Media release Racism

PSA: Black Human Rights Matter Rally

Friday August 21, 10AM

Spring Garden Road, outside Park Lane (offices of NSHRC)

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) has been derelict in its duty to support and protect the human rights of Nova Scotians, with African Nova Scotian people being disproportionately impacted.

To raise awareness of the shortcoming of the NSHRC and to collectively express a demand for meaningful reform, there will be a rally on August 21st at 10:00am. This will take place on Spring Garden Road, outside of Park Lane where the offices of the NSHRC are located.

The NS human rights regime must offer effective deterrence to violations of human right in order to ensure that justice, equality, human dignity, compassion, and respect are not merely aspirational principles but are the inviolable rule. The NSHRC has a stated commitment to “actively engaging and working with all Nova Scotians and our diverse communities to address issues of discrimination by effectively: advancing equity and dignity, fostering positive and respectful relationships, and protecting human rights”. The NSHRC is currently unable to effectively meet this commitment, and changes must be made.

Complaints are frequently subject to summary dismissal, with little to no public or internal accounting. Of those complaints which are taken up, few make it to a board of inquiry. Many complainants face long waits for their claims to be assessed, yet the period to file a complaint is limited to one year. All of these factors (and more) have a chilling effect on those who would seek justice for violations of their human rights, and cause an environment where that justice when sought is often long delayed – or denied.

In its 2017 report, the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent noted several concerns and systemic inequities affecting people of African Descent in Nova Scotia. Measures to address these failures of human rights protection have been insufficient.

The rally will be hosted by African Nova Scotians for Black Human Rights Matter with support from Solidarity K’jipuktuk/Halifax.

There is also a live petition on this issue you can sign:

Speakers: Waylon Boutillier, Angela Bowden, Michael Carvery, Brandi Medley, Raymond Sheppard, Rana Zaman

Remember to bring a MASK and to adhere to social distancing protocol during the event!