Effective July 7, 2020, Ottawa followed the lead of Kingston and Toronto by mandating the use of masks in public indoor spaces. Many other municipalities across Ontario have instituted similar rules (or seem to be headed in that direction).
In this time of rapidly changing circumstances, neither the Human Rights Tribunal nor the courts have had time to weigh in on whether COVID-19 amounts to a disability. However, in my view as BC’s Human Rights Commissioner, it does.
One of the questions we are often asked is how much information should be disclosed to a respondent during an investigation. Some feel that respondents are more likely to provide honest and candid information if they are taken by surprise as opposed to having advance notice of the allegations and supporting evidence. The fear is that with the information, a respondent may have more time to concoct a story in response to the allegations and evidence.