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Human Rights Commission releases draft policy on mental health discrimination and police record checks for consultation

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February 11, 2008

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For immediate publication

Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released a Draft Policy on Mental Health Discrimination and Police Record Checks for public consultation.

The Commission has found that certain requirements, policies and practices relating to non-criminal police record checks can have a discriminatory impact on persons with mental health-related disabilities seeking employment. Such practices may also affect other individuals identified by Human Rights Code grounds.

This public consultation is meant to ensure that the final policy provides individuals and organizations with the information they need to know about:

  • disability-related concerns that arise in the context of police record checks;
  • how Ontario’s Human Rights Code applies, and
  • responsibilities of all parties involved to ensure that their policies and practices are not discriminatory.

Police record checks are much broader than criminal record checks since they also include information about non-criminal contact with police, such as transfers to a medical facility, or being a victim or witness.

The Commission has posted the Draft Policy on its website, and is directly contacting a range of stakeholders across Ontario for input, including police services and their boards, the mental health sector, providers of services for vulnerable persons, volunteer sector organizations, Government Ministries and others.

The Commission invites the public to make submissions over a six-week period, ending March 24, 2008. To view the Draft Policy and Backgrounder and learn where to send a submission, visit the Commission’s website.

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Afroze Edwards
Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management
(416) 314-4528

Jeff Poirier
Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission