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.
The human rights of Indigenous people in Ontario (including status, non-status, First Nations, Métis and Inuit) are protected by the all Code grounds. However, discrimination because a person identifies as Indigenous involve the grounds of race, creed and ancestry.
2021 has been a year of recovery, human rights challenges and adapting to the new normal. Through it, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has relentlessly continued to address pervasive inequities and systemic discrimination and racism with measures grounded in the Ontario Human Rights Code. As the journey continues, take a moment to look at some of the highlighted work of the OHRC from 2021.
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.
The OHRC has submitted comments on the Information and Privacy Commission’s draft privacy guidance on facial recognition for police agencies.
The OHRC is concerned that the Township of Brock’s Interim Control By-law 2994-2020 to "prohibit the establishment of Supportive Housing and Modular Construction, including Manufactured Dwelling Houses" creates barriers to establishing and accessing supportive housing, which may be discriminatory under the Human Rights Code. The OHRC calls on Council to remove any barriers that have a discriminatory effect as soon as possible, and to allow such supportive housing projects to proceed.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission is developing a new policy statement on the discriminatory display of names, words and images, and wants to hear from the public about this quickly-evolving issue.
In its submission on the Toronto Police Services Board’s Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies Policy, the OHRC recommends several actions for the TPSB to take in developing its AI Policy. Consistent with a human rights-based approach, these actions are aimed at protecting vulnerable and marginalized groups that may be disproportionately affected by AI technology used by the TPS. These actions are designed to insure against consequences that would undermine the desired benefits of police services’ efficiency and effectiveness, and public trust in policing.
September 23, 2021
The OHRC is proposing the following content for inclusion in a policy statement on the discriminatory display of names, words and images:
The purpose of the policy statement on the discriminatory display of names, words and images is to:
Under a Memorandum of Understanding reached in 2020, Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire and the OHRC continue to work collaboratively with the Peel Regional Police and the Peel Police Services Board to address systemic racism and discrimination in policing. As one of the steps in this process, PRP, PPSB and the OHRC have developed a survey seeking community feedback on experiences with and perceptions of PRP.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the Peel Regional Police (PRP) and the Peel Police Services Board (PPSB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to develop and implement legally binding remedies to identify and address systemic racism in policing, promote transparency and accountability, and enhance Black, other racialized and Indigenous communities’ trust in policing throughout Peel Region.