducted by her Office on Aug. 18, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. Media are invited to register for a Zoom videoconference to learn more about the Commissioner’s first public inquiry: a year-long investigation into a major human rights issue of our time. The Commissioner will be available for questions.
WHO:Kasari Govender, B.C.’s first independent Human Rights Commissioner
WHAT:Announcing the topic of the first public inquiry to be conducted by BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and taking questions from media
WHEN:Wednesday, August 18, 2021, from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. (PDT)
WHERE:via Zoom videoconference
REGISTER:https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1-byl8cmQdKb3YUAfqwe1Q
Note: When registering, please advise us of any accessibility needs or translation requirements you may have. We will work to accommodate you.

Background

In November 2018, amendments to B.C.’s Human Rights Code came into force allowing for the creation of an independent human rights commissioner for British Columbia. Up until then, B.C. had been without a human rights commission since 2002—the only Canadian province without one. Commissioner Kasari Govender was appointed in September 2019. In September 2020, more legal changes came into force that gave the Commissioner broad powers to inquire into matters that would serve to promote or protect human rights in B.C., including through a public inquiry. A public inquiry is an opportunity to delve deeply into the human rights implications of a particular incident or issue, gather factual and expert evidence, hear directly from those impacted (for example, through witness statements, public hearings or surveys) and determine recommendations for how to address the human rights issues raised. The inquiry being announced on Aug. 18, 2021 will be the first conducted by an independent human rights commissioner in B.C.

Media contact

For questions about this release, please contact Elaine O’Connor, Acting Director, Communications, at Elaine.OConnor@bchumanrights.ca or 1-250-216-4534.

Media kit

Download our media kit for images of Commissioner Kasari Govender.

About BCOHRC

BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner exists to address the root causes of inequality, discrimination and injustice in B.C. by shifting laws, policies, practices and cultures. We do this work through education, research, advocacy, inquiry and monitoring. Learn more at: bchumanrights.ca

About the Commissioner

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, started her five-year term on Sept. 3, 2019. Since then, our Office has been working swiftly to build a strong team, to listen deeply to the concerns of British Columbians, to deliver education materials on our rights and responsibilities, to issue policy guidance to protect marginalized communities and to lay a human rights-based foundation for our work. As an independent officer of the Legislature, the Commissioner is uniquely positioned to ensure human rights in B.C. are protected, respected and advanced on a systemic level throughout our society.

About the Inquiry

In September 2020, legal changes came into force in B.C.’s Human Rights Code that gave the Commissioner new, broad powers to inquire into matters that would serve to promote or protect human rights in B.C., including through a public inquiry, and to report our findings to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Learn more at our new Inquiry website: hateinquiry.bchumanrights.ca where you can find our Terms of Reference and participant resources.

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