Introduction to human rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code (revised 2014).
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.
December 2013 - Teaching human rights in Ontario can be used by secondary school teachers for law, history and civics courses and cooperative education programs. It can also be used in other high school courses, such as media studies, with few or no changes needed.
The Code protects people from discrimination in specific situations. Under the Code, you have the right to be free from discrimination in five parts of society – called social areas – based on one or more grounds.
The five social areas are: employment, housing, services, unions and vocational associations and contracts.
You have the right to be free from discrimination based on age if you are at least 18 years old.
In services, goods, facilities, contracts and membership in unions, you can file a claim as long as you are at least 18, except for services related to liquor and tobacco for which the minimum age is 19.
December 2013 - Under the Code, all organizations are prohibited from treating people unfairly because of Code grounds, must remove barriers that cause discrimination, and must stop it when it occurs. Organizations can also choose to develop “special programs” to help disadvantaged groups improve their situation. The Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms both recognize the importance of addressing historical disadvantage by protecting special programs to help marginalized groups. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized the need to protect “programs” established by legislation that are designed to address the conditions of a disadvantaged group.
Under the Ontario’s Human Rights Code, trans people and other gender non-conforming individuals are protected from discrimination and harassment because of gender identity and gender expression in five social areas:
The Ontario Human Rights Code recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person in Ontario. The Preamble makes particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the inherent principles of dignity and equal and inalienable rights of the person. The creation of a society in which all persons can live and work in an environment that is free from discrimination is central to the policy objectives of the OHRC by virtue of the Code.