Hatred and discrimination based on creed have no place in Ontario. They contravene our province’s most cherished ideals and commitments, including respect for the rule of law, and individual human rights and dignity.
The Ontario Human Rights Code enshrines these values and calls on us to create “a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so that each person feels a part of the community and able to contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province.”
At times like this, it is especially important that we celebrate the best of Canada’s human rights-based traditions of mutual respect, empathy, inclusion, and recognition of our shared humanity and individual dignity. We must not and will not successfully fight hatred and extremism with more of the same.
We commend the support and generosity of Ontarians of diverse faiths and backgrounds after the recent attacks. We see the evidence of that in the messages of solidarity from local and national political leaders and efforts by Ontarians to help people affected by these incidents.
In the coming weeks, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will be releasing a revised Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed. The policy offers individuals and organizations guidance on how to ensure that the human rights of peoples of diverse faiths and traditions are upheld and respected as required by the Code.
Renu Mandhane, J.D., LL.M
Ontario Human Rights Commission