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Letter to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services: An action plan to end segregation in Ontario

February 21, 2019

I am writing today about the Superior Court of Justice’s decision in R. v Capay (2019 ONSC 535) dated January 28, 2019. Consistent with other recent court cases and the OHRC’s earlier calls to action, the factual findings in R. v Capay confirm that segregation is harmful to health, increases risk and undermines safety, rehabilitation and reintegration. As I am sure you will agree, Justice Fregeau’s findings are extremely troubling and call for decisive action.

Human rights in Ontario

Ontario's Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements.

The Code's goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, sex, disability, and age, to name a few of the 17 grounds. All other Ontario laws must agree with the Code.

Not all unfair treatment and harassment is covered by the Code. The treatment or harassment must be based on at least one Code ground and take place within a social area to be protected.

The Ontario Human Rights System is made up of three separate agencies:

  1. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (that’s us) works to promote, protect and advance human rights through research, education, targeted legal action and policy development.
  2. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre gives legal help to people who have experienced discrimination under the Code.
  3. The Human Rights Tribunal is where human rights applications are filed and decided.

To learn more, complete our Human Rights 101 eLearning.