Chief Paul Cook
President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
Dear Chief Cook,
On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), I would like to congratulate the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) for its updated version of the LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks with a clearer presumption against disclosure of non-conviction records.
Introduction to human rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code (revised 2014).
Q&A on the duty to accommodate
March 18, 2014 at 11:00 am
Accommodation rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is releasing a public statement (attached) clarifying the legitimate status of preferential employment and contracting provisions within Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the Code). Our position is that the preferential employment and contracting provisions in IBAs are consistent with “special programs” under section 14 of the Code.
January 2014 - The survey was open from September 5, 2013 and closed October 16th, 2013. A total of 1,719 persons responded to the survey. Survey questions related primarily to (1) the definition and scope of creed rights under the Code; (2) experiences of discrimination based on creed; and (3) accommodation issues and challenges faced by both accommodation seekers and providers.
Separate schools in Ontario have special rights guaranteed by the Constitution and by the Education Act. Section 19 means that the Code cannot affect those rights, which are mainly related to the existence and funding of Roman Catholic schools. Otherwise, the right to be free from discrimination under the Code applies to Catholic schools. All schools have a legal duty to provide students with an education environment free from harassment and other forms of discrimination because of Code grounds.
There is an exception to the rule that services and facilities must be offered without discrimination. It allows a religious official to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony, to refuse to make available a sacred place for performing a marriage ceremony or for an event related to a marriage ceremony, or to assist in the marriage ceremony where the ceremony would be against the person’s religious beliefs or the principles of their religion.
2013 - The primary aim of this paper is to report on OHRC research and consultation findings and analysis to date on key creed-based human rights issues, options and debates. We hope that this will add further transparency to our creed policy update process, and help to increase general public awareness of creed-based human rights issues. Another goal is to develop a stronger contextual framework for understanding and addressing contemporary creed-based human rights issues.
On August 13th, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario released its decision on a human rights application, R.C. v. District School Board of Niagara.