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28 September 2023
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued by Phylomène Zangio, chair of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission:
The commission wishes to remind New Brunswickers that the Human Rights Act recognizes the fundamental principle that all persons are equal in dignity and human rights. The act protects many vulnerable groups from discriminatory treatment, including, but not limited to, women, racial minorities, Indigenous people, persons with religious beliefs, families, children and youth, persons with a disability, older persons, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
The human rights recognized in the act were secured after prolonged struggle, and these rights were enshrined in our laws following considerable dialogue and debate.
We must educate ourselves and question misinformation that stokes fear, distrust and division. When certain persons or groups are stereotyped or stigmatized, it results in hard-won human rights progress taking a step backward and diminishes the culture of respect, dignity and inclusion.
Under the act, it is also stated that no person shall indicate discrimination or an intention to discriminate against any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination in a notice, sign, symbol, etc. As such, the commission also reminds New Brunswickers that displaying banners or posters that spread hate or malign vulnerable groups may be found to be discriminatory under the act.
Respect is at the heart of human rights, and it includes treating all human beings with dignity in all spheres of their personal, professional and social lives. Let us strive to stay the course and continue to uphold the rights of all New Brunswickers.
senior education officer,
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission,