CASHRA - The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies

History Of CASHRA

Girls at computer The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA)

CASHRA was founded in 1972. However, its history began more than 30 years earlier.

CASHRA'S predecessor was the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL); which was formed in 1938. Its purpose was to provide labour officials from different jurisdictions with the opportunity to meet and share information. At that time, labour officials were responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws.

 By the late 1960s, the conferences set aside time for addressing human rights matters. During the same time period, the provinces began passing human rights laws that were distinct from labour law. The officials responsible for human rights also started to meet and to hold their own conferences. CAALL's group of human rights officials became known as the Canadian Administrators of Human Rights Legislation. 

In 1969, at CAALL's annual conference in Ottawa, the Canadian Administrators of Human Rights Legislation agreed toform a permanent national organization.  At the group's 1970 meeting, the administrators decided on guiding principles for the new organization. This became the basis for CASHRA's constitution. At the group's next meeting in 1972, it issued a press release announcing the creation of this new organization, CASHRA:

The main purpose of this Association will be to establish an effective communications link between governmental agencies working in the field of combating discrimination. By making the methods and programs which have proven successful in one jurisdiction more readily available to other agencies, the member organizations should be better able to carry forward their task of maintaining the basic rights and the essential human dignity of all persons in this country.

Since 1972, CASHRA's purpose and motivation has remained much the same. CASHRA activities have included:

CASHRA Presidents and Conference Sites

 

Year

President

Conference Site

2014

David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner, Canada

Ottawa, ON

2013

David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner, Canada

Halifax, NS

2012

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner Ontario Human Rights Commission

Winnipeg, MB

2011

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner Ontario Human Rights Commission

Calgary, AB

2010

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner Ontario Human Rights Commission

St. John's, NL

2009

Mary Pat Short, Chair, NWT Human Rights Commission

Montréal, PQ

2008

Mary Pat Short, Chair, NWT Human Rights Commission

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

2007

Gordon Porter, Chair, NB Human Rights Commission

Yellowknife, NT

2006

Gordon Porter, Chair, NB Human Rights Commission

Fredericton, NB

2005

Donna Scott, Q.C., Chief Commissioner, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Saskatoon, SK

2004

Donna Scott, Q.C., Chief Commissioner, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

 

Ottawa, ON

2003

Janet Baldwin, Chief Commissioner, Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Winnipeg, MB

2002

Major General George S. Kells (Retired), Chairperson, PEI Human Rights Commission

Charlottetown, PEI

2001

Mary Kane, Chief Commissioner, Yukon Human rights Commission

Whitehorse, YK

2000

Charlach Mackintosh, Chief Commissioner, Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission

Banff, AB

1999

Claude Filion, Président, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse

Montréal, PQ

1998

Mary MacLennon, Chair, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Halifax, NS

1997

Keith Norton, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Toronto, ON

1996

Harinder Mahil, Chair, BC Council of Human Rights

Victoria, BC

1995

Ken Filkow, Chair, Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Winnipeg, MB

1994

Constantine Passaris, Chairperson, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Fredericton, NB

1993

Michelle Falardeau-Ramsay, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ottawa, ON

1992

Fil Fraser, Chief Commissioner, Alberta Human Rights Commission and Theresa Holizki, Q.C., Chief Commissioner, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Lloydminster, SK

1991

Rev. J. Leo Trainor, Chair, Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

Charlottetown, PEI

1990

Sylvia Neschokat, Chair, Yukon Human Rights Commission

Whitehorse, YK

1989

Douglas Wilson, Chair, BC Council of Human Rights

Victoria, BC

1988

Gillian D. Butler, Chair, Newfoundland Human Rights Commission

St. John's NL

1987

Borden Purcell, Chair, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Toronto, ON

1986

Nicole Trudeau-Bérard, Vice-Président, Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse

Québec City, PQ

1985

Marlene Antonio, Chief Commissioner, Alberta Human Rights Commission

Edmonton, AB

1984

Dale Gibson, Chairperson, Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Winnipeg, MB

1983

Ken E. Norman, Chief Commissioner, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Saskatoon, SK

1982

R. Gordon L. Fairweather, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Montebello, PQ

1981

Dorothea Crittenden, Chair, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Windsor, ON

1980

Noel A. Kinsella, Chairperson, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Moncton, NB

1979

Kathleen Ruff, Director, B.C. Human Rights Commission

Vancouver, BC

1978

René Hurtubise, Président, Commission des droits de la personne

Québec City, PQ

1977

Max Wyman, Chair, Alberta Human Rights Commission

Banff, AB

1976

Tillie Taylor, Chairperson, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Saskatoon, SK

1975

Noel A. Kinsella, Chairperson, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Fredericton, NB

1974

Caroline Cramer, Q.C., Chairperson, Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Winnipeg, MB

1973

W. Andrew McKay, Chair, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Halifax, NS

1972

Keith Henders, Executive Chairperson, Alberta Human Rights Commission

Edmonton, AB

CASHRA Resolutions – Themes and Topics

Since its inception in 1972, CASHRA has passed a variety of resolutions.  Below is a brief description of the themes and topics of those resolutions.

Human Rights Agencies

  • support for independence from government
  • support adequate resources to meet mandates
  • opposition to dismantling of BC Human Rights Council
  • concern over possible dismantling or weakening of Alberta Human Rights Commission
  • support for strengthening Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • support for reconstituting Court Challenges Program
  • opposition to dismantling BC Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Legislation

  • expansion of protected grounds, such as sexual orientation
  • inclusion of accommodation provisions
  • inclusion of affirmative action provisions

Aboriginal Peoples

  • support for a Royal Commission
  • need to acknowledge past wrongs; e.g. residential schools
  • support for amending section 12(1)(b) of the Indian Act

Discrimination

  • promote elimination of hate propaganda
  • concern about racism and homophobia
  • support race relations training for police
  • support for changing building codes to make all buildings accessible
  • support changing census to allow more data collection for employment equity purposes
  • critique of National Convention of Legions regarding headgear

CASHRA Interventions

  • Ross v. New Brunswick School Dist. No. 15 (1996), 25 C.H.R.R. D/175 (S.C.C.)
  • Vriend v. Alberta [1998] 1 S.C.R. 493

CASHRA Educational Initiatives

  • Annual CASHRA conference
  • Interactive website targeted to youth to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Training needs survey for human rights commission staff
  • Training bulletin listing resource materials kept by various human rights agencies and announcing training courses and workshops being offered by different agencies.
  • Generic skills training modules for front line staff of human rights commissions
  • Training modules for human rights commissioners and staff designed to introduce new personnel to the work of a human rights commission
  • Anti-racism training
  • Educational posters on human rights themes
  • Workshop for CASHRA educators on outcome-based planning

Disclaimer
The material on CASHRA's web site is offered in English and French. Links to other sites may not be available in both languages.
Links to external websites are provided as an informational resource only. CASHRA is not responsible for the content.
Comments or inquiries regarding these sites should be directed to the individual organization.

CASHRA - The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies