Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Minister's message / International Human Rights Day (09/12/10)

NB 1970

Dec. 10, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following statement was issued today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault in recognition of International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2009:

It was 61 years ago that the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission, and a resident of this great province, I would like to honour the legacy of John Peters Humphrey of Hampton as one of the principal authors of this historic document.

I am pleased to recognize Dec. 10 as International Human Rights Day, a day that serves as a reminder of all we have accomplished but also shows us that there is still much that needs to be done.

Today, as New Brunswickers and as Canadians, we join many nations around the world in recognizing this historic milestone in the goal of human rights for all. We join our human rights colleagues from all corners of the globe to recognize and reflect on the invaluable work that is being done to cultivate a world of compassion and understanding.

New Brunswick has a diverse range of cultures and linguistic groups, and this is something in which we can take great pride. As we charter our path to self-sufficiency, we must take a moment to reflect on the rights and freedoms that we are privileged to have here in New Brunswick. These rights and freedoms allow us to reach our full potential as people and as a province. We must serve as role models in our communities through the promotion of respect and acceptance.

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission works continuously to improve the rights of New Brunswickers. This year, it held several information sessions on accommodating students with a disability to many New Brunswick principals and members of district education councils.

It also presented the 2009 Human Rights Award to the Woodstock High School Lady Thunder hockey team. The team was chosen as a result of support shown by team members for players who were subject to name-calling based on sexual orientation.

I would like to thank the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and all other government departments dedicated to promoting the value of human rights in our society. There are also a number of volunteer groups and non-government organizations that work endlessly on the behalf of others, and I would like to thank them for their dedication. Your desire to make our communities and our province a better place for all is part of the true Canadian spirit.

Today, I am pleased to commemorate International Human Rights Day with all New Brunswickers.