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Letter to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services re: Findings from Tour of Vanier Centre for Women

January 7, 2019 - As part of the OHRC monitoring of the settlement in the Jahn matter, we visited the Vanier Centre for Women (“Vanier”) in Milton, Ontario. I am writing today to provide you with a summary of what we learned on our December 4, 2018 visit.

OHRC Submission to the Independent Street Checks Review

May 1, 2018 - Regulation 58/16: Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances – Prohibition and Duties (the “Regulation”) was developed in response to numerous reports of racial profiling in policing across the province, with the goal of “ensuring that police-public interactions should be conducted without bias or discrimination”.  Unfortunately, in our view, the Regulation has not lived up to this promise and, as currently framed, cannot achieve its goal. Racial profiling in policing remains an ongoing reality for Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities.  The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is hopeful, however, that through this review and the recommendations that come out of it, the Regulation can be amended so that it can finally meet its promise.

OHRC releases report on its inquiry into the over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario’s child welfare system

April 12, 2018
Toronto – On April 12, 2018 the OHRC released Interrupted Childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare. The report outlines findings from its public interest inquiry into whether First Nations, Métis and Inuit (Indigenous) and Black children are over-represented at children’s aid societies (CASs), particularly in admissions into care.

Timmins must come to grips with Indigenous relations

March 28, 2018

TIMMINS — In February, Joey Knapaysweet, 21, and Angnes Sutherland, 62, both from Fort Albany First Nation, died in separate incidents involving the Timmins Police Service. Both incidents are being examined by the Special Investigations Unit. The deaths galvanized a community where Mayor Steve Black said a police gun had not been fired in the line of duty in 34 years.

Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare

When child welfare authorities remove children from their caregivers because of concerns about abuse or neglect, it can be traumatic and tragic for everyone involved – children, their families and even their communities. Being admitted into care comes with far-reaching consequences that can have a negative impact on children’s future ability to thrive. It is an unfortunate reality that some children need to be placed in care to keep them safe. But too often, for First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Black and other racialized families, being involved with the child welfare system and having a child removed is fraught with concerns that the system is not meeting their or their children’s needs, is harmful, and may be discriminatory.

Human rights recommendations on income security reform, and “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change”

March 13, 2018 - Dear Minister Coteau, I hope this letter finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) commends your Ministry for the work it is doing to reform the income security system, as an integral part of the Government’s poverty reduction efforts. I am writing to express support for the Community Working Groups’ report, “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change,” and to make recommendations to ensure that the Ministry’s final Income Security Plan reflects both Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Code) and Canada’s international commitments to social and economic rights.

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.

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