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The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse takes stock of the year 2013-2014

Montréal, September 16, 2014 — The annual report of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, tabled today at the National Assembly, presents the Commission’s results and achievements related to its mission of protecting and promoting human rights and freedoms in Québec in the last year.

In 2013-2014, the Commission focused, among others, on two issues that brought up important discussions in Québec society: the proposed Charter of values and Bill 52, on end-of-life care. Considering its responsibility, the Commission conducted a thorough analysis of the impact of these bills on fundamental rights.

In its legal analysis of the Charter of values, the Commission concluded that it did not comply with the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The Commission presented its comments in October 2013 and its brief was made public in January 2014, which addressed among other issues, the ban on the wearing of religious symbols. The government’s proposed Charter of values would also have impacted the implementation of programs covered by the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies, which the Commission is mandated to monitor.

“The last year saw an important debate regarding the proposed Charter of values and Bill 60, which left Québec society divided,” said the president of the Commission, Jacques Frémont. “The proposal would have substantially modified the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and represented the most serious attempt, in the last forty years, to limit the scope of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter.”

The Commission wishes to underline the importance of its role regarding the protection and promotion of rights and freedoms as they are interpreted in Québec but also according to international and Canadian law, and based on the values of inclusion and openness of Québec society while taking into account the complexity of the issues.

In 2013-2014, the Commission also addressed several important issues regarding human rights and youth rights, which details are included in the Rapport d’activités et de gestion 2013-2014.

Highlights of 2013-2014:

  • Presentation of comments, a brief and a special section on our Website about Bill 60 (Secular Charter);
  • Analysis of 21 bills or by-laws, including Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care;
  • Publication of a study on universal access to goods and services for people with disabilities;
  • Disability is the main ground invoked in complaints regarding discrimination;
  • An inquiry was held on the protection of children’s rights in the Côte-Nord region.

The report is available on the Commission’s Website at: www.cdpdj.qc.ca/Publications/RA_2013_2014.pdf

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Commission) ensures the promotion and respect of the principles set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights recognized in the Youth Protection Act are respected and promoted. In addition, the Commission oversees compliance with the Act respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies.

Meissoon Azzaria
514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, extension 210

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