The OHRC welcomes the proposed amendment to Ontario Regulation 569 made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) that would require collecting information on race, income level, language and household size for people who test positive for a novel coronavirus, including COVID-19. The OHRC recommends the ministry consider expanding the required collection of information to include other vulnerable populations identified in Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
I am writing today on behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) about the government’s consultation on Ontario’s next Poverty Reduction Strategy (Strategy). The OHRC calls on Ontario to take a human rights-based approach to poverty reduction by entrenching the types of economic and social responses to COVID-19 into permanent solutions that will once and for all protect the well-being of everyone in our province.
Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) notes the release of Justice David Cole’s Final Report, which finds that Ontario has not complied with a legal settlement and order requiring it to ensure that prisoners with mental health disabilities receive appropriate mental health services, and are not placed in segregation except as a last resort.
Following the lead of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) urges Ontarians to keep human rights principles under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Code), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) and relevant international human rights treaties at the centre of decision-making during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On the second anniversary of the deaths of Joey Knapaysweet and Agnes Sutherland, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced it has filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging discrimination based on Indigenous ancestry by public service providers in Timmins, Ontario.
We agree that accessibility is good for business and that employment is a fundamental issue for people with disabilities. In fact, Canada and Ontario recognize through its international treaty obligations that people with disabilities have the right to work like everyone else.
a) Federal legislation
i) Canadian Human Rights Act
The Canadian Human Rights Act (“CHRA”) applies to workplaces in federal organizations or industries that are regulated by the federal government. The Ontario Human Rights Code does not apply to such organizations. Both of these laws cannot apply at the same time. If one applies, the other does not.
The choice of incorporating statute does not determine whether a company is provincially or federally regulated. The CHRA covers workplaces such as:
Rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Intro to the Code and AODA standards and how they work together.
We heard that many people with psychosocial disabilities are unaware of their human rights. Some people identified experiences that extended beyond the right to be free from discrimination. Because of this, it is important to understand how people’s experiences relate to human rights protected under domestic and international human rights documents.
The courts have long recognized the historical oppression of people experiencing mental illness or mental health disabilities. In the Supreme Court of Canada case, R. v. Swain, Chief Justice Lamer wrote:
The mentally ill have historically been the subjects of abuse, neglect and discrimination in our society. The stigma of mental illness can be very damaging. The intervener, [Canadian Disability Rights Council], describes the historical treatment of the mentally ill as follows: