BCPIAC identifies the human rights issues affecting people of colour and/or those with limited legal status as critical to its anti-poverty, equality, and access to justice work. The interests of these groups are underrepresented by our legal system. Issues of racial equality and security of status are core to a person’s identity and dignity; racial discrimination and precarious status act as fundamental barriers to accessing justice and state services for alleviating poverty.
Racial discrimination and precarious status act as fundamental barriers to accessing justice and state services for alleviating poverty.
For the last ten years a core part of BCPIAC’s practice has been to provide legal representation to marginalized people of colour who experience racial discrimination and/or have limited legal status in Canada. This has included cases involving farmworkers, tree planters, chicken factory workers and temporary foreign workers. We have also challenged the failure to provide interpretation services by government agencies, and the imposition of debts arising out of spousal sponsorship agreements. Immigration status and language have been significant barriers to accessing justice, in addition to the poverty and relative powerlessness that frequently informs access to justice cases.
Recent News in Justice for Racialized & Immigrant Communities
For Immediate Release | BCPIAC VANCOUVER, BC – Lawyers with the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline are joining other groups across Canada to call on the federal government to designate January 29th as a “National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.” January 29th is the anniversary of the 2017 attack ...Read More
June 15, 2017 | Josh K. Elliott | CTV News Link to original article A First Nations woman from Burnaby, B.C. has filed a human rights complaint after she was evicted for holding a traditional smudging ceremony indoors. The ceremony, which involves burning sage in a dish and sweeping the ...Read More
June 14, 2017 | Andrew Weichel | CTV Vancouver Link to original article An aboriginal woman who claims her landlord tried to evict her for performing traditional smudging ceremonies in her Burnaby, B.C. home has filed a human rights complaint. Crystal Smith of the Tsimshian and Haisla First Nations said ...Read More
June 7, 2017 | Tereza Verenca | Burnaby Now Link to original article A Burnaby woman has filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal alleging her landlord is denying her the right to smudge. Crystal Smith of the Tsimshian Haisla First Nation has smudged – the indigenous practice ...Read More
The Retail Action Network (RAN) is intervening in the appeal of a human rights case in the Supreme Court of Canada. Schrenk v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal) is about the extent to which the BC Human Rights Code (“the Code”) applies to discriminatory harassment in the workplace. BCPIAC has ...Read More
West Coast LEAF, a BC organization dedicated to promoting women’s equality through the law, along with a long list of endorsing BC organizations, have called on the BC government and the official opposition to step up for Women's equality and "commit to implementing – fully and without delay – the UN’s ...Read More
January 31, 2017 | Nathan Hutton | Global News Link to original article B.C.’s Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline is calling the recent attack at a Quebec City mosque, which left six dead, a “despicable act of terrorism.” Hasan Alam, a community liaison for the hotline spoke harshly about Islamophobia in ...Read More
For Immediate Release BCPIAC, CLAS, BCCLA, FACLBC, SABABC, CBABC, NCCM, CABL, Access Pro Bono VANCOUVER (March 9, 2016) – Today the legal community in British Columbia launched the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline, after a nationwide increase in reported incidents of racial and faith-related discrimination against Muslims in recent months. The ...Read More
For Immediate Release | BCPIAC Almost 6 years after closure of the Khaira Enterprise Ltd. camp in Golden, BC, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has sided with former Khaira tree planters in EI and income tax appeals stemming from work they did in 2010. Most of the workers came to Canada ...Read More
Company fails in bid to have complaint thrown out For Immediate Release | BCPIAC and CLAS Last Friday, the BC Human Rights Tribunal rejected Tim Hortons’ attempt to have a human rights complaint against it dismissed at an early stage. The complaint was brought in 2012 by four temporary foreign ...Read More