Removing the "Canadian experience" barrier in employment and rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
On this 45th anniversary of the Ontario Human Rights Code, I am pleased to present the fourth edition of Human Rights Policy in Ontario, a publication first introduced in 1998. I am also pleased that Carswell, a respected publisher of employment and human rights related material, is our partner in putting together this latest compendium of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policies and guidelines.
Editor, The Toronto Star
This week Mark Saunders was sworn in as Chief of the Toronto Police Service. He arrived amid a controversy that marred his predecessor’s final days and one that refuses to go away – the police procedure commonly known as “carding.” As Chief Saunders starts down this new road he has a choice – to hear the voices of the community and work to end racial profiling or to allow a deeply troubling practice to continue.
6. Collection and analysis of numerical data
It is a common misperception that the Code prohibits the collection and analysis of data identifying people based on race and other Code grounds. Many individuals, organizations and institutions mistakenly believe that collecting this data is automatically antithetical to human rights.
There are many tools available to assist employers in engaging in employment systems reviews to identify systemic barriers to racialized persons as well as others identified by Code grounds such as women and employees with disabilities.
3.1 Taking stock of activities
Know what is happening: First, look at all your existing activities. Some municipalities may already have committees set up or a city councillor or mayor who is interested in taking on issues of anti-racism. Are there departments or agencies in the city’s governance structure, such as health or the police, which have committees or individuals looking into race-related issues? Make a list of what is being done now, and by whom, to avoid duplication and to find ways of building on each other’s work.
Police organizations across Ontario have responded to the changing needs of an increasingly diverse population for many years. These efforts have included training projects and, in some places, efforts to recruit members of underrepresented groups.
The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that society must be designed to include all people, including members of a Code-protected group. It is no longer acceptable to structure systems in a way that ignores needs or barriers related to Code grounds. Instead, systems should be designed so they do not create physical, attitudinal or systemic barriers.