May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.
Toronto - Over the past ten years, the Commission has been involved in 72 judicial review decisions, 32 decisions on appeal at the Divisional Court, 40 decisions from the Court of Appeal, and 17 from the Supreme Court of Canada. As of March 31, 2006, the Commission was litigating 462 cases at the Tribunal, eight cases before the Divisional Court, three in the Ontario Court of Appeal, and two before the Supreme Court of Canada.
1. Status and purpose of the Code
From: Competing Human Rights
Employer distributing Bibles and religious advice
Here is an example of a Code right (creed) versus a Charter right (freedom of religion and expression).
encourages them to attend church meetings, gives each a Bible as a gift for Christmas and asks them if they share his opinions on a variety of matters. Employees have made it clear that they do not welcome or appreciate his comments and conduct in their workplace and that they plan to file a claim under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This could be argued as a competing rights situation because:
While the courts have not set a clear formula or analytical approach for dealing with competing rights, they have provided some guidance. Where rights appear to be in conflict, Charter principles require decision-makers to try to “reconcile” both sets of rights.
Introduction to human rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code (revised 2014).
(1) Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without
discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
Municipalities in Ontario come in all shapes and sizes. Each has different issues, different neighbourhoods and different community needs. And each has a different capacity to respond to these needs. This guide offers a variety of steps municipalities can tailor to meet their unique circumstances, while also meeting their human rights responsibilities.
About the Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code offers protection from discrimination in five social areas:
From: Competing Human Rights
Muslim barber and woman denied service
Read the following excerpt from a news clipping about a competing rights case. This is an example involving two Code grounds – creed versus sex. When you’re finished reading, answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
You can also watch this CTV news video about the case.