BILL NO. 16
2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
56 Elizabeth II, 2007
Human Rights Act
The Honourable Cecil P. Clarke
Minister of Justice
First Reading: November 26, 2007
Second Reading: December 3, 2007
Third Reading: December 12, 2007 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS) (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)
Clause 1 adds a definition of "harass" to the Human Rights Act and amends the definitions of "marital status" and "physical disability or mental disability".
Clause 2 adds a prohibition against harassment of an individual or group with respect to any prohibited ground of discrimination.
Clause 3 clarifies that the Governor in Council designates the Chair of the Commission and replaces "Chairman" with "Chair".
Subclause 4(1) makes the Director of Human Rights a non-voting, rather than voting, member of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Subclause 4(2) requires the Chair of the Commission to carry out an annual performance appraisal of the Director.
(a) changes the Race Relations Division of the Commission to "Race Relations, Equity and Inclusion";
(b) adds agencies of Government, non-Government organizations and the private sector to those who the division may assist in developing policies on race relations; and
(c) enables the division to implement affirmative action and settlement agreements.
Clause 6 limits the time for making a complaint to the Commission and sets out the powers of the Commission in dealing with a complaint.
Subclause 7(1) updates the name of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
Subclause 7(2) replaces gender-specific language.
Clause 8 permits a board of inquiry to order the payment of costs.
Clause 9 corrects a spelling error.
Clause 10 sets time limits for the rendering of a decision by a board of inquiry.
Clause 11 updates references to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Clause 12 updates references to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
Clause 13 adds regulation-making power respecting the awarding of costs by a board of inquiry.
Clause 14 provides that this Act comes into force on proclamation.
1 Section 3 of Chapter 214 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Human Rights Act, as enacted by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 1991, is amended by
2 Section 5 of Chapter 214, as enacted by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 1991, is amended by adding immediately after subsection (2) the following subsection:
3 Subsection 22(2) of Chapter 214, as enacted by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 1991, is amended by
4 (1) Subsection 26(1) of Chapter 214 is amended by adding "non-voting" immediately before "member" in the third line.
(2) Section 26 of Chapter 214 is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (2) the following subsection:
(3) The Chair of the Commission, in consultation with the members of the Commission, shall carry out an annual performance appraisal, in the prescribed form, of the Director and submit the appraisal to the Minister.
5 (1) Subsection 26A(1) of Chapter 214 is repealed and the following subsection substituted:
6 Section 29 of Chapter 214 is amended by
(2) Any complaint must be made within twelve months of the date of the action or conduct complained of, or within twelve months of the last instance of the action or conduct if the action or conduct is ongoing.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Director may, in exceptional circumstances, grant a complainant an additional period of not more than twelve months to make a complaint if to do so would be in the public interest and, having regard to any prejudice to the complainant or the respondent, would be equitable .
7 (1) Subsection 31(1) of Chapter 214 is amended by striking out "Trial Division of the Supreme Court" in the fourth and fifth lines and substituting "Supreme Court of Nova Scotia".
(2) Subsection 31(2) of Chapter 214 is amended by striking out "he" in the first line and substituting "the judge".
8 Subsection 34(8) of Chapter 214 is amended by adding "and, where authorized by and to the extent permitted by the regulations, may make any order against that party as to costs as it considers appropriate in the circumstances" immediately after "therefor" in the last line.
9 Subsection 32A(4) of Chapter 214, as enacted by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 1991, is amended by striking out "renumeration" in the second line and substituting "remuneration".
10 Chapter 214 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 34 the following Section:
(2) Where the board of inquiry has not rendered a final written decision within six months of the conclusion of the hearing respecting the complaint, the board shall immediately advise the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of the reasons for the delay and indicate when a final decision will be rendered.
(3) Where the board of inquiry has not rendered a final written decision within the time indicated in subsection (2), the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court may fix a time within which the board of inquiry shall render the final written decision or may revoke the appointment of the board of inquiry and appoint a new board of inquiry.
11 (1) Subsection 36(1) of Chapter 214 is amended by striking out "Appeal Division of the Supreme Court" in the third line and substituting "Nova Scotia Court of Appeal".
12 Subsection 41(1) of Chapter 214 is amended by striking out "Trial Division of the Supreme Court" in the third line and substituting "Supreme Court of Nova Scotia".
13 Subsection 42(2) of Chapter 214, as enacted by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 1991, is amended by adding immediately after clause (a) the following clause:
14 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
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