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OHRC and HRPA webinar on a human rights approach to COVID-19

September 9, 2020

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.

Statement: OHRC files motion to address Ontario’s breach of legal obligation to keep prisoners with mental health disabilities out of segregation

August 25, 2020

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.

Letter to the Hon. Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco on taking a human rights approach at the Independent Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission

August 20, 2020

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.

Letter to the Minister of Education, school leaders on respecting the rights of students with disabilities

July 14, 2020

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.

Letter to the Minister of Education about convening a return-to-school partnership table

July 13, 2020

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.

OHRC and MERC letter to Solicitor General Jones about Ontario’s investment in corrections

July 7, 2020

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.

OHRC submission to the Ministry of Health on the proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 329/04 made under the Personal Health Information Protection Act

June 29, 2020

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.

Proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 569 made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act

June 19, 2020

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.

Letter to Minister Christine Elliott re: COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People

June 4, 2020

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.

Letter to President/CEO of Ontario Health re: COVID-19 triage protocol, data collection, essential support persons

June 4, 2020

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

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