The Ontario Human Rights Commission is deeply saddened by the news about the discovery of 171 plausible burials found in the traditional lands of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation, at the former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario.
Ontario is facing a homelessness crisis that is causing deep and devastating impacts on our communities. Informal encampments and forced evictions are a stark example of this crisis. Solutions to homelessness and informal encampments must be grounded in human rights-based approaches and delivered with respect and compassion.
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 has launched Poverty POV (Point of View), to engage with the public, through a survey, key informant discussions and other steps, on their lived experiences with poverty, including homelessness, and mental health and addictions.
The United Nations has designated September 18 as International Equal Pay Day. This recognition is an intentional focus on the disparities of the pay between women and men for work of equal value, where the work requires equal or more skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission calls on the Government of Ontario to include air conditioning as a vital service, like the provision of heat, under RTA regulations and to establish a provincial maximum temperature to make sure that vulnerable Code-protected tenants are protected against threats of eviction for using safely installed air conditioning units.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) found that the Ontario Provincial Police discriminated based on race, colour and place of origin when it conducted a DNA sweep of migrant workers in a sexual assault investigation in Elgin County, Ontario in 2013.
The OHRC believes the Peel District School Board’s Anti-Racism Policy is the most comprehensive such policy in Ontario, and may serve as a leading practice to inspire other Ontario school boards to create or revise anti-racism policies.
As the world grapples with the ongoing “monkeypox” outbreak, several very concerning human rights issues have been exposed.
The Toronto Police Service’s own analysis on its race-based data collection on use of force and strip searches confirms the disproportionate use of force and enforcement actions against Black people that have also been identified by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.