The OHRC sought leave to intervene in an appeal of the Federal Court’s decision to strike down a policy banning citizenship candidates from wearing face coverings during the citizenship oath.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of creed is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their creed.
The Code does not define creed, but the courts and tribunals have often referred to religious beliefs and practices. Creed may also include non-religious belief systems that, like religion, substantially influence a person’s identity, worldview and way of life. People who follow a creed, and people who do not, have the right to live in a society that respects pluralism and human rights and the right to follow different creeds.
The Commission intervened in Sarnia (City) v. River City Vineyard, an appeal heard by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in October 2014.