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Donna Greschner, a law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, will assume duties immediately as head of the four-member commission. A member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission from 1987 until 1990, Greschner has written extensively on human rights' and has served as a consultant to the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. She holds a business degree and two law degrees and has studied European systems of human rights protection at Oxford University.
Although the review of the code and the commission was to start Nov. 12, it has been delayed by the change in leadership of the commission, Mitchell said. The review will begin in January.
"Saskatchewan introduced Canada's first Bill of Rights in 1947 under the leadership of Tommy Douglas," Mitchell said. "A review of the current Human Rights Code, which was established in 1979, is long overdue. In looking at the code, the province hopes to better meet the needs of Saskatchewan citizens. The review of the code is part of an overall change in direction for the commission.
"The government's democratic reform agenda includes better protection against discrimination. It is our goal to have a commission which will change to reflect the priorities of Saskatchewan people."
Greschner said the review of the code will be comprehensive and based on public input.
"The commission will hold hearings throughout the province in the new year to discuss the code and how it can be improved," Greschner said. "The commission's mandate may also have to be altered to co-ordinate with a new human rights code."
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is an independent body which investigates claims of discrimination on the basis of, race, creed, sex, and religion. It also provides public education on discrimination issues.