Wayne Desmond: “Something that is not often talked about are tenancy disputes and discriminatory practices carried out by landlords here in Nova Scotia. This continues to be one of Nova Scotia’s best kept secrets.”

Legal arguments in the appeal of a Nova Scotia human rights board decision about the institutionalization of people with physical or intellectual disabilities continued today. Intervenors in the case argued that the systemic nature of the discrimination must be acknowledged. There is no discrimination, lawyer Kevin Kindred countered for the province.

A Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry was wrong when it denied the systemic causes underlying the institutionalization of people with disabilities in Nova Scotia. It was also wrong in how it determined the damages it awarded to three individual complainants. That, in a nutshell, is the case against the province being argued in front of Nova Scotia Court of Appeal judges today and tomorrow. This is what happened on day one.

A recent human rights case, launched by Gyasi Symonds after being racially profiled by Halifax police, is a showcase for all that is wrong with the way the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) deals with human rights complaints and complainants.

After Premier McNeil’s surprise apology for systemic racism in the justice system and the harm it has done, he announced the formation of a design team “to reimagine a system of justice in Nova Scotia”. We talk with Robert Wright, spokesperson for the DPAD coalition, to find out more about its proposals for an African Nova Scotian Justice Institute and a Policing Strategy, and to better understand its criticism of the provincial justice initiative.

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.