Change On-Reserve Human Rights Rules Now: Report

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 13:10



The Canadian Human Rights Commission says band councils should be given 18 to 30 months to adjust to proposed new human rights rules on reserves — but that shouldn’t stop the necessary legislation from being passed immediately.


The commission is out with a report on the issue today called “Still a Matter of Rights”.


In it, the commission reiterates its call to have section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act repealed without delay.


Spokesperson Sheri Helgason says this legislation has been stalled enough, and shouldn’t be delayed indefinitely.


Section 67 denies First Nations people from filing human rights grievances against their band administrations.


First Nations leaders have long argued that any change should occur gradually, in order to allow bands to adequately prepare for an expected flood of human rights complaints.


Helgason says the transition period the commission is proposing would ensure that human rights protection is introduced in a way that respects the rights and interests of First Nations.


The proposed legislation to change the rules is still before Parliament.