Comment 122953

By JL (registered) | Posted May 23, 2018 at 22:34:47 in reply to Comment 122950

Thank you for sharing thoughts about the Ontario Human Rights Code. I agree that legislation such as Saskatchewan's Bill of Rights (1947) and the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) were important developments in legislation in Canada, and I agree that the article could have done a lot more in describing the history of human rights legislation and the human rights movement, but I also agree with scholars such as Dr. Dominique Clément, Will Silver, and Dr. Daniel Trottier that the Ontario Human Rights Code (1962) was “a landmark achievement”.

In their words, “First, it [the Code] contained an effective enforcement mechanism, with full time human rights investigators, a process for conciliation, and formal inquires with the power to enforce settlements. Second, it contained a mandate for human rights education and promotion. Third, the legislation provided for constructive remedies: offenders might pay a fine, offer an apology, reinstate an employee, or agree to a negotiated settlement” (2012, p. 16-17).

For example, section 12(1) of the 1962 version of the Ontario Human Rights Code gave the Ontario Human Rights Commission authority to inquire into the complaint of any person claiming to have been discriminated against contrary to the Code and to endeavour to effect a settlement of the matter, and section 8(c) gave the Commission power to “develop and conduct educational programmes designed to eliminate discriminatory practices”. As far as I can see, these elements are completely absent from the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights and the Canadian Bill of Rights.

There’s certainly sufficient reason to say that the Ontario Human Rights Code was a “first of its kind”, but what is more important is that discrimination is stopped, remedied, and eliminated.

Comment edited by JL on 2018-05-23 22:44:54

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