OTTAWA, Oct. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, congratulates Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau along with all members of Canada's new Parliament, and issues the following statement:
"I call on our newly elected Parliament to begin repairing the erosion of human rights in Canada, and to move swiftly to repeal legislation and reverse policies that promote discrimination and prejudice. No one should live in fear because of who they are or because they have a belief that is not shared by the majority.
"Specifically, Parliament should:
- rewrite and rename the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, to remove any insinuation that certain religions are a threat to Canadian society;
- accelerate the process for bringing in refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war, persecution and environmental devastation, and ensure that the selection process is not discriminatory;
- ensure that the arbitrary detention and imprisonment of thousands of undocumented people seeking asylum in Canada, many of whom are suffering from mental illness, is brought to an end;
- immediately convene a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, and develop a national action plan;
- ensure that all people in Canada have access to safe drinking water and adequate housing;
- end the inequitable funding of child welfare services and schools on First Nations reserves;
- amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination;
- stop the overuse of prolonged periods of solitary confinement to manage offenders, a practice disproportionally applied to Black and Aboriginal inmates, and offenders with mental illness; and
- protect the rights of all women to express their religion.
"Canadians have rejected the divisive rhetoric that became prominent in the latter days of the election campaign. Difficult as it was, the Canadian Human Rights Commission remained silent in deference to the electoral process. With the election now behind us, it's time for all Canadians to work together to restore the values of mutual respect and dignity that have for so long defined this country. My Canada includes everyone."
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SOURCE Canadian Human Rights Commission
For further information: Media Contacts: Media Relations, 613-943-9118, www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca