The Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights (the Committee) invited the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) to make a brief submission to the Committee on best practices or policies for combatting anti-Black racism and to share the OHRC’s perspective on a direct tribunal access model compared to a commission screening model for dealing with human rights complaints.
The OHRC is aware and concerned about the increasing violence targeted at education officials for doing human rights work, adhering to the obligations set under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) and implementing government policy.
The OHRC is aware the TDSB has taken a decision to end the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program. It recognizes your obligation as a duty-holder to protect the safety of students. However, to the extent that there are bona fide and legitimate reasons to seek external help, the OHRC reminds all parties that the discussion and decision should be informed by human rights principles as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code).
The OHRC reported progress on the Right to Read inquiry. It also confirmed its plan to continue to monitor progress on inquiry recommendations and renews its call to all partners in Ontario’s education system to do their part to uphold every student’s right to learn to read.
As Kingsville Council moves forward in its review of the proposed draft Official Plan Amendments and draft Zoning By-Law Amendments, the OHRC urges Council to make decisions that are consistent with the Code and support the dignity and well-being of all community members.
The OHRC has prepared a submission in response to Canadian Heritage’s request for the views of human rights commissions to inform the Government of Canada as it prepares Canada's combined 24th and 25th periodic report to the United Nations on its implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The OHRC understands that the Town of Kingsville’s study, Kingsville Temporary Foreign Worker – Final Report, has now been completed and will be discussed by Council on Monday June 27, 2022. Upon reviewing the study and the proposed recommendations, the OHRC is very concerned that the recommendations would, if implemented, continue to create discriminatory barriers to migrant workers living as full members of the Kingsville community.
In developing rent-to-own arrangement programs, it will be crucial to focus on the important social role of homes as recognized through the Code’s specific protections against discrimination in accommodation. Every effort made to create innovative pathways to homeownership must be exercised without discrimination.3
Rent-to-own arrangements present a powerful tool to address decades of discrimination in accommodation that have prevented Code-protected groups from building generational wealth.
The OHRC is supportive of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s (MMAH) efforts to standardize rules for inclusionary zoning, and strongly encourages MMAH to take a human rights-based approach to this work. The OHRC believes this is an opportunity to strengthen inclusionary zoning to increase access to permanent affordable housing, especially for vulnerable tenants who generally are protected by the Code. As a result, the OHRC recommends there would not be any change that weakens the rules that govern inclusionary zoning.
The OHRC welcomes the government’s effort to address the housing crisis. As the government moves to implement More Homes Built Faster, it is vital to take a human rights-based approach to housing law, policies, programs and bylaws. This includes Ontario’s obligations under the Human Rights Code (Code) and recognition of the right to housing as affirmed in theNational Housing Strategy Act.