Loading articles...

Death of transgender inmate prompts dismissal of discrimination complaint

Last Updated Jan 31, 2020 at 6:56 pm PDT

(iStock)
Summary

Bianca Lovado filed a complaint against B.C. Corrections after being denied a transfer to a women's prison

Lovado died in November, but her lawyer still tried to have her case heard as a matter of public interest

The BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled it no longer has jurisdiction because the complainant is deceased

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The death of a transgender inmate means her discrimination complaint against the province must be dismissed, according to a ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal released Friday.

Bianca Lovado filed a complaint against B.C. Corrections after being denied a transfer from the Surrey Pretrial Centre to a women’s prison in 2018. Lovado spent time at the female-only Alouette Correctional Centre in 2015 and 2016.

Lovado died in November, but her lawyer still tried to have her case heard as a matter of public interest.

Tribunal member Emily Ohler explains the BC Human Rights Tribunal no longer has jurisdiction over this matter but agrees it raises significant human rights issues.

“This is a truly unfortunate case. The rights of transgender people and the way in which they are viewed and treated within broader society has been a very public topic in this province in recent months. While making no findings of fact in this case, I would like to observe that it is clear to me Ms. Lovado encountered adversity in the course of her incarceration. It is also clear to me that there are people within Corrections working hard to navigate the best path forward. In losing the opportunity to render a decision here, I believe the Tribunal is losing an opportunity to shine light on the efforts, the successes, and the failures of people engaged with these issues.”