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.
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.