It is not possible to slot people’s experiences of racial discrimination into clear categories. Manifestations of discrimination blur together and overlap to a large degree. However, for the purposes of this policy, it is necessary to describe the different ways in which racial discrimination can take place. Therefore, what follows is a discussion of the main ways in which racial discrimination can occur that are helpful in understanding and addressing the experience of racial discrimination.
The Commission has consistently stated that the purpose of its racial profiling inquiry is not to prove or disprove the existence of racial profiling. It is the Commission’s view that previous inquiries have considered this and have found that it does occur.
Moreover, as discussed above, racial profiling is a form of racial stereotyping. As racial stereotyping and discrimination exists in society, it also exists in institutions such as law enforcement agencies, the education system, the criminal justice system etc., which are a microcosm of broader society.
While one of the most common initial responses to racial profiling is a denial that it occurs, there are some who do not deny its existence but rather argue that it does and should occur because it is a useful and appropriate tool to focus limited resources on those who are most likely to be engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
While many of the existing definitions of racial profiling, primarily originating in the United States, focus on law enforcement, the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Terms of Reference define racial profiling more broadly to include any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race, colour, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or place of origin rather than on reasonable suspicion, to single out an individual for greater scrutiny or different treatment.
April 2009 - The goal of this report is to identify the progress of the commitments made by 22 organizations across Ontario in response to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (“Commission”) Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers. From these commitments, best practices can be drawn. The Commission has also been monitoring any further incidents, and a description of these is provided.
May 2008 - During the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers, the Commission met with 21 organizations to identify solutions. These organizations included police services, municipalities, provincial government ministries, and community organizations. The Commission obtained over 50 commitments from these organizations and made an additional seven commitments. This report is an account of the results of the Inquiry.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was successful in a significant racial profiling case under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The complaint was filed by Ms. Jacqueline Nassiah against the Peel Regional Police Services. The Commission thoroughly investigated the matter finding evidence indicative of racial profiling. Attempts to mediate and settle the case with Peel Police were unsuccessful. In a decision released on May 11, 2007, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found that a Peel police officer subjected Ms. Nassiah, a Black woman, to a more intensive, suspicious and prolonged investigation because of her race.
Toronto - In a statement marking the first anniversary of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s report, Paying the Price: The Human Cost of Racial Profiling, Chief Commissioner Keith Norton noted that a lot of work still needs to be done to address racial profiling.
Toronto - "Racial profiling has no place in our society. We have to stop debating the issue and start acting on it," was the key message delivered today by Chief Commissioner Keith Norton at the release of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s report on the effects of racial profiling. Entitled, Paying the Price: The Human Cost of Racial Profiling, the Report is based on over 400 personal accounts of experiences with profiling that individuals shared with the Commission during the course of its Racial Profiling Inquiry held earlier this year. The Report looks at the human cost of racial profiling on individuals who have experienced it, their families and their communities and the detrimental impacts of this practice on society as a whole.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today announced that some accounts from the Commission's recent inquiry on racial profiling have been adapted for the national radio program, Sounds Like Canada and will be aired from December 1st to December 12th, 2003.