N.B. Multicultural Council receives Human Rights Award

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council has been honoured for its work in promoting human rights, diversity and inclusion.

It received the 2017 New Brunswick Human Rights Award during a ceremony at Government House on Friday.

Friday's event marked New Brunswick Human Rights Day, as well as the 50th anniversary of the New Brunswick Human Rights Act, which was adopted in 1967.

Nathalie Chiasson, chairperson of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, says the council has been active on local, provincial and national fronts over the years and played a role in the creation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act in 1988.

More recently, Chiasson says the council has been prominently and actively engaged in welcoming and settling Syrian refugees.

"The work of the council and its member agencies was instrumental," Chiasson said in a statement. "They provided programs, co-ordination and opportunities that directly helped hundreds of Syrian families begin a fresh start in New Brunswick."

Mike Timani, the president of the council, says it's an honour to receive the award, especially on the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Commission.

"New Brunswick and Canada have come a long way since the New Brunswick Multicultural Council was established in 1983, but the work of promoting diversity, inclusion and human rights is as important now as it has ever been," Timani said in a statement.

"Our province and our country can only prosper if all of our residents — those born here and new Canadians alike — can achieve their full potential and live free from prejudice and discrimination."

The award is given annually to an individual or group from New Brunswick that has shown outstanding effort, achievement and leadership on a volunteer basis in the promotion of human rights.