BC Human Rights Tribunal seeks Indigenous people to serve on its volunteer Expanding Our Vision Committee. This Committee supports and advises the Tribunal to implement the recommendations set out by Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem, QC (now Justice Walkem) in Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights (2020). Contact Amber Prince, 236-455-1906 / firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more information about the Expanding Our Vision Committee, see:
The government amended the Human Rights Code effective November 25, 2021 to add Indigenous identity as a ground of discrimination. In Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights, Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem recommended that the Tribunal advocate to add Indigenous identity as a protected ground to the Code. That recommendation has been fulfilled with the amendment. Please use the print form to make a complaint on the basis of Indigenous identify. We are updating the online form.
BCHRT Opportunity for Qualified Mediators
Information Session Notice – Mediation Services – RFQ 12737 (November 24, 2021, 12 – 1pm)
Information Session for Indigenous Proponents – Mediation Services – RFQ 12737 (November 29, 2021, 12 – 1pm)
The government introduced legislation to amend the Human Rights Code to add Indigenous identity as a protected ground. See news release. This is one of the recommendations in Expanding our Vision: Cultural Equality and Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights.
The bill comes into force on Royal Assent.
The Tribunal has issued a new Practice Direction as an interim emergency measure to address the significantly increased workload at the Tribunal, including the large number of outstanding applications to dismiss complaints made under s. 27 of the Code. See: Emergency Pause on New Applications to Dismiss.
BCHRT has an opening for a Legal Counsel: There will be two information sessions.
Many people are filing complaints about vaccine requirements. Before filing a complaint, see Vaccine Requirement Complaints.
The Tribunal has introduced a new logo.
BCHRT's Annual Report 2020-2021 has been filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and is now available to the public.
Emily Ohler has been appointed chair of the BC Human Rights Tribunal effective August 1, 2021 for a three-year term. See the government press release.
The Tribunal issued a Notice to Counsel appearing before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal welcomes two new members to our team: Simmy Chauhan and Jessica Derynck. Ms. Chauhan and Ms. Derynck were both appointed as full-time Tribunal Members for six month terms commencing April 6, 2021 and April 12, 2021, respectively.
Tribunal will set automatic mediation dates starting April 6, 2021. When the Tribunal notifies the parties that a complaint is proceeding, it will set a mediation date. Mediation remains voluntary. Parties can opt out or ask for a date change, if necessary. This change is aimed to gain efficiencies in the process by reducing delay and removing the time-consuming task of canvassing parties for their availability.
The Tribunal has made two minor amendments to its Rules of Practice and Procedure:
Tribunal Chair Position Open. There is currently an opening for the position of Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal. This is a full-time appointment made by order-in-council (Provincial Cabinet). The job posting is open until April 5. The posting encourages applications from Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, women, racialized people, and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector appointments.
The Tribunal has adopted a Mediation Policy, which covers:
Tribunal announces new process for mask wearing complaints.
Indigenous Tribunal Members Appointed. Following the release of the Report of Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem QC, Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality&Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights, the Expanding Our Vision Implementation Committee identified increasing Indigenous representation within the Tribunal as the first priority. The Tribunal held an information session for Indigenous lawyers and undertook a rigorous hiring process that attracted many qualified applicants. As a result of that process, three Indigenous lawyers have been appointed as Tribunal members for four-year terms:
Acting Chair Appointed. Paul Singh has been appointed Acting Chair of the BC Human Rights Tribunal effective February 1, 2021.
Mr. Singh’s appointment is for a six-month term until a full-time Chair is appointed through a merit-based recruitment process. He replaces Diana Juricevic (Vandor), following her appointment to the Provincial Court, effective Feb. 1, 2021.
The Tribunal has issued a Guide to On-line Hearings and Microsoft Teams Participant Instructions. These guides contain practical information that will help participants prepare for video hearings at the Tribunal.
The Tribunal has:
We will start inviting participants to create accounts. We ask for your patience as we move 1,600 cases into our new case management system.
We are making changes! On June 22, 2020, the Tribunal will move to a new case management system. We will also introduce some significant changes:
First, we will introduce a Case Activity Centre where parties can get an account to “log in” to:
We will begin to invite participants to use the Case Activity Centre.
We ask for your patience as we move 1,600 existing cases to the new system.
Second, we will introduce new complaint forms:
We will also introduce some related changes:
We encourage you to send us feedback about these changes – and where we need to fix things or do better.
As identified below, the Human Rights Tribunal is currently seeking contract mediators to provide mediation services to the parties involved in Tribunal proceedings.
The process through the BC Bid website has changed. The deadline to submit a proposal is extended to May 21, 2020 at 2 pm.
Please check the BC Bid website for updates.
The Human Rights Tribunal is currently seeking contract mediators to provide mediation services to the parties involved in Tribunal proceedings.
Information about this opportunity is available on the BC Bid website. After accessing this link, click on “supplier attachments” in the top righthand corner and “proceed to attachments” to access the interactive proposal form which sets out the mandatory requirements for the contract.
The deadline for submissions of proposals for this opportunity is May 7, 2020 at 2 pm.
Effective April 1, 2020, the following provisions of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2018 are brought into force by the Human Rights Amendment Act Regulation, B.C. Reg. 71/2020:
March 30, 2020
The Tribunal has consolidated its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See COVID-19 Issues at the Tribunal if you have questions about filing deadlines and for updates about how to communicate with us.
Accredited Media Access to Hearings: The Tribunal recognizes the importance of having its hearings open to the public. The Tribunal’s hearing rooms are temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. Media who are accredited under the BC Courts Media Accreditation Process and who want to attend a hearing held by telephone or video conference should contact the Tribunal by email at BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca at least one week before the hearing. The email should identify the hearing from the hearing schedule and attach confirmation of their accreditation.
How to file materials: The reception desk is closed to the public. The drop box is not currently accessible. You can file materials by mail, fax, and email. Check back for updates.
Affidavits: The Tribunal will accept affidavits executed following the process identified by the BC Courts and approved by the Law Society of BC.
Our offices are now closed with the team working at home to help stop the spread of the virus. This will not affect your telephone calls and emails getting through to us. Please continue to contact us and we will respond.
The Tribunal is no longer conducting in-person proceedings. If you have an in-person mediation or hearing in the near future, we will be reaching out to you to discuss other methods of proceeding.
The Tribunal is also seeking qualified candidates who possess efficient decision-writing in the human rights field for a temporary appointment under s. 6 of the Administrative Tribunals Act.
Interested candidates are invited to apply through the current posting and to specify whether they seek a temporary appointment under s. 6, an order-in-council appointment, or both. Candidates who seek a temporary appointment should highlight skills and experience relevant to decision-writing in the human rights field.
The Human Rights Tribunal currently has a posting for a Tribunal Member position. The Tribunal is committed to increasing the number of Indigenous Peoples at all levels of the organization, as called for in the report of Ardith Walkem QC, Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights. In making a recommendation for an appointment, the Tribunal may grant a preference to Indigenous candidates.
Today, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal released a report addressing serious access to justice concerns for Indigenous Peoples bringing human rights complaints to the Tribunal. The report, entitled Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality&Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights, makes far-reaching recommendations that could transform human rights in this province. The Human Rights Tribunal is being joined by Indigenous, legal and human rights organizations in a shared commitment to transform human rights for Indigenous Peoples in the province.
Report author Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem QC surveyed over 100 Indigenous People about their experiences with discrimination and the Human Rights Tribunal. Overwhelmingly those interviewed reported pervasive levels of discrimination. Many Indigenous People had no idea that the Human Rights Tribunal existed, or how to access it. Many said that their experiences of racism as Indigenous Peoples were so widespread that they did not believe it would make any difference to file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.
Expanding our Vision makes nine recommendations. Removing barriers to access to the Human Rights Tribunal is not enough. Structural change is needed to incorporate Indigenous definitions of human rights according to Indigenous laws. The main recommendations broaden the concept of human rights, including adding Indigenous Identity to the BC Human Rights Code and incorporating Indigenous legal traditions and international human rights principles as reflected in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which BC has recently committed to implementing through legislation.
This report is a call to action. The Human Rights Tribunal will actively engage with Indigenous Peoples and communities to move forward in a meaningful way on these recommendations. The report has implications beyond the Tribunal’s work, and we are committed to working collaboratively with others.
The Tribunal has updated its Public Access & Media Policy, including about public attendance at hearings, voice recorders, cell phones, and publication bans.
The Tribunal has a new practice direction on applications to dismiss against individual respondents.
The Report of the Working Group on Strengthening Tribunal Processes for Representative Complaints is available for public review. The Tribunal is reviewing the report to determine what recommendations it will implement on an interim basis. The Tribunal will also be conducting the recommended consultations, including with children, youth, persons with disabilities, and relevant organizations. If any other person or group wants to comment on the recommendations, you can send us comments by July 31, 2018 (5 page limit, subject line “Comments on Representative Complaints”).
The BC Human Rights Tribunal proudly endorses the Access to Justice Triple Aim which will guide initiatives and reforms for making human rights more accessible to British Columbians.
The Tribunal is asking for participants in a survey about Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights.
Effective today, the Tribunal's address is:
1270 - 605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
The Tribunal's reception is moving to the 12th floor on January 28, 2019. As of that date, the Tribunal's address will be:
1270 - 605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
The Human Rights Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 50), received Royal Assent today.
The following amendments come into effect on Royal Assent
Some amendments will come into effect by regulation:
The Tribunal is asking for input about how to protect both privacy and freedom of expression in relation to its process. See the tribunal notices page for more information. Please provide your input by December 14, 2018.
The BC Government today introduced the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2018. The legislation will establish a Human Rights Commissioner. On Royal Assent, the legislation will also change the time limit for filing a complaint from six months to one year. See the Government's News Release.
On October 23, 2018, the Tribunal is scheduled for a computer hardware refresh. We may experience minor interruptions to our telephone and email service during this time. We thank you for your patience.
The Tribunal is pleased to announce that Barbara Korenkiewicz, currently a Tribunal Member, will be joining the Tribunal's legal department as Legal Counsel, effective September 4, 2018. We wish Ms. Korenkiewicz much continued success as she transitions into her new role with our legal team.
The BCHRT's Annual Report 2017-2018 has been filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and is now available to the public.
The Tribunal has amended its Rules of Practice and Procedure to add rule 36 - Reconsideration of Decisions. The new rule 36 sets out the requirements for an application to reconsider a decision, including a new 14 day time limit.
The Tribunal Chair has issued a new practice direction regarding legal authorities.
On September 10 - 13, 2018, the Tribunal will be hearing the case of Morgane Oger v. Bill Whatcott. The complaint alleges that Mr. Whatcott violated s. 7 of the Human Rights Code [Code] when he distributed a number of pamphlets about Ms. Oger ’s fitness for public office in light of her gender identity. The complaint raises issues of general public interest, including:
The Tribunal has granted intervenor status to the Canadian Association for Free Expression and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, pursuant to s. 22.1 of the Code. In light of the legal issues raised by the complaint, the Tribunal is inviting further intervenor applications up until June 15, 2018. Applications should identify the nature of the applicant and how they will be able to usefully contribute to the legal issues raised in the complaint.
Congratulations to Devyn Cousineau on her appointment as a Tribunal member. We wish her much success in the transition from Legal Counsel to a Tribunal member.
The Tribunal is establishing a working group to address Tribunal process for complaints brought on behalf of a child. By March 28, 2018, send your expression of interest, identifying your relevant experience, to the attention of:
There is a full time vacancy for the position of Tribunal Member coming available in January 2018. A posting is open now until December 15, 2017.
Devyn Cousineau has been appointed as a member of the Tribunal for a six month term beginning November 1, 2017.
The Tribunal issued service standards, effective November 1, 2017.
The Tribunal is withdrawing the Settlement Meeting Policy. We have updated the Frequently Asked Questions About Settlement Meetings (Mediation).
The Tribunal amended rule 7 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure.
The Tribunal made its Submission to Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon regarding the re-establishment of a Human Rights Commission in British Columbia.
The Government of British Columbia is re-establishing the B.C. Human Rights Commission. Everyone is welcome to contribute their views about the role, functions and priorities of the new commission.
Find out more about the consultation.
The Tribunal's Annual Report 2016-2017 has been tabled in the Legislature.
The Tribunal is considering an amendment to Rule 7 - Representation before the Tribunal. We would like to receive feedback about the draft amended rule, set out below. Please address your comments to the Registrar by October 13, 2017.
Draft Rule 7 - Representation before the Tribunal
How participants may be represented
Withdrawal of representative
Responsibilities of participants and representatives
Consequences for failure to comply
The Tribunal has added leading cases to the law library. We will be adding content in the coming weeks. The first additions to the leading cases are in the areas of employment, tenancy, and publication.
The BC Human Rights Tribunal is seeking lawyers who would like to put their names forward to provide independent legal advice [ILA] to participants at the Tribunal.
Generally, parties who are looking for ILA need it on an urgent and limited basis.
Interested lawyers, please email the following information under the subject [ILA List] to my attention at the address below:
The Tribunal has made changes to its website to improve user accessibility. You will need to update your favourites.
To assist parties preparing for judicial review, the Tribunal has posted information about the standard of review including links to court decisions.
The Tribunal has posted information about compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect, including case summaries.
The Tribunal received confirmation that our Annual Report for fiscal year 2015-2016 was filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and is now available to the public.
Special programs and employment equity initiatives are unique ways to advance equality. The Tribunal has updated its information and policies respecting these proactive initiatives, and has developed new forms for organizations seeking approval of a special program.
On July 28, 2016, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect. The amendment:
The Tribunal will update its forms to reflect these changes.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton issued a statement proposing amendments to B.C.’s Human Rights Code to include gender identity or expression among the protected grounds covered by the Code.
We are pleased to announce the appointments of new members, Barbara Korenkiewicz and Emily Ohler, effective June 9, 2016.
Diana Juricevic has been appointed as tribunal chair, effective August 1, 2016. The government issued a press release.
The Tribunal will begin surveying our participants this month. The purpose is to evaluate and improve the Tribunal's services to the public. The survey is short and confidential. Participation is voluntary, but we strongly encourage you to participate. It is only with your feedback that we can improve the complaint process.
Individual surveys will be tailored to a party's experience at the tribunal and emailed to them after their case closes. Look at all the possible survey questions.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
The Tribunal has issued amended Rules and new forms. See:
With these changes the Tribunal has amended:
Amendments to the Human Rights Code and Administrative Tribunals Act came into effect on December 17, 2015. (See Order in Council No. 797 regarding the Administrative Tribunals Statutes Amendment Act, 2015.) We will add links to the amended legislation as soon as they are available. The amendments to the Human Rights Code include changes to:
The amendments to the Administrative Tribunals Act affecting the tribunal include:
The Tribunal seeks a regular Legal Counsel. For more information on the position, deadlines and details on how to apply, go to BC Public Service Job Opportunities on the MyHR website.
The Tribunal's Annual Report for fiscal year 2014-2015 was filed with the Clerk of the Legislature on September 22, 2015.
The Tribunal invites your feedback in an effort to make the human rights process accessible, timely and fair. In particular, please provide your comments on recent changes to our Rules of Practice and Procedure and Forms by June 30, 2015. See the Registrar's letter for more details regarding our feedback request. You may wish to send your comments via our email address: BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca
The definition of retaliation has been expanded. For conduct occurring on or after May 14, 2015, the Human Rights Code protects you from retaliation because you:
IMPORTANT NOTICE - As of March 30, 2015, the BC Human Rights Coalition will be known as the BC Human Rights Clinic and their new contact information will be:
Suite 300 – 1140 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4G1
Toll Free: 1-855-685-6222
The BC Human Rights Clinic will continue to conduct their short service clinics every Monday at the Tribunal's location.
The Tribunal amended the Settlement Meeting Policy to incorporate the new Agreement to Participate in Mediation, which replaces the Settlement Meeting Agreement.
The Tribunal has replaced the Practice Direction Hearing Recording and Transcripts, including a model order for access to audio recordings.
The Tribunal has changed the judicial review page so that it now lists only those Tribunal decisions where there has been a court decision on the judicial review application.
The Tribunal's Annual Report for fiscal year 2013-2014 was tabled in the Legislature on October 20, 2014.
The Tribunal issued new Information Sheets about settling a complaint:
The Tribunal has issued amended Rules, new forms, and has replaced all of its Information Sheets. See:
The Tribunal's policies have been amended to reflect changes in the Rules.
The following practice directions have been withdrawn:
Also see changes to our home page.
The Tribunal's Annual Report for fiscal year 2012-2013 was tabled in the Legislature on February 24, 2013.
New Practice Direction : - Hearing Recordings
The Tribunal's Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-2012 was tabled in the Legislature on February 27, 2013.
Holiday Hours – The Tribunal will be closed for statutory holidays on December 25, 26, 2012 and January 1, 2013.
December 10, known as International Human Rights Day, marks the 64th anniversary of the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please follow this link to the United Nations website for detailed information, including a link to the Declaration itself.
Strike - On August 29, 2012 the BCGEU (BC Government and Service Employees' Union) announced that B.C. government workers across the province will go on strike on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 for one day. Alternate arrangements have been made for hearings and mediations scheduled on September 5. Those affected will be contacted by the Tribunal. Our offices will be open on the day of the strike to receive new complaints and submissions. Telephone inquires made on September 5 will be received by voice mail message and attended to the following day.
The BC Human Rights Tribunal welcomes Steven Adamson as our new Registrar. Mr. Adamson comes to us from the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal where he worked as a Vice Chair and Deputy Registrar. In his previous role he was instrumental in revising WCAT's website, forms and guides. Prior to that Mr. Adamson was an Appeal Commissioner with the former Worker's Compensation Board Appeal Division. He is looking forward to working with the stakeholders in the BC human rights community.
The Tribunal is undertaking a policy and procedural review and is inviting feedback from stakeholders.
The Tribunal's Acting Chair, Bernd Walter, issued a new practice directive.
Public Access to the Complaint File
The Tribunal's Acting Chair, Bernd Walter, responded by letter to the BC Law Institute regarding their Workplace Dispute Resolution Project Report to the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry for the Attorney General.
The Tribunal's Acting Chair, Bernd Walter, presented an Information Brief to the BC Law Institute's Workplace Dispute Resolution Consultation. The Tribunal prepared the Information Brief to identify human rights and administrative law principles relevant to law reform in this area, to identify previous reports respecting human rights reform, and to provide information about the Tribunal's processes for consideration in the Law Institute's review process.