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OHRC Statement on its intervention in AB v Ontario (Ministry of Education)

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Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is intervening as a full party in the case of AB v Ontario (Ministry of Education) at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the OHRC has the authority to intervene in matters before the HRTO to further the public interest.

AB v Ontario involves recent changes to Ontario’s sexual health education curriculum. In its intervention, the OHRC is arguing that the 2018 curriculum discriminates based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression because it fails to reflect and adequately address the identities and needs of LGBTQ2+ students, or provide key information about consent and related concepts which places girls and LGBTQ2+ students at greater risk of sexual or gender-based violence.

Students in Ontario should see themselves reflected in the curriculum, and should receive information essential to their health and well-being. The OHRC is intervening to protect the rights of girls and LGBTQ2+ students, who are among Ontario’s most vulnerable and at-risk people. Studies confirm that LGBTQ2+ students often feel unsafe at school, that trans youth report high levels of self-harm, and that the vast majority of sexual assault survivors are girls. The OHRC will call expert evidence in support of its intervention.