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  1. The shadow of the law: Surveying the case law dealing with competing rights claims

    This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims. The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.

  2. Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Christian Horizons

    On May 14, 2010, Ontario’s Divisional Court issued a decision on a case called Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Christian Horizons. The Divisional Court’s ruling was on the appeal of a 2008 decision made by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In that decision, the Tribunal found that Christian Horizons infringed the rights of an employee who was in a same sex relationship.
  3. OHRC policy statement on the COVID-19 pandemic

    March 13, 2020

    Following the lead of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) urges Ontarians to keep human rights principles under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Code), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) and relevant international human rights treaties at the centre of decision-making during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  4. Commission statement concerning issues raised by complaints against Maclean's Magazine

    April 9, 2008

    In a recent decision, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) decided not to proceed with complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine related to an article “The future belongs to Islam”. The complainants alleged that the content of the magazine and Maclean’s refusal to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights.

  5. Creed accommodation involving cross-sex contact

    July 29, 2015

    Where two human rights conflict, the Supreme Court of Canada has said no rights are absolute, no one right automatically “trumps” any other, and any human right can be limited if it interferes with the rights of others.

    Girls and women often face sexism, marginalization, discrimination, harassment and exclusion throughout society. Women have fought hard over the years for equal rights and treatment.

    People belonging to minority creed communities have faced religious intolerance, including serious persecution, harassment, racism and discrimination.  

  6. Example 4 - Code right v. Charter right: Employer distributing Bibles and religious advice

    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: