Nova Scotia Archives

Government Administrative Histories

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Act of 1963 provided for the establishment of a commission to administer the act, but it was not until 1967 that a Human Rights Commission was established. The commission attained substantially its present form in 1969, when a new revised and consolidated Human Rights Act was passed. The mandate of the commission is to enforce and administer the act by investigating complaints of human rights violations and offering programs of public information and education regarding affirmative action and race relations. The act generally prohibits discrimination on any ground. The operational head of the commission is the director of human rights, who is an ex officio commissioner and has the status of a deputy minister. The commissioners are appointed by Cabinet and have the power to empanel boards of inquiry as administrative tribunals, determine whether discrimination has occurred and, if so, what remedies will apply. In 1985 the ethnic services (race relations) division of the Department of Education was transferred to the Human Rights Commission and a coordinator of race relations appointed. In 2007 the Race Relations Division was replaced by Race Relations, Equity and Inclusion.

Notes: Authority record based on Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission: 25th anniversary, 1967-1992: a history / edited and compiled by Bridglal Pachai. Halifax, N.S.: The Commission, 1992: 225 p.; Statutes of Nova Scotia: 1963 c. 5, 1967 c. 12, 1969 c. 11, 1977 c. 58, 1991 c. 12, 2007 c. 41; Boards of Inquiry Regulations, N.S.R. 221/91.

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