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Letter to education providers re: recommendations to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities

August 24, 2018 - I am writing today to provide you with a confidential copy of the executive summary and recommendations for the OHRC's Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities. The new policy reflects case law developments, international human rights standards and evolving social science research, and also includes recommendations to key actors in the sector.

Letter to Ministers re: accessible education for students with disabilities

August 21, 2018 - I am writing today to provide you with an advance copy of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities. The new policy reflects case law developments, international human rights standards and evolving social science research, and also includes recommendations to key actors in the sector.

Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities


The Ontario Human Rights Code  recognizes the importance of creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person can contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province. The Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education, without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services.

This Policy replaces the Guidelines on accessible education (2004).

Questions and answers on cannabis and the Human Rights Code

September 2018 - Cannabis or “marijuana” laws are changing in Canada. It will now be legal for people age 19 or older in Ontario to buy, possess, use and grow recreational cannabis. Provincial laws generally permit cannabis use wherever laws permit tobacco use. Cannabis use for a medical purpose (medical cannabis) continues to be legal.

Employers and employees, housing providers and residents, and other organizations and individuals are asking about the implications under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

Policy statement on cannabis and the Human Rights Code

September 2018 - Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policies apply to cannabis in the same way they do for other drugs. The Code protects people who use cannabis for a medical purpose related to a disability from discriminatory treatment in employment, housing, services and other areas. The Code also prohibits discrimination against people who have or are perceived to have an addiction to cannabis based on the ground of disability.

RE: University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy ­raises human rights concerns

I am writing today to outline the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s concerns regarding the University of Toronto’s proposed University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy which is being considered by the University Affairs Board tomorrow (January 30, 2018). The OHRC is concerned that the treatment of students contemplated in the Policy may result in discrimination on the basis of mental health disability contrary to the Human Rights Code.

OHRC calls for government accountability to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities

September 26, 2017

Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced new legal action to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities at a press conference at Queen’s Park.

Leadership needed to fight racism

July 25, 2017

A few months ago, I visited Thunder Bay and had the opportunity to speak with members of the Indigenous community. Community members told me about their concerns related to policing and child welfare, trafficking of Indigenous women and girls, and everyday racism in almost every facet of their lives including employment, housing, healthcare and retail. Most strikingly, people talked about being “garbaged” – literally having garbage thrown at them while walking down the street, all because of their Indigenous ancestry. I brought these concerns to the leaders that I met later in the day, including the Mayor and police.

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