For immediate release

October 27, 2008

Clarification of Investigation

Although the Manitoba Human Rights Commission rarely comments about complaints that are under investigation, the Commission is concerned that recent news reports regarding a human rights complaint filed by the Association of Community Living Manitoba (ACL) may have left the public with an inaccurate impression of an interim report and of the Commission's procedures. The Commission wishes to clarify the status of the investigation.

The human rights complaint deals with ACL’s concerns regarding the continued placement of adults with intellectual disabilities at the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC) in Portage la Prairie.

The report in question summarizes the investigation conducted to date and deals only with the preliminary question of whether long-term placement at the MDC could be differential treatment on the basis of personal characteristics protected under the Human Rights Code.

The Commission has made no recommendations or findings as to whether The Code has been violated. This would not occur until after a complete investigation and full examination of all issues under The Code, including any justification the Provincial Government may have for maintaining residents at the Centre.

The report was intended simply to give the parties a summary of the investigation to date and to streamline the remainder of the investigation. Given its preliminary nature, the Commission was surprised to learn that the report has been publically released by ACL.

Executive Director of the Commission, Dianna Scarth cautions against drawing any conclusions about this report considering its preliminary nature.

The investigation will continue and the Board of Commissioners will make its decision in due course, she says.

For more information please contact
Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission