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New Leadership Appointed At CHRC Amidst International Review: Coalition Urges Immediate Reforms

A group of people on stage at press conference
Coalition members at a press conference in Ottawa. February 26, 2024 Photo: Blair Gable

TORONTO, June 14, 2024 – The Minister of Justice, Arif Virani, has named Birju Dattani as the new Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC).

The announcement comes a week after an international body declared it would review Canada's human rights status over anti-Black discrimination at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. 

“We welcome the appointment of Birju Dattani as the new Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which has been without permanent leadership for nearly two years while Canadians continue to experience harm,” said Nicholas Marcus Thompson of the Black Class Action Secretariat. The Secretariat led a coalition of human rights organizations in filing a complaint with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. “We are hopeful that the new Chief will implement the much-needed changes at an institution found guilty of discrimination and continues to discriminate against its own employees, public service staff, and Canadians seeking justice.”

The coalition is requesting a meeting with Chief Commissioner Dattani to collaborate on the next steps to address systemic issues and restore confidence in the Commission.

Additionally, the coalition has called on Minister Virani to implement the government's own recommendations for a direct access model to the Canadian Human Rights

Tribunal — a move that was proposed 24 years ago in the La Forest Report, ordered by then Minister of Justice Anne McLellan.

Coalition spokespersons are available for comment.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginella Massa, Massa Media & Comms | 


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