En­hanc­ing hu­man rights pro­tec­tion in Al­berta

The McLeod River Post - - News -

The Al­berta Hu­man Rights Amend­ment Act, 2017 would strengthen hu­man rights pro­tec­tion and fur­ther pro­tect Al­ber­tans from age dis­crim­i­na­tion.

If passed, the bill would amend the Al­berta Hu­man Rights Act to add “age” as a pro­hib­ited ground of dis­crim­i­na­tion un­der sec­tions 4 and 5 of the act. These sec­tions in­clude the ar­eas of ten­ancy, goods, ser­vices and ac­com­mo­da­tion or fa­cil­i­ties.

“Our gov­ern­ment sup­ports the rights of all Al­ber­tans. We want to thank or­ga­ni­za­tions and Al­ber­tans who pro­vided feed­back on this topic. This is a com­pli­cated is­sue and, if passed, Bill 23 would strike a balance be­tween com­pet­ing in­ter­ests.”

Kath­leen Gan­ley, Min­is­ter of Justice and So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral

The bill also in­cludes pro­vi­sions which al­low se­niors-only hous­ing to con­tinue with­out vi­o­lat­ing the act. The min­i­mum age cut-off would be 55. The Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta rec­og­nizes that older Al­ber­tans may choose to live to­gether in a com­mu­nity of peo­ple at a sim­i­lar stage in life.

Ex­ist­ing age-re­stricted con­do­mini­ums would be granted a 15-year tran­si­tion pe­riod to pro­vide af­fected Al­ber­tans with sub­stan­tial no­tice.

“The be­lief that in­di­vid­u­als should have a choice in their hous­ing and life­style de­ci­sions is strongly sup­ported by the con­do­minium own­ers we con­sulted with in Al­berta. At the same time, we rec­og­nize the na­tional trend that re­stric­tions by age can af­fect com­mu­ni­ties where there is a crit­i­cal short­age of hous­ing. As a re­sult, we feel that the 15-year tran­si­tion pe­riod is a rea­son­able and com­mon sense so­lu­tion to al­low ex­ist­ing con­do­minium own­ers to make con­sumer de­ci­sions.”

Hugh Wil­lis, co-chair, Gov­ern­ment Ad­vo­cacy Com­mit­tee, Cana­dian Con­do­minium In­sti­tute, North Al­berta Chap­ter

“The largest in­crease in de­mo­graph­ics is older adults in Al­berta. With this pro­posed leg­is­la­tion change, older adults can be as­sured of fair­ness in the ar­eas of ten­ancy, goods, ser­vices and ac­com­mo­da­tions or fa­cil­i­ties. Typ­i­cally, older adults are not able to in­crease their fi­nan­cial re­sources to have a wider range of hous­ing op­tions avail­able to them plus en­joy a life that is usu­ally qui­eter. The fair­ness of gov­ern­ment propos­ing 15 years as a tran­si­tion pe­riod is ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Luanne Whit­marsh, pres­i­dent, Al­berta As­so­ci­a­tion of Se­nior Cen­tres

The pro­posed amend­ments would en­sure that pro­grams pro­vid­ing a ben­e­fit to mi­nors and se­niors, such as dis­counted movie tick­ets, are al­lowed to con­tinue.

The bill would also pro­tect ame­lio­ra­tive pro­grams such as em­ploy­ment or in­tern­ship pro­grams for Indige­nous youth. Prior to the in­tro­duc­tion of this leg­is­la­tion, Al­berta was the only ju­ris­dic­tion in Canada whose hu­man rights leg­is­la­tion did not pro­vide an ex­cep­tion for ame­lio­ra­tive pro­grams or ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta con­ducted con­sul­ta­tions on this sub­ject over the sum­mer.

“The Al­berta Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion’s man­date is to foster equal­ity and re­duce dis­crim­i­na­tion. The pro­posed amend­ments ex­tend pro­tec­tions in all ar­eas un­der the Al­berta Hu­man Rights Act and aim to fur­ther pro­tect and pro­mote the hu­man rights of Al­ber­tans.”

Su­san Coombes, act­ing di­rec­tor, Ed­u­ca­tion and En­gage­ment, Al­berta Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion

If passed, the bill would come into ef­fect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.