From the very beginning 50 years ago, Ontario’s Human Rights Code included protection from discrimination because of creed. Half a century later, creed continues to be an area of discussion and sometimes conflict in communities across Ontario and across Canada.
2012 - Racial harassment may be based on a combination of any of the above characteristics. It may also be because of things related to them, such as if you wear clothing related to your background, speak with an accent or practice a certain religion. It is against the law for anyone to harass you, insult you, or treat you unfairly for any of these reasons.
Tarek Fatah is wrong to suggest I or anyone else “forced” Toronto Police to allow Khalsa Sikhs to wear kirpans in courtrooms. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said the police were “pleased to have worked cooperatively to arrive at a procedure which recognizes the needs and rights of the Sikh community and the obligation to provide a safe, secure and accessible courthouse environment."
Toronto – Sikhs who wish to enter a Toronto courthouse wearing a kirpan (stylized representation of a sword) now face fewer barriers according to a settlement reached with the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) agreed to revise its procedures to ensure that practicing members of the Sikh faith will be allowed to wear kirpans in public areas of courthouses, subject to an individualized risk assessment.
May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Education have finalized a settlement of a human rights complaint initiated by the Commission against the Ministry and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in July 2005. A settlement was reached separately with the TDSB in November 2005.
This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims. The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of religion (creed) is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their religion. Religion includes the practices, beliefs and observances that are part of a faith or religion. It does not include personal moral, ethical or political views. Nor does it include religions that promote violence or hate towards others, or that violate criminal law.