September 2013 - The OHRC is currently updating its 1996 Policy on creed. The goal is to clarify the OHRC’s interpretation of human rights based on creed under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) and advance human rights understanding and good practice in this area. The update, which began in 2011, will take two to three years to finish. It will involve extensive research and consultation, and will draw on lessons learned from the OHRC’s recent work on the Policy on competing human rights.
The central issue in this appeal is the apparent conflict between the intersecting religious and equality rights of a witness and the fair trial rights of the accused in the context of a criminal proceeding. The OHRC’s submissions set out a process, based in existing case law, to analyze and reconcile potentially competing rights. The proposed process can apply, with appropriate modifications, to any competing rights claims whether they arise under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter), human rights legislation, the common law or otherwise.
Employers have a duty to accommodate an employee’s creed to the point of undue hardship, including by providing time off for religious holidays.
The articles presented here offer many insights on human rights, creed, freedom of religion and the law, and take many different positions based on many different perspectives. These articles serve as a starting point as we move forward to craft a new creed policy that reflects the changing needs and realities of today’s Ontarians.
From the very beginning 50 years ago, Ontario’s Human Rights Code included protection from discrimination because of creed. Half a century later, creed continues to be an area of discussion and sometimes conflict in communities across Ontario and across Canada.
2012 - Racial harassment may be based on a combination of any of the above characteristics. It may also be because of things related to them, such as if you wear clothing related to your background, speak with an accent or practice a certain religion. It is against the law for anyone to harass you, insult you, or treat you unfairly for any of these reasons.
Tarek Fatah is wrong to suggest I or anyone else “forced” Toronto Police to allow Khalsa Sikhs to wear kirpans in courtrooms. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said the police were “pleased to have worked cooperatively to arrive at a procedure which recognizes the needs and rights of the Sikh community and the obligation to provide a safe, secure and accessible courthouse environment."
Toronto – Sikhs who wish to enter a Toronto courthouse wearing a kirpan (stylized representation of a sword) now face fewer barriers according to a settlement reached with the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) agreed to revise its procedures to ensure that practicing members of the Sikh faith will be allowed to wear kirpans in public areas of courthouses, subject to an individualized risk assessment.
May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.