JUSTICE FOR RACIALIZED & IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

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.

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Recent News in Justice for Racialized & Immigrant Communities

Evicted for smudging, First Nations woman files human rights complaint

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 ...
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Woman evicted over smudging ceremonies files human rights complaint

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 ...
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Tenant fights eviction for smudging, takes case to B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

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 ...
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Retail Action Network intervenes in Schrenk v BCHRT at Supreme Court

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 ...
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Campaign calls on BC government and official opposition to “step up for Women’s equality”

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 ...
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B.C.’s Islamophobia hotline responds to recent events in U.S. and Canada

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 ...
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Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline launched by legal community

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 ...
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Khaira tree planters win EI appeals after six years

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 ...
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Tim Hortons: Human rights complaint to proceed against fast food giant

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 ...
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Changing the meaning of citizenship

Lobat Sadrehashemi Originally published in Cultures West Magazine Fall 2015 Issue The government of Canada introduced the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (Bill C-24) in February 2014, and the bill received royal assent in June 2014.As of June 11, 2015 all the provisions are now in force. This new law fundamentally changes ...
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