November 2016 - For nearly two decades, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has raised concerns about systemic discrimination that are part of the culture of policing in our province. There have been far too many instances of racial profiling, discriminatory use of force on people with mental health disabilities and/or addictions, and racism and sexism in investigations of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Ontario to ignore. These incidents and related concerns have sparked multiple coroner’s inquests, recommendations, reviews and reports, stretching back for decades. Yet they all have failed to eliminate systemic discrimination in policing.
Goods, services and facilities
You have the right to be free from discrimination when you receive goods or services, or use facilities. For example, this right applies to:
- stores, restaurants and bars
- hospitals and health services
- schools, universities and colleges
- public places, amenities and utilities such as recreation centres, public washrooms, malls and parks
- services and programs provided by municipal and provincial governments, including social assistance and benefits, and public transit
- services provided by insurance companies
- classified advertisement space in a newspaper.
Relevant policies and guides:
May 1, 2018 - Regulation 58/16: Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances – Prohibition and Duties (the “Regulation”) was developed in response to numerous reports of racial profiling in policing across the province, with the goal of “ensuring that police-public interactions should be conducted without bias or discrimination”. Unfortunately, in our view, the Regulation has not lived up to this promise and, as currently framed, cannot achieve its goal. Racial profiling in policing remains an ongoing reality for Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is hopeful, however, that through this review and the recommendations that come out of it, the Regulation can be amended so that it can finally meet its promise.
Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission to the
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services on street checks
August 11, 2015
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft Regulation on street checks of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ministry). We are pleased to have the support of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) on this important issue.
Twenty-five years after it was enacted, the provincial government (Government) is reviewing and revising the Police Services Act as part of its Strategy for a Safer Ontario (SSO). The OHRC welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ministry) on the SSO.
February 2014 - People with mental health disabilities are often among the most vulnerable people in Ontario. Many face a unique set of challenges where they live, in workplaces, or in our communities. When people are in crisis they also present a unique set of challenges to police services when considering the use of force. This leads to many concerns from a human rights perspective. It is not the role of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to comment on individual cases – we leave it to other experts to resolve these. But it is our role to look at common themes and concerns, and offer ways to move forward.
Supplementary Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ Provincial Segregation Review