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Part 1 – Setting the context: understanding race, racism and racial discrimination

From: Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination

1. Introduction

1.1. The Code context

The Code states that it is public policy in Ontario to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination. The provisions of the Code are aimed at creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person feels a part of the community and feels able to contribute to the community.

The Commission Caseload

From: Human Rights and rental housing in Ontario: Background paper

In 2004-2005, the Commission received 100 complaints relating to discrimination in housing.[51] While this number amounts to only about 4 percent of the total complaints received by the Commission during this time period, the complaints that have been filed frequently raise significant systemic issues, issues that potentially affect large numbers of people besides the actual complainant.

V. Identifying discrimination in rental housing

From: Policy on human rights and rental housing

1. Defining discrimination

The Code provides that every person has the right to be treated equally in the area of housing without discrimination because of any of the grounds set out in the Code. The purpose of anti-discrimination laws is to prevent the violation of human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice.

The human rights context

From: Preliminary findings: Inquiry into assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers

The purpose of the Code, as set out in its Preamble, is the creation of a province in which there is “a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so that each person feels a part of the community and able to contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province.” Human rights concerns arise whenever individuals are targeted for greater scrutiny, or are the subject of negative attitudes or treatment because of their race.

Housing

From: Human rights and the family in Ontario

The ground of family status was added to the Code in 1982. Until 1986, the Code contained an exception permitting residential buildings or parts of residential buildings to be designated as adult only. Unlike in the areas of employment and services, there has been significant litigation regarding family status issues in the area of housing, particularly in the Ontario context.

Employment

From: Human rights and the family in Ontario

Employment and family often entail competing responsibilities: spouses or partners fall sick, daycare arrangements fall through, an aging parent needs help in making a transition to assisted living arrangements. For many workers, daily life involves a complicated juggling act between the demands, deadlines and responsibilities of the workplace, and the needs of their families.

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