Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) joins human rights commissions and agencies across Canada and around the world in celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The day pays tribute to the tragic events of March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa when 69 peaceful demonstrators were killed as they protested against apartheid. Canada was one of the first countries to support the UN initiative.
2006 - The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is inviting municipalities from across Canada to join a Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination and be part of a larger international coalition being promoted by UNESCO. This booklet provides information that will be useful in understanding some of the important details of this Coalition.
Seventy organizations demand law to end racial discrimination
Representatives of nearly 70 organizations, including several hundred men and women, will meet Premier Frost at Queen’s Park today to present a brief urging passage of legislation to deal with racial and religious discrimination.
Source: Toronto Daily Star, January 24, 1950
In July 1977, the OHRC released a comprehensive report, Life Together, that outlined the findings of a province-wide consultation on the Ontario Human Rights Code and what could be done to improve it. The report recommended sweeping changes, many of which would eventually become law. Recommendations included:
By A. Alan Borovoy
On such occasions, comparisons between then and now are irresistible. In this case, the comparisons are also monumental.
Little more than two decades before 1962, a boatload of Jews fleeing European Nazism was unceremoniously denied admission to Canada. The incident produced little public reaction. In the 1970s, boatloads of Vietnamese fleeing Asian Communism were not only allowed to come here, but in many cases, also subsidized to do so.
There is a lot of racism going on in countries such as Canada and the United States. People are getting beaten up for their skin colour, clothing, and religion. In this essay I am going to talk about racism that has been going on for a long time and which still happens now.
Celebrating International Human Rights Day, circa 1962
While we deplore and condemn violations of human rights elsewhere in the world and stand aghast before such ugly manifestations as the Berlin Wall, we must never cease to concern ourselves with those walls of prejudice which still exist in our own community – and sometimes in our own minds – and which deny our fellow citizens that justice and equality of opportunity which is their inalienable right. Justice, like charity, should begin at home.