Discussion Topic 6: Your feedback is making a difference



Thank you for your passion on human rights. You have shared your stories, ideas, and experiences with human rights violations and discrimination at work, at school and other social spaces. Some feedback was heartbreaking, but ultimately provides the fuel to charge onward.

There are only four days left in the public engagement to re-establish the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

Since its launch, this website has received thousands of visits and hundreds of individual responses. By the time the engagement closes, I will have held over 100 face-to-face meetings with stakeholders, organizations, experts and advocates. You still have until November 17 at 4 p.m. to add your voice to the discussion and I encourage you all to do so.

While we must keep the conversation going beyond the engagement, I am keen to present my recommendations to the Attorney General in December so we can move forward on re-establishing the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

If you’ve been considering participating and haven’t done so yet, I would love to hear from you. Whether it is a personal story or a systemic issue that you think a new commission could address, send us your comments, ideas and stories, and be part of this change.

– Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism
 

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47 responses to “Discussion Topic 6: Your feedback is making a difference

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    [-] Theresa

    As a member of the Council of Service Providers, a collaboration of organizations and agencies who support individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and deafblind, I am writing regarding the concern of the lack of Intervention support for individuals, primarily adults and seniors. There is no funding for adults and seniors who have deafblindness, a unique dual-sensory impairment. An Intervenor acts as the eyes and ears for an individual with deafblindness, supporting them so they may participate within their environment and communicate with others to the best of their ability. Without Intervention support, these individuals are not able to fully participate in their daily activities and have little or no ability to communicate. Whether they are wanting to go shopping, socialize, attend appointments or function within their homes, individuals with deafblindness are forced to make their way through life in a world of darkness and silence, often without the ability to communicate. Some individuals are forced to stay home, as they cannot safely venture out. This Human Rights website and discussion was just made known to The Council of Service Providers today and we are hoping for an extension to this discussion so that as a collaborative group we can make a more detailed submission. The issue of lack of Intervention Services will not go away and needs to be in the forefront. We implore you to allow this discussion to continue in order to better support the independence of those living in a lonely world.
    Further to this, there is also a great lack of funding for Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for access to services and appointments, such as dental, physiotherapy, chiropractors, and legal aid.

    The Deaf, Hard of Hearing and deafblind have the right to communication to live their lives fully and to the best of their ability and without Intervenors and Interpreters, this does not exist. These services are very expensive and are, therefore, unavailable to most individuals.

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    [-] David

    May as well start at the beginning. I got a job at the BCLDB back in May of 2003. I was pretty happy; I had worked exclusively in the private sector before that, and was happy to be in a government, union job. I had heard stories about unions and how it was hard to rise to the top positions as there were really only two ways that people were leaving, which is how one would rise. Death, and retirement. So it was for the first 6 or 7 years, but at some point the psa got involved in our workplace, and said that conversions to grade 3 positions were not acceptable and that positions would have to be posted and panelled for. Since that time, there have been 3 competitions for grade 3 positions. The first time, I didn’t even get an interview due to a subpar performance review. It may be noted that our shift was the only shift to actually assign percentages on the epdp which seems a bit unfair. The second time, I got an interview, but apparently didn’t answer questions correctly. Maybe it’s a shortcoming on my part but, I find it difficult to understand why I must panel for a job that I’m already doing; and that if I get the “promotion” I’ll be doing the extact same thing the next day, as I was doing the day before. I totally understand panelling for a job that has different knowledge and skills criteria, but for one that is exactly what one has been doing for 10 years makes no sense. Anyways, to add to this I was training in our workplace at that time, so not only did I get passed by, but I was then asked to train previously junior people who were complete novices to do jobs that I liked doing, and would now never do again because someone who was incapable of doing the job that they were selected ahead of me to do, was now capable because I, whom apparently was not capable; trained them to be capable. It’s kinda funny right. It got crazier when these new junior senior types wanted to then train. Suddenly they were senior to me, as a trainer because of their classification seniorty. So, now a guy who I may have trained to drive forklift only weeks earlier is ahead of me to train people how to drive forklifts….. interesting. I’m not sure the psa has thought the safety side of this idea to be fair to everyone through. I truly don’t believe they have because just recently, I have been passed over again for promotion because, one of my 3 answers was not apparently perfect, though I disagree with the feedback I was given, and filed an appeal at our workplace sending it to our warehouse manager. The response I got from him was that each of my claims was denied based on the same articles which I claimed to be aggrieved. I felt his response was ignorant, and shot back a brief email that went much like so. Dear (his name) Thanks for your response confirming my understanding that you believe I am less capable to do the job I already do, than someone who is untrained. Your support on this matter was deeply appreciated. Yours Truly. (my name). Not totally to my surprise, a couple of days later I was called to meet with a supervisor, who told me that the boss didn’t like the tone of my email, and that since I wasn’t a team player, I would no longer be a trainer in our workplace. So, now I’ve been punished for taking the lead from management, in communication styles. I’m trained and capable of doing almost every grade 3 position job in our workplace, and have trained people to do these same jobs, yet because of my own admitted limitation of apparently not being able to answer 3 questions correctly, I am passed over time and again. I’ve pretty much decided to throw my hands up and not even bother to apply for further postions, as I know I cannot answer any better than I did the last time, and even if through some miracle I did, I still wouldn’t be happy because I’d then have a grade 3 position but, be bottom of the classification seniority, which would leave me behind the dozens of people who used to be junior to me, and still are by service seniority, which apparently means next to nothing in our union. So, that’s my diatribe on how I’ve been made to feel of no value whatever in my workplace, and how it’s been supported my the bcpsa, the bcgeu, and the government itself through their policy. I hope it’s of some use to you. Thanks

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    [-] Paul

    There are already sufficient laws in place, this is not required, please spend the money on HEALTHCARE!! where there is an enormous need!

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    [-] Eugene

    I do not think that a Human Rights Commission should be part of British Columbia. However, if the legal fees of both the plaintiff and the defendant were payed for by the HRC, I would (just barely) tolerate them.

    Regarding their misuse, the HRCs of Canada were created in the 70s to make sure that all had equal opportunity. Since it was mostly minorities who did not, the commissions focused on them. But they have changed for the worse. Our common law system (civil law in Quebec) are adversarial systems with the adjudicator being impartial. Because Human Rights Commissions represent the claimant by paying for their legal fees (!!!!!!!!!), there is no reason for them to not swing in defence for the claimant, which is what they do now. Roughly 90% of all HRC rulings are in favour of the claimant because of this. This means they are PARTIAL. And impartiality is a goal and virtue of any functioning justice system. The worst part is that if you’re a vengeful claimant, you simply need to start the HRC claimant process to start doing damage, since your opponents pay hefty legal fees while you don’t. This is the first fundamental error with them.

    The second problem is that they’re oppressive. The HRCs used to focus on equality of opportunity, but now, their focus is equality of outcome. I know this because the OHRC advocates for “social justice” based on “substantive equality”. It is the job of elected government to pursue what the people want, whether it be social justice or not. But it should NOT be the job of the justice system. Since HRCs are part of the justice system, it should NOT be the job of HRCs to pursue social justice. And how do they measure social justice? They do it by measuring equality of outcome. This is their second fundamental error. In a free society, you have differences in outcomes. In an oppressive society, you have everyone at the same level. The level is always low. We have every communist system in the world to prove this. The link below leads to the OHRC website, which plainly states their (ideological and reprehensible) goals.

    I’d like to offer a solution. With all considered, this comment will probably not change any minds, and the HRC will be put into practice in BC. For me to tolerate this, I would like to see two conditions met. First is that the HRC/government pays for both the plaintiff and the defendant’s case in the HRC. This way, they at least SEEM more impartial. Second, that they stop pursuing social justice based on substantive equality, and instead pursue equality of opportunity by approving of race blind policies only.

    I’d love to talk more about this, if you’re interested, feel free to email me. Thanks for your time.

    OHRC link: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/about-commission

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    [-] Katherine

    I had to file a human rights complaint against my previous employer of 4 years who sexually harassed me and assaulted me. The process took nearly two years to complete. We eventually settled, but not after I was told over and over to setlle for much less than I deserved by my HRT attorney as well as the mediator for ESB.

    The initial process was fairly straight forward. You fill out the papers etc, but after filing the paperwork it was nearly a year before I heard anything about my case. My case worker was often on holidays or away from the office and was unable to answer many of my questions.

    Later, my HRT told me that many of the problems I experienced with my case were due to cuts in funding for groups lile HRT, HRTC and ESB.

    My career, family and health have all paid the price for what my creepy boss did. And the worst part is that nothing was really done. No body knows that they should avoid that guy, or that he is incapable of working with the young women he hires- and due to the nature of my settlement, I can’t tell anyone. This is not justice. This does not teach him not to discriminate again. This is only one of many stories I have of discrimination in the workplace. Please fix this. Thank you for conducting a survey.

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