PSAC Atlantic Human Rights Committee October 11, 2012 from 2h30 p.m. – 4h30 p.m.

Present 

  • Sandy Cake, Chair
  • Lori Walton 
  • Rhonda Doyle Leblanc
  • Melissa Hyde
  • Dana Bailey
  • Alex Stuit, PSAC Staff Advisor

Regrets

  • Charlene Vidito-Milne
  • Anne Fagan Wood

The meeting was called to order at 2h40 p.m.

The committee reviewed the proposed agenda, Sister Lori moved to accept the agenda and Sister Rhonda seconded. Motion carried.

The committee chair mentioned that October 11, 2012 is National Coming Out day.

Director’s updates:

The Directors provided updates on Human Rights activities that they have been involved in since the last committee meeting. Activities included: International Women’s Day; Pride Parades; Regional Women’s Committees; Human Rights Committees; PSAC contributed to PRIDE activities in St-John’s; Halifax Human Rights Committee did work with Soul Harbour Rescue Mission (in-house drug rehabilitation for men and provide meals to the community on a daily basis). Lori involved in assisting 22 opting members because of WFA and shutting down location. Only 2 have found places so far. Work was being done regarding Bill 312 with petitioning and contacting MPs. Stephen Woodworth, the MP responsible for introducing the bill, will be in Halifax this evening to have a discussion on Pro-Life. This information was passed on to invite any interested to gather and protest Woodworth’s meeting.

Sandy discussed the Halifax Pride Parade’s 25th Anniversary. CIU members participated in full uniform and flag. In Fredericton, it was the first time the Pride Parade was in the street.

A GLBT national conference call – all GLBT regional representatives spoke around activities in their respective regions and Sandy spoke on the National Coming Out day, the work that she has done around that day and to raise awareness.

Brother Alex spoke on Aboriginal activities that he worked on with Sister Charlene. Jordan’s Principle and Shannon’s Dream to name a few. PSAC was involved in Kit’Pu cuts. This became a National Day of Action, with marches happening in various locations across Canada.

 

Mandate and Plan review:

Alex shared the modified Human Rights committee mandate, a change was made in the prohibited grounds of discrimination, it is now more inclusive, and we added a bullet on establishing partnerships and coalitions. A discussion took place about the Atlantic region PSAC web page. Links are broken and it is difficult to find things. Work needs to be done. Alex volunteered to update the website with anything we feel should be up there including the new mandate. Alex will include a link on how to file a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission. Human Rights Committee members’ PSAC email addresses and titles will be added. Lori moved to accept the revised mandate and Dana seconded. It was carried unanimously. The amended document will be presented at Council meeting.

Information Sharing:

A discussion took place about the last minute notices that are being sent out from regional offices about activities, etc. For example, sometimes a poster goes out the day before an event is taking place and this is too late.

Recommendation: Regional offices are encouraged to keep the equity directors kept abreast of activities happening in their areas. In order to facilitate this, all other directors of council are asked to make an effort of keeping equity directors up to date on events happening in their respective provinces and equity directors are asked to share information with the regional offices and provincial directors.

Human Rights Web Page:

It was suggested to have the Human Rights web page updated to have an automatic reminder to show the commemorative dates before they happen. Alex will look into this.

National Aboriginal Circle:

Alex provided an update and an organizing committee will be established.

National Human Rights Committee:

The National Human Rights committee is meeting December 3 – 5, 2012 in Ottawa. Equity Directors from the region should have confirmed their attendance and will need to make their travel arrangements if not done so already. We have two women’s directors in our region but only one women’s director is able to participate on the NHRC. The committee decided to put forth a resolution:

National Human Rights Committee Equity Directors

Originator: Atlantic Council Human Rights Committee

  • WHEREAS the Atlantic Council has two women’s directors,

  • WHEREAS the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) recognizes only five equity representatives from each regional council,

  • WHEREAS all provinces have the right to be equally represented.

  • BE IT RESOLVED THAT council finds funding to send both women’s directors to the NHRC.

  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the council have the authority to make the decision on who is selected if both directors are unable to attend.

  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT if no consensus is made at the table that the decision be made by secret ballot.

Recommendation: We ask that the Alliance Executive Committee recognize that the Atlantic Region is unique in the fact that they represent four provinces and they have two women’s directors and that they look at amending the 3rd “Be it resolved” so that all elected equity directors have voice and vote and are members of the National Human Rights Committee.

New Resources/Discussion Items:

Halifax-Dartmouth District Labour Council: The 1st Halifax Troublemakers Conference is scheduled to take place on October 27, 2012. Equity reps are encouraged to attend district labour councils and this event. This is an excellent opportunity for coalition building.

MPs to tour Axed Federal Archaeological Facility: MPs Megan Leslie and Robert Chisholm are working to reverse the decision of the closure of Parks Canada’s Regional Archaeological Facility in Dartmouth, NS. The coalition will meet Friday, October 12 to speak about the keeping the facility open; not only to keep jobs for the workers there but also to keep the artifacts in the region.

The meeting ended with a discussion about Diversity in departments and how the departments are managing diversity. Diversity is no longer being celebrated and staff members are no longer being educated. It was suggested with WFA on the go within departments that diversity has been put on the back burner. It is especially important during the process of WFA that equity is maintained and that there is no discrimination taking place based on equity. If a member has been discriminated against or unfair practices or layoffs are taking place, a complaint should be filed.

Our Organization: