Commission Says Natives Need Complaints Process

Monday, October 31, 2005 at 15:01



The Canadian Human Rights Commission says it hopes a loophole that prevents people living on reserves from filing certain complaints will be closed soon.


The Canadian Human Rights Act was first drawn up in 1977.


At the time of its creation, the government also included a section in the act that prevented residents living on reserves from filing complaints directly related to the Indian Act.


It told the public the measure was intended to help it address issues regarding sexual discrimination against women who married non-Indian men, and it would soon be lifted.


However, that hasn’t happened, and the commission now says it wants it to see change soon.


Commission spokesman Harvey Goldberg says, right now, that clause prohibits reserve residents from filing human rights complaints related to the allocation of housing on reserves, because that issue ties into the Indian Act.


Goldberg says they are calling on Ottawa to immediately repeal the clause and then institute a transition period of 18 to 30 months.


Goldberg acknowledges the commission also works with First Nations that want to create their own human rights code.


But he says the best solution would be Ottawa striking down the clause which prevents certain complaints from ever reaching their office.