CHRC welcomes national housing strategy legislation / La CCDP accueille favorablement le projet de loi sur la stratégie nationale du logement

04/12/2019

The Canadian Human Rights Commission just issued the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the federal government’s introduction of federal housing legislation, in particular the appointment of a Federal Housing Advocate.

Find out more...


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La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne vient de diffuser la déclaration suivante :

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne se réjouit de l'introduction de la législation fédérale en matière de logement, en particulier de la nomination d'un défenseur fédéral du logement.

Pour en savoir plus...

The Rule of Law: Is it at Risk? / La primauté du droit est-elle menacée?

04/09/2019

The Rule of Law: Is it at Risk?

The Role of Courts, Human Rights Commissions & Administrative Bodies in Preserving the Rule of Law

In countries across the world, the rule of law is under threat. What is Canada’s experience? Have courts and administrative bodies been impacted? Join us for an event on May 28, 2019 hosted by the International Commission of Jurists Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Find out more...


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La primauté du droit est-elle menacée?

Le rôle des tribunaux, des commissions des droits de la personne et des organes administratifs dans la préservation de la primauté du droit

Dans certains pays, la primauté du droit est menacée. Qu’en est-il au Canada? Assistez à un événement conjoint de la Commission internationale de juristes Canada et de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne le 28 mai 2019.

Pour en savoir plus...

Statement - Déclaration

03/29/2019

The Canadian Human Rights Commission just issued the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by Quebec’s announcement this week that it will seek to ban religious symbols for all provincial public servants in roles such as police officers, judges, teachers and senior officials.

Find out more...


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La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne vient de diffuser la déclaration suivante :

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne est profondément préoccupée par l’annonce récente faite par le gouvernement du Québec de son intention d’interdire le port de signes religieux de pour tous les fonctionnaires provinciaux occupant des fonctions telles que policiers, juges, enseignants et cadres supérieurs.

Pour en savoir plus...

Launch of online course Serving All in Canada

03/20/2019

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is pleased to present Serving All in Canada, a free online course that will help businesses address and prevent consumer racial profiling. Since 1966, March 21st has been acknowledged as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, commemorated around the world as a day to take action to eliminate racial discrimination. To mark this important day the Yukon Human Rights Commission has developed and is promoting the free, online learning resource Serving All in Canada.

“Serving All in Canada is a free online learning tool to help businesses and service providers train their front-line staff in combatting racism, which we hope will help create more welcoming and inclusive environments for all in our communities here in Yukon,” said Karen Moir, Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

City of Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said, “This new online course is a valuable, free, accessible tool for Whitehorse business owners and service industry to learn more about this important human rights issue in our community.”

The Executive Director of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce Colette Acheson said, “We appreciate the Yukon Human Rights Commission for sharing this free online training resource as a way to encourage thinking and conversation about fairness and diversity as the way to do business with all people in Yukon.”

Consumer racial profiling is a serious issue in Canada. Racialized customers are significantly more likely to be followed, searched and ignored. Human rights law in Canada makes it illegal to deny someone service or discriminate against them by treating them differently because of their race, colour or ethnicity.

This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions, national stakeholders, and the Retail Council of Canada, a non-profit association representing more than 45,000 retail stores including independent merchants, regional and national mass and specialty chains.

“Consumer racial profiling has been identified by human rights commissions across the country as a significant issue affecting Canadians,” said Charles Dent, Chair of the N.W.T. Human Rights Commission and current Chair of CASHRA. “Offering this course online in both official languages is one way we can work together to prevent discrimination.”

This course was developed over several years as a national, accessible, online tool to help address this important human rights issue. It was developed in partnership with stakeholder groups and individuals from a wide range of business, consumer and advocacy groups with leadership from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and participation from all other human rights commissions across Canada through the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) – including the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

Learn more about the course Serving All in Canada at cashra.ca/classroom.

For more information, contact:
Jessica Lott Thompson, Director
Yukon Human Rights Commission
(867) 667 6226
director@yukonhumanrights.ca

CHRC joins the world in outrage and sadness over New Zealand terror attack

03/15/2019

The Canadian Human Rights Commission just issued the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission joins the world in shock, dismay and outrage over the news of the deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, the people of New Zealand, and the global Muslim community.

Find out more...


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Attaque terroriste en Nouvelle-Zélande : La CCDP se joint au monde entier pour exprimer son indignation et sa tristesse

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne vient de diffuser la déclaration suivante :

Tout comme le monde entier, la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne est en état de choc, de consternation et d’indignation à la suite de la nouvelle concernant l'attaque meurtrière contre deux mosquées à Christchurch, en Nouvelle-Zélande. Nos pensées vont aux victimes et à leurs familles, aux habitants de la Nouvelle-Zélande, ainsi qu’à la communauté musulmane mondiale.

Pour en savoir plus...

New legislation an encouraging step for Indigenous children and families in Canada

03/01/2019

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issued a statement following the tabling of the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth, and families by the Government of Canada. Find out more...


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Nouvelle loi qui représente une avancée encourageante pour les enfants et les familles autochtones au Canada

Marie-Claude Landry, présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne a fait une déclaration à la suite du dépôt par le gouvernement du Canada d’un projet de loi concernant les enfants, les jeunes, et les familles des Premières Nations, des Inuits et des Métis. Pour en savoir plus...

Correctional Investigator of Canada and the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission Call on Federal Government to Respect the Dignity of Older Persons in Federal Custody

02/28/2019

Today, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, Dr. Ivan Zinger, and the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Ms. Marie-Claude Landry, released a joint report entitled Aging and Dying in Prison: An Investigation into the Experiences of Older Individuals in Federal Custody. The report highlights the challenges associated with older offenders in prison, including management of chronic health conditions, accessibility and accommodation of disability, institutionalization, reintegration barriers, end-of-life care and dying with dignity in prison.

“Conditions of confinement of older individuals in federal custody are lacking in terms of personal safety and dignity. Some older, long-serving inmates are being warehoused behind bars. Their prospects for release are often overlooked or neglected,” stated Dr. Zinger. He added, “Older offenders are one of the most costly cohorts to incarcerate, yet they pose the least risk. More responsive and humane models of care exist in the community that would better support the reintegration needs of older offenders at a significantly lower cost. These alternatives could be funded through savings generated by unnecessary incarceration.”

Canadian Human Rights Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry, added: “Every person in Canada, including those in federal custody, has a right to live their final moments with dignity and safety. Prisons are not equipped to provide end of life care. Correctional Service Canada must do more to ensure inmates can return to the community and so that end-of-life care is humane and dignified. This starts with encouraging and facilitating inmates to maintain meaningful connections within their community.”

The report makes 16 joint recommendations. Key recommendations include:

  1. Independent review of all older individuals in federal custody to determine whether a placement in the community, long-term care facility or hospice would be more appropriate.
  2. Enhanced partnerships with outside service providers to create additional bed space in long-term care and community hospice facilities.
  3. Additional training for Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff in addressing age-related needs, including responding to behaviours related to dementia.
  4. A legislative review of release options for older and long-serving offenders who do not pose undue risk to public safety.
  5. An immediate CSC-led comprehensive National Older Offender Strategy to address the care and needs of older individuals in federal custody.

The report is the product of a joint investigation between the Office of the Correctional Investigator and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. This collaborative approach provided a unique perspective in terms of how to ensure public safety while respecting and protecting the unique needs, dignity and rights of older individuals in federal custody.

The report and backgrounder are available at www.oci-bec.gc.ca and www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/index.html.

For more information, please contact:

Office of the Correctional Investigator
Marie-France Kingsley
Executive Director
613-990-2690
Marie-France.Kingsley@oci-bec.gc.ca

Canadian Human Rights Commission
Media Relations
613-943-9118
communications@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca


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L’enquêteur correctionnel du Canada et la présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne demandent au gouvernement fédéral de respecter la dignité des personnes âgées sous garde fédérale

Aujourd’hui, l’enquêteur correctionnel du Canada, M. Ivan Zinger, et la présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne, Mme Marie-Claude Landry, ont rendu public un rapport conjoint intitulé Vieillir et mourir en prison : enquête sur les expériences des personnes âgées sous garde fédérale. Le rapport souligne les difficultés à surmonter concernant les personnes délinquantes âgées en prison, dont l’encadrement des malades chroniques, l’accessibilité et les adaptations pour les personnes ayant une déficience (ou handicap), le risque d’institutionnalisation, les obstacles à la réinsertion sociale, les soins de fin de vie et la possibilité de mourir dans la dignité en prison.

« Les personnes âgées sous garde fédérale n’ont pas des conditions de détention qui garantissent leur propre sécurité et leur dignité. Des personnes âgées qui purgent une peine de longue durée sont littéralement « entreposées » derrière les barreaux. La possibilité de les réinsérer socialement est souvent négligée ou oubliée, a déclaré M. Zinger. Parmi toutes les cohortes en incarcération, les personnes âgées forment l’un des groupes qui coûtent le plus cher à garder en prison alors qu’elles présentent le plus faible risque pour la société. Il existe des modèles de soins plus souples et humains dans la collectivité qui aideraient davantage les personnes âgées à réussir une réinsertion sociale. Ces solutions de rechange pourraient se financer par les fonds économisés en mettant fin aux incarcérations inutiles. »

La présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne, Marie-Claude Landry, a ajouté : « Tout le monde au Canada, y compris les personnes sous garde fédérale, a le droit de finir ses jours dans la dignité et en sécurité. Les prisons n’ont pas ce qu’il faut pour donner des soins de fin de vie. Le Service correctionnel du Canada doit faire plus pour faire en sorte que les personnes détenues puissent retourner en société et recevoir des soins de fin de vie empreints d’humanité et de dignité. Pour cela, il faut d’abord encourager les personnes détenues à conserver des liens positifs avec leur collectivité, et faciliter leurs démarches en ce sens. »

Le rapport contient 16 recommandations conjointes, dont les suivantes parmi les plus importantes :

  1. un examen indépendant de la situation de toutes les personnes âgées sous garde fédérale, dans le but de déterminer si un placement dans la collectivité, dans un établissement de soins de longue durée ou dans un centre de soins palliatifs serait plus approprié;
  2. un renforcement des partenariats avec des fournisseurs de services externes pour créer des places supplémentaires dans les établissements de soins de longue durée et les centres communautaires de soins palliatifs;
  3. des séances de formation supplémentaires à l’intention du personnel du Service correctionnel du Canada sur les stratégies possibles pour répondre aux besoins liés à l’âge, notamment les façons de réagir aux comportements dus à la démence;
  4. une révision de la loi pour évaluer les options de mise en liberté des personnes délinquantes âgées qui purgent de longues peines mais qui ne posent aucun risque déraisonnable pour la sécurité publique;
  5. la mise en oeuvre immédiate, par le Service correctionnel du Canada, d’une stratégie nationale pour les personnes délinquantes âgées, laquelle visera globalement à s’occuper des soins à prodiguer aux personnes âgées sous garde fédérale et à tenir compte de leurs besoins.

Le rapport est le produit d’une enquête conjointe menée par le Bureau de l’enquêteur correctionnel et la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne. Cette démarche collaborative a permis une perspective unique quant à la façon de garantir la sécurité publique tout en respectant et en protégeant les besoins particuliers, la dignité et les droits des personnes âgées sous garde fédérale.

On peut prendre connaissance du rapport en question et d’un document d’information connexe en consultant les sites suivants : www.oci-bec.gc.ca et www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/index.html.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Le Bureau de l’enquêteur correctionnel
Marie-France Kingsley
Directrice exécutive
613-990-2690
Marie-France.Kingsley@oci-bec.gc.ca

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne
Relations avec les médias
613-943-9118
communications@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca

In Memoriam - Melissa Atkinson

02/20/2019

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is deeply saddened by the passing of Melissa Atkinson.

"The YHRC and the entire community has benefited beyond measure from Melissa's strength and leadership. Her compassion and commitment to social justice inspired us all. This loss will be felt deeply by many, and the YHRC will continue to celebrate her legacy in the work we do, everyday" says Yukon Human Rights Commission Chair Karen Moir.

Melissa Atkinson was the Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010, leading the Commission during a pivotal period of law reform and development of human rights law in Yukon. Melissa's leadership was critical to important amendments to the Yukon Human Rights Act in 2009, which improved human rights protections and enhanced the human rights system in Yukon.

Over many years, in her role as Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, as an appointed member of the Commission, and as a long-time supporter of human rights in Yukon, Melissa's leadership had a great impact on the lives of many people in our territory and beyond. Her ethics, professionalism, and dedication to justice, human rights and the rule of law will remain an inspiration. As an Indigenous woman and practicing lawyer, Melissa brought a powerful understanding of justice and equality to all her work. She will be deeply missed.

For more information contact:

Jessica Lott Thompson
Director
Yukon Human Rights Commission
Tel: (867) 667-6226
director@yukonhumanrights.ca

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More needs to be done to protect people from genetic discrimination in Canada

01/16/2019

While acknowledging that the Court of Appeal’s opinion was based on its interpretation of the law, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is nonetheless concerned by the implications. The opinion increases the risk of genetic discrimination and jeopardizes the legal protections in this rapidly-developing area of technology that impacts us all. Find out more...


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Il faut faire plus pour protéger la population contre la discrimination génétique au Canada

Sachant que la Cour d’appel fonde son avis sur l’interprétation qu’elle fait du droit applicable, il n’en demeure pas moins que la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne s’inquiète des conséquences de cet avis. La Commission y voit un risque accru de discrimination génétique et une menace pour la protection juridique dans ce domaine technologique en évolution accélérée qui touche la vie de tout le monde. Pour en savoir plus...

2018

Congratulations Renu Mandhane! - Renu Mandhane Receives the 2018 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award

12/05/2018

Today, Dr. Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada, is pleased to announce that Ms. Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), is the 2018 recipient of the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award.

“In a distinguished career, Ms. Mandhane has brought public attention to correctional practices that are discriminatory or violate the human rights of prisoners, including federally sentenced women, Indigenous people, persons with mental health disabilities and immigration detainees,” said Dr. Zinger. “As Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Renu has become a leading voice on national and provincial efforts to end the use of solitary confinement. I am extremely pleased to recognize and celebrate Renu’s contributions to improving corrections and protecting the human rights of incarcerated people.”

Renu Mandhane was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in October 2015. She is the former Executive Director of the award-winning International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She has an LL.M in international human rights law from New York University. Renu began her practice focused on criminal law, and in that capacity she represented many survivors of sexual violence and prisoners. Renu sits on the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch, and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations. Most recently, Renu was recognized by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of Canada’s most influential lawyers for her advocacy related to solitary confinement.

The Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award was established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac, who served as Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator for 18 years. Each recipient of the award receives a reproduction of a sculpture by Ms. Audrey Greyeyes, a Cree artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, entitled Medicine Man. It symbolizes wisdom, clarity of thought, and leadership, traits reflecting Mr. McIsaac’s character and career.

The ceremony will take place this afternoon in Toronto, Ontario. Presented annually since 2009, there have been nine other recipients of the award.

Details on nomination procedures for the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award are available on the Office’s website.

For more information contact:

Marie-France Kingsley
Executive Director
Office of the Correctional Investigator
Tel: (613) 990-2690
Marie-France.Kingsley@OCI-BEC.GC.CA


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Renu Mandhane reçoit le Prix Ed McIsaac pour la promotion des droits de la personne dans le système correctionnel

Aujourd’hui, M. Ivan Zinger, enquêteur correctionnel du Canada, a le plaisir d’annoncer que Mme Renu Mandhane, commissaire en chef de la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne, est la lauréate 2018 du Prix Ed McIsaac pour la promotion des droits de la personne dans le système correctionnel.

« Dans le cadre d’une brillante carrière, Mme Mandhane a attiré l’attention du public sur les pratiques correctionnelles qui sont discriminatoires ou qui briment les droits de la personne des détenus, y compris les femmes, les Autochtones, les personnes qui ont des troubles de santé mentale et les détenus en vertu des lois sur l’immigration », dit M. Zinger. « À titre de commissaire en chef de la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne, Mme Mandhane est devenue une porte-parole influente pour les efforts nationaux et provinciaux visant à mettre une fin à la pratique de l’isolement cellulaire. J’ai l’immense plaisir de reconnaître et de célébrer les contributions de Mme Mandhane relatives à l’amélioration des services correctionnels et à la protection des droits des personnes incarcérées. »

Mme Mandhane a été nommée commissaire en chef de la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne en octobre 2015. Elle est l’ancienne directrice exécutive du programme des droits internationaux de la personne de la faculté de droit de l’Université de Toronto, un programme primé. Elle est titulaire d’une maîtrise en droit international des droits de la personne de l’Université de New York. Mme Mandhane a commencé sa carrière en exerçant le droit criminel, elle a dans ce contexte représenté de nombreuses survivantes de violence à caractère sexuel et de nombreux prisonniers. Elle est membre du comité canadien de Human Rights Watch et elle a comparu devant la Cour suprême du Canada et les Nations Unies. Dernièrement, Mme Mandhane a été reconnue par le magazine Canadian Lawyer comme l’une des avocates canadiennes les plus influentes pour son travail de mobilisation contre l’isolement cellulaire.

Le Prix Ed McIsaac pour la promotion des droits des personnes dans le système correctionnel a été créé en l’honneur de M. Ed McIsaac, qui a été le directeur exécutif du Bureau de l’enquêteur correctionnel pendant 18 ans. Chaque lauréat reçoit une sculpture intitulée « Medecine Man » créée par Audrey Greyeyes, une artiste crie de la Nation crie de Muskeg Lake. Cette sculpture représente la sagesse, la clarté de la pensée et le leadership, des qualités qui reflètent la personnalité et la carrière de M. McIsaac.

La cérémonie aura lieu cet après-midi à Toronto en Ontario. Mme Mandhane est la dixième lauréate de ce prix qui est présenté chaque année depuis 2009.

Pour obtenir des renseignements sur le processus de nomination du Prix Ed McIsaac pour la promotion des droits des personnes dans le système correctionnel, veuillez consulter le site Web du Bureau de l’enquêteur correctionnel.

Pour plus d’information, veuillez communiquer avec:

Marie-France Kingsley
Directrice exécutive
Bureau de l’enquêteur correctionnel
Tél: (613) 990-2690
Marie-France.Kingsley@OCI-BEC.GC.CA

Statement

12/03/2018

The Canadian Human Rights Commission just issued the following statement:

Today on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Canadian Human Rights Commission invites all Canadians to reflect on the inequality and barriers that persons with disabilities continue to face in their daily lives. Find out more...


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Déclaration

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne vient de diffuser la déclaration suivante:

À l’occasion de la Journée internationale des droits des personnes handicapées célébrée aujourd’hui, la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne invite l’ensemble des Canadiennes et des Canadiens à porter attention aux inégalités et aux obstacles qui font encore partie du quotidien des personnes handicapées. Pour en savoir plus...

CHRC calling on Canada’s children to “make noise” about their rights

11/22/2018

The Canadian Human Rights Commission just issued the following news release:

In a speech in Ottawa yesterday, the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), Marie-Claude Landry, delivered an important message to the young people of Canada: their voices matter. Find out more...


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La CCDP encourage les enfants du Canada à faire entendre leur voix

La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne vient de diffuser le communiqué suivant:

Dans une allocution prononcée hier à Ottawa, la présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne (CCDP), Marie-Claude Landry, a livré un message important aux jeunes du Canada : chacune de leurs voix compte. Pour en savoir plus...

OHRC releases Indigenous peoples and human rights dialogue report

11/14/2018

This post is taken from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released To dream together: Indigenous peoples and human rights dialogue report. The report summarizes themes and recommendations from the OHRC’s three-day dialogue event (February 21 to 23, 2018), which brought together First Nations, Métis and Inuit (“Indigenous”) Elders and traditional knowledge keepers, along with academics, leaders, artists, advocates, lawyers, policy makers, and human rights institutions to discuss a vision of human rights that reflects Indigenous perspectives, world views and issues.

Major themes explored in the report include:

  • The qualities of meaningful engagement and reconciliation
  • Indigenous perspectives on human rights
  • The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous peoples' contribution to the evolution of human rights law
  • Key Indigenous human rights concerns
  • Recommended institutional responses.

The report includes recommendations to the OHRC, other human rights institutions, organizations and governments. It calls for taking concrete actions towards reconciliation and human rights based on values of respect, honesty, sharing and strength. And it will serve as an important resource as the OHRC moves forward with its work on reconciliation.

Quotes

“Colonialism and systemic discrimination have resulted in a human rights system that does not reflect Indigenous perspectives and world views. This report highlights the wisdom of diverse Indigenous people on how to reconcile Ontario’s human rights system with Indigenous frameworks, constitutions, processes and laws. It also reinforces our ongoing commitment to realizing the vision of the UN Declaration by addressing systemic discrimination in the delivery of essential services.” – Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner, OHRC

"How a society upholds the rights of Indigenous Peoples is a litmus test for how it will respect the rights of any of its citizens.” – Maurice Switzer, Commissioner, OHRC

“Much of Indigenous peoples' advocacy to date has focused understandably on the potential power of section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. The UN Declaration invites us to frame our advocacy within the discourse of human rights. The OHRC's dialogue produced a thoughtful and nuanced discussion about the intersection between Indigenous laws, Indigenous rights, and human rights.” – Karen Drake, Commissioner, OHRC

“The Ontario Human Rights Commission promotes and enforces human rights to create a culture of human rights accountability.”


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La CODP publie le Rapport relatif au dialogue sur les peuples autochtones et les droits de la personne

Cette publication provient de la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne.

Aujourd’hui, la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne (CODP) a publié Rêver ensemble : Rapport relatif au dialogue sur les peuples autochtones et les droits de la personne. Ce rapport présente les thèmes abordés et les recommandations formulées lors du dialogue de trois jours (du 21 au 23 février 2018) organisé par la CODP. Cette rencontre a permis à des aînés et des gardiens du savoir traditionnel des communautés métisses, inuites et des Premières Nations (« autochtones ») et à des universitaires, des leaders, des artistes, des défenseurs, des avocats, des décideurs politiques et des organismes de défense des droits de la personne de se réunir pour discuter d’une vision des droits de la personne qui tient compte des perspectives, de la conception du monde et des enjeux propres aux communautés autochtones.

Le rapport s’articule autour des principaux thèmes suivants:

  • La qualité de nos rapports et de la réconciliation
  • Les perspectives autochtones relatives aux droits de la personne
  • La Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones (DNUDPA) et la contribution des peuples autochtones à l’évolution des droits de la personne
  • Les principales préoccupations relatives aux droits de la personne des peuples autochtones
  • La réaction recommandée des organismes.

Le rapport énonce des recommandations à l’intention de la CODP, d’autres organismes de défense des droits de la personne, des gouvernements et d’autres acteurs particuliers. Il invite à prendre des mesures concrètes en faveur de la réconciliation et des droits de la personne en s’appuyant sur des valeurs axées sur le respect, l’honnêteté, le partage et la force. Il constituera également un outil précieux pour la CODP, dans le cadre de ses actions de promotion de la réconciliation.

Citations

« Le colonialisme et la discrimination systémique ont conduit à un système des droits de la personne qui ne tient pas compte des perspectives et de la vision du monde des Autochtones. Ce rapport met en lumière la sagesse de différentes personnes autochtones à l’égard des voies de réconciliation du système des droits de la personne de l’Ontario avec les cadres, les constitutions, les processus et les lois autochtones. Il renforce également notre engagement continu en faveur de la vision de la Déclaration des Nations Unies, en proposant des solutions pour éliminer la discrimination systémique dans la prestation des services essentiels ». – Renu Mandhane, commissaire en chef, CODP

« Les voix autochtones évoquaient toutes l’importance de placer les droits de la personne dans un contexte fondé sur des valeurs plutôt que dans un contexte normatif. Bien vivre sa vie – ce que les Anishinabek appellent bimaadziwin – est ce qui permettra, selon la Déclaration des Nations Unies, ‘d’assurer la pleine et égale jouissance… de toutes les libertés fondamentales…’. » – Maurice Switzer, commissaire, CODP

« La majeure partie de la mobilisation des peoples autochtones jusqu’à présent a été centrée, tout naturellement, sur l’importance potentielle du paragraphe 35(1) de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1982. La Déclaration des Nations Unies nous invite à intégrer nos efforts de défense des intérêts dans le discours sur les droits de la personne. Le dialogue de la CODP a suscité des discussions intéressantes et nuancées sur le recoupement entre les lois autochtones, les droits des Autochtones et les droits de la personne. » – Karen Drake, commissaire, CODP

« La Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne promeut et met en œuvre les droits de la personne, afin de créer une culture de responsabilité en matière de droits de la personne. »

Master of Human Rights: First-of-its-kind Degree in Canada

11/05/2018

This article is from UM Today News.

The Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba is pleased to announce the first Master of Human Rights (MHR) graduate degree program to be offered in Canada. This interdisciplinary professional program will train students both practically and academically for careers in human rights work, in collaboration with the faculties of Arts, Education, and Social Work and the Centre for Human Rights Research, the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice in St. Paul’s College, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Dr. Jonathan Black-Branch, Dean of Law says, “The fragility of human rights protection requires trained professionals to monitor and enforce such protections, without which individuals are vulnerable. This new master’s degree represents a monumental development for the faculty in bringing together a wide range of disciplines under this exciting professional degree. Indeed, it is a significant opportunity for the university, the Province of Manitoba and for Canada as a whole.”

Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba states, “Protecting human rights and ensuring social justice requires vigilance; it requires careful study, critical thinking, open minds, and bold ideas. We can provide that here at the University of Manitoba.”

According to the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, Dr. Adam Muller, who helped design the new program, students wanting well-rounded training in human rights law, theory and human-rights-specific quantitative and qualitative research methods have often needed to go to the U.S. or Europe. This kind of training is typically expected for positions with organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations, Muller explains. “As a result, Canada was losing a chance to educate generations of students in a domestic context marked by distinct (and emulated) legal traditions, memory cultures, and mechanisms of historical redress.”

“For all kinds of reasons, it makes sense to house the program in Law,” says Muller, pointing to scholars in the Faculty of Law already pursuing work in human rights. He noted that the Dean of Law worked in the United Kingdom prior to assuming his position at the U of M in 2016, so he is “very familiar with the kind of program we have proposed, and with the kind of students it will attract.”

“We believe that this arrangement will be win-win for all of the parties concerned,” Muller says.

“For the University of Manitoba to offer this kind of program,” Black-Branch says, “demonstrates academic leadership in having such a degree that will focus on professional development and promote the importance of protecting human rights globally.”

The MHR program is accepting applications for its first intake of students in the fall of 2019. More information is available at the Master of Human Rights page on the Robson Hall, Faculty of Law website.

Human rights commissions across Canada applaud BC Government's move towards reinstating a BC Human Rights Commission

11/01/2018

Human Rights Commission across Canada - members of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) - applaud the government of British Columbia's plans to establish an independent human rights commission.

CASHRA is comprised of Canada’s territorial, provincial and federal human rights commissions. It has a mandate to promote human rights in Canada and take public positions on issues of concern on behalf of its member agencies. In September of 2002, members of CASHRA strongly urged the BC Government to maintain its human rights commission. In the fall of 2017, CASHRA members expressed support and provided input into the BC Government’s public consultations on the creation of a BC Human Rights Commission.

"Since 2002, British Columbians have been denied the benefits of the expertise, education, and advocacy of an independent human rights commission," said Charles Dent, CASHRA Chairperson and Chair of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission." CASHRA members look forward to welcoming and working with the new BC Human Rights Commission."

Human rights commissions play an important role in the prevention and elimination of discrimination. Commissions provide free and accessible public education, undertake research on broad systemic issues, develop guidelines, provide policy advice and support, and promote human rights compliance.

Download the press release for more information.


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Les commissions des droits de la personne de l’ensemble du Canada saluent la décision du gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique de rétablir une commission des droits de la personne en C.-B.

Les commissions des droits de la personne de l’ensemble du Canada membres de l’Association canadienne des commissions et conseil des droits de la personne (ACCCDP) saluent le projet du gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique de créer une commission indépendante des droits de la personne.

L’ACCCDP est composée des commissions des droits de la personne fédérale, provinciales et territoriales du Canada. Elle a pour mandat de promouvoir les droits de la personne au Canada et de prendre publiquement position sur les enjeux clés au nom de ses organismes membres. En septembre 2002, les membres de l’ACCCDP ont exhorté le gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique à maintenir sa commission des droits de la personne. À l’automne 2017, les membres de l’ACCCDP ont manifesté leur soutien et contribué aux consultations publiques du gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique portant sur la création d’une commission des droits de la personne en C.-B.

« Depuis 2002, les Britanno-Colombiens ne peuvent profiter de l’expertise et des activités de sensibilisation et de défense des droits d’une commission indépendante des droits de la personne, a déclaré Charles Dent, président de l’ACCCDP et président de la commission des droits de la personne des Territoires du Nord-Ouest. Les membres de l’ACCCDP se réjouissent d’accueillir et de travailler avec la nouvelle commission des droits de la personne de la Colombie-Britannique ».

Les commissions des droits de la personne jouent un rôle important dans la prévention et l’élimination de la discrimination. Les commissions offrent des activités de sensibilisation et de formation publiques accessibles et gratuites, mènent des recherches sur les grandes questions systémiques, élaborent des lignes directrices, fournissent des conseils et un soutien en matière d’orientation stratégique et veillent au respect des droits de la personne.

Télécharger le communiqué de presse pour obtenir plus de renseignements.

Office of the Correctional Investigator: Annual Report 2017-18 / Bureau de l'enquêteur correctionnel: Rapport annuel 2017-18

10/30/2018

The 45th Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator (2017-18) was tabled earlier today before Parliament and is now available at www.oci-bec.gc.ca.

The 2017-18 Annual Report makes 21 recommendations and includes a review of the December 2016 deadly riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary. As a special focus of this year’s report, the Saskatchewan Penitentiary investigation raises serious concerns about the appropriateness and adequacy of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) investigating itself in the aftermath of a serious incident.

News Release

Backgrounder


***


Le 45e Rapport annuel du Bureau de l’Enquêteur correctionnel (2017-2018) a été déposé au Parlement plus tôt ce matin, et est maintenant disponible sur le Web à www.oci-bec.gc.ca.

Le Rapport annuel 2017-2018 contient 21 recommandations et il renferme aussi un examen de l’émeute mortelle survenue en décembre 2016 au Pénitencier de la Saskatchewan. Le rapport accorde une attention particulière à l’enquête menée par le Service correctionnel du Canada (SCC) sur cette émeute et soulève des questions graves à savoir s’il est approprié et adéquat que le Service mène l’enquête sur lui-même après un incident grave.

Communiqué

Document D’information

After Pittsburgh, Canadians must remember: Hate has no borders

10/29/2018

Following the horrific attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Pittsburgh, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission made the following comments in an opinion piece published in the Globe and Mail on October 28, 2018.

After Pittsburgh, Canadians must remember: Hate has no borders


***


À la suite de la terrible attaque perpétrée contre la synagogue Tree of Life à Pittsburgh, Marie-Claude Landry, présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne, a fait les commentaires suivants dans un éditorial publié dans le Globe and Mail du 28 octobre 2018.

La haine n'a pas de frontières

Disablity Rights Monitoring Partnership

10/17/2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission (YHRC) is excited to announce it is partnering with Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) to develop and launch in 2019 a program of independent disability rights monitoring for Yukon. Disability Rights Monitoring uses a comprehensive, sustainable international system to monitor the human rights of people with disabilities. If you would like to attend the free disability rights monitoring training (Nov 21-23, 2018), please open the flyer and application form below for more information or contact us. We are also hosting a free Disability Rights Symposium (Nov. 26-27, 2018) that all are welcome to attend. Please open the poster file below for keynote speakers and more information or contact us. Please visit the Eventbrite page to register or contact us.

The files are available in different file formats, please let us know which format is best for you and we can send you the information.

We are also available to meet in person with you or your with organization about these opportunities. (Organizations that support or serve people with disabilities can expect further information from us in the coming weeks.)

If you need any accommodations to participate equally in the training, application process, or symposium, please let us know.

Disablity Rights Monitoring Training (PDF)

Disablity Rights Monitoring Training (DOC)

Disablity Rights Monitoring Symposium (PDF)

Disablity Rights Monitoring Symposium (DOC)

Disablity Rights Monitoring Application Form (PDF)

Disablity Rights Monitoring Application Form (DOC)

Watching for progress at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre

08/27/2018

The following article is from the Yukon News and was written by Julie Jai.


It was encouraging to read David Loukidelis’s report on the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, and even more encouraging to see the Yukon Department of Justice’s response supporting most of the report’s recommendations.

If the report’s recommendations are implemented in word and in spirit, it will make a great difference to the lives of people incarcerated inside the WCC.

I see positive signs from the department’s response:

The acknowledgement that a shift in culture in corrections is required;

The intention to work in partnership with First Nation governments to create culturally sensitive programs and services and bring in practices that are better aligned with First Nation values;

The recognition of the urgent need to enhance mental health and addiction treatment services at the WCC;

The agreement that solitary confinement/segregation should only be used in exceptional situations and for very brief periods and that independent oversight should be available;

The commitment to greater transparency and accountability.

The Yukon government response expands on commitments made in the recent systemic agreement settling human rights complaints brought by four WCC inmates to the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

The government agreed to set up a forensic mental health unit at the WCC, improve policies relating to segregation, and recognizes the harmful effects of segregation, particularly for Indigenous people and those with mental disabilities.

While optimistic, I know that implementing the 40 recommendations in Loukidelis’s report will be challenging. But there is an urgent need to move from talk to action. The government’s next steps are described as “forming an implementation working group” and “developing an implementation plan.”

These are necessary steps, but potentially time-consuming. Meanwhile, today and tomorrow, people languish in segregation, often with untreated mental illness made worse by the lack of human interaction and programming, and human rights complaints continue to come in.

Things can be done while waiting for the partnering, consulting and planning to take place. The government can work on the culture shift and find specific actions that can be done easily, showing goodwill while also pursuing the longer-term transformation of corrections. The report references the need for more AA and NA meetings, hopefully including those in segregation. That’s just one of many good ideas.

I visited my first correctional institution when I was 12, as part of a Grade 9 enrichment program in law. We were definitely on the outside, looking in.

My next experience was from the inside – after being apprehended as a 14-year-old under the since-repealed Juvenile Detention Act, which gave police the discretion to throw kids in jail for what would now be considered normal teenage behavior. It was definitely a different experience being on the “inside” and experiencing what it was like to be treated as a criminal and presumed to be a “bad person”.

My later visits to jails were as an outsider – advising inmates as a law student; working with jail staff as legal counsel to Ontario’s Ministry of Correctional Services; visiting detention facilities on international fact-finding missions; and visiting inmates with human rights complaints at the WCC.

But my early experience as an “insider” shaped my worldview on the dangers of treating one group of people as “other” and highlighted the harms that can so easily occur in a prison environment where there is such a stark divide between those who have power and those who do not.

One of the heartening things about David Loukidelis’s report is that it is informed by many conversations with those at WCC. He states that “their intelligent and thoughtful stories gave me a much richer and clearer picture than I could otherwise have hoped for” and “contributed enormously to my work.”

Spending time really listening to those imprisoned makes it harder to separate them into a different category of “others” and instead promotes understanding, empathy and respect. It is on this human foundation that Yukoners can build for the future.

We need a prison culture where legal rights are respected, and where those “inside” can assert their legal rights without fear of retribution. Meaningful training programs should be available, and Indigenous artists who are willing to teach should be adequately paid and given enough time to run an effective program.

If inmates wish to smudge at the WCC, their sacred items should be properly handled, and elders should be available. Elders and other visitors who arrange to come to WCC should not be barred at the gate for paperwork reasons.

How can the Yukon bring about real, system-wide change at the WCC?

Change requires clear direction and support from the top. I am encouraged that this exists in principle, but it must be followed up by on the ground change.

Correctional officers and medical service providers need to see themselves as part of worthwhile change. This will involve training and a shift in culture, supported by clear policies and procedures, operationalizing the high-level direction set out by the report’s recommendations and the government’s response.

Staff should be guided by the principle that inmates at WCC are people and that, where possible, rules should be applied in a way that contributes to their well-being. Partners from outside the institution should be made to feel welcome.

Change depends on resources and empowerment. It’s not easy to find the people needed to help in the transformation without providing adequate compensation and the latitude and authority to make a difference.

Yukon Justice needs a PhD clinical psychologist to lead the mental health unit, trained addictions treatment providers, capable people to assist inmates at disciplinary hearings, and qualified people to sit as adjudicators.

Change requires that elders and artists and counsellors who want to come to the WCC to work are empowered in their area of endeavor and adequately compensated. First Nation partners who can support restorative justice approaches and culturally appropriate programming must be encouraged, respected and paid.

Establishing a secure forensic unit will take people and money. Legislative amendments will have to be passed. Implementing these changes will take resources and political will.

I am cautiously optimistic. I see positive signs. But I am watching. Watch with me.

Julie Jai is a lawyer, mediator and former acting director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

https://www.yukon-news.com/news/watching-for-progress-at-the-whitehorse-correctional-centre/

Systemic Settlement Agreement between Yukon Human Rights Commission and Government of Yukon, Department of Justice, Whitehorse Correctional Centre

07/24/2018

A systemic settlement agreement has been reached regarding a consolidated group of four human rights complaints filed in 2014, in relation to the use of segregation for prisoners with mental disability as well as for Indigenous prisoners within the Yukon correctional system. The systemic settlement agreement is between the Yukon Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) and the Government of Yukon, Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC), as well as the individual complainants who are not named in the public release of the systemic settlement agreement.

Allan Lucier, Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Justice and Public Safety with the Government of Yukon, says, “The Department of Justice is pleased to reach this settlement agreement with the Yukon Human Rights Commission and is fully committed to working together to implement its terms. This settlement is a strong signal of our ongoing efforts and intent to improve how we provide mental health care services and manage those in custody at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre.”

Jessica Lott Thompson, Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, says, “As stated in the systemic settlement agreement, the Commission maintains the position that the use of segregation and separate confinement has particularly harmful effects on Human Rights Act protected groups, including Indigenous prisoners and prisoners with mental illness, and that the use of this practice should ultimately be ended. However, this settlement is a positive step towards improving the lives of prisoners and addressing areas of systemic concern in our correctional system here in Yukon. We look forward to monitoring and supporting the efforts by the Department of Justice to fulfill the commitments set out in this agreement.”

The systemic settlement agreement outlines the following:

  • Improvements to mental health care for inmates at Whitehorse Correctional Centre through creation of a Forensic Mental Health Unit, led by a PhD clinical psychologist who will be integrated into the senior management at WCC, and with a team staffed with qualified mental health professionals whose primary mandate is the provision of mental health care services to inmates.
  • The Forensic Mental Health Unit will review and make recommendations regarding:
    • use of Secure Supervision Placement (SSP) for inmates with mental health issues or mental illness with a view to identifying and minimizing differential impact on those inmates;
    • improvements to mental health screening tools;
    • improvements to case planning and case management for inmates with mental health issues or mental illness;
    • training for staff and management about mental health issues in corrections.
  • Increased documentation and record-keeping of mental health care practices.
  • A commitment from Whitehorse Correctional Centre to seek recommendations regarding consideration of “Indigenous Social History” (ie. Gladue factors) into policy and planning at WCC, including use of pre-existing Gladue reports.
  • Significant policy improvements to policies regarding placement of inmates in segregation, including:
    • Consultation with Mental Health Team Leader about therapeutic alternatives to disciplinary segregation and about all inmates with mental health issues or mental illness
    • Documentation of stated current practice that, if an inmate has been charged with a breach of the rules, that inmate will not be placed in segregation pending a disciplinary hearing unless all possible alternatives to segregation have been explored, exhausted and rejected because they would cause undue hardship, including but not limited to reasons related to security and/or health and safety concerns
    • Within 12 months, establish an “Alternative Measures Panel” which will help identify alternatives to segregation and options at disciplinary hearings
    • While recognizing that the adjudicators for disciplinary hearings within WCC are independent, Whitehorse Correctional Centre will bring to their attention the Commission’s view that inmates should be able to be assisted or represented by lawyers, or non-lawyer representatives like court-workers, for disciplinary hearings and that WCC will make any policy or operational changes necessary to facilitate the access and presence of advocates at disciplinary hearings
  • For inmates with mental health issues or mental illness, WCC will document and provide an opportunity for the inmate or their representative to respond to decisions about segregation including in situations of self-harm or elevated risk of suicide. WCC will continue its stated practice to explore and exhaust all possible therapeutic and other alternatives to separate confinement in consultation with the mental health team leader and will document those efforts.
  • Ongoing Human Rights training for all staff and all new staff at WCC as part of orientation.
  • Human Rights training for management at WCC, and development of “train the trainer” capacity for staff and management.

For further information please contact:

Lauren Passmore
Public Education Coordinator, Yukon Human Rights Commission
Phone: 867-667-6226
lauren.passmore@yukonhumanrights.ca

Catherine Young
Communications Analyst, Department of Justice
Phone: (867)667-8050
catherine.young@gov.yk.ca


Download Systemic Settlement Agreement

Download Press Release

Opening the Human Rights Complaint of Peter Budge v Charles Eikland & Talbot Arm Motel Ltd. to the Public

05/07/2018

Earlier this morning, the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication (the Board) reversed its previous decision and re-opened the human rights hearing Budge v. Eikland and Talbot Arm Motel Ltd. to the public. The hearing into Peter Budge’s human rights complaint of workplace sexual harassment against the Respondents Charles Eikland and the Talbot Arm Motel Ltd. re-opened shortly before noon on May 7, 2018.

The Board had previously ruled on May 3, 2018 that the hearing would be closed to the public pursuant to s.12 of the Yukon Human Rights Act Regulations. The Commission, represented by Jennifer Cunningham and Brandon Macleod, opposed the Board’s decision.

Also today, the Board also denied the Respondents’ application to adjourn the hearing: it remains scheduled to take place from May 7 to May 11, 2018 at the Gold Rush Inn, General Store at 411 Main St, Whitehorse, Yukon.

Brandon Macleod presented oral submissions to the Board on May 7, 2018 stating that the principle of open court is a foundational principle of the rule of law and is linked to freedom of expression, as protected under s.2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The hearing is before Yukon’s Human Rights Board of Adjudication, a separate body created under the Yukon Human Rights Act to hear human rights complaints once they are investigated and referred by the Human Rights Commission.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is an independent body that promotes equality and human rights through research, training, public education, and enforcement of the Yukon Human Rights Act.

For further information please contact Sarah Murphy, Public Education Coordinator, sarah.murphy@yukonhumanrights.ca. The Yukon Human Rights Commission is located at 215 – 305 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon. Help line 867-667-6226 or 1-800-661-0535.

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY APPOINTS NEW YUKON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION MEMBER GAVIN GARDINER, AND REAPPOINTS CURRENT CHAIR RUSSELL KNUTSON

04/10/2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission today announced that Gavin Gardiner has been appointed as a new Commission Member by the Legislative Assembly of Yukon for a three-year term. In addition, the Yukon Human Rights Commission confirms that current Chair, Russell Knutson, has been re-appointed by the Legislative Assembly for a second consecutive three-year term. Both Knutson and Gardiner, along with other Commission Members Louise Bouvier, Kathleen Avery, and Karen Moir, are collectively accountable to the Legislative Assembly under the Yukon Human Rights Act.

Gavin Gardiner was appointed to the Yukon Human Rights Commission in March 2018. Originally from Saskatchewan, Gardiner moved to the Yukon in 2007 and soon after began working for the Carcross/Tagish First Nation where over many years, he filled roles including Legislation/Policy Analyst and Senior Government Official (Executive Director). He holds a Law Degree from the University of Ottawa, a certificate in Mediation and Negotiation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan.

Gardiner currently works as a lawyer with Woodward & Company providing legal advice to First Nation governments. He lives in Whitehorse and shares a cabin in Carcross where he spends as much of his free time as possible.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory agency created by the Yukon Human Rights Act to discourage and eliminate discrimination through public education, the promotion of research, as well as the complaint process. The YHRC promotes respect for difference, equality, human dignity, autonomy and inclusion.

For more information, the media may contact:

Jessica Lott Thompson – Director
Yukon Human Rights Commission
(867) 667 6226
info@yukonhumanrights.ca

Marking the Hearing of Human Rights Complaint of Asif Aslam v. Yukon Government, Department of Justice (Whitehorse Correctional Centre)

04/03/2018

The matter of Asif Aslam v. Yukon Government, Department of Justice (Whitehorse Correctional Centre) will be heard by the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication. This hearing is about a human rights complaint of discrimination on the basis of religion while receiving services. The hearing will take place on April 9 to 13, 2018, commencing at 10:00am on April 9th at the Gold Rush Inn, General Store Meeting Room at 411 Main St, Whitehorse, Yukon.

The hearing is before the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication, which is a separate body created under the Yukon Human Rights Act. The role of the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication is to adjudicate human rights complaints after they have been investigated and referred to hearing by the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

For more information, the media may contact:

Jessica Lott Thompson – Director
Yukon Human Rights Commission
(867) 667 6226
director@yukonhumanrights.ca

Rally for Racial Equality and Justice – March 21, 2018 at Noon

03/20/2018

In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The 2018 international theme is promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination. Every person is born free and equal in dignity and human rights, each of us has an important role in standing up against racial discrimination.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission and the Yukon Federation of Labour are holding a rally for Racial Equality and Justice on Wednesday, March 21 st , 2018 at 12 noon at Front and Main streets, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Speakers will include:

  • Commissioner Bernard;
  • Linda Moen, Yukon Federation of Labour Equity Representative;
  • Paul Gowdie, President of Hidden Histories Society;
  • Lillian Nakamura Maguire, Community Advocate;
  • Gurdeep Pandher, Equality Advocate;
  • and others.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/879338232253533/

For more information, contact:
Jessica Lott Thompson – Director of Human Rights
Yukon Human Rights Commission
(867) 667 6226
education@yukonhumanrights.ca


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Rassemblement pour l’égalité raciale et la justice—le 21 mars 2018 à midi

03/20/2018

En 1966, l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies déclara le 21 mars Journée internationale pour l'élimination de la discrimination raciale. Le thème de 2018 est : « promouvoir la tolérance, l'inclusion, l'unité et le respect de la diversité dans le contexte de la lutte contre les discriminations raciales ». Puisque nous naissons toutes et tous libres et dignes de droits humains, nous avons un rôle important à jouer pour dénoncer la discrimination raciale.

La Commission des droits de la personne du Yukon et la Yukon Federation of Labour organisent un rassemblement pour l’égalité raciale et la justice à l’intersection des rues Front et Main ce mercredi 21 mars 2018 à midi, pour marquer la Journée internationale pour l'élimination de la discrimination raciale.

Parmi les porte-paroles, il y aura entre autres:

  • La commissaire Bernard ;
  • Linda Moen, représentante de la Yukon Federation of Labour Equity;
  • Paul Gowdie, directeur général de La société des histoires inconnues du Yukon;
  • Lillian Nakamura Maguire, intervenante communautaire;
  • Gurdeep Pandher, intervenant de l’égalité;
  • Et encore plus.

Évènement Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/879338232253533/

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter:
Jessica Lott Thompson – Directrice générale
Commission des droits de la personne du Yukon
(867) 667 6226
education@yukonhumanrights.ca


Document Version (English)
Document Version (Francais)

Human Rights and Housing

01/18/2018

Free Legal Information for Landlords and Tenants
January 25, 2018 from 9:30am to 12:00pm
215 - 305 Main Street, Accessible entrance on 3rd
Preregistration is required, call 867-667-6226 or email info@yukonhumanrights.ca to register.


PDF Version

Job Posting - Public Education Coordinator

01/04/2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is looking for a full-time Public Education Coordinator to be responsible for the development and delivery of the Commission’s public education programming, community partnerships, media and communications. The Public Education Coordinator will help to increase public awareness and education regarding human rights in Yukon, and will ensure the effective delivery and promotion of the Commission’s core public education and communication services.

We are looking for a dynamic, collaborative, creative, and organized professional with a strong background of experience related to inclusion, diversity, and human rights issues, to join our team here at the Commission.

Duties include:

  • leadership of public education projects;
  • design, delivery and evaluation of human rights programs and training;
  • planning and coordinating public events and workshops;
  • human rights policy advice and support;
  • grant applications and project budgets;
  • networking and outreach;
  • recruitment and collaboration with volunteers and partners;
  • coordination of public education related research;
  • media and communications; as well as
  • social media, e-newsletter and website content.

Essential qualifications:

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • an approachable manner and interpersonal empathy
  • post-secondary education (or equivalent) in one or more of the following areas: law, education, social science, human rights, or related fields
  • leadership experience and ability to work both independently and collaboratively within a team environment
  • experience working with diverse communities, adaptability to different social settings, and professional experience interacting with the public
  • experience facilitating training in groups and one-on-one

Asset qualifications:

  • knowledge and experience in human rights education
  • demonstrated professional contacts and network amongst Yukon organizations, community groups, governments, and individuals
  • knowledge of Yukon historical, cultural, and social context, including experience and knowledge of Yukon First Nations and diverse communities
  • Experience designing educational curriculum and training programs
  • Knowledge, training and applied experience in progressive teaching and adult learning methodologies
  • Experience in media and communications, research and writing, social media
  • Experience planning events and working with volunteers
  • Fluency or proficiency in other languages, including French and ASL

This position requires a valid driver’s license and use of a vehicle, computer and social media literacy, and proficiency in MS Office. Some travel and work outside of regular business hours is required. Fluency in English is essential, and additional language skills are an asset. Full time, 35 hours per week. Hourly $35.00-42.00/hour, plus benefits, salary commensurate with experience. The Commission is willing to consider requests for flexible hours or job-sharing as appropriate.

* Note that due to work directly with members of the public, an offer of employment will be conditional upon a satisfactory ‘vulnerable sector’ police records check.

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter by Friday, February 2, 2018, by email to info@yukonhumanrights.ca attn. Jessica Lott Thompson, Director of Human Rights, Yukon Human Rights Commission.

 

For a copy of the full job description or for more information, please contact info@yukonhumanrights.ca or call 867-667-6226.

Job Posting - Human Rights Officer

01/04/2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is looking for a full-time Human Rights Officer to be responsible for intake, investigation, and settlement of human rights complaints under the Yukon Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Officer’s work focuses on enforcement and compliance under the Act, however the Human Rights Officer will also conduct research in the area of human rights, and support the Commission’s mandate to deliver public education about human rights.

Duties include:

  • meeting members of the public to provide information and assistance related to human rights complaints;
  • intake and investigation of human rights complaints;
  • preparing detailed investigation plans;
  • interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence;
  • writing comprehensive, professional, accurate, and impartial investigation reports;
  • research and writing on human rights law and issues;
  • mediation and settlement of complaints;
  • public education support, such as research, writing, public outreach and events;
  • keeping up to date on investigation techniques, dispute resolution skills, as well as legal and general research skills;
  • maintain professional file management and contact network;
  • prepare regular summaries of complaint intake and investigation;
  • other tasks as assigned by the Director of Human Rights.

We are looking for a fair and impartial, inquisitive, considerate, collaborative, and organized professional with a strong background of experience related to inclusion, diversity, and human rights issues, to join our team here at the Commission.

Essential qualifications:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • An approachable manner and interpersonal empathy.
  • Post-secondary education in law, human rights, investigation, writing, communications, social work, legal or social science research, or other related field. Equivalent work experience will be evaluated for consideration as appropriate.
  • Ability to work independently as well as cooperatively with staff, Commission Members, volunteers, and other organizations.
  • Experience working with diverse and/or vulnerable individuals and communities, adaptable to different social settings.
  • Experience conducting interviews and interacting directly with the public,  both in groups and one-on-one.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity and human rights.
  • Demonstrated commitment to continuing professional development.
  • Computer literate and willing to learn new software.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel).
  • Attention to detail, strong work ethic, and willingness to work outside of customary business hours as required.
  • Willingness to travel for work or training on occasion.
  • Experience working in a team environment.
  • Fluency in English is essential, additional language skills (including French) are an asset.

Asset qualifications:

  • Advanced skills knowledge and experience in legal or social science research and writing.
  • Advanced skills, knowledge and experience in investigation and interview techniques and administrative complaint processes.
  • Skills, knowledge and experience in dispute resolution, such as mediation, negotiation, and restorative justice.
  • Experience developing investigation plans and drafting complex reports.
  • Knowledge and experience in human rights.
  • Skills, knowledge and experience in public education.
  • Background and knowledge of Yukon’s historical, cultural, and social context, including experience and knowledge of Yukon First Nations and diverse communities.
  • Knowledge, training and applied experience in inclusive best practices for client service, such as interacting with high-conflict clients and trauma-informed communication.
  • Demonstrated relevant professional contacts and network amongst Yukon organizations, community groups, governments, and individuals.
  • Fluency or proficiency in other languages, including ASL (American Sign Language).

This position requires computer literacy and proficiency in MS Office. Some travel and work outside of regular business hours may be required. Fluency in English is essential, and additional language skills are an asset. Full time, 35 hours per week. Hourly $35.00-42.00/hour, salary commensurate with experience. The Commission is willing to consider requests for flexible hours or job-sharing as appropriate.

* Note that due to work directly with members of the public, an offer of employment will be conditional upon a satisfactory ‘vulnerable sector’ police records check.

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter by Friday, February 2, 2018, by email to info@yukonhumanrights.ca attn. Jessica Lott Thompson, Director of Human Rights, Yukon Human Rights Commission.

For a copy of the full job description or for more information, please contact info@yukonhumanrights.ca or call 867-667-6226.

Job Posting - Legal Counsel

01/04/2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is seeking Legal Counsel who is bright, dynamic, inquisitive and collaborative with a strong background of experience related to inclusion, diversity, and human rights issues.

Essential qualifications:

  • Eligibility for admission to the Law Society of Yukon.
  • Post-secondary education in law.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • An approachable manner and interpersonal empathy.
  • Leadership skills and demonstrated professionalism.
  • Ability to work independently as well as cooperatively in a team setting.
  • Experience working with diverse and/or vulnerable individuals and communities, adaptable to different social settings.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity and human rights.
  • Fluency in English is essential, additional language skills (including French) are an asset.

Asset qualifications:

  • Litigation experience or demonstrated equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Knowledge and experience in Canadian human rights law, administrative law, Indigenous law, and other relevant areas of legal practice.
  • Advanced legal research and writing skills, including policy research.
  • Experience and skills related to: mediation and ADR, public education, and investigations.
  • Background and knowledge of Yukon’s historical, cultural, and social context, including experience and knowledge of Yukon First Nations and diverse communities.
  • Knowledge, training and applied experience in inclusive best practices for client service, such as providing service to high-conflict clients and trauma-informed communication.

This position requires computer literacy and proficiency in MS Office. Some travel and work outside of regular business hours may be required. Fluency in English is essential, and additional language skills are an asset.

Salary range is $104,000 to $135,000 per annum plus benefits, commensurate with experience. Full-time, 35 hours per week. The Commission is willing to consider requests for flexible hours or job-sharing as appropriate.

* Note that due to work directly with members of the public, an offer of employment will be conditional upon a satisfactory ‘vulnerable sector’ police records check.

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter by Friday, February 2, 2018, by email to info@yukonhumanrights.ca attn. Jessica Lott Thompson, Director of Human Rights, Yukon Human Rights Commission.

For a copy of the full job description or for more information, please contact info@yukonhumanrights.ca or call 867-667-6226.

2017

Supreme Court to hear Canadian Human rights Commission's arguments in historic human rights case

11/28/2017

November 27, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Tomorrow, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (the Commission) will appear before the Supreme Court of Canada to argue on behalf of the people of Canada—that they be allowed to use the human rights system to fight discrimination when it results from a federal law.

“This is a historic case with far-reaching implications for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” said Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry. “How the Supreme Court rules in this case will impact access to justice for Canada’s most vulnerable people, for generations to come.”

This case, based on two groups of human rights complaints known together as Matson and Andrews, seeks to address the sexism and racism embedded in the Indian Act, and how this specifically impacts the attribution of “full Status” for Indigenous persons who descend from people who were stripped of their Status in the past.

This case also challenges the argument that the Canadian Human Rights Act should not apply broadly to a federal law. Arguments presented by the Commission and the Interveners could lead to a significant ruling for people seeking to be registered under the Indian Act, but also other people living in vulnerable circumstances across Canada seeking greater and affordable access to justice:

  • grieving families of fallen soldiers who rely on the death benefit provisions of the New Veterans Charter;
  • persons seeking access to benefits under the Employment Insurance Act, including sickness, maternity, parental or compassionate care benefits;
  • military veterans, both young and old, who rely on disability awards, income support or other benefits under the New Veterans Charter, to support themselves and their families;
  • and anyone else in Canada who relies on a federal benefit program to keep food on their table, or a roof over their children’s heads.
“The Commission will argue that when Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act, it wanted to create access to justice that is, at the same time, easy, simple and less expensive,” added Marie-Claude Landry. “The Act gives Canadians, especially those living in extremely vulnerable situations, the ability to access a human rights justice system, regardless of their circumstances. It is a law for all, and should be accessible by all.”

The Canadian Human Rights Commission will not be alone in making its arguments tomorrow. It has the support of several human rights organizations and individuals that will be intervening in the case. For the full list, see our accompanying Backgrounder.

The date of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling is not yet known.

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Quick Facts

Quotes

“This is an historic case with far-reaching implications for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.”
—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

“How the Supreme Court rules in this case will impact access to justice for Canada’s most vulnerable people, for generations to come.”
—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

“When Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act, it wanted to create access to justice that is, at the same time, easy, simple, fast and less expensive. The Act gives Canadians, especially those living in extremely vulnerable situations, the ability to access a human rights justice system, regardless of their circumstances. It is a law for all, and should be accessible by all.”
—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

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NEWS RELEASE

Supreme Court to hear Canadian Human rights Commission's arguments in historic human rights case

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

La Cour suprême entendra les représentations de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne dans une affaire historique

CASHRA Conference

11/27/2017

June 26-27, 2018

The Yukon Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies will be hosting a national Human Rights Conference in Whitehorse, Yukon.

For more information or to submit ideas for speakers and panels please click here.

Adjournment of the Hearing of Human Rights Complaint of Peter Budge v Charles Eikland & Talbot Arm Motel Ltd.

11/14/2017

An adjournment has been granted for the hearing into Peter Budge’s human rights complaint of workplace sexual harassment, previously scheduled to commence on November 6, 2017 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Upon application to the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication by Respondent Charles Eikland Jr., Chief Adjudicator Penelope Gawn granted the adjournment subject to conditions, including that new hearing dates will be arranged and scheduled as soon as is practicable after January 13, 2018, and that any further adjournment applications on medical grounds by Respondent Eikland will be accompanied by a report from his doctor in response to the list of questions provided by the Commission and approved by the Board.

The full text of the Reasons for Decision released by Chief Adjudicator Gawn is available on the Commission’s website, located at: http://yukonhumanrights.ca/adjudication.shtml.

For further information please contact Jessica Lott Thompson, Director of Human Rights.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is moving on November 20, 2017 – our new location is at 215 – 305 Main Stree, the second floor of the Hougen Centre, with the accessible entrance on 3rd Avenue. Call our office at 867-667-6226 or our toll-free helpline at 1-800-661-0535.

We will be hosting a public open house at the new office on December 8, 2017 from 10am to 6pm.

New OHRC Report Reinforces Concerns About Racial Profiling

05/04/2017

Read more

Government of Nova Scotia Passes Bill 59 to Amend the Accessibility Act

05/04/2017

Bill 59 to amend the Accessibility Act was passed by the Government of Nova Scotia on April 27, 2017. Nova Scotia is only the third province in Canada to pass accessibility legislation. The government widely consulted with persons with disabilities on the amendments, and the updates have received broad support from the disability community in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission will monitor implementation of the Act as it moves forward.

Please find the news release here: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20170427007

CBC: Heavily criticized Accessibility Act garners praise following redraft: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/accessibility-legislation-new-law-disabled-government-1.4083100

For more information and the text of the Accessibility Act: https://novascotia.ca/coms/accessibility/

Printable 'Know Your Rights' Brochures

04/27/2017

Access a Know Your Rights Brochure from our Resources page, or contact the YHRC for pre-printed copies for your organization, business, or event!

Multilingual Parenting Resources from Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP)

04/05/2017

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs website features resources, information and links for immigrant families and those who work with them.You can find multilingual Parenting information, in Arabic, Chinese, hindi, urdu, etc… http://www.welcomehere.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewpage&pageid=1099

And here you can find downloadable parenting resources: http://www.parentsmatter.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewpage&pageid=600&stopRedirect=1

YHRC Response to Proposed Amendments to Yukon Human Rights Act & the Vital Statistics Act

03/24/2017

The Yukon Human Rights Commission adds its voice to the conversation about proposed amendments to the YHRA and Vital Statistics Act to include protections for gender identity and expression. Read it in full: YHRC Response to Changing YHRA, Vital Statistics Act

Canadian Human Rights Commission "It's time to fix the Child Welfare system on reserve"

03/22/2017

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission made this statement.

Inquiry Report on Sexual and Gender-Based Dress Codes in Ontario Restaurants

03/14/2017

To coincide with International Women’s Day, the OHRC has released a new report that outlines commitments made by many of Ontario’s largest and most well-known restaurant chains to eliminate discriminatory dress codes for restaurant staff. Not on the Menu: Inquiry report on sexual and gender-based dress codes in Ontario’s restaurants outlines findings from an inquiry into dress codes at certain restaurants operating across Ontario. Read more.

Legislative Amendments Will Protect the Rights of Transgender Yukoners

03/14/2017

Yukoners are invited to provide feedback and comments on proposed amendments to ​the Vital Statistics Act and the Yukon ​Human Rights Act. Read more!

Left Out: Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Canada's Schools

03/09/2017

The Canadian Human Rights Commission issued the following new release.

Négligés : difficultés vécues par les personnes handicapées dans les établissements d’enseignement du Canada

Aujourd'hui, la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne, a diffusé le communique suivant

Dr. Ian Mosby Lecture on Hunger, Experimentation & the Legacy of Residential Schools

03/06/2017

Old Fire Hall -March 12, 2017, 3:00 PM.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is pleased to partner with Yukon College in presenting celebrated food historian and author, Dr. Ian Mosby, of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mosby’s research revealed disturbing details about government sanctioned experimentation on Indigenous children following the Second World War.

See more about Dr. Mosby: http://www.ianmosby.ca/about/

CASHRA Conference 2017- Registration Open

03/01/2017

The 2017 Conference website is up and registration is open at: http://realizingrights2017.com/

CASHRA's website has also been updated with the link to the conference site (http://cashra.ca/conferences.html).


***


Le site Web de la conférence est lancé et vous pouvez vous inscrire en suivant le lien: http://realizingrights2017.com/fr/

Le site Web de l'ACCCDP a été mis à jour avec le lien du site de la conférence (http://cashra.ca/fr/conferences.html).

Available for Canadian Employers: Updated Federal Policy on Substance Dependence

03/01/2017

The Canadian Human Rights Commission today released "Impaired at work: a guide to accommodating substance dependence."

The purpose of the guide is to help Canadians employers understand, first and foremost, that substance dependence is a form of disability protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act. This means that when an employee is dependent on drugs or alcohol, an employer has an obligation to accommodate and support their recovery.

“Substance dependence is a mental illness that affects some 21% of Canadians over the course of their lifetime. The stigma many face often prevent employees with substance dependence from coming forward and seeking help,” said Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry. “We want employers to approach substance dependence with the same understanding and compassion that would be extended to an employee with any other illness.”

The Commission’s guide takes employers and managers through the step-by-step process of what to do if they believe an employee is impaired at work — from how to start the conversation, to when to consider accommodation, to how to ensure that job performance and workplace safety are not suffering.

The guide also explains that in order for accommodation to work, the employee must be willing to participate in the process or take responsibility for their recovery. It encourages employers to approach each employee’s situation on an individual basis, and to build accommodation, proactively, into the way they do business.

The Commission’s new Guide is now available on the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s website.

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Quick Facts

  • Since 2009, nearly 10% of mental health complaints received by the Canadian Human Rights Commission have been related to substance dependence. (Source: CHRC)
  • In 2012, approximately 21.6% of Canadians met the criteria for a substance use disorder [2] during their lifetime (Source: StatsCan)

Quotes

“Substance dependence is a mental illness that affects some 21% of Canadians over the course of their lifetime. The stigma many face often prevent employees with substance dependence from coming forward and seeking help.”

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission


“We want employers to approach substance dependence with the same understanding and compassion that would be extended to an employee with any other illness.”

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission


***


La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne a publié aujourd’hui le document intitulé Facultés affaiblies au travail: un guide sur les mesures d’adaptation pour la dépendance aux substance.

Le guide vise à aider les employeurs canadiens à comprendre, dans un premier temps, que la dépendance aux substances est une forme de déficience aux termes de la _Loi canadienne sur les droits de la personne. Cela signifie que, si un employé a une dépendance à l’alcool ou aux drogues, son employeur est obligé de prendre des mesures d’adaptation et de l’aider à se rétablir.

« La dépendance aux substances est une maladie mentale qui touche environ 21 % de la population canadienne à un moment ou à un autre de leur vie. La peur d’être stigmatisés empêche bien souvent les employés qui ont une dépendance à des substances à parler de leur problème et à demander de l’aide », précise Marie-Claude Landry, présidente de la Commission. « Nous voulons vraiment que les employeurs abordent la question de la dépendance aux substances de la même manière qu’ils le feraient pour un employé qui a n’importe quelle autre maladie, c’est-à-dire avec compréhension et compassion. »

Le guide de la Commission explique aux employeurs et aux gestionnaires les étapes à suivre s’ils pensent qu’un employé a les facultés affaiblies au travail — en partant de l’étape du premier entretien qu’il faut avoir avec l’employé, jusqu’à celle où il faut envisager des mesures d’adaptation, en passant par celle où il faut veiller à ce que le rendement au travail et la sécurité en milieu de travail ne soient pas compromis.

Le guide explique aussi que pour obtenir de bons résultats avec les mesures d’adaptation qui sont prises, l’employé doit vouloir collaborer au processus ou assumer la responsabilité de sa guérison.

Les employeurs sont encouragés à évaluer au cas par cas la situation de chaque employé et à veiller à ce que les mesures d’adaptation fassent partie intégrante de leurs façons de faire.

Le nouveau guide de la Commission est maintenant en ligne sur le site Web de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne.

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Faits en bref

  • Depuis 2009, parmi les plaintes concernant une maladie mentale que la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne a reçues, près de 10 % étaient liées à une dépendance à des substances. (Source : CCDP)
  • En 2012, environ 21,6 % de la population canadienne satisfaisaient aux critères associés à une dépendance à des substances à un moment ou à un autre au cours de leur vie. (Source : Statistique Canada)

Citations

« La dépendance aux substances est une maladie mentale qui touche environ 21 % de la population canadienne à un moment ou à un autre de leur vie. La peur d’être stigmatisés empêche bien souvent les employés qui ont une dépendance à des substances à parler de leur problème et à demander de l’aide. »

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne


« Nous voulons vraiment que les employeurs abordent la question de la dépendance aux substances de la même manière qu’ils le feraient pour un employé qui a n’importe quelle autre maladie, c’est-à-dire avec compréhension et compassion. »

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., présidente de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne

Beyond Labels: 2017 Human Rights Symposium in Ottawa

02/17/2017

Canada is seen by the world as a land of compassion for the most vulnerable. Our country, a model of diversity and inclusion, is the result of a vision, conceived some 40 years ago. In our country, differences are a source of strength, not of weakness. At the core of this vision are laws that promote and protect our diversity – the colour of our skin, our personal beliefs, or whom we love.

As part of the year-long celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Canada, the 35th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Canadian Human Rights Commission will be hosting the foremost event on the future of human rights and equality in Canada:

Beyond Labels: 2017 Human Rights Symposium
September 27-28, 2017
Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Why this is important?

The 2017 Symposium is an opportunity to connect with people from across the country to talk openly about human rights and to share best practices. The symposium will feature prominent speakers, engaging panel and plenary discussions, and interactive workshops that will bring to light emerging and evolving issues. Check out the Website for the most up-to-date information.

Who should attend Beyond Labels - 2017 Human Rights Symposium?

Human rights advocates, academics, employers, lawyers, governmental and non-governmental organizations and engaged citizens from across the country will want to be part of the conversation. We also welcome bright and eager youth to this important event for we know that they are a gateway to real and lasting change in human rights.

Register!

By registering early, you will benefit from our early bird rate. Register here.

Questions?

Contact us by email.

Your 2017 Symposium Planning Committee


***


Le Canada est perçu à travers le monde comme une terre de compassion à l'égard des plus vulnérables. Cette vision, conçue il y a quarante ans, a fait naître un pays qui est un exemple de diversité et d'inclusion dans le monde; un pays qui reconnaît les différences comme étant une force et non une faiblesse. Au cœur de cette vision sont des lois qui favorisent et protègent nos différences - la couleur de notre peau, nos croyances personnelles, ou qui nous aimons.

Dans le cadre des célébrations du 150e anniversaire du Canada, du 35e anniversaire de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés et du 40e anniversaire de la Loi canadienne sur les droits de la personne, la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne accueillera l'événement déterminant sur l'avenir des droits de la personne et de l'égalité au Canada:

« Au-delà des étiquettes - Symposium sur les droits de la personne 2017 »
Les 27 et 28 septembre 2017
Centre Shaw, 55, promenade du Colonel-By, Ottawa (Ontario)

Pourquoi s'y intéresser?

Le Symposium de 2017 sera une occasion de tisser des liens avec des gens des quatre coins du pays grâce à des discussions libres et ouvertes sur les droits de la personne et le partage des pratiques exemplaires. Le symposium présentera d'éminents conférenciers, de captivants débats d'experts, des discussions stimulantes en plénière et des ateliers interactifs qui mettront en lumière des questions sur les droits de la personne en émergence ou en évolution. Voir le site Web pour les informations les plus récentes.

Qui devrait participer?

Ce grand événement attirera des défenseurs des droits de la personne, des universitaires, des employeurs, des avocats, des organisations gouvernementales et non gouvernementales, ainsi que des citoyens engagés de toutes les régions du pays. Nous y invitons aussi des jeunes inspirés et enthousiastes car nous leur reconnaissons la capacité d'ouvrir la porte au changement véritable et durable dans le domaine des droits de la personne.

Inscrivez-vous!

En vous inscrivant tôt, vous aurez droit à une réduction des frais d'inscription. Inscrivez-vous!

Questions?

Envoyez-nous un courriel.

Your 2017 Symposium Planning Committee

New Brunswick Human Rights Commission Launches 50th Anniversary Programming

02/17/2017

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission's initiatives to highlight this milestone will have a strong emphasis on education and awareness.

The Commission has worked to collect numerous documents and interviews while also partnering with local institutions, including 65 libraries in the province. Learn more about 50 year of human rights in the province:

English: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/nbhrc/promos/50th-Anniversary.html

French: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/fr/ministeres/cdpnb/promo/50e-anniversaire.html

Black History Month and Slam Poetry

02/02/2017

As part of celebrating February Black History Month, Hidden Histories Society Yukon presents Jillian Christmas with slam poetry - with one commissioned to the Yukon itself.

Come to Antoinettes from 5:30 to 7p.m., Feb. 2.

This event is free.

For additional information, please see Hidden Histories Society Yukon's Facebook event: https://goo.gl/6cHBr9

Trans Activist settles human rights case with Canadian Human Rights Commission

01/27/2017

January 25, 2017 - Ottawa (Ontario) - Gender Free ID Coalition and the Canadian Human Rights Commission

Count Us In - Just Don't Label Us!

In a landmark settlement of a human rights complaint launched in 2011 by Christin Milloy ("she/her"), a trans activist from Toronto, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) recognizes that personally-identifiable sex and/or gender data can only be collected if there are legitimate purposes.

As a result of Milloy's complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, ESDC ceased requesting documentation to change sex/gender designations in the Social Insurance Number register. ESDC, as part of a government-wide initiative, is conducting a review of the collection of sex/gender data. As an interim measure, pending completion of the government-wide review, ESDC will amend its client-facing documents and its procedures so that:

A. Providing sex/gender information is optional;

B. There are at least three options (male/female/3rd option) for completion of any sex/gender question.

Milloy recognizes that ESDC requires anonymous demographic data including sex/gender data for planning and evaluation and other legitimate purposes.

Said Milloy, "This is a revolutionary change in how the government collects data on gender. Finally, we have gotten past the question of how government will recognize changes in gender, or how to collect gender information for people who don't identify as male or female, to the recognition that sex and gender should simply not be collected in the first place."

Milloy added, "Count us in, but don't label us! We certainly want to be included in statistics about gender. But we don't want to have to out ourselves as trans or gender variant whenever we interact with the Government or show our ID."

"What it comes down to is the ability for people to choose how they define themselves and under what circumstances. There is nothing more unique or personal than our identity and gender", said Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. "The Government should treat a person's gender with the same degree of privacy and respect as other markers of identity, such as race, religion, or sexual orientation." barbara findlay, counsel for Milloy, commented, "The State used to have a need to collect gender of individual citizens - back in the day when women couldn't vote, or hold property in their own name or marry another woman. But now that most legalized discrimination on the basis of sex has been removed from Canadian laws, collecting personally-identifiable gender information is more likely to perpetuate, not cure, discrimination."

"This case will provide the principles for other governments and non-government agencies in their human rights reviews of gender collection practices," said findlay. "Uncoupling gender collection from individual records enables the collection of gender data without infringing people's human rights or privacy rights."

There are already cases challenging gender collection in birth certificates, passports, and (in Saskatchewan) all government documents and data collection practices involving gender. The complainants in those cases are all members of the Gender-Free ID Coalition.

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National Consultation on federal accessibility legislation

01/27/2017

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is leading a national consultation process on the Government of Canada's proposed federal accessibility legislation. This legislation promises to make Canada more accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities.

CHHA, with the help of 18 Canadian disability organizations (http://www.chha.ca/chha/spotlight.php#partners), including ARCH, wants to hear how the proposed federal accessibility legislation can achieve improved accessibility and inclusion of Canadians with disabilities.

In particular, CHHA wants to hear from youth, veterans and seniors.Sign up to participate in a webinar! You can register by going to https://goo.gl/x4xI7o.



Veterans - February 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST. Invitation to follow by January 10th.

Seniors - February 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST. Invitation to follow by January 13th.

French webinar (general discussion) - February 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST.

2015 - 2016 Annual Report

01/13/2017

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is pleased to release its 2015-2016 Annual Report, reflecting the activities of the Commission from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

The report is available on our website.

The Commission is mandated to promote human rights in Yukon by advocating for equality and diversity through research and education, and providing a fair, effective and accessible enforcement system for complaints filed under the Yukon Human Rights Act.

"Human rights are a constant in the everyday lives of Yukoners. In today's changing world we are reminded that each generation is called upon to protect their human rights lest they be eroded," said Russ Knutson, Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission. He continues, "A healthy, robust human rights system requires both independence as well as dedicated and adequate resources in order to fulfill its obligations to Yukoners."

Russ Knutson, Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission went on to say, "The current split funding and reporting framework for the human rights system in Yukon is inadequate. It needs to change to improve the independence of the Commission, as recommended by an all-party committee in 2008. Currently, the Commission reports to the Legislative Assembly, but the Department of Justice controls our funding and administration - which impacts our ability to access resources and meet our core mandate."

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is independent from the Yukon Government, provides human rights training and educational resources, assists both the complainant and respondent in human rights complaints, and encourages and assists with settlement efforts. Yukon Human Rights Act

For more information, the media may contact:

Emma Hanes - Public Education Coordinator
Yukon Human Rights Commission
(867) 667 6226
director@yukonhumanrights.ca

Stay Connected:

YHRC Website: www.yukonhumanrights.ca

Annual Report 2015-2016

Financial Report 2015-2016

2016

Yukon Human Rights Commission Commentary on Transgender and LGBTQ2 Rights in Yukon

07/06/2016

On June 12, people around the world woke up to the tragic news that a lone gunman had taken the lives of 49 people and injured many more in a brutal and senseless act of violence at an Orlando nightclub.

The realization that this mass shooting targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was yet another disheartening reminder that discrimination still fuels acts of hatred and physical violence, both at home, and abroad. Just this past week, Turkish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to prevent a "Trans Pride" event from being held to mark the beginning of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Week in Turkey.

Earlier this year, Canada's only clinic providing gender confirmation surgery to transgender people was the subject of an arson attack in Montreal. After the atrocities of World War II, it was thought that the creation of laws and institutions to affirm the basic rights of individuals would provide a shield against discrimination. But the events of June 12 remind us that no defence is perfect and that the fight against discrimination is ongoing.

Since 1987 the Yukon Human Rights Commission has worked to inform and educate Yukoners about their rights and obligations and to provide an effective way to address acts of discrimination.

When the Yukon Human Rights Act was passed in 1987 it was one of the first in Canada to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Yukon was an early leader in recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples, becoming the first government to extend benefits to same sex couples through its public sector collective agreements in 1990, and changing the definition of "spouse" in the Employment Standards Act in 1992 and then in other legislation in 1998 and 1999.

We were the fourth jurisdiction in Canada to legalize same-sex marriage following a successful court challenge in 2004.

In 2014 Yukon amended its Vital Statistics Act to allow same-sex parents to be named on their children's birth certificates.

Yukon Government has also taken positive steps to recognize and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and 2-spirited (LGBTQ2) students and community members in Yukon schools through its educational policy.

While the Yukon has taken some positive steps to protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation over the past 19 years, there is still much work to be done in ensuring equality for all members of our society.

Governments across Canada, including the federal government, have amended their human rights legislation in recent years to include protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission asked the government in 2008 to add gender identity to section 7 of the Human Rights Act. That didn't happen when the act was amended in 2009.

Although the Yukon Legislative Assembly passed a motion last year agreeing to address this issue the next time the Act is reviewed, no concrete action has been taken.

The Human Rights Act is not the only Yukon legislation needing to be updated to ensure that transgender Yukoners can participate fully in the life of the community without discrimination. Currently, our Vital Statistics Act requires transgender individuals undergo gender confirmation surgery before being permitted to change their sex on their birth certificates.

Transgender people around the world experience violence, discrimination, and mental health issues at far higher rates than the general population, and these risk factors are exacerbated by laws and policies which undermine trans people's ability to affirm their identities in all areas of their lives. Despite this, there are trans people in Yukon and elsewhere taking on the burden of challenging discriminatory laws in order to ensure they can live with dignity as equal members of our society.

The horrific events of June 12 should be taken as a reminder of the importance of actively addressing prejudices that continue to be pervasive in our own communities.

We know that homophobia and transphobia, along with Islamophobia, continue to exist in our society and silence in the face of such hatred can become equivalent to complicity.

Refusing to be complicit can take many forms. On a systemic level, it might mean adopting transgender standards of healthcare or changing laws and policies which compromise the safety and well-being of transgender people by preventing them from affirming their gender identity.

Or ensuring our school curriculum includes positive discussions of how stereotypes, such as homophobia and assumptions about gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture and abilities, can affect how a person feels about themselves, as Ontario has recently done.

On a personal level, it could mean working to make our families and workspaces safer for all people, for instance, by calling out homophobic or transphobic remarks, and by using people's chosen names and pronouns.

We could also challenge ourselves to consider the way in which assumptions we frequently make about people's gender and sexual orientation make LGBTQ2 people feel uncomfortable.

Recently, the Pride flag was raised on Parliament Hill for the first time. In the Yukon, in addition to the Pride flag, the City of Whitehorse will be flying the transgender flag outside the Public Safety Building at the top of Two Mile Hill during pride celebrations this year.

This marks the first time that the trans flag has been flown by a municipality or government in the Territory.

All Genders Yukon, an organization that supports trans and gender non-conforming individuals in Yukon, is hosting the flag raising ceremony on June 23rd at noon. There will be a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting during the ceremony.

In the spirit of supporting those who are fighting for human rights protections, and in rejecting the hatred and prejudice that fueled what is a most extreme example of violence against LGBTQ2 people, the Commission urges Yukoners to join in the flag raising and other Pride celebrations happening this weekend.

The Law Society of Yukon takes steps toward Truth and Reconciliation

07/06/2016

In recognizing the significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee Report and the Law Society of Yukon's commitment to education for its members (as called for in the report's Calls to Action), the Law Society of Yukon is encouraging its members to take the Yukon First Nation 101 online course offered by Yukon College.

This online course was developed in partnership between Yukon College and the Council of Yukon First Nations and is focused on the territory's aboriginal culture, history and contemporary issues. The instructors incorporate historical timelines, facts, personal stories, and activities for an engaging look at history and recent developments.

Yukon First Nations 101 is already a mandatory program for students at Yukon College; a new online version is aimed at businesses, non-governmental organizations and other interested Yukoners.

Is your workplace committed to reconciliation? Tell us how!

Restaurants and Gender-Specific Dress Codes

07/06/2016

CASHRA calls upon Restaurants Canada to do more to address gender-specific dress codes amongst their members. Read the full letter.

LGBTQ2 and Transgender Rights

06/30/2016

Read our commentary on LGBTQ2 and Transgender Rights in Yukon.

Truth and Reconciliation Yukon

05/24/2016
An article of First Nations clothing

Are you working on a Truth and Reconciliation project in Yukon? The Human Rights Commission would like to hear from you!

Call 633-7623, email education@yukonhumanrights.ca or drop by our office at 101-9010 Quartz Road, Whitehorse, Yukon.

Yukon Medical Council adopts methadone standards and guidelines.

04/15/2016

The Yukon Medical Council has adopted the Alberta Methadone Maintenance Treatment Standards & Guidelines for Dependence that guides physicians in the use of methadone to treat patients diagnosed with an Opioid Dependence Disorder (ODD).

Yukon College offers First Nations 101 Online Program

04/15/2016

The Yukon Human Rights Commission staff and members will all take the Yukon First Nations 101 Program. We applaud other organizations who have also chosen to do the same, and challenge others to take this important step toward reconciliation in Yukon!

Transgender Yukoners can now self-identify on their driver’s licence and general identification card.

04/15/2016

See the Yukon Government's press release and learn about the procedure for changing gender designation on drivers licence or general identification card.

Honouring the Strength of our Sisters

04/15/2016

"Stop trying to fix Aboriginal women and address the problem," say Indigenous women to Canada's national human rights organization.

Read the full news release and report on the CHRC website.

2015

Persons with disabilities continue to be marginalized in Canadian society: CHRC

12/08/2015

Persons with disabilities continue to be marginalized in Canadian society. Half of all the discrimination complaints filed in Canada are related to disability, according to a report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) released today. Read the full News Release.

International Human Rights Day

11/19/2015

The Yukon Human Rights Commission and Yukon College would like to extend a warm invitation to join us on International Human Rights Day for an evening dedicated to the advancement of reconciliation in Yukon.

To redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made 94 Calls to Action. Let's get together to listen, learn, and share the ways our community is taking action and making reconciliation a reality in Yukon.

When: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10
Where: OLD FIREHALL, WHITEHORSE
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Please RSVP to education@yukonhumanrights.ca or register here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Transforming Gender

10/28/2015

The CBC documentary Transforming Gender tells the stories of transgender people through a set of compelling and intimate vignettes and narratives.

"The film opens up the world of transgender people to an audience that may have little awareness of what it means, and what it is like, to be - fundamentally and in your deepest core - in conflict with the gender you were assigned at birth."

A very important film and highly recommended.

Living Together Symposium

09/16/2015
A panel discussion

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Whitehorse community partners gathered together to explore what it means to be Canadian in 2015. The event drew over 75 participants, and focused on questions around identity and belonging, faith and spirituality.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

09/03/2015
A boy looking at his mother

The Yukon is one of the first jurisdictions in our country to endorse Canada’s Statement of Support on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Neither Mr, Mrs or Ms, but Mx

09/03/2015

Gender neutral title 'Mx' slowly introduced to official forms. Read more in the Daily Mail.

Life Cycle of a Complaint

08/26/2015

Check out this chart on the Yukon Human Rights Commission life cycle of a complaint.

Report from Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Youtube

07/27/2015

A group of individuals across Canada video-taped themselves reading sections of the TRC report. These unique videos have been uploaded to YouTube under the hashtag #ReadtheTRCreport.

International Human Rights Youth Summit!

07/20/2015

The 12th annual Youth for Human Rights International Human Rights Summit 2015 to be held in New York from August 27th - 29th, will follow our proud tradition of bringing youth from around the world together to make Human Rights a global reality. Apply by filling out the Youth Delegate Application Form.

Human Rights Commission pleased that Methadone program is returning to WCC

06/29/2015

Methadone is once again going to be offered at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Read the full article in the Yukon News.

Thank You!

06/22/2015
Duane Aucoin

Thank you to everyone who visited our photo booth on National Aboriginal Day. Contact Tracey Wallace at education@yukonhumanrights.ca or 633-7623 if you would like a copy of your photo. We hope to see you next year to celebrate National Aboriginal Day!

Left: Duane Aucoin, Teslin Tlingit First Nation

New Director at YHRC

06/15/2015

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is pleased to announce that Jessica Lott Thompson was named as Director of Human Rights at the beginning of January 2015. Thompson is responsible for carrying out the administration of the Yukon Human Rights Act, and for ensuring that complaints are dealt with under the Act.

Jessica Thompson

Thompson is an experienced northern lawyer, and a former Federal Prosecutor with the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She has served as an adjudicator on the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal, and has represented the Crown at the Nunavut Mental Health Review Board.

She has also worked for Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Aid in Iqaluit, for the Nunavut Department of Justice, and has held a judicial clerkship with the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2014, Thompson served as an international election observer in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Thompson has had a lifelong interest in human rights and civil liberties. She holds an LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University. Thompson is fluent in both French and Spanish.

Acting Director at YHRC

06/15/2015

The YHRC is pleased to announce that Julie Jai will be Acting Director of YHRC from May - November 2015, while Director Jessica Lott Thompson is on leave.

Julie Jai

Julie Jai is an experienced lawyer and public sector executive who specializes in human rights and Aboriginal law. She is returning to the Yukon Human Rights Commission as the Acting Director, having served in this capacity forthree-month periods in 2013 and 2014.

Julie has held senior positions with the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Yukon Government. She is an experienced negotiator, mediator, policy advisor, director and mentor who believes in working collaboratively with others to bring about positive change. Julie's previous positions include General Counsel, Policy Director and Acting Director-General, Aboriginal Law and Strategic Policy with the Department of Justice Canada; Legal Director, and Executive Coordinator, Justice Policy with the Ontario government; and Senior Counsel, Aboriginal Law with the Yukon government. She also has experience as a member of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Yukon Mental Health Review Board. She spent six years with the Yukon government providing advice on Aboriginal law and negotiating comprehensive claims.

Julie holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM from the University of Toronto. She is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), where she is the past-chair of the Aboriginal Law Section and serves on the Executive of the Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law Section. Julie is a frequent speaker at conferences and publishes in the areas of constitutional law, human rights and Aboriginal law. She is actively engaged in her community and is a Director at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto and is past President of Trakkers cross-country ski club. She is an Associate Fellow with the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. She is fluent in French.

Yukon Human Rights Poster

06/11/2015

Tell your employees, clients and community that your organization respects human rights by printing out and displaying a Yukon Human Rights Poster.

Truth and Reconciliation in Yukon

06/05/2015

Would you like to find out more what other organizations are doing for reconciliation in Yukon? Or, are you an organization that has an event orlearning opportunity you would like to share? Connect with us and we will add your information to our growing list!

Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

06/03/2015

Excerpt from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report:

"Reconciliation must inspire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share."

Read Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, or the Calls to Action.

Disability Rights in Yukon

05/20/2015

A Disability Rights Workshop and Summit took place in the context of a week-long disability rights initiative in Whitehorse, Yukon called Keeping Track of Our Rights - held from December 1st - 5th, 2014. Participants from Whitehorse and eight other Yukon communities attended this historic event. It was co-hosted by the Yukon Human Rights Commission (YHRC) and the Yukon Council on Disabilities (YCOD), with a grant from the Community Development Fund.

The workshops were facilitated by York University, Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) professor Dr. Marcia Rioux and DRPI project coordinator, Paula Hearn, using their monitoring and evaluation instruments and tools. On Dec. 4th a Disability Rights Summit was held, which was attended by participants from the rights training workshop as well as a range of stakeholders from civil society and local government, including:

  • Stephanie Dixon, Paralympian Athlete and Summit Moderator
  • Heather MacFadgen, Director Yukon Human Rights Commission
  • Chris Blodgett, LDAY & CRPD Workshop Participant
  • Rebecca Gowan, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Gerard Tremblay, CRPD Workshop Participant
  • Minister Mike Nixon, Yukon Legislative Assembly
  • Ann Maje Raider, Liard First Nation
  • Rick Goodfellow, Challenge Community Vocational Alternatives

Check out this video of Chase Blodgett telling his story of living with a disability in Yukon. And, listen to a radio interview on CBC Radio with Marcia Rioux about the workshop and summit.

The one week initiative concluded with Justice Minister Mike Nixon responding to the call from disability rights advocates by promising to meet with them to discuss the need for an independent monitoring mechanism so that persons with disabilities can monitor their own rights.

His commitment came in response to the call to action issued at the Disability Rights Summit. Speaking at the summit plenary, well known Yukoner Ramesh Ferris said, "We have a monumental opportunity here in the Yukon Territory to demonstrate once again how we all can be agents of change by working together to create an independent monitoring mechanism in order to ensure that human rights for people of all abilities are not only recognized but upheld." An independent monitoring mechanism is required under the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that both Canada and the Yukon have ratified.

Heather MacFadgen, former Director of Human Rights, said, "This training project has broken down barriers in the Yukon between different groups of people with various disabilities and has culminated in a common cause - a group of people across disabilities from all over the Yukon trained, ready and willing to monitor their own rights. This is exactly what the UN Convention calls for and it is what can happen now in the Yukon."

The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by Canada in 2010 was a significant achievement for person with disabilities. It was established to "promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all person with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity". According to this convention every province and territory in Canada, as well as the federal government, must develop and carry out policies, laws and measures to ensure that the rights listed in the CRPD are in place.

The Disability Rights Workshop and Summit exceeded our expectations in terms of skills and knowledge gained, partnerships developed, and momentum for the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission (YHRC) believes that the best monitoring process will have persons with disabilities directly involved and taking the lead on monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities in Yukon.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

05/20/2015
A poster reading: 'United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples'

On May 14th, 2014, the Yukon Legislative Assembly voted unanimously in favour of a motion to endorse Canada's Statement of Support on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Apart from the Northwest Territories and of course, Canada itself, the Yukon is one of the first jurisdictions in our country to stand behind such a fundamentally important document. The timing of this symbolic gesture could not have been more apt, a mere two days after James Anaya, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, called attention to the work that remains to be done with regards to the treatment of aboriginal people in Canada, especially in light of the alarming rates of violence against aboriginal women. In the words of the MLA who brought the motion forward, Mr. Kevin Barr, "Adopting this motion [...] must be done recognizing that it is just another step along the path toward healing and reconciliation."

Support from the Aboriginal community

The Yukon Human Rights Commission believes in the principle of "Nothing about us, without us". Accordingly, the Commission wrote all Yukon First Nations chiefs to seek their advice before calling on the Legislature to endorse the Declaration. The Commission also consulted on the proposed motion with Council of Yukon First Nations ("CYFN") Grand Chief Ruth Massie, who provided leadership, advice and support, and was present the day of the unanimous adoption. Both Mr. Barr, who is Métis, and Mr. Darius Elias, who is a Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations member, spoke at length of their support of the motion before the Legislative Assembly, as did the leaders of all three political parties amid other MLAs.

Impact of the Declaration

The Declaration itself, although initially rejected by Canada right up until 2010, was drafted with the help of Canadian First Nations over the span of twenty years. Although a declaration is not technically a legally binding document, its endorsement reflects a nearly worldwide willingness to guarantee a certain minimum of rights to indigenous peoples. It includes principles that are present in other instruments of international law that are legally binding, such as treaties, conventions and covenants like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It can help generate new ones, through the development of customary law - some authors argue that it already has. It is also a tool that can be used by the courts to interpret existing laws and policies "in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith" (article 46(3)). The Human Rights Commission also uses the Declaration as an aid to interpret and apply the Human Rights Act.

Why is the Declaration so important?

The Declaration constitutes a recognition of colonization and dispossession of lands, territories and resources from Indigenous peoples. It sets in place provisions to ensure that this does not continue to happen. One such provision is the requirement of "free, prior and informed consent" of indigenous peoples when their lives or territories stand to be affected by a proposed measure. There are measures of redress set out for the instances where consent has not been obtained. Although our Canadian constitutional law enshrines the duty to consult with First Nations in good faith when their rights are to be affected, the Declaration takes this a step further. The Declaration aims not only to address the harm previously done, but it seeks to level the playing field that has been slanted in favour of the State for so long. It aims to transform the relationship between States and Indigenous peoples from one based on oppression and racism to one that is based on mutual respect, equality and fairness.

New Commission Member

05/06/2015

On April 30th, the Yukon Legislature appointed Mr. Russell Knutson as the newest member of the Commission. Members are appointed for 3 year terms on a staggered basis.

2013-2014 Annual Report

04/07/2015

Download the Yukon Human Rights Commission 2013-2014 Annual Report in PDF form here:

YHRC Annual Report 2013 - 2014

Decisions of the Board of Adjudication and Courts

02/25/2015

As part of the human rights complaint process, the Commission may ask for a decision from the Human Rights Board of Adjudication, which is independent of the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

If a complaint cannot be settled, or in special cases where the Commission chooses not to investigate and refers the complaint directly to the Board, there will be a hearing into the complaint before a Board of Adjudication. A panel of Adjudicators who are appointed by the Legislature and independent of the

Commission will conduct a public hearing into the complaint. If the Board decides discrimination has happened, it can make orders to stop the discrimination, to pay damages for financial loss caused by the discrimination and to pay compensation for "injury to dignity, feelings or self-respect".

A decision of the Board of Adjudication can be appealed on questions of law to the Supreme Court of the Yukon. Decisions of the Board and Courts are public.

For further information on the Board of Adjudication contact Secretariat.

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Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

215 - 305 Main Street
Accessible entrance is on 3rd Avenue
under the breezeway.

Call us

867.667.6226
Toll free: 1.800.661.0535
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Write us

215 - 305 Main Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2B4

Fax: 867.667.2662

We respectfully acknowledge that the Yukon Human Rights Commission office is located within the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.