BC Civil Rights Protection Act (6:V)
The Ministry of the Attorney General administers the Civil Rights Protection Act (CRPA), which defines a prohibited act and civil remedies or damages that may be available for victims of such acts. The types of actions and remedies available under the CRPA may not be suitable for all claimants, as these actions are tortious in nature and are heard in the Supreme Court. Usually the HRC or CHRA, whichever applies, will provide more useful protection.
The more pertinent points of the legislation are:
- “Prohibited act” is defined as conduct or communications that interfere with civil rights by promoting hatred or contempt or by promoting the inferiority or superiority of groups classified by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, or place of origin (s 1).
- The Attorney General may choose to intervene in such actions, but, in any case, the Attorney General must be notified within 30 days of the start of an action (s 3).
- Types of damages: general or exemplary. The court may order other types of relief such as an injunction in addition to or in lieu of damages (s 4).
- For an offence under the Act, a person may be liable for a fine up to $2,000 and/or six months imprisonment. A corporation or other public body may be liable for a fine of up to $10,000, and any directors or top personnel who were or should have been aware of the offending conduct may be found personally liable (s 5).
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