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In Nova Scotia, race relations are strained, gender equality remains an issue, LGBTQIA people still face challenges and barriers, and the disabled must be vigilant so that they aren’t ignored or shafted.So having a stable, smoothly running human rights commission seems like a good idea.
For instance, that mandate statement was authorized by Lena Metlege Diab (the government minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act at the time) and Tracey Williams (the former interim director and CEO of the human rights commission). Diana Whalen is the new cabinet minister in charge of the human rights file, inheriting the job after a Liberal cabinet shuffle in July.However, people who have filed human-rights complaints have said it takes years to have their situations resolved.For example, last year, a discrimination case involving the Black Educators Association and a former employee, Rachel Brothers, was put to bed after her complaint was heard and decided in her favour.The woman, who’d been working in the association’s Kentville office, had said she was wrongfully fired in 2006 and filed a complaint in 2008.The former finance minister has 10 other cabinet responsibilities, including being deputy premier and succeeding Metlege Diab as the province’s attorney general and justice minister.Bureaucrat Michelle Higgins, a government lawyer, took over from Williams as acting CEO in July, according to Higgins’ Linked In.
Higgins is the third director at the commission since 2013.
Executive search firm Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette is currently working with the NSHRC to find the commission’s next CEO—its fourth since 2013.
Tracey Williams had assumed the post in the summer of 2013, following the departure of former chief executive officer David Shannon.
He told a Halifax reporter last year he took control of a dysfunctional organization in 2012 and left it after a 17-month tenure that was marked by bureaucratic paper-pushing, “internal petty bickering” and personnel problems.
Senior staff at the commission have disputed Shannon’s candid view of his old workplace.
They’ve said the agency is doing its job safeguarding the rights of Nova Scotians under human rights legislation, and it has been addressing the backlog of cases that clogged the system.