Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission rejects special diet case for second time

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has for a second time rejected a discrimination claim by five social assistance recipients who say the province hasn't increased the special diet allowance for those with chronic medical problems since 1996.

The commission's board was ordered to re-visit the issue in January by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Justice James Chipman said the commission had been "unreasonable" in rejecting the initial claim and said it should reconsider in "accordance with the principles of fairness and transparency."

In a Feb. 24 letter sent to the recipients' lawyer, Vincent Calderhead, chair Eunice Harker says the rights commission is dismissing the complaint because no significant issues of discrimination were raised.

Harker does say the commission is concerned with the diet allowances, and it urges the province to complete its review of the social assistance program "in a timely manner."

In an email, Calderhead says while the commission is critical of the province, it's frustrating it couldn't have at least given the complainants a hearing.