Own Motion – Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

In May 2014, this Office initiated an own motion investigation of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC). This investigation was initiated based on a number of complaints received by this Office which were similar in nature and were also related to issues previously identified in an investigation conducted by the Office.

This investigation was broad and involved an in-depth review of numerous NSHRC files and interviews with current and former staff and commissioners. There were factors which delayed the progression of the investigation, including coordinating access to information with former NSHRC management, NSHRC management turn-over, and a relocation of the NSHRC offices.

A Consultative Report was issued in November 2016 and both the NSHRC and Department of Justice responded to this report. The Consultative Report noted several issues identified through the investigation and nine recommendations were issued to the respondents. These recommendations included the establishment of a committee to review the approach to human rights services; review, revision, and development of policy; ensuring the education division of the NSHRC is appropriately resourced; review of the restorative approach to case management; and the development and implementation of a quality assurance system.

A Final Report was provided to the respondents in March 2017 and this Office continues to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.