As Canada's human rights watchdog and national human rights institution, the Commission has a responsibility to be an independent, national voice for human rights in Canada. We must work closely with our network of stakeholders to stay on top of key and emerging human rights issues, and communicate those issues to Parliamentarians and the broader Canadian public.
This past year, in close discussions with stakeholders, in public engagements with audiences and across our various media channels, we worked to remain a bold, national voice for human rights in Canada by:
- Continuing to sound the alarm on hate in Canada, and the need for a coordinated and proactive legislative solution.
- Voicing the need to address violence against people experiencing homelessness.
- Speaking out against hate symbols and hate propaganda, particularly during various public protests throughout 2022.
- Calling for urgent action needed to stop sexual coercion and violence in federal prisons.
- Applauding and fully supporting the Honourable Louise Arbour in her “Report of the Independent External Comprehensive Review of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces” as a roadmap towards deep organizational change.
- Speaking up about systemic anti-Black racism in Canada and recognizing how key human rights cases are finally articulating the deep roots of anti-Black racism in Canadian society, and the complex psychological and sociological impacts.
- Advocating in support of the rights of people with disabilities. For example, we spoke out on how the problems faced by Canada's airline industry in 2022 disproportionately impacted travellers with disabilities.
- Urging Canada to address the systemic inequality and inadequate access to services for many people with disabilities so that they do not see Medical Assistance in Dying as their only option.
- Appearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights to contribute to their study on Islamophobia. We told them that: Islamophobia is racism; that anti-Muslim racism permeates all aspects of society, including workplaces; and that we must do more to ensure that Muslim people in Canada feel welcome, included and valued in workplaces and society.