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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Let's ensure all people with disabilities benefit equally from measures to address the pandemic

December 3, 2021

Since 1992, the world has been commemorating December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. While we annually observe this day to promote the human rights of people with disabilities, we need to work daily on resolving the systemic inequities they experience.

Letter to Ontario government ministers on the OHRC’s Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning

November 9, 2021

On November 9, 2021, the OHRC released its Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning. The OHRC has shared this statement with ministers across all relevant sectors, as we believe it will help guide their ministry’s pandemic recovery efforts.

OHRC Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning

November 9, 2021

Engaging the human rights principles contained in the OHRC Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning will result in evidence- and human rights-informed approaches to recovery planning, policy and program design. Rooting the pandemic recovery in human rights principles and proactively taking equity into account will support governments and service providers in meeting their legal obligations to eliminate discrimination and advance substantive equality.

OHRC letter to University of Toronto on the University Mandated Leave of Absence Policy review

November 8, 2021

The OHRC is pleased that the university states it intends to robustly review the University Mandated Leave of Absence Policy (UMLAP). We urge the U of T to take the time to make sure it conducts a proper review, which includes the components in this letter, to identify and address human rights concerns that may arise from the UMLAP and its implementation.

OHRC statement on the 75th anniversary of Viola Desmond’s historic stand against racism

November 8, 2021

Seventy-five years ago today, Viola Desmond took a stand against racism that directly challenged segregation in Canada, and left a legacy of extraordinary courage, perseverance, resilience and dignity that has inspired generations of Black Canadians and others to stand up against racism and discrimination.

OHRC submission to Ministry of Education consultation on strengthening accountability for school board trustees

November 1, 2021

The OHRC welcomes the Ministry of Education’s consultation on strengthening accountability for school board trustees, and is particularly interested in measures to ensure trustees are held accountable if they fail to fulfill their legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).

OHRC letter and submission to Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee on their recommendations under AODA

November 1, 2021

The OHRC wrote to the Chair of the Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee to welcome their initial recommendations for developing proposed postsecondary education standards under the AODA, and to provide a submission with additional recommendations.

OHRC letter and submission to K-12 Education Standards Development Committee on their recommendations under the AODA

November 1, 2021

The OHRC wrote to the Chair of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee to welcome the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee’s 2021 initial recommendations report under the AODA, and to provide a submission with additional recommendations.

Letter to Mayor and Council of Township of Brock on decisions and by-laws on supportive housing

October 12, 2021

The OHRC is concerned that the Township of Brock’s Interim Control By-law 2994-2020 to "prohibit the establishment of Supportive Housing and Modular Construction, including Manufactured Dwelling Houses" creates barriers to establishing and accessing supportive housing, which may be discriminatory under the Human Rights Code. The OHRC calls on Council to remove any barriers that have a discriminatory effect as soon as possible, and to allow such supportive housing projects to proceed.

OHRC Policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates

September 22, 2021

While receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, the OHRC takes the position that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code (Code) as long as protections are put in place to make sure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated.

Submission on TPSB Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies Policy

September 22, 2021

In its submission on the Toronto Police Services Board’s Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies Policy, the OHRC recommends several actions for the TPSB to take in developing its AI Policy. Consistent with a human rights-based approach, these actions are aimed at protecting vulnerable and marginalized groups that may be disproportionately affected by AI technology used by the TPS. These actions are designed to insure against consequences that would undermine the desired benefits of police services’ efficiency and effectiveness, and public trust in policing.

Update on the OHRC’s work with Peel Regional Police, Board to address systemic racism in policing

September 15, 2021

Under a Memorandum of Understanding reached in 2020, Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire and the OHRC continue to work collaboratively with the Peel Regional Police and the Peel Police Services Board to address systemic racism and discrimination in policing. As one of the steps in this process, PRP, PPSB and the OHRC have developed a survey seeking community feedback on experiences with and perceptions of PRP.

Getting to know our Commissioners

July 28, 2021

This series profiling OHRC Commissioners offers a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them. The sixth in the series features Commissioner Eyolfson, a lawyer who practices alternative dispute resolution, providing independent investigation, mediation and adjudication services, primarily in the area of human rights. 

Getting to know our Commissioners

July 15, 2021

This series profiling OHRC Commissioners offers a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them. The fifth in the series features Commissioner Pieters, who brings to the Commission over two decades of leadership roles in equity initiatives in the education sector as teacher, vice-principal and principal. 

Statement on unmarked graves found at former Saskatchewan residential school site: Growing numbers must lead to growing action

June 24, 2021

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) stands with Indigenous communities across Canada in their outrage and mourning after 751 unmarked graves were located on the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.

Getting to know our Commissioners

May 17, 2021

A new series profiling OHRC Commissioners offers a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them. The fourth in the series features Commissioner Arsenault, a veteran Toronto police officer with experience ranging from youth services to the Aboriginal Peacekeeping Unit. He uses an extensive social media following to promote community safety and community-building.

OHRC response to letter requesting an OHRC inquiry on the institutionalization of older adults in Ontario

April 13, 2021

The OHRC responded to a request from Ontario Council of Hospital Unions-CUPE, Ontario Health Coalition and the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly for the OHRC to undertake a section 31 public interest inquiry into the institutionalization of older adults in Ontario.

OHRC statement on urgent human rights concerns with critical care triage

April 9, 2021

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) urgently calls on the government to clarify the status of the Adult Critical Care Clinical Emergency Standard of Care for Major Surge protocol (the Emergency Standard of Care) that was circulated to hospitals in January. The government must also confirm that the Health Care Consent Act prevails to protect the rights of patients and families at this time.

Getting to know our OHRC Commissioners

February 26, 2021

A new series profiling OHRC Commissioners offers a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them. The third in the series features Commissioner Jewel Amoah, a Canadian-Trinidadian human rights lawyer, activist and academic. Amoah is currently the Human Rights and Equity Advisor with the Halton District School Board. She has also worked with organizations both in Canada and abroad, providing extensive advice on gender equality and legislative reform.

OHRC statement on allegations of refusal of service to Indigenous people in Kenora

February 24, 2021

As Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in Northwestern Ontario fights an outbreak of COVID-19, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is aware of reports of businesses and organizations in Kenora refusing services to Indigenous people and of social media posts spreading racist comments and misinformation.

General (Retired) Rick Hillier’s response to OHRC’s call for human rights considerations in COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning

February 8, 2021

On December 10, 2020, Chief Commissioner Ena Chadha wrote to General (Retired) Rick Hillier and the Vaccine Distribution Task Force to stress the important role that human rights principles, considerations and obligations should play in vaccine distribution planning.

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