Robyn Doolittle’s ground-breaking investigation “Unfounded” exposes how police services across Canada are “ill-equipped or unwilling to investigate sexual assault cases” with nearly 20% being dismissed as “unfounded.” At one point in the story, Doolittle asks police to explain the disproportionate “unfounded” rates. She is told by the police that the explanation might lie in coding errors or misclassification of cases, but we know that there are more factors at play. With “unfounded” rates of 19% across Canada and as high as nearly 60% in some jurisdictions, part of the answer must also lie in systemic bias against women – which is a human rights issue.
Beyond remorse – to action. It has now been two weeks since the tragic attack on a Quebec City mosque. Many individuals and organizations across Canada properly voiced their outrage, their sorrow and their support for our Muslim neighbours. But there is more to be done – and this is the time to do it. Taking lasting action is the best way to remember and honour the victims. First, we must acknowledge that Islamophobia is real, and is embedded across our society including right here in Ontario.
Toronto – On February 1, following the launch of its updated Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will release a new policy statement on medical documentation to be provided when disability-related accommodation requests are made.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the OPS’s Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project. My deputation will be available online this afternoon, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s full report with our analysis of the findings will be available on our website tomorrow. This project was based on a 2012 settlement between the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Commission, after Chad Aiken, a young Black man, filed a human rights complaint alleging racial profiling.
Thank you once again for your hospitality and candour. During the meeting, we discussed concerns that leaders and members of the Indigenous community brought to my attention earlier in the day; namely, alleged racism and systemic discrimination within the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS). We discussed more generally the relationship between the TBPS and Indigenous communities in light of recent events.
Toronto – Findings from the Ottawa Police Service’s Race Data and Traffic Stops in Ottawa report released today challenge all policing institutions to acknowledge the systemic nature of racial profiling, examine their practices and take action to address racial discrimination.
Toronto – In a supplementary submission released today, the OHRC again calls on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) to end the practice of segregation (also known as solitary confinement) in Ontario’s correctional facilities.
Toronto – The OHRC today launched its updated Policy on drug and alcohol testing. This Policy offers guidance to Ontario employers and employees about drug and alcohol testing, and about the potential human rights concerns arising from testing.
On Thursday, September 29, 2016, Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane launched the OHRC’s Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability. The OHRC introduced its first policy on disability in 2001. Since that time, there have been many important case law developments, new international human rights standards, and evolving social science research.
Toronto — Hockey Canada, through its Ontario branches, ushers in a new era of transgender inclusion in time for the 2016-2017 hockey season by posting transgender inclusive policies. This step is part of a settlement agreement between Hockey Canada, on behalf of its Ontario members, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and Jesse Thompson, a trans teenaged boy who played amateur hockey and courageously decided to take on the system.
I am writing today to encourage you to adopt a broad human rights interpretation of the National Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and to offer our support as you pursue your important mandate.
On August 10, 1974, Edward Nolan died by suicide in a segregation cell at Millhaven Institution in Bath, Ontario. Each year on August 10, we commemorate Prisoners' Justice Day to remember Nolan and all of the prisoners who have died in custody, and to renew calls to respect the basic human rights of prisoners housed in jails, correctional centres, and penitentiaries across the country.
The OHRC is writing today to provide its comments on the Regulation in the hopes that they will be of assistance when it comes time to review the Regulation.
Toronto – The Toronto Police Service Disciplinary Tribunal has denied the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s motion for leave to intervene in the Neptune 4 case on jurisdictional grounds.
On Canada’s 20th annual National Aboriginal Day, we recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and many contributions of First Nations,Inuit and Métis (Indigenous) peoples. As an arms-length agency of government, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) also sees today as an opportunity to restate our commitment to reconciliation and working alongside Indigenous communities across Ontario.
This morning we see the faces and hear the stories of the women and men killed and wounded in Orlando. They look and sound like us, our neighbours, our friends, our families. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, as well as to their loved ones.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is calling for a comprehensive new approach to policing in Ontario that addresses long-standing concerns about systemic discrimination.
I write today to provide you with the views of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) as to the steps you can take to ensure that the announced Inquest into the death of Andrew Loku leads to recommendations that will prevent similar deaths in the future.
Women make up half of Ontario’s workforce. But whether it’s on the factory floor or in the boardroom, the disturbing reality is that women continue to earn less than men. Racialized women, young women, old women, single mothers, women who care for aging parents, religious women, and women with disabilities or addictions suffer an even greater wage gap.
Dear Minister Naqvi, I am writing today on behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), to express our concern about detention of non-citizens in Ontario jails under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (immigration detainees).
As you know, in my previous capacity as Executive Director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, I was the editor of a 2015 report on immigration detention (http://ihrp.law.utoronto.ca/We_Have_No_Rights).
Toronto — In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is calling for an end to sexualized dress codes that discriminate against female and transgender employees. The OHRC makes the call in a policy position on gender-specific dress codes released today.
by Renu Mandhane
In 2007, Ashley Smith died in federal custody in Kitchener, Ont., after spending extended periods of time in segregation (or solitary confinement). In 2010, Edward Snowshoe died by suicide while in custody in Edmonton, Alta., after spending 162 days in segregation. These cases have become emblematic of the incredible problems with the continued use of segregation in prisons.
Following the release of the OHRC’s new Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed , there have been much-publicized claims that the policy extends protection against discrimination on the basis of creed to cover ethical veganism. To be clear, the Policy does not say one way or the other whether ethical veganism is a creed.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (Commission) is concerned about the number of officers experiencing mental health issues and dying by suicide as a result of their policing work, and the barriers – such as widespread stigma about mental health issues in the policing community – preventing officers from accessing adequate support. We understand that you are preparing to launch a systemic review to examine the experiences and suicides of Ontario police officers with mental health disabilities, and commend you for working toward addressing this serious problem.
By way of introduction, I am the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). On December 16, 2015, the OHRC announced that it will use its mandate under the Ontario Human Right Code (Code) to examine the overrepresentation of Indigenous and racialized children and youth in the child welfare system.
Toronto – Today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the establishment of an Anti-Racism Directorate. The new body will be tasked with providing an anti-racism lens to the development and implementation of government policies, and will also be involved in some aspects of education and promotion. The official announcement is here: bit.ly/20XT3Bz.
Like most people that call this city home, I am deeply troubled by Sunday's shooting deaths in Toronto's Chinatown and the eight other gun-related deaths the city saw in January. This is obviously unacceptable, and police must be supported in their efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes.
February is Black History Month. It’s a time to celebrate the stories and significant contributions of Black Canadians to our province and our country. In fact, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) came into being more than half a century ago under the leadership of Daniel G. Hill, who as a Black man faced prejudice and exclusion while simply trying to find a place to live.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is intervening in Roberts v. Toronto Police Services Board, an application before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) that raises the issues of racial profiling and discriminatory use of force.
Observing the UN International Day of Commemoration in memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
Today is the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It’s a day to remember the genocide that resulted in the murder of millions of Jewish people in World War Two, along with the systematic killing of people with disabilities, Roma persons, and many other minority groups across Europe and Asia.
On November 11, 2015, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) filed its own application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging discrimination in employment based on disability because of the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) failure to include on its Memorial Wall officers who end their lives as a result of a mental health disability incurred in the line of duty.
As the new year unfolds, Ontario continues to open its doors to refugees fleeing the war in Syria. The Ontario Human Rights Commission offers our welcome and support to all newcomers – from Syria, countries in Africa, and other parts of the world.
Toronto - Navi Dhanota, represented by ARCH Disability Law Centre; York University and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have worked together to develop new documentation guidelines to access academic accommodations. The change in guidelines means that students will no longer have to disclose their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) diagnosis to register for mental health accommodations and supports.
Dear Chief Bordeleau, I am writing to commend the Ottawa Police Service for its continued leadership in addressing bias and discrimination in Ontario. Your proactive approaches have built strong and positive relationships with communities affected by hate crimes and are to be commended. I know that many officers and members from across your Service have been involved in these efforts.
Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) calls to action, and to similar calls from racialized communities, by committing to address the goal of preventing and reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous and racialized children and youth in the child welfare system.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft Regulation on street checks of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ministry). We are pleased to have the support of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) on this important issue.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today releases an updated Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed. The OHRC introduced its first policy on creed in 1996. Since that time, Ontario society has grown increasingly more diverse and there have been many important legal and social developments. The update reflects today’s issues and changes to case law, and provides expanded information in areas like Indigenous Spirituality and creed-based profiling.
Today is International Human Rights Day—the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The human rights movement was a direct response to widespread antisemitism which ultimately led to the Holocaust. By adopting the Universal Declaration in 1948, Canada and the international community rightly said, “Never again.”
A broad network of community advocates, human rights and legal experts, academics, concerned and affected individuals and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is calling on the Province to ensure that its Draft Regulation on police street checks – or “carding” – achieves the Minister’s stated objective of ending arbitrary and discriminatory police street checks.
Toronto - A settlement has been reached with the Ottawa Police in a case that alleged a female police officer was denied training, job placement and promotion opportunities because of her family status, sex and maternity leaves. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) intervened at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to address systemic barriers to promotion and advancement that women can face.
Such is the nature of our hyper-connected planet that events seemingly worlds away from our day-to-day lives can reverberate in our neighbourhood. That is the power and promise of social media — it makes the world smaller.
As part of It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, the Government of Ontario is hosting its 2015 Summit on Sexual Violence and Harassment in Toronto from November 19 – 20.
Hatred and discrimination based on creed have no place in Ontario. They contravene our province’s most cherished ideals and commitments, including respect for the rule of law, and individual human rights and dignity.
In May 2015, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) learned that a Canadian insurance company (RSA Canada) would not issue an emergency travel medical insurance policy to anyone who had ever been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS and obtained a copy of the exclusionary policy.
The OHRC wrote to RSA Canada to express concern that the HIV/AIDS exclusion might contravene Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
Today is my first day on the job as Ontario’s new chief human rights commissioner and, already, I am keenly aware of the need to convince Canadians of the continuing relevance of statutory human rights bodies like the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Toronto – Ruth Goba, Interim Chief Commissioner, today welcomes Renu Mandhane as the OHRC’s new Chief Commissioner effective Monday, November 2, 2015.
Hamilton police chief Glenn De Caire's position on carding and street checks contains a fundamental and significant error.
In his September 21 letter to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Chief De Caire cites the Ontario Human Rights Commission and our recognition of “the importance of officer discretion.” We agree that discretion is important – vitally so. But we have always been clear: officer discretion must be informed and guided to prevent racial profiling – and discretionary decisions that are informed by racial bias should lead to officer discipline.
(Whitby, ON) – Today, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission unveiled a new partnership to further develop human rights capacity at the specialty mental health centre.
Ontario Shores and the OHRC met last year to look at an opportunity to partner and support both organizations’ mission and values. The Project Charter signed today sets the framework for work that will happen over a three year term.
Toronto–The Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched By the numbers, a new report offering a statistical profile of people with mental health and addiction disabilities in Ontario. This launch was part of Taking it Local Peel, a one-day training event co-hosted by the United Way of Peel Region and the Regional Diversity Roundtable of Peel.