BC HUMAN RIGHTS ACT Part 1 + Discriminatory Practices Prohibited Section 2 + Discriminatory publication 2. (1) No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published, issued or displayed any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that (a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons, or (b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or that group or class of persons. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a private communication or to a communication intended to be private. 1993-27-2. Complaints 11. (1) Any person, on the person's own behalf or on behalf of another person or of a group or class of persons, who alleges that any person is discriminating or has discriminated against that person or another person or against a group or class of persons, whether or not a member of that group or class, may file with the council a complaint, in a form satisfactory to the council, giving particulars of the discrimination. (2) If a complaint is filed by a person on behalf of another person or a group or class of persons, the council may refuse to deal with the complaint unless satisfied that, as the case may be, (a) the person alleged to have been discriminated against consents, or (b) proceeding with the complaint is in the interest of the group or class on behalf of which the complaint is made. (3) The council may deal with 2 or more complaints together if it is satisfied that the complaints involve substantially the same issues. (4) Subject to section 13, the chair of the council shall investigate a complaint and endeavour to assist the parties to the complaint to achieve a settlement. 1992-43-8. Section 12 + Inspection of records or things 12. For the purposes of conducting an investigation, the chairman of the council may make an examination and inquiry that he considers necessary to ascertain whether this Act has been complied with and may (a) require a complainant or a person who is alleged to have contravened this Act to disclose, orally or in writing, information respecting the subject matter of the complaint, and (b) require the production of records or things relating to the subject matter of the complaint. 1984-22-12; 1989-53-4; 1992-43-9. Section 13 + Decision not to proceed with investigation 13. (1) The council may decide not to proceed with the investigation of a complaint where it appears to the council that the complaint (a) is not within the jurisdiction of the council, (b) could be more appropriately dealt with under another Act, (c) is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith, or (d) is based on facts that occurred more than 6 months before the complaint was filed, unless the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person affected by the delay. (2) The council shall not decline to proceed with an investigation by reason only that there was no intent by the person against whom the complaint was made to contravene this Act. (3) Where the council decides not to proceed with an investigation, it shall so inform the complainant in writing. 1984-22-13. Section 14 + Procedure after investigation 14. (1) On completion of an investigation, the chairman shall (a) refer the complaint to the council for a determination as to whether the proceeding should be discontinued, (b) [Repealed 1989-53-5.] (c) submit a report to the minister, or (d) designate one member of the council to receive, as specified by the member, written or oral submissions from the complainant and the person alleged to have contravened this Act, and the member of council (i) where he considers the complaint is not justified, shall dismiss the complaint, or (ii) where he considers the complaint is justified, shall make an order described in section 17 (2) (a) and may make an order described in section 17 (2) (b), (c) or (d). (2) Section 16 (4) and (5) applies where oral submissions are made under subsection (1) (d) of this section. (2.1) A member of the council who is designated under subsection (1) (d) has, for the purposes of that subsection, (a) the privileges and protection of section 12 of the Inquiry Act, and (b) where oral submissions are made under subsection (1) (d), the power of sections 15 and 16 of the Inquiry Act given to a commissioner appointed under Part 2 of that Act. (3) On receipt of a report under subsection (1) (c), the minister shall (a) refer the complaint to a board of inquiry, or (b) order that the proceedings be discontinued. 1984-22-14; 1985-51-32, effective July 19, 1985 (B.C. Reg. 232/85); 1989-53-5; 1992-43-10. Section 15 + Decision to be communicated in writing 15. A determination under section 14 (1) (a), an order under section 14 (1) (d) (ii) or section 14 (3) or the dismissal of a complaint under section 14 (1) (d) (i) shall be communicated in writing to the complainant and the person who is alleged to have contravened this Act, and, where the proceedings are discontinued or the complaint is dismissed, no further proceedings under this Act shall be taken in relation to the subject matter of the discontinued proceedings or the dismissed complaint. 1984-22-15; 1989-53-6. Part 3 + Board of Inquiry Section 16 + Board of inquiry 16. (1) A board of inquiry shall consist of one person appointed by the minister. (2) A board of inquiry has, for the purposes of a reference under section 14 (3), the power, privileges and protection of sections 12, 15 and 16 of the Inquiry Act given to a commissioner appointed under Part 2 of that Act. (3) The persons who are entitled to be parties to proceedings before a board of inquiry are (a) the complainant, (b) where the complaint was filed under section 11 (2), the person who filed the complaint on behalf of the complainant, (c) the person who is alleged to have contravened this Act, and (d) any other person whom the board of inquiry considers would be directly affected by an order made by it. (4) A board of inquiry shall give the parties the opportunity to be represented by counsel, to present relevant evidence, to cross examine witnesses and to make submissions. (5) A board of inquiry may receive and accept on oath, affidavit or otherwise, evidence or information that it, in its discretion, considers necessary and appropriate, whether or not the evidence or information would be admissible in a court of law. (6) Where a party to a matter before a board of inquiry complains to the minister that the board has failed to proceed expeditiously, the minister may, after consulting the parties and the board, issue an order he considers necessary to ensure the matter will be disposed of without further undue delay. 1984-22-16. Section 17 + Disposition of complaints 17. (1) Where a board of inquiry considers that a complaint is not justified, it shall dismiss the complaint. (2) Where a board of inquiry considers that a complaint is justified, it (a) shall order the person who contravened this Act to cease the contravention and to refrain from committing the same or a similar contravention, (b) may make a declaratory order that conduct of the type complained of, or similar conduct, is discrimination contrary to this Act, (c) may order the person who contravened this Act to do one or both of the following: (i) take steps, specified in the order, to ameliorate the effects of the discriminatory practice; (ii) adopt and implement an employment equity program or other special program if the evidence at the hearing has disclosed that the person engaged in a pattern or practice that contravenes this Act, and (d) if the person discriminated against is a party to the proceedings, may order the person who contravened this Act to do one or more of the following: (i) make available to the person discriminated against the right, opportunity or privilege that, in the opinion of the board, the person was denied contrary to this Act; (ii) compensate the person discriminated against for all, or a part the board determines, of any wages or salary lost, or expenses incurred, by the contravention; (iii) pay to the person discriminated against an amount that the board of inquiry considers appropriate to compensate that person for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect or to any of them. (3) A board of inquiry may make an order as to costs it considers appropriate. (4) Where an order is made under subsection (2) (a), (c) or (d) or (3) or section 14 (1) (d) (ii), the council or the person who was discriminated against and in whose favour the order is made may file a certified copy of the order with the Supreme Court and on being filed the order has the same force and effect, and all proceedings may be taken on it, as if it were a judgment of that court. 1984-22-17; 1989-40-102; 1992-43-11.
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