Globe and Mail

Human-rights panel unveiled

Friday, April 9, 1999
Erin Anderssen
The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA -- Led by a former Supreme Court judge, a four-member panel of legal experts will spend the next year producing recommendations to improve the way Canada safeguards human rights -- including whether the law needs to specifically outlaw discrimination on the grounds of poverty.

The review, which will be the first major look at the country's human-rights legislation since it was created in 1977, will study practically every aspect of the act as well as the way complaints are handled. Justice Minister Anne McLellan, who announced the panel yesterday, has given it until next April to finish the report.

The group will be chaired by Gérard La Forest, who retired from the Supreme Court in 1997 after 12 years. The other members are William Black, a human-rights professor at the University of British Columbia, Renée Dupuis, a Quebec City lawyer, and Harish Jain, a business professor at McMaster University specializing in discrimination and employment issues.

The review's budget comes in at about $3-million.