NDP’s silence over the BC Human Rights Commission baffles many

GURPREET SINGH   
VANCOUVER DESI   

Harinder Mahil (right), former BC Human Rights Commission Chairman. PNG files 

Even as the advance polling has closed and the province is getting ready for a decisive election next Tuesday, the opposition NDP remains non-committal over the BC Human Rights Commission. Not only is the the party platform silent over the issue, its leaders are emphasizing a review or strengthening of human rights laws if elected.

When the Liberals were first elected in BC in 2001, they had disbanded the commission — making B.C. the only province in Canada without such body. What we have today is the BC Human Rights Tribunal that only looks into complaints of discrimination and do nothing in terms of research and education.

The NDP was up in arms against the BC Liberals for doing so and has been continuously attacking the government for disbanding the commission.

When the party issued its platform, there was a wider expectation of a solid commitment over restoration of the commission under the NDP government. With no specific commitment to restore the commission, the platform has only disappointed many progressive supporters of the NDP. The former BC Human Rights Commission Chairman, Harinder Mahil says he is completely surprised.

“The NDP had promised to restore it in previous elections, I don’t know why they are silent this time.”

On being pressed on this issue by the South Asian journalists past week, the NDP leader Adrian Dix only assured that they would review the whole issue. The party President, Moe Sihota on the other hand, tried to rationalize the situation by saying that the platform has committed to strengthen human rights laws and codes at schools and work places.

Ironically, the Federal NDP had recently passed a resolution declaring a slain human rights activist from India, Jaswant Singh Khalra, “a defender of  human rights”.

Khalra was reportedly abducted and eliminated by the Punjab Police in India. He was documenting the cases of those who were extra judicially killed without any fair trial by the police during Sikh militancy. Besides, the party had pleaded against death sentence awarded to a Sikh militant Devinderpal Singh Bhullar in India and raised its voice against the mass murders of the Sikhs in 1984 following the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

If the NDP can be so passionate about human rights issues in another country, why its not taking a strong position on the domestic front? There should not be any selective approach towards human rights at all.

It isn’t strange why the NDP remains silent on the issue. It cannot be that the NDP is confused or is being selective out of ignorance. Apparently, the party is trying to attract more centrist and may be the right wing votes to outdo the Liberals and thus mimicking their political rivals. However, this silence reflects very badly on a party that is supposed to be leftist and is expected to respect social justice more than any other established political party in BC.

So much so, the NDP has exposed itself by recruiting candidates who have had questionable views and opinion about other cultures and races.

This shock comes when a former NDP candidate from Kelown-Mission, Dayleen Van Ryswyk  made disparaging remarks about the indigenous peoples and French speaking Canadians. The NDP had her resign instead of showing her the door promptly. As a result she decided to run independently without showing any regrets.

It was later revealed that another party candidate from Burnaby-Lougheed, Jane Shin had made sweeping remarks about Chinese people in the past.

A few years ago, the NDP MLA Harry Lalli had launched an email address that identified him as a Jat MLA. Jat is a term used for dominant peasantry class of Punjab, India. This had infuriated the Dalits or the so called Untouchables in the local South Asian community. Dalits are frequently discriminated against by the, Jats, Brahmins (the priests) and other so called upper caste groups in a caste ridden Indian society. If the NDP really cares about social justice it should be extra careful about the social and political values of its members.

But what can one expect from a party that recently removed socialism from its constitution. At the end of the day, the NDP has proved that in politics, ends are more important than the means. If the NDP really isn’t that then it must prove itself otherwise it will always be seen as any other political group whose aim is to grab power than bringing a real change.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland with client Bhupinder Singh Brar at the CBSA office at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Surrey, BC Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Jason Payne/ PNG

‘Technical glitch’ means long-haul trucker can’t take job waiting for him, and must return to India

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Long-haul trucker Bhupinder Singh Brar is in high demand for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program — yet the Canada Border Services…
Continue Reading »

Sexual luring online - Cyberbullying

Surrey cricketer and his brother busted by Facebook security for Internet luring

JANE SEYD NORTH SHORE NEWS A Surrey man has been sentenced to house arrest after he was busted by Facebook security for inappropriate sexual chat…
Continue Reading »

British Columbia

McDonald’s puts temporary foreign workers program on hold after Victoria franchises controversy

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — McDonald’s Canada says temporary foreign workers are a necessary ingredient in the fast-food chain’s business model, but until the company satisfies…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland with client Bhupinder Singh Brar at the CBSA office at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Surrey, BC Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Jason Payne/ PNG

‘Technical glitch’ means long-haul trucker can’t take job waiting for him, and must return to India

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Long-haul trucker Bhupinder Singh Brar is in high demand for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program — yet the Canada Border Services…
Continue Reading »

Sexual luring online - Cyberbullying

Surrey cricketer and his brother busted by Facebook security for Internet luring

JANE SEYD NORTH SHORE NEWS A Surrey man has been sentenced to house arrest after he was busted by Facebook security for inappropriate sexual chat…
Continue Reading »

British Columbia

McDonald’s puts temporary foreign workers program on hold after Victoria franchises controversy

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — McDonald’s Canada says temporary foreign workers are a necessary ingredient in the fast-food chain’s business model, but until the company satisfies…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Desi Dad

Single dad smuggles daughter in suitcase from Morocco to Spain (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY A Moroccan dad who tried to smuggle his daughter into Spain by hiding her in a suitcase so that she could have a…
Continue Reading »

Mouse deer

World’s smallest deer that’s more like a ‘mouse’ born at a Spain zoo

CEN AGENCY The world’s smallest deer – more like a mouse – with a heritage stretching back millions of years has been born at a…
Continue Reading »

Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during a heated row with the boy's father. CEN Agency

Video: Angry mom wants baby back that she shoved onto train tracks (w/gallery)

CEN AGENCY Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during…
Continue Reading »

Rape-Gang rape-crime against women

Indians view rape as ‘very big problem’: Poll

MATTHEW PENNINGTON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A new poll shows that Indians view rape as a big problem in their country and think the…
Continue Reading »

Desi-bhoot bangla-China-Asia

Gallery: No one wants these luxury villas in ‘The City of the Dead’

CEN AGENCY These are the luxury homes that no-one wants in a place locals call ‘The City of the Dead’. Over 100 villas here have…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Jacqueline Fernandez

London bus drives off Warsaw Bridge causing panic, turns out to be a Bollywood shoot (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY Polish police received panicked calls after this London double-decker bus drove off a bridge, and plummeted into a river in the Polish capital…
Continue Reading »

Music-Bollywood-desi sex symbol

Priyanka Chopra’s latest single ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ already a hit on iTunes in 24 hours

IANS Mumbai – The going is great for actor-singer Priyanka Chopra. She is out with her third solo single “I can’t make you love me”,…
Continue Reading »

condom-ads-Durex-sex-booty shake

Video: Bollywood actor and Durex brand ambassador Ranveer Singh urges people to try ‘the Rex’

IANS New Delhi – Actor Ranveer Singh, who has done bold scenes in movies like “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela” and “Band Baaja Baaraat”, is now…
Continue Reading »