Religious and Human Rights

The CIC, together with the Canadian government stand for equal rights across multicultural Canada.

Canada is recognized globally for its leadership on human rights issues, and takes principled positions to promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance throughout the world.

On February 19, 2013, the Government of Canada officially opened its Office of Religious Freedom, within Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. A Canada-based ambassador and a team of officials carry out the office’s mandate, which is to:

  • Protect, and advocate on behalf of, religious minorities under threat;
  • Oppose religious hatred and intolerance; and
  • Promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad.

In Canada’s view, freedom of religion or belief, including the ability to worship in peace and security, is a universal human right. Through the Office of Religious Freedom, Canada will continue to work with like-minded partners to speak out against egregious violations of freedom of religion, denounce violence against human-rights defenders and condemn attacks on worshipers and places of worship around the world.

Your religious rights are protected in:

  • Employment (e.g. job interviews)
  • Housing (e.g. hotels, rental housing)
  • Services, goods and facilities (e.g. restaurants, education)
  • Contracts (e.g. cellphone contract)
  • Unions, professional associations, and other vocational associations

According to the Canadian Human Rights Act, the following offences are prohibited:

  • Denying someone goods, services, facilities or accommodation
  • Providing someone goods, services, facilities or accommodation in a way that treats them adversely and differently
  • Refusing to employ or continue to employ someone, or treating them unfairly in the workplace
  • Following policies or practices that deprive people of employment opportunities.
  • Paying men and women differently when they are doing work of the same value
  • Retaliating against a person who has filed a complaint with the Commission or against someone who has filed a complaint for them
  • Harassing someone

Who do I contact if I feel that I have been discriminated against?

If you feel that you have been discriminated against in any way, then you can contact:

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)

The Canadian Human Rights Commission

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