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Protection of Human Rights Policy

Definitions and Responsibilities


Prohibited Grounds (Ontario Human Rights Code)

Every person has a right to freedom from discrimination in the areas of:

On the grounds of:


Action(s) or behaviour(s) that results in the unfavourable or adverse treatment or preferential treatment related to the prohibited grounds.  Discrimination can be direct (by a person acting on his or her own behalf), indirect (carried out through another person), constructive (systemic discrimination) or by association.


A course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.  For the purpose of this policy, harassment may include comment or conduct linked to the prohibited grounds initiated by one person towards another, which cause humiliation, offence or embarrassment.  Single acts of sufficient severity may constitute harassment.

Understanding Harassment

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

Sexual Harassment

Hostile or Poisoned Environment

Any action or behaviour such as insults, jokes or posting/displaying of offensive material, including by electronic means, relating to one of the prohibited grounds, though not necessarily directed at anyone in particular, that has the effect of creating or maintaining an offensive, or intimidating climate to work or study.  Examples include posting offensive cartoons or signs or distribution of materials on the internet.

Systemic Harassment/Discrimination

Policies, practices, procedures, actions or inactions, that appear neutral but have an adverse impact associated with one of the prohibited grounds.


Shared Responsibility

All members of the college community share responsibility for creating and maintaining a working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.  This means not engaging in, allowing, condoning or ignoring behaviour contrary to this policy. This policy is not meant to interfere with mutually acceptable social interactions that are an important part of a comfortable working and education environment.

Management Responsibility

The Ontario Human Rights Code provides that a person (such as a manager *) who has the authority to prevent or discourage harassment and discrimination may be held responsible for failing to do so.  All managers therefore have a particular duty to act to deal with such incidents when they ought reasonably to have known that there is an issue to address.  This duty includes the obligation to be familiar with and uphold this policy and its procedures.  Please see the specific responsibilities of managers section.

* In academic institutions, faculty and technologists are in a position of authority and are considered to have the same responsibility to prevent or discourage harassment and discrimination.

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