150+ Canadians Day 117: Human Rights Commissions

Image: Canadian Human Rights Commission Logo

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS in Canada protect the basic right of Canadians to be free from discrimination and harassment.

Federal and provincial Human Rights Commissions follow the principle that “all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction of an offence for which a person has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”

Following are some examples of statements issued by Human Rights Commissions in Canada: 

  • “[E]veryone in Canada [should] speak out against hateful acts that threaten our families, our friends, our neighbours and our way of life.  Speak loudly so that both the victims and the perpetrators hear you when you say: My Canada includes everyone.”
  • The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, [is] an important step for privacy and human rights in Canada. [It] prohibits genetic discrimination across Canada. It bars any person from requiring individuals to undergo a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition of providing goods or services, or entering into a contract.
  • The rights of transgender and gender-diverse people in Canada [must be made] clear and explicit in federal human rights law.
  • The Canadian Human Rights Commission is adding its voice to those of Indigenous women across the country who are urgently calling for greater equality, increased access to justice, and improved safety for Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
  • The Canadian Human Rights Commission released “Impaired at work: a guide to accommodating substance dependence.” …[W]hen an employee is dependent on drugs or alcohol, an employer has an obligation to accommodate and support their recovery.

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