During the past year, there has been much media coverage of the OHRC’s statement about human rights complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine. Our statement made clear that, although we had no jurisdiction to hear a complaint based on the publication of certain views, we do have a broader role in helping the community assess and discuss the tension and conflict that such writing can cause.
The media will continue to play an important role in fighting discrimination in our society, and in shaping public opinion – but it also has the potential to add to discrimination and intolerance. A full and open dialogue is critical in today’s information-rich world.
That dialogue includes the Commission. It is the OHRC’s duty, in law, to educate by expressing opinions and speaking up on human rights issues. We will continue to write letters to the editor, publish articles, and appear on radio and television, to consistently send the message that balanced dialogue where different voices are heard is the best path forward on issues affecting the rights of people across Ontario.