On March 15, 2017, Bill 51, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act, received first reading in the New Brunswick legislature, and second reading the next day. The goal of the changes is to modernize the legislation and increase its efficiency. Indeed, this has been the first extensive review of the legislation in 25 years. These changes come on the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Act. The ultimate goal of the review was to evolve with society and ensure that values are protected. Bill 51 aims to do just this.
People with disabilities have traditionally been excluded from decision-making, holding roles of importance, exercising personal autonomy and obtaining gainful employment. Although the view prescribed to people with disabilities has shifted over the years, there persists an underlying theme in which the overarching narrative is one of cultural mistrust.
Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with proposed changes to temporary help agencies; Paying persons with disabilities less; and Collective agreement interpretation.