Mounting evidence shows that groups identified under Ontario’s Human Rights Code have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These effects are being exacerbated by the current Omicron wave and the recent decisions to close and reopen schools.
Official statements from the OHRC
Listen to Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire’s remarks on Human Rights Day.
Today on Human Rights Day, the Law Commission of Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission announced a joint research and policy initiative to examine human rights issues in the development, use and governance of artificial intelligence and algorithms in Canada and specifically in Ontario.
Since 1992, the world has been commemorating December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. While we annually observe this day to promote the human rights of people with disabilities, we need to work daily on resolving the systemic inequities they experience.
Engaging the human rights principles contained in the OHRC Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning will result in evidence- and human rights-informed approaches to recovery planning, policy and program design. Rooting the pandemic recovery in human rights principles and proactively taking equity into account will support governments and service providers in meeting their legal obligations to eliminate discrimination and advance substantive equality.
Seventy-five years ago today, Viola Desmond took a stand against racism that directly challenged segregation in Canada, and left a legacy of extraordinary courage, perseverance, resilience and dignity that has inspired generations of Black Canadians and others to stand up against racism and discrimination.
While receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, the OHRC takes the position that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code (Code) as long as protections are put in place to make sure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated.
This past year, the OHRC has repeatedly denounced the escalating hate that is targeting religious and racialized communities. It is essential that we all take steps, and take them quickly, to stand in solidarity, as individuals and through our organizations, to call out Islamophobia and racism and reject the hatred and the violence it begets.
The OHRC joins community calls for governments to review hate crime laws to ensure these laws are responsive to the lived realities of hate activity across Canada, and enforcement to ensure that police are doing what is necessary to support communities in distress and keep communities safe.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) stands with Indigenous communities across Canada in their outrage and mourning after 751 unmarked graves were located on the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.