For immediate publication
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has reached a positive settlement in a human rights complaint involving the former Board of Education for the City of Scarborough, which merged with other school boards in 1998 to form the current Toronto District School Board (“the Board”).
The complainant, Francis Omoruyi-Odin, alleged in his complaint that African-Canadian teachers faced systemic discrimination with respect to promotional opportunities in positions of responsibility at the former Scarborough Board of Education and also alleged that he was subjected to reprisals as a consequence of filing a complaint with the Commission in 1995.
Since that time, the Toronto District School Board has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote barrier-free hiring and promotion. These included adopting an equity plan, establishing an equity office, delivering workshops on employment equity to all senior staff, and setting up a task force comprised of staff and members of community organizations.
The Commission is pleased with the commitment of the Toronto District School Board to equity in the workplace, and to this settlement. The Commission also wishes to acknowledge Mr. Omoruyi-Odin’s enduring commitment over many years to resolving this important matter.
The terms of the settlement expand upon the Board’s initiatives to date. These include an agreement to undertake a self-identification survey in order to collect data on the number of racialized persons in permanent and acting positions of responsibility, making the survey results available to the public, making a recommendation to the Board that additional surveys be conducted to measure the progress of the Board’s equity initiatives, establishing a mentorship program that includes a focus on the promotion of racialized teachers into positions of responsibility, and requiring all teachers who are interested in positions of responsibility to demonstrate their commitment to equity as a precondition to promotion.
Commenting on the settlement, Chief Commissioner Ivan Oliviera stated that, “This comprehensive agreement can help to ensure that all Board staff enjoy equal access to positions of responsibility in the school system and may serve as an example for other school boards and organizations to follow."
Backgrounder: Terms of Settlement
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Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission