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Move to protect mentally ill

Senators have roundly endorsed new legislation aimed at prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of mental illness.

The Human Rights Amendment Act 2016 was debated by the Senate yesterday and received support from both the Bermuda Government, Opposition and independent members.

The amendments are designed to protect those who suffer from mental illness from discrimination by changing the definition of disability to include mental disability.

Independent senator Joan Dillas-Wright said the legislation was long overdue, but also a “wonderful day in our history”, while Jeff Baron, the Minister for National Security added: “If this can erase the stigma attached to mental illness then I am proud to be part of the this process.”

Progressive Labour Party senator Kim Wilkerson also welcomed the inclusion of mental disability into the human rights legislation and said she hoped that the elderly would soon be included in the Act.

During yesterday's session senators also passed legislation paving the way for the merging of the Department of Environment Protection and the Department of Conservation Services and the creation of a new tourism event liquor licence.

The new Liquor Licence Amendment Act 2016, which also increases the fees payable for other kinds of liquor licences with the exception of member's club licences, allows successful applicants to sell alcoholic drinks for up to three days. PLP Senate Leader Marc Daniels questioned how a tourism event would be defined, and why the chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority was involved in the process of certifying an event as a tourism event, but said the Opposition supported the new legislation.

Finally senators also passed the Government Fees Amendment Regulations, which makes up for an error contained in the initial legislation that provided incorrect prices relating to the Public Access to Information Act requests.

Legislation long overdue: independent senator Joan Dillas-Wright

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Published June 09, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 09, 2016 at 7:57 am)

Move to protect mentally ill

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