After three weeks of in-person meetings, and continued discussion here on the engagement website, I am seeing a clearer picture of the status of human rights in British Columbia. I appreciate the ideas that have been offered by those who have experienced discrimination and by experts in the field, some of whom have experienced discrimination themselves. I am also hearing how discrimination has been, and continues to be, a barrier that leaves many people feeling powerless, angry and left behind.
For our next discussion, I’d like us to focus on the place where many of us spend much of our time – at the workplace. Some of the stories I’ve heard so far have been about experiencing discrimination while searching for work, being at work, and pursuing career advancement. Despite having clear protections under the B.C. Human Rights Code, discrimination in the workplace is still a reality for many British Columbians. This must change.
In discussion topic 3, Bonnie suggests that opportunities should be created to help employers and organizations learn more about employing people with disabilities, understand universal design, and learn more about grants for workplace enhancements to employ people living with disabilities.
Each day, with each new conversation and each new comment like Bonnie’s, I look forward to the impact our re-established Human Rights Commission will have in our province. What an opportunity! We must signal to those who discriminate that intolerance is unacceptable and that in B.C., the opportunity to succeed must belong to everyone.
What kind of discrimination have you experienced in the workplace? What did you do about it? If you’re an employer or supervisor, how do you contribute to an inclusive workplace?
– Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism & Sport
(Please remember not to mention third parties specifically)