This year, a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry issued a highly publicized decision on racial profiling. In the case, the Board concluded that a woman had been discriminated against on the basis of her race and/or colour when wrongfully accused of shoplifting at a grocery store. In the wake of this case and research, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has recently announced plans to take preventative measures to tackle this serious issue.
When a respondent is first made aware that a Human Rights application has been filed against them, often their first response is to deny any accusations and to request a summary hearing in hopes of disposing of the matter at the outset. While such hearings may be requested, it does not always work to the advantage of the respondent. Such was the case in the recent Interim Decision of Lomotey v. Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre.
Ontario Human Rights Commission released updated policy on “preventing discrimination based on Creed”
This past December the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a new and comprehensive 173 page Updated Policy on Preventing Discrimination based on Creed to replace its earlier Policy that was first published in 1996. The Commission stated that given the significant demographic changes in Ontario, it has been working on a new policy since 2012. The aim of the policy is to highlight how discrimination on the basis of Creed can be avoided in broader Ontario society which is increasingly more diverse.
Under section 46.3 (1) of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employer may be vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. Such was the case in the recent Human Rights Tribunal decision.
With allegations of racial profiling in Arizona’s new immigration law abuzz throughout the media this week, it was interesting for me to come upon the speaking notes for a recent speech by the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission; the speech brings the issue closer to home.
The stated intent of the Arizona law is to ensure the security and well-being of American citizens living in Arizona, by protecting them from illegal immigrants and drugs. The new law requires local and state law enforcement to question people they suspect are in Arizona illegally about their immigration status. It also makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally; meaning, immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the United States could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500 US, and ultimately deported.
Back in Canada, the CHRC Chief Commissioner’s speech discussed a study that will examine Safety Management Systems, which consist in part of behavioural recognition techniques, a vital element of aviation security screening. It’s a whole other issue to racial profiling you might say, but it’s one that is similar and aiming at safeguarding national security.
Read the full article on Slaw.ca.