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OHRC Submission to the Independent Street Checks Review

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.

OHRC releases report on its inquiry into the over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario’s child welfare system

April 12, 2018
Toronto – On April 12, 2018 the OHRC released Interrupted Childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare. The report outlines findings from its public interest inquiry into whether First Nations, Métis and Inuit (Indigenous) and Black children are over-represented at children’s aid societies (CASs), particularly in admissions into care.

Timmins must come to grips with Indigenous relations

March 28, 2018

TIMMINS — In February, Joey Knapaysweet, 21, and Angnes Sutherland, 62, both from Fort Albany First Nation, died in separate incidents involving the Timmins Police Service. Both incidents are being examined by the Special Investigations Unit. The deaths galvanized a community where Mayor Steve Black said a police gun had not been fired in the line of duty in 34 years.

Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare

When child welfare authorities remove children from their caregivers because of concerns about abuse or neglect, it can be traumatic and tragic for everyone involved – children, their families and even their communities. Being admitted into care comes with far-reaching consequences that can have a negative impact on children’s future ability to thrive. It is an unfortunate reality that some children need to be placed in care to keep them safe. But too often, for First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Black and other racialized families, being involved with the child welfare system and having a child removed is fraught with concerns that the system is not meeting their or their children’s needs, is harmful, and may be discriminatory.

Human rights recommendations on income security reform, and “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change”

March 13, 2018 - Dear Minister Coteau, I hope this letter finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) commends your Ministry for the work it is doing to reform the income security system, as an integral part of the Government’s poverty reduction efforts. I am writing to express support for the Community Working Groups’ report, “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change,” and to make recommendations to ensure that the Ministry’s final Income Security Plan reflects both Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Code) and Canada’s international commitments to social and economic rights.

OHRC calls for government accountability to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities

September 26, 2017

Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced new legal action to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities at a press conference at Queen’s Park.

Opening statement: Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage Systemic Racism and Religious Discrimination M-103

September 20, 2017

The Government has the power to take action to protect people who are being harmed by racism and Islamophobia, and we call on it to boldly do so. There is considerable scope for the Government to develop positions, policies and programs that promote inclusion and respect, especially for racial and religious minorities. These types of actions are consistent with the values of Canadians and the Charter.

Coalition issues statement calling for action on Justice Tulloch’s police oversight recommendations

August 16, 2017

Toronto – Today, a coalition of community and advocacy groups, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Commission, issued a joint statement calling on the Government of Ontario and police oversight bodies to immediately implement recommendations of the Honourable Justice Michael Tulloch from his Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review. This statement was prompted by recent events that highlight several police accountability issues that require immediate action.

Re: Dafonte Miller and Implementation of Justice Tulloch’s Recommendations

August 15, 2017 - Dear Minister Naqvi, Directors McNeilly and Loparco, and Chair Lamoureux: We, the undersigned, urge the Government of Ontario, the Special Investigations Unit (“SIU”), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (“OIPRD”), and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (“OCPC”), to immediately and transparently implement recommendations made by the Honourable Justice Michael Tulloch in his Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review submitted to the Ministry of the Attorney General in March 2017.

Ottawa’s solitary bill is a start. Now the provinces must do better

June 21, 2017

On Monday, the federal government introduced Bill C-56, which would impose a 21-day limit for “administrative segregation” (this will be decreased to 15 days after the legislation is in operation for 18 months). Where prison authorities propose to keep a person in segregation beyond these time limits, the case would be referred to an independent external reviewer to make recommendations on whether the prisoner should be released or remain in segregation.

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