A A A

1st Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 36

THE HUMAN RIGHTS CODE AMENDMENT ACT


Explanatory Note Bilingual version (PDF)

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. H175 amended

1           The Human Rights Code is amended by this Act.

2           Section 1 is amended

(a) by repealing the definition "dog guide"; and

(b) by adding the following definitions:

"chief adjudicator" means the person designated as chief adjudicator under subsection 8(1.1); (« arbitre en chef »)

"service animal" means an animal that has been trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability that relates to that person's disability; (« animal d'assistance »)

"social disadvantage" means diminished social standing or social regard due to

(a) homelessness or inadequate housing;

(b) low levels of education;

(c) chronic low income; or

(d) chronic unemployment or underemployment; (« désavantage social »)

3           The following is added after section 3:

Practice and procedure

3.1         The Commission may determine its own practice and procedure.

4(1)        The following is added after subsection 8(1):

Chief adjudicator

8(1.1)      The Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate one member of the adjudication panel as the chief adjudicator.

4(2)        The following is added after subsection 8(3):

Appointment continues

8(3.1)      Unless terminated for cause under subsection (4), a member of the adjudication panel who has commenced a hearing into a complaint may continue as adjudicator and issue a final decision on the complaint even if his or her appointment has expired and a replacement has been named.

5(1)        The following is added after subsection 9(1):

Interpretation

9(1.1)      In this Code, "discrimination" includes any act or omission that results in discrimination within the meaning of subsection (1), regardless of

(a) the form of the act or omission; and

(b) whether the person responsible for the act or omission intended to discriminate.

5(2)        Subsection 9(2) is amended

(a) in clause (f), by adding "sex-determined characteristics or circumstances, such as" after "sex, including";

(b) by replacing clause (g) with the following:

(g) gender identity;

(c) in clause (l), by striking out "dog guide or other animal assistant" and substituting "service animal"; and

(d) by adding the following after clause (l):

(m) social disadvantage.

5(3)        The following is added after subsection 9(2):

Discrimination on basis of social disadvantage

9(2.1)      It is not discrimination on the basis of social disadvantage unless the discrimination is based on a negative bias or stereotype related to that social disadvantage.

5(4)        Subsection 9(3) is replaced with the following:

Systemic discrimination

9(3)        Interrelated actions, policies or procedures of a person that do not have a discriminatory effect when considered individually can constitute discrimination under this Code if the combined operation of those actions, policies or procedures results in discrimination within the meaning of subsection (1).

6           The section heading for section 10 is replaced with "Acts of officers and employees".

7           Section 21 is repealed.

8           Subsection 22(4) is amended by striking out "in the form prescribed by regulations made" and substituting "on a form approved".

9           Subsection 23(1) is amended by striking out "six months" wherever it occurs and substituting "one year".

10          The following is added after section 24:

Commission may explore settlement of complaint

24.1(1)     The Commission may attempt to resolve a complaint through mediation, conciliation or other means at any time.

Termination of proceedings on settlement

24.1(2)     If a complaint is settled on terms satisfactory to the complainant and respondent, the Commission must terminate its proceedings in respect of the complaint in accordance with the settlement.

Non-compliance with settlement

24.1(3)     Despite subsection (2), if the Commission determines that either party to the settlement has failed to substantially comply with the settlement terms, it may, after giving written notice to the parties, re-open the proceedings and proceed as if no settlement had been reached.

Failure to accept reasonable settlement offer

24.1(4)     If a complainant rejects a settlement offer made by the respondent before an adjudicator is appointed to hear the complaint, the Commission must terminate its proceedings in respect of the complaint if the Commission considers the offer to be reasonable.

Resolution before complaint filed

24.2        If a person contacts the Commission with a concern about the conduct of another person that could constitute a contravention of the Code, the Commission may try to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of the concern before a complaint about the conduct is filed.

11          Section 26 is amended by striking out "section 29" and substituting "section 24.1 or 29".

12          The following is added after section 28:

Panel may consider complaint

28.1(1)     The chairperson may designate any three or more members of the Commission to sit as a panel of the Commission to consider a complaint.

Chairperson on panel

28.1(2)     A panel designated under subsection (1) may include the chairperson.

Jurisdiction of panel

28.1(3)     When considering a complaint,

(a) a panel has all the jurisdiction of the Commission and may exercise the Commission's powers and perform its duties; and

(b) a decision of a majority of the members of a panel is the decision of the Commission.

13(1)       Subsection 29(2) is repealed.

13(2)       Subsection 29(3) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out everything before "and the Commission is satisfied" and substituting "If a complaint is not settled, terminated or dismissed"; and

(b) in clause (a), by striking out "minister" and substituting "chief adjudicator".

13(3)       The following is added after subsection 29(3):

Complaints may be combined

29(3.1)     If the Commission is satisfied that two or more complaints involve substantially similar issues of fact and law, it may do one or both of the following:

(a) deal with the complaints together under this section;

(b) request the chief adjudicator to designate an adjudicator to adjudicate the complaints together in a single hearing.

13(4)       Subsection 29(4) is replaced with the following:

Termination of proceedings

29(4)       If a complaint is not settled or dismissed and the Commission does not proceed under subsection (3) or (3.1), the Commission must terminate its proceedings in respect of the complaint.

14          Section 30 is amended by adding "subsection 24.1(4) or" after "in accordance with".

15          Section 31 is repealed.

16(1)       Subsection 32(1) is amended

(a) by striking out "under clause 29(3)(a), the minister" and substituting "under clause 29(3)(a) or (3.1)(b), the chief adjudicator"; and

(b) by striking out everything after "hold a hearing" and substituting "into the complaint or complaints."

16(2)       The following is added after subsection 32(1):

Decision on combined hearing

32(1.1)     When a request is made under clause 29(3.1)(b), the chief adjudicator may designate an adjudicator to hold a single hearing into the complaints if the chief adjudicator is satisfied that a single hearing will not result in unnecessary complications or delay or cause undue prejudice to a party.

16(3)       Subsection 32(2) is amended

(a) by striking out "The minister" and substituting "The chief adjudicator";

(b) by adding "or (3.1)(b)" after "clause 29(3)(a)"; and

(c) by striking out "complaint, the minister" and substituting "complaint, the chief adjudicator".

16(4)       Subsection 32(3) is amended by striking out "minister" and substituting "chief adjudicator".

17(1)       Subsection 36(1) is amended by striking out "the Manitoba Gazette and".

17(2)       Subsection 36(2) is amended by striking out "prior to the hearing" and substituting "in the notice".

18          The following is added after section 37:

Failure to accept reasonable settlement offer

37.1        If a complainant rejects a settlement offer made by the respondent after an adjudicator is appointed to hear the complaint, the adjudicator must terminate the adjudication if he or she considers the offer to be reasonable.

19          Subsection 39(2) is amended by adding ", unless the evidence is subject to any type of legal privilege" at the end.

20(1)       Subsection 41(1) is amended by striking out "the minister" and substituting "the chief adjudicator".

20(2)       Subsection 41(2) is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading with "Response to delay"; and

(b) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "the minister" and substituting "the chief adjudicator".

20(3)       Subsection 41(3) is amended by striking out "the minister" wherever it occurs and substituting "the chief adjudicator".

20(4)       Subsection 41(6) is amended by striking out "the minister" and substituting "the chief adjudicator".

20(5)       The following is added after subsection 41(7):

Minister may act if delay by chief adjudicator

41(8)       When the chief adjudicator is holding a hearing into a complaint and has failed to render a final decision within 60 days of the completion of the hearing, the minister may exercise any power given to the chief adjudicator under this section, including the power to designate a new adjudicator under section 32.

21(1)       The following is added after subsection 43(1):

Discrimination on multiple characteristics

43(1.1)     If an adjudicator determines that a party engaged in discrimination on the basis of more than one characteristic referred to in subsection 9(2), the adjudicator must consider the combined effect, if any, of that discrimination when making an order under subsection (2).

21(2)       Subsection 43(4) is repealed.

22          Subsection 46(2) is replaced with the following:

Decisions available to public

46(2)       Subject to subsection (3), the Commission must make every decision, order and statement of reasons made by an adjudicator available to the public.

Adjudicator may direct deletion of information

46(3)       The adjudicator may direct the Commission to delete any information that would disclose the identity of a party or a witness at the hearing from a decision, order or statement of reasons made available to the public under subsection (2) if the adjudicator believes that the disclosure would cause undue prejudice or hardship to the party or witness.

Delivery of material from hearing to Commission

46(4)       The adjudicator must send the sound recordings of proceedings at the hearing, and all documents and materials filed at the hearing, to the Commission as soon as

(a) the deadline for applying for judicial review of the adjudicator's final decision under subsection 50(2) expires, if no application for judicial review is made by that deadline; or

(b) all proceedings in respect of the judicial review of the adjudicator's final decision have concluded, if an application for judicial review of the final decision is made.

23(1)       Subsection 51(1) is amended

(a) in clause (e), by striking out "$2,000." and substituting "$5,000"; and

(b) in clause (f), by striking out "$10,000." and substituting "$25,000".

23(2)       Subsection 51(4) is replaced with the following:

Time limit for prosecution

51(4)       A prosecution alleging an offence under this Code may not be commenced later than one year after the day the alleged offence was committed.

23(3)       Subsection 51(5) is amended by striking out "six month" and substituting "one-year".

24(1)       Section 52 is amended in the part after clause (d), by striking out "person alleging that matter" and substituting "respondent".

24(2)       Section 52 is further amended by renumbering it as subsection 52(1) and adding the following as subsection 52(2):

Onus to prove bias or stereotype re social disadvantage discrimination

52(2)       When it is alleged that a person has engaged in discrimination on the basis of social disadvantage, the onus of proving that the discrimination is based on a negative bias or stereotype lies on the person making the allegation.

25          Section 60 is amended in the part before clause (a), by striking out "section 29" and substituting "section 24.1 or 29".

26          Section 62 is replaced with the following:

Protection from liability

62          No action or proceeding may be brought against the Commission or any of its members, officers or employees, an adjudicator or any other person acting under the authority of this Code for anything done, or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or duty under this Code.

27          Subsection 63(2) is repealed.

28          The following is added after section 63:

Forms

63.1        The Commission may approve forms for use under this Code, including a form for complaints.

Transitional — advisory opinions

29(1)       Despite the repeal of section 21 of the former Code, an advisory opinion given by the Commission remains in effect.

Revocation or modification of advisory opinion

29(2)       The Commission may revoke or modify an advisory opinion in accordance with subsection 21(3) of the former Code.

Definition of "former Code"

29(3)       In this section, "former Code" means The Human Rights Code as it read immediately before this Act comes into force.

Coming into force

30          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Human Rights Code.

The list of protected characteristics under the Code is expanded to cover social disadvantage and gender identity.

The Bill streamlines the handling of complaints in several ways.

  • The Human Right Commission may sit in panels to consider complaints.
  • The Commission and the adjudicator at a hearing are authorized to explore the settlement of complaints.
  • An adjudicator can deal with similar complaints involving different parties in a single hearing.
  • The position of chief adjudicator is created.

Fines under the Code are increased. The time allowed for filing a complaint or starting a prosecution under the Code is increased. In addition, the wording of several provisions is updated or clarified.