As Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in Northwestern Ontario fights an outbreak of COVID-19, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is aware of reports of businesses and organizations in Kenora refusing services to Indigenous people and of social media posts spreading racist comments and misinformation.
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Let’s honour Black history in February, and let’s help make new Black history every month of the year.
On December 10, 2020, Chief Commissioner Ena Chadha wrote to General (Retired) Rick Hillier and the Vaccine Distribution Task Force to stress the important role that human rights principles, considerations and obligations should play in vaccine distribution planning.
While the OHRC is committed to supporting your office’s efforts to decrease poverty in Ontario, we are concerned that the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy does not take an explicit human rights-based approach to poverty reduction and does not recognize the right to an adequate standard of living.
A new series profiling OHRC Commissioners offers a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them. The second in the series features Commissioner Violetta Igneski, who talks about her personal journey in human rights, and how ethics and philosophy are important to understanding human rights.
I am writing to all public colleges and universities in Ontario after recent events have exposed that Indigenous, Black and racialized students are experiencing significant concerns of discrimination, xenophobia and targeting on campuses and in academic environments across Ontario. As service providers, all academic institutions have legally mandated human rights obligations to their students under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).
I hope this correspondence finds you well in these challenging times. I am writing on behalf the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), to engage you on important human rights matters and our mutual interests related to your portfolio as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
While the coronavirus does not discriminate, data tells us that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore profound systemic inequalities, and has exacted a devastating social, economic and health toll on Ontario’s most vulnerable people and communities. I am writing today to stress the important role that human rights principles, considerations and obligations should play in vaccine distribution planning.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcome the news that Facebook has now implemented and is enforcing several safeguards to prevent discriminatory targeting of advertisements for housing, employment and credit opportunities in Canada.
I am writing further to my letters of October 16, 2020, and November 6, 2020, requesting an opportunity to meet with you to discuss next steps for a consultation with human rights stakeholders on the latest draft of the COVID-19 critical care triage protocol.
In recognition of the importance of lacrosse to Indigenous cultures and in the face of troubling reports of racial slurs and mistreatment in games involving Six Nations lacrosse players, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will meet with Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, the Ontario Lacrosse Association and the Canadian Lacrosse Association to engage in discussions about how to address concerns of systemic racism against Indigenous lacrosse players. [News release also available in Mohawk]
On National Housing Day, the OHRC calls on the Province to amend Ontario’s Building Code Regulation to require all units in new construction or major renovation of multi-unit residences to fully meet universal accessibility standards. The OHRC also calls on municipalities to prioritize universal design construction, consistent with their obligations under the Code. Government and housing providers must work together to make sure that new developments are fully inclusive, because Ontarians deserve no less.
Check out the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s newest version of Human Rights 101. This revised eLearning program offers a fresh new look, expanded discussions on types of discrimination and the latest directions in human rights, along with added scenarios and knowledge checks.
I am writing to follow up on my letter to you dated October 16, 2020, about the COVID-19 Bioethics Table’s recommendations and proposed framework for a triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases.
This opinion editorial by Chief Commissioner Ena Chadha on housing as a human right appeared online at tvo.org on Monday, November 2, 2020.
On October 16, 2020, the OHRC wrote to the Minister of Health raising concerns about the proposed framework for a COVID-19 triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases. Read the letter.
Thank you for your invitation to participate in the Toronto Police Services Board’s (TPSB) consultation on its policy on body-worn cameras (policy) and to provide guidance on the Toronto Police Service (TPS) procedure (procedure) on the same issue. The OHRC is providing this guidance to the TPSB and TPS at the same time, to ensure the policy and procedure are in alignment.Thank you for your invitation to participate in the Toronto Police Services Board’s (TPSB) consultation on its policy on body-worn cameras (policy) and to provide guidance on the Toronto Police Service (TPS) procedure (procedure) on the same issue. The OHRC is providing this guidance to the TPSB and TPS at the same time, to ensure the policy and procedure are in alignment.
A new series profiling OHRC Commissioners will offer a deeper look at who the Commissioners are, what drives them to advance human rights, and what issues are currently most important to them.
A new OHRC video provides a snapshot of the progress of Right to Read, the OHRC’s public inquiry into human rights issues affecting students with reading disabilities in Ontario’s public education system. The video also features the real-life experiences of students and parents, who attended public sessions across Ontario in the past year, and artwork submitted by students to the inquiry. A final report with findings and recommendations is planned for Spring 2021.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the Peel Regional Police (PRP) and its Board (PRPSB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to develop and implement legally binding remedies to identify and eliminate systemic racism in policing, promote transparency and accountability, and enhance Black, other racialized and Indigenous communities’ trust in policing throughout Peel Region.
The OHRC has made solid progress on its Right to Read inquiry. The evidence-gathering phase is mostly complete, and the inquiry team is now analyzing the large amount of data, information and documents received and drafting a final report.
Today, OHRC Chief Commissioner Ena Chadha released a statement on how Canada is facing two pandemics – COVID-19 and the pandemic of brazen hate, extremism and brutality.
With the rise of toxic rhetoric during the early days of COVID-19, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) publicly condemned the intensifying xenophobia and scaremongering. Yet, 10 months later, Canada continues to face a pandemic of brazen hate, extremism and brutality.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and the Human Resources Professionals Association recently held a webinar on a human rights approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In employment and in delivering services, discrimination (including harassment) against any persons or communities related to COVID-19 is prohibited when it involves a ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code, such as race, age, citizenship, sex, etc.
Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) filed a motion with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) for an order to hold Ontario accountable for failing to meet its legal obligations to keep prisoners with mental health disabilities out of segregation.
I am writing today to stress the important role that human rights principles should play in any reviews of Ontario government and long-term care service provider responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is providing this written deputation to the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) in response to its August 11, 2020, report on Police Reform in Toronto: Systemic Racism, Alternative Community Safety and Crisis Response Models and Building New Confidence in Public Safety and the recommendations it contains (Police Reform Report), which are being considered for approval at its August 18, 2020, meeting.
A Disparate Impact, the second interim report in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service (TPS), confirms that Black people are more likely than others to be arrested, charged, over-charged, struck, shot or killed by Toronto police.
On August 10, 2020, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will release two new reports arising from its inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the appointment of Ena Chadha as Interim Chief Commissioner, effective July 22, 2020.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is writing to express its concern about the anti-loitering by-law that is currently being considered by Kenora City Council. The OHRC urges Kenora City Council to reject this by-law, which will likely have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable and homeless people in Kenora, the large majority of whom are Indigenous peoples. Moreover, the by-law will not solve the homelessness crisis or other social issues facing Kenora.
While we are pleased to see the announcement on June 15, 2020, that Ontario is expanding data collection to include race, income, language and household size for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, in our view, these categories do not go far enough. We reiterate the importance of meaningful consultation on data collection and involving Code-protected and other vulnerable groups who are at heightened risk.
The unprecedented closure of schools has been difficult for all students. The OHRC has heard from stakeholders that students with special education needs and other vulnerabilities have experienced unique and compounded challenges, that their circumstances have not consistently been considered and addressed, and that as a result, they have fallen even further behind than their peers. It is imperative that the MOE and school boards establish plans and programs to systematically and consistently address the needs of students with disabilities for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Given the vital work ahead with the plan to reopen schools, the OHRC is calling on the government to convene a Return-to-School Partnership Table to provide advice, input and expertise on implementing plans for Ontario’s students, educators and school boards from the perspective of Code-protected groups. The OHRC also recommends that the Ministry advise school boards to convene similar local tables to ensure that board-specific plans meet the needs of all students.
The OHRC and MERC are encouraged by the government’s announcement that more than $500 million will be invested in Ontario’s correctional system over the next five years, and urge you to allocate this investment in a way that directly improves the on-the-ground conditions prisoners and front-line staff face every day in Ontario.
Given the vulnerability of tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHRC wants to remind the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association and the City of Greater Sudbury as a housing service manager and OW administrator, of their human rights obligations relating to rental housing.
Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) submitted People, power, progress, its 2019 – 2020 annual report. The report highlights the OHRC’s work to advance human rights on key issues in communities across Ontario.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is responding to the notice of proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 329/04 made under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Among other things, the proposed amendments prescribe elements for collecting, using and reporting personal health information collected through the electronic health record.
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 on behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to acknowledge the steps the Ministry of Education (Ministry) has taken on its review of the Peel District School Board (PDSB) in response to growing concerns about systemic discrimination, anti-Black racism, discord among senior leadership, and issues of governance. The OHRC is very troubled by the review’s findings, and the significant human rights issues raised in the way that the PDSB manages issues related to Black students.
The OHRC welcomes the April 23 release of the government’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People (the Plan) as a first step toward addressing the disproportionate impact that the pandemic is having on Ontario’s most vulnerable people. However, to ensure that the human rights of vulnerable people are protected in a way that is consistent with Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the Plan requires expanded scope and detail, which must be done in consultation with vulnerable groups and human rights experts.
Over the last two months, the OHRC has met with a range of stakeholders representing racialized communities, people experiencing poverty, people with disabilities, older people and other Code-protected groups. These groups are concerned that certain aspects in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a negative impact on their human rights, and have raised four immediate concerns
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) stands with Black communities in Ontario, in Canada and around the world in confronting and condemning anti-Black racism as it is experienced through racial profiling and other forms of systemic racial discrimination.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada appointed Renu Mandhane a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Brampton) effective immediately. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) congratulates the Honourable Madam Justice Mandhane on her appointment.
In a significant decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) found that Convention refugees should not face discriminatory barriers to accessing employment and contributing fully to Ontario society.
TORONTO – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched a survey for educators and other professionals who have experience with reading disabilities, as part of its inquiry into human rights issues that affect students with reading disabilities in Ontario’s public education system.
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.
The OHRC encourages the government to once again heed the advice of health and human rights experts who agree that Ontario needs demographic data to effectively fight COVID-19.
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.
On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), thank you for your ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.