In August 1997, the BC Human Rights Commission (BCHRC) began a process of community hearings designed to get public feedback on B.C's existing Human Rights Code and the BCHRC's proposed recommendations for changes to the code. The question the Commission asked the public was:
"What human rights protections do we wish to leave to the next generation and which ones should accompany us into the next decade and the next millenium?"
The commission held 13 public meetings across B.C., attended by 355 participants with a total of 136 oral submissions. An additional 365 individuals or groups made written submissions to the BCHRC.
On January 19, 1998 the British Columbia Human Rights Commission (BCHRC) released a report summarizing the results of their consultation process and announcing the recommendations they would be making to Ujjal Dosanjh, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Human Rights.
As Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanjh was responsible for a number of the key decisions related to the Ts'peten (aka Gustafsen Lake) fiasco in 1995, and the ongoing legal persecution of the native and non-native people who were held under siege at Ts'peten Sundance Grounds by Canadian police and military forces. Local, national, and international groups documented massive human rights abuses by the police and government at Ts'peten. The RCMP openly admitted to carrying out a "smear and disinformation campaign" against the Ts'peten Defenders and their supporters. And we had the Minister responsible for Human Rights directing police to violate human rights on behalf of the B.C. government -- an obvious conflict of interest.
Since 1995, the Ts'peten Defenders and their supporters have demanded an inquiry to bring to light the truths concealed by the RCMP, government and media in their concerted efforts to manufacture public consent for military suppression and attempted murder of the Ts'peten Defenders.
Simultaneously, national and international groups have called for an inquiry into the police murder of an unarmed native man participating in a re-occupation of native lands seized illegally by the Ontario government at Stoney Point (aka Ipperwash).
When S.I.S.I.S. became aware of the BCHRC hearings, we encouraged people to make submissions to the Commission calling for inquiries.
AND THEY HEARD YOU!
On page 3 of the BCHRC report "Human Rights for the Next Millenium", the BCHRC states:
"Many views were expressed as the consultations prompted discussions about human rights and how far, as a society, we should go to protect the rights of British Columbians. Some comments were directed at the specific recommendations being debated and other comments took broader perspectives. By e-mail, for example, the Commission representatives heard from those calling for a public inquiry into the incidents at Ipperwash in Ontario and Gustafsen Lake in BC.
BC Human Rights Commission
306 - 815 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2E6 Canada
Phone: (604) 660-6811
Fax: (604) 660-0195
BC Premier Glen Clark
Room 156 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4 Canada
Phone: (250) 380-6506
Fax: (250) 387-0087
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Room 309-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A OA6 Canada
Phone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Faxing by email: remote-printer.Jean_Chretien@16139416900.iddd.tpc.int
To sign the petition for a public inquiry, visit:
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "petition" in the subject header and your name, city/country of residence and the words "I support the petition demanding a public inquiry into Gustafsen Lake" in the body of your message.