Prevent discrimination in all publicly-funded service contracts.
The Morgane Oger Foundation is a federally-registered non-profit society. We work to narrow the gap between Canada’s human rights laws and the experience lived on the ground by marginalized persons through public education, advocacy, and the employment of legal means.
We are concerned that public-funding institutions are closing their eyes to discrimination they allow to happen through the funding of programs delivered by service organizers which do not live up to the funding organization’s expectations. We urge funders to address this through language in program contracts to service providers and other funding recipients.
Non-profit organizations, charities, and community organizations receive program funding from taxpayer-funded bodies to deliver services to the public in all our names, funded by us all as a group. The programs that Canadian, BC, and municipal taxpayers fund must be accountable for ensuring their services are available to everyone the funding is intended to reach.
The Morgane Oger Foundation urges all public-funded program funding agencies to add language to each contracts it writes with service providers that receive public funding to ensure that the service providers they fund live up to the public’s expectation of how the service will be provided.
For example, in 2017 Stephanie Vande Kraats was told she couldn't continue to teach at Surrey Christian School because she had violated a school policy requiring employees to only have sex within a heterosexual marriage.
Ms. Vande Kraats had worked at the school for almost 14 years as an English teacher and librarian. She's angry that her former employer receives half of its annual funding — $5 million — from the B.C. government when the school discriminates against employees.
The Morgane Oger Foundation feels that the specific situation faced by ms Vande Kraats is a deliberate over-reach of clause 41 of the BC Human Rights Code by an employer:
"41 (1) If a charitable, philanthropic, educational, fraternal, religious or social organization or corporation that is not operated for profit has as a primary purpose the promotion of the interests and welfare of an identifiable group or class of persons characterized by a physical or mental disability or by a common race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, political belief, colour, ancestry or place of origin, that organization or corporation must not be considered to be contravening this Code because it is granting a preference to members of the identifiable group or class of persons."
— Section 41(1) of BC Human Rights Code
“A publicly-funded institution letting a woman go because she is sexually active and not married is a glaring example of why anti-discrimination clauses with real consequences are overdue in all taxpayer-funded contracts, and without exception.”
- Morgane Oger
An exception on the basis of religion or any other protected grounds from prohibitions to discriminate does not in our eyes grant any right to any exception from any other explicit prohibition to discriminate set out in the human rights law, each of them being of equal standing under the law.
For example, one can no more legally justify discrimination on the basis of Ms. Vande Kraatz's marital status than on her place of origin, gender, or race.
Because organizations receiving public funds to deliver services to the public should be held to a high standard, the Morgane Oger Foundation urges the governments of British Columbia and Canada, as well as the governments of every other province and every municipal council in Canada, to add language to all contracts it writes with service providers that receive public funding to ensure that the contract:
Includes language prohibiting discrimination across explicit prohibitions which includes a punitive clause allowing for loss of contract in the event of a finding of discrimination by the BC Human Rights Commission or its tribunal.
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For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org