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Evolution of Canadian Human Rights Legislation CLU3M.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Canadian Human Rights Legislation CLU3M."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Canadian Human Rights Legislation CLU3M

2  Much of Canada's human rights legislation developed during the 20th century.  Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the British North America (BNA) Act did not address Human Rights issues at all.  It focused instead on the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces and territories.

3 Christie v. York (1940),  One of Canada's most famous human rights cases,  clearly emphasized the lack of human rights laws in this country.  Mr. Christie and several friends went to the Montreal Forum to watch a hockey game. In a bar at intermission, the bar attendant refused to serve Mr. Christie because of his skin colour. He went to court over the issue and the judge awarded him $200 for loss of dignity and worth.  However, the business community appealed the ruling on the basis that under current legislation they had the freedom to serve anyone they chose.  The higher court agreed and overturned the original judgment, making it clear that no law existed to protect Mr. Christie's rights.

4 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights  Following World War II and as a direct result of the human rights atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis, the United Nations formed a division to protect human rights and stabilize international relations between countries.  Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by the U.N. member states on December 10, 1948. It made specific reference to the protection of human rights.  influenced the development of human rights legislation in Canada. i.e. The Ontario Human Rights Code  Federal level - government enshrined the principle of equality in the Bill of Rights in 1964. Canadian Human Rights Act in 1976 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.

5 Human Rights in Ontario  In the 1940s and 1950s, people in Ontario found themselves discriminated against in matters of housing, employment, and education.  For example, one could often find restrictive agreements on property deeds such as "Land not to be sold to Jews or persons of objectionable nationality".  Not until near the end of the Second World War did modern human rights legislation begin to develop

6 Timeline  1944 - The Ontario Racial Discrimination Act prohibited the publication or displaying of symbols which expressed racial or religious discrimination.  1951 - The Fair Employment Practices Act prohibited discrimination based on race and religion in employment.  1954 - The Fair Accommodation Practices Act prohibited discrimination in public places on racial, religious, or ethnic grounds.  1958 - The Ontario Anti-Discrimination Commission Act created a commission to administer the above acts and develop educational programs.  1961 - The Amendment to the Fair Accommodation Practices Act prohibited discrimination in rental accommodation

7 The Ontario Human Rights Code  The development of these laws and increased social pressure led politicians to establish a more comprehensive human rights legislation to protect the rights of individuals.  In 1962, Ontario proclaimed its Human Rights Code.  Laws would be enforced through the establishment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  Revisions to The Code have occurred several times since then to broaden its protection of individuals.

8 The Ontario Human Rights Code  The Ontario Human Rights Code has supremacy over all other legislation in Ontario unless that legislation specifically states that the Code does not apply.  An example of where the Code does not apply is when persons with certain disabilities (such as uncontrolled seizures) are prohibited from driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

9 Discrimination and the Code  In Ontario, discrimination is forbidden by the Code.  Here are the expectations of people who live in Ontario: 1. Avoid discriminating against or harassing others. 2. Address discrimination when we see, or are the victim of, discriminatory treatment. 3. Report incidents of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and urge others to do so as well. 4. Learn about human rights and teach them to others, thus ensuring that people know their rights and responsibilities under the Code.

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