I am writing to follow up on my letter to you dated October 16, 2020, about the COVID-19 Bioethics Table’s recommendations and proposed framework for a triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases.
On October 16, 2020, the OHRC wrote to the Minister of Health raising concerns about the proposed framework for a COVID-19 triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases. Read the letter.
Thank you for your invitation to participate in the Toronto Police Services Board’s (TPSB) consultation on its policy on body-worn cameras (policy) and to provide guidance on the Toronto Police Service (TPS) procedure (procedure) on the same issue. The OHRC is providing this guidance to the TPSB and TPS at the same time, to ensure the policy and procedure are in alignment.Thank you for your invitation to participate in the Toronto Police Services Board’s (TPSB) consultation on its policy on body-worn cameras (policy) and to provide guidance on the Toronto Police Service (TPS) procedure (procedure) on the same issue. The OHRC is providing this guidance to the TPSB and TPS at the same time, to ensure the policy and procedure are in alignment.
I am writing today to stress the important role that human rights principles should play in any reviews of Ontario government and long-term care service provider responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is writing to express its concern about the anti-loitering by-law that is currently being considered by Kenora City Council. The OHRC urges Kenora City Council to reject this by-law, which will likely have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable and homeless people in Kenora, the large majority of whom are Indigenous peoples. Moreover, the by-law will not solve the homelessness crisis or other social issues facing Kenora.
While we are pleased to see the announcement on June 15, 2020, that Ontario is expanding data collection to include race, income, language and household size for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, in our view, these categories do not go far enough. We reiterate the importance of meaningful consultation on data collection and involving Code-protected and other vulnerable groups who are at heightened risk.
The unprecedented closure of schools has been difficult for all students. The OHRC has heard from stakeholders that students with special education needs and other vulnerabilities have experienced unique and compounded challenges, that their circumstances have not consistently been considered and addressed, and that as a result, they have fallen even further behind than their peers. It is imperative that the MOE and school boards establish plans and programs to systematically and consistently address the needs of students with disabilities for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Given the vital work ahead with the plan to reopen schools, the OHRC is calling on the government to convene a Return-to-School Partnership Table to provide advice, input and expertise on implementing plans for Ontario’s students, educators and school boards from the perspective of Code-protected groups. The OHRC also recommends that the Ministry advise school boards to convene similar local tables to ensure that board-specific plans meet the needs of all students.
The OHRC and MERC are encouraged by the government’s announcement that more than $500 million will be invested in Ontario’s correctional system over the next five years, and urge you to allocate this investment in a way that directly improves the on-the-ground conditions prisoners and front-line staff face every day in Ontario.
Given the vulnerability of tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHRC wants to remind the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association and the City of Greater Sudbury as a housing service manager and OW administrator, of their human rights obligations relating to rental housing.