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OHRC marks opening of fishing season with update on Asian Canadian fishing inquiry

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April 8, 2008

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Toronto - Last December, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released preliminary findings from its inquiry into discrimination and harassment including instances of assault against Asian Canadian anglers.

Since that time, the Commission has made progress working with key players across the province, including government ministries, municipalities, community organizations and fishing/sporting associations.

The goal of this phase is to encourage commitments and collective steps towards eliminating the discrimination and harassment. Many communities and leaders are positively accepting this challenge.

“A new fishing season should bring with it inclusion and welcome for anglers of all races and backgrounds,” said Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. “We’re looking for communities across Ontario to have an open dialogue and take action on racism. Although this is often hard to do, it is necessary to make communities welcoming and safe for all.”

“I’m really impressed by the leadership shown by some municipalities and organizations,” said Hall. “The race relations committee serving Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes region has been particularly active, and I see that Georgina Council has just voted to set up such a committee. The entire province can learn valuable lessons from how these leaders have taken that critical first step of acknowledging racism, and have then gone beyond this to find solutions.”

In May, the Commission will release a final report with details on the commitments that were suggested, the commitments achieved, and the next steps needed to ensure this popular pastime is enjoyed by all anglers across Ontario.

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Jeff Poirier
Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission