News Release - December 9, 1997
PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS FOR 25 YEARS: 1972-1997
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission celebrated its 25th
anniversary Tuesday, December 9th, with a special event at the
Legislative Building in Regina.
In addition, the Commission also celebrated the 50th anniversary of
The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, the first general human rights act in
Donna Scott, Chief Commissioner/Director, recognized the contribution
of Judge Tillie Taylor, the Commission's first Chief Commissioner
(1972 - 1978), and Dr. Morris Shumiatcher, who drafted The
Saskatchewan Bill of Rights.
Scott highlighted some of the Commission's achievements during that 25
years, noting the Commission's involvement in cases that:
established the right of people who are blind to take guide dogs
into public places;
helped to develop the principle that there is a duty to
established that sexual harassment is a form of sex
established that it is discrimination to differentiate between
physical and mental disability in employee benefits programs.
She also noted the Commission's efforts to combat systemic
discrimination with equity programs in the schools and in the
workplace, and in the Commission's education role.
"We at the Commission envision our role as being more proactive than
reactive; it is a role that emphasizes prevention rather than
intervention," Scott said.
Scott said that an anniversary is an occasion to look at past
achievements, but it is also a time to dream about the future.
"I believe our future lies in large part with our young people. The
process of forming attitudes and values begins early in life.
Education about human rights is important for all people of the
province, but it is particularly critical that young people have an
understanding of their rights and responsibilities."
Justice Minister John Nilson commended the Commission for its work of
the past 25 years.
"I wish I could say that after 25 years of existence, the Saskatchewan
Human Rights Commission is no longer needed," Nilson said. "But that
is not the case. The Commission continues to receive many complaints
"There may be a day when human rights laws and human rights
commissions are no longer necessary in our society. But I think it is
clear we have not yet reached that goal. Until that day, we need to
support the Commission and the work they do and to celebrate the 25
years they have worked towards a society in which diverse people can
live together with equal dignity and mutual respect."
For more information, contact:
Donna Scott Donalda Ford
Chief Commissioner/Director Assistant Director
Phone: (306) 933-5952 Phone: (306) 787-2530