Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Identity area

Type of entity

Primary Agency

Authorized form of name

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
  • Human Rights Commission Saskatchewan
  • Saskatchewan. Human Rights Commission
  • Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
  • SHRC

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1972-

History

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission was established in 1972, and five people were appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council to serve five-year terms as Commissioners. The head office, located in Saskatoon, was opened in early 1973. Branch offices were opened in Regina in June of 1974, and in Prince Albert in October of 1974.

The Commission's mandate initially stated it was to administer equality and anti-discrimination legislation in Saskatchewan in the areas of housing, employment, employment applications and advertisements, public accommodation and education on the grounds of race, creed, religion, colour, sex, nationality or place of origin. In addition, the Commission also championed anti-discrimination education and awareness campaigns.

The Commission was charged with the responsibility for investigating complaints. Complaints were separated into formal and informal. A commission officer investigated alleged complaints of discrimination by interviewing witnesses and examining documentation. However, if a resolution was not reached at this informal stage, the Commission would then hold a formal inquiry into the complaint. If the complaint was proven, the defendant could be ordered to pay restitution to the complainant. Appeals to commission orders could be filed in the Court of Queen's Bench.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code was enacted as legislation effective 7 August 1979. Part One of the Code enshrined the fundamental rights of citizens in Saskatchewan protecting "the right to freedom of conscience, religion, expression, and association, the right to vote in provincial elections and the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention". Part Two prohibits "discriminatory policies and practices in employment, education, public services, housing, contracts, publications, professional association and trade unions". The Act made it illegal to discriminate in any of the outlined areas, expanding on the 1972 definitions, on the basis of "age, ancestry, race or colour, family status, marital status, nationality or place of origin, physical or mental disability, receipt of public assistance, religion or creed, sex (covers sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination) and sexual orientation". The Commission was further empowered to approve and encourage equity programs. In addition, the education and awareness programs were strengthened in the Code to further the principles of equality and diversity.

Due to budget constraints the Prince Albert office was closed in 1986. However, the 2000 annual report indicated that the Chief Commissioner was concerned that northern residents were not being adequately represented and met with community leaders, along with the Provincial Ombudsman and the Children's Advocate, to understand what the residents of the north need in terms of support from the Commission.

In May 2000 a bill was introduced to amend the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The amendments were the result of a survey conducted in 1996 entitled Renewing the Vision - Human Rights in Saskatchewan. The intention was to streamline the complaint process and change some of the terms of discrimination and create a human rights tribunal panel to enforce the provisions of the code.

The Commission continues to be busy at both the Saskatoon and Regina offices. As definitions of rights and freedoms continue to evolve, the Commission has a vital role in the lives of the citizens of Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission reports to the Minister of Justice.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission was established to educate and promote the principle of equality for all people in Saskatchewan. As well, the Commission initially administered the Fair Employment Practices Act, The Fair Accommodation Practices Act, and the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights Act and eventually any legislation deemed to relate to the Commission's mandate.

Mandates/sources of authority

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Act, Chapter 108 (1972)

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

This agency description contains information from VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) [http://viaf.org/] which is made available under the ODC Attribution License [http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/].

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

GA 1

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

Status

Final

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Authority record created on 2008-03-12. Approved 2012-03-06. Last modified on 2017-11-29.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Annual Reports
Statutes of Saskatchewan
AMICUS Authority 135731
VIAF ID: 148891726 (Corporate); Permalink: http://viaf.org/viaf/148891726.

Maintenance notes

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