Earlier this month the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released the report Under Suspicion: Research and Consultation Report on Racial Profiling in Ontario. It is chockful of personal examples of how racial profiling tears at the soul of those profiled, reinforces the sense of otherness that many who are racialized experience, and undermines the social cohesion we so desperately need if this Canadian political project of diversity and inclusion is to be a success.
Legislation & Public Policies
The Bill was introduced in the Legislature on March 29, 2017 by Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. If passed, legislation would embed the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate in law, creating a framework for continued work to promote equity for racialized groups across the province. The Bill would enable the government to mandate race data collection and an anti-racism impact assessment framework, to apply an anti-racism perspective to public sector policies and programs.
OCASI and many others across Canada are calling on the Canadian government to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the US. Asylum seekers that enter Canada from the U.S. through regulated border points are subject to the Agreement, and may not be allowed to stay to make a refugee claim. Many Canadians are concerned about the health, safety and well-being of asylum seekers who are crossing the border into Canada at unregulated points, while others mistakenly believe they are breaking the law and should be stopped.
Law students released the results of collaborative work from 22 Canadian law schools on the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), the result of a law students research-a-thon begun in February 2017. The report concludes that Canada’s continued participation in the STCA violates our international obligations.
OCASI collaborated with Colour of Poverty Campaign/Colour of Change Network (COP-COC), Metro Toronto Chinese & South East Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC) and South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) on a Joint Submission to the Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The submission was prepared with respect to the Committee's upcoming review of Canada at its 65th Session (24 Oct 2016 - 18 Nov 2016).
The Joint Submission highlighted the following concerns: