OTTAWA, March 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada condemns the Harper government's decision to close Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax. The union maintains that the closure of the three offices will make it substantially harder for individuals from marginalized groups to launch human rights complaints.
PSAC sees the closures of the CHRC offices as part of a broader trend by the Harper government toward self-regulation - something that puts both public safety and human rights into question. By severely hampering the Canadian Human Rights Commission's ability to adequately deal with complaints throughout the process, the federal government is relying on employers to voluntarily meet employment equity obligations and address discrimination. But with no mechanisms for enforcement, the CHRC's mandate will be reduced to mere suggestions.
Note that these closures will have an effect on the ability to file any kind of HRC complaint, not just the relatively controversial hate-speech kind.
PS. Although Brian Lilley is flogging an alternative set of numbers that suggest the commision is expanding. The budget increase looks to be about the level of inflation.