OPINION - The first day of school is a time to reconnect and arrive recharged and ready to learn. But for students with disabilities and their families, it is often a day that is filled with anxiety.
Toronto – Today, the OHRC released its new Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities, along with recommendations on how to best meet legal obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
Toronto – The OHRC intervened in Talos v Grand Erie District School Board to challenge the provision of Ontario’s Human Rights Code that allowed employers to cut or reduce benefits to workers aged 65 and over. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found that subsection 25(2.1) of the Code, as well as related provisions in the Employment Standards Act and its regulations, amount to age discrimination and violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
TIMMINS — In February, Joey Knapaysweet, 21, and Angnes Sutherland, 62, both from Fort Albany First Nation, died in separate incidents involving the Timmins Police Service. Both incidents are being examined by the Special Investigations Unit. The deaths galvanized a community where Mayor Steve Black said a police gun had not been fired in the line of duty in 34 years.
Toronto – Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released Call It Out. This new interactive eLearning program is a tool designed to raise awareness of the history and impact of racism and racial discrimination and to promote a culture of human rights in Ontario.
In advance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21), the OHRC is inviting people to take part in its public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
For me, the answer must start with understanding freedom from sexual harassment as a human right. Realizing the freedom from violence is essential to human dignity, equality, and hope.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) supports the proposed Correctional Services Transformation Act (CSTA), introduced on February 20, 2018, as an important step towards meeting Ontario’s ambitious commitments in relation to correctional reform.
One year ago today – January 29, 2017 – Canadians learned of the mass murder of six people, and the wounding of many others at a Centre culturel islamique de Québec in Quebec City. I was riveted by my tiny screen as the events were reported in real time on social media late into the night – a bystander watching from behind a glass window powerless to do anything.
Toronto – On January 16, 2018, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario issued a Consent Order requiring Ontario to end the use of segregation for people with mental health disabilities across its 26 correctional facilities, barring exceptional circumstances. The Order was obtained on the consent of the OHRC and the Ontario government.
Toronto – In advance of Human Rights Day (December 10), the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released Taking the pulse: People’s opinions on human rights in Ontario. This report examined the results of a public opinion survey of 1,501 people aged 18 and older.
Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced that it has launched a public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). Using its legislated inquiry powers under section 31 of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the OHRC has called for the TPS, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) and the Special Investigations Unit to provide a wide range of data to determine exactly how and where racial profiling operates in law enforcement.
Toronto - At the first-ever OHRC Community Advisory Group Summit, on November 8 and 9, 2017, approximately 50 representatives from various communities across Ontario offered their expertise, lived experience and creativity to help the OHRC create a sustainable and transparent approach to community engagement.
In conversations about criminal justice reform, it has become cliché for leaders to conclude that sustainable solutions lie in “rebuilding trust.” And for good reason. A September 2017 poll found that six in 10 Torontonians would “be scared” if they were “pulled over by a police officer for no apparent reason.” When speaking to the introduction of the Safer Ontario Act, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said the legislation will rebuild trust. But will it?
I am writing to express the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) support for Bill 164, which was introduced on October 4, 2017 in the Legislature. We understand that the Second Reading will take place on October 26. As I expressed in our meeting on October 2, it is the OHRC’s position that Bill 164 improves the Human Rights Code by including new grounds of protection for people under social condition, police records, genetic characteristics, and immigration status.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) makes the following deputation in response to the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) Discussion Paper in which it proposes to expand the deployment of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs) to on-duty primary response unit constables and on-duty constables from designated specialized units.
Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a new policy statement explaining the purpose and importance of the duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).
Just as students were headed back to school, a vigorous debate was unfolding on the pages of this paper (and others) about the accommodation of students with mental health disabilities. Unfortunately, this debate has been dominated by professors and columnists whose expertise lies outside human rights law and whose opinions do not adequately take into account the lived experience of discrimination.
Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced new legal action to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities at a press conference at Queen’s Park.
Toronto – The OHRC will announce new legal action to advance the human rights of individuals with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities at a press conference on September 26, 2017.
The Government has the power to take action to protect people who are being harmed by racism and Islamophobia, and we call on it to boldly do so. There is considerable scope for the Government to develop positions, policies and programs that promote inclusion and respect, especially for racial and religious minorities. These types of actions are consistent with the values of Canadians and the Charter.
Toronto – Today, a coalition of community and advocacy groups, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Commission, issued a joint statement calling on the Government of Ontario and police oversight bodies to immediately implement recommendations of the Honourable Justice Michael Tulloch from his Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review. This statement was prompted by recent events that highlight several police accountability issues that require immediate action.
A few months ago, I visited Thunder Bay and had the opportunity to speak with members of the Indigenous community. Community members told me about their concerns related to policing and child welfare, trafficking of Indigenous women and girls, and everyday racism in almost every facet of their lives including employment, housing, healthcare and retail. Most strikingly, people talked about being “garbaged” – literally having garbage thrown at them while walking down the street, all because of their Indigenous ancestry. I brought these concerns to the leaders that I met later in the day, including the Mayor and police.
LONDON – On July 8, 2017, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) signed an agreement with the ultimate goal of ending anti-Indigenous discrimination in Ontario. This agreement sets the stage for future collaboration with urban Indigenous communities that is based on trust, dignity, respect, and a shared commitment to reconciliation and substantive equality.
Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission launched A bold voice, its 2016-2017 Annual Report. This report highlights the OHRC’s work and the results we are seeing. Over the past year, the OHRC has successfully put people’s human rights at the centre of public conversations and policy-making, and advanced evidence-based and practical solutions to tackle the discrimination marginalized and vulnerable people continue to face.
Toronto – After intervening in the case of The Estate of Kulmiye Aganeh v. Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the OHRC has reached a settlement with the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (formerly known as Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene).
On Monday, the federal government introduced Bill C-56, which would impose a 21-day limit for “administrative segregation” (this will be decreased to 15 days after the legislation is in operation for 18 months). Where prison authorities propose to keep a person in segregation beyond these time limits, the case would be referred to an independent external reviewer to make recommendations on whether the prisoner should be released or remain in segregation.
Toronto – Today, the OHRC released a new policy statement explaining the relationship between the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), language-based discrimination and French-language minority rights under other laws.
Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released With learning in mind, a new inquiry report that describes systemic barriers that students with mental health disabilities experience in post-secondary schools. It also outlines the changes the OHRC called for in college and university policies and programs, and the progress these institutions have made in implementing the changes.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the first report of Ontario’s Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform, Howard Sapers, on the use of segregation in Ontario’s correctional system.
Toronto - A new report by the OHRC confirms that racial profiling is a daily reality that damages communities and undermines trust in public institutions. In Under suspicion: Research and consultation report on racial profiling in Ontario, the OHRC combines social science research with lived experiences gained through consultation with over 1,600 individuals and organizations.
Toronto – As a result of a legal settlement between the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), Toronto Police Service (TPS) and Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), officers who die from mental health injuries – not just physical ones – sustained in the line of duty will have equal opportunity to have their names included on the Toronto Police Service’s Memorial Wall.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has long been concerned with systemic discrimination in policing, which is a lived reality for many Ontarians. The result is mistrust that undermines effective policing and ultimately public safety.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released a Policy statement on religious accommodation in schools.
To coincide with International Women’s Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released a new report that outlines commitments made by many of Ontario’s largest and most well-known restaurant chains to eliminate discriminatory dress codes for restaurant staff. Not on the Menu: Inquiry report on sexual and gender-based dress codes in Ontario’s restaurants outlines findings from an inquiry into dress codes at certain restaurants operating across Ontario.
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.