Over 30 years of reports and recommendations tell us that data collection is the foundation to combat racial discrimination in law enforcement. Although we have praised Toronto Police Services Board’s (TPSB) Policy on race-based data collection, analysis and public reporting (Policy) as a historic step forward, the TPSB's proposed implementation presents some shortcomings.
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.
Human rights in Ontario
Ontario's Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements.
The Code's goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, sex, disability, and age, to name a few of the 17 grounds. All other Ontario laws must agree with the Code.
Not all unfair treatment and harassment is covered by the Code. The treatment or harassment must be based on at least one Code ground and take place within a social area to be protected.
The Ontario Human Rights System is made up of three separate agencies:
- The Ontario Human Rights Commission (that’s us) works to promote, protect and advance human rights through research, education, targeted legal action and policy development.
- The Human Rights Legal Support Centre gives legal help to people who have experienced discrimination under the Code.
- The Human Rights Tribunal is where human rights applications are filed and decided.
To learn more, complete our Human Rights 101 eLearning.