Anti-vaxxers don’t have a right to accommodations, Ontario human rights watchdog says

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People who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine because of personal preferences or “singular beliefs” do not have a right to stay under Ontario’s human rights law, the province’s rights watchdog says

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The Ontario Human Rights Commission said in a policy paper this week, “The decision to vaccinate is voluntary, and a person who does not wish to be vaccinated on the basis of personal choice does not have a right of accommodation under (the Human Rights Code).” Discuss the limitations of vaccine mandates and the requirements for proof of vaccination.

Whereas human rights law prohibits discrimination on the basis of creed – one’s religion, or a non-religious belief system what shapes their identity, worldview and lifestyle – Individual preferences or singular belief does not amount to a creed, the commission said, “is not aware of any tribunal or court ruling that a singular belief against vaccination or masks amounts to a creed within the meaning of the code.” “


In addition, even if someone can show that they have been denied service or employment on their cult, “the commission does not necessarily have to adjust the vaccine mandate, certification or COVID testing requirements.” be exempted from it,” the commission said. “The duty of adjustment may be limited if it would significantly compromise health and safety for undue hardship – such as during a pandemic.”

Ontario introduced its long-awaited vaccine certificate requirement Wednesday, limiting access to indoor dining, meeting spaces, gyms, concert venues and more. Anyone wishing to enter these settings must show ID and proof that they have been fully vaccinated. People who have been vaccinated can download their proof documents Online.

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state plan There are exceptions for people under the age of 12 (who are not yet eligible for vaccination) and anyone with a doctor’s note saying they have a valid medical reason why they cannot be vaccinated. Is.

The commission is responsible for enforcing and enforcing Ontario’s human rights laws and is headed by newly-appointed Chief Commissioner Patricia Deguire, who began a two-year term in August.

In its policy paper, the commission explained that vaccine mandates and evidence requirements are “generally permissible”, but should offer reasonable accommodations for those who are “unable to vaccinate for code-related reasons”, such as disability or medical reasons. The commission said this standard would apply to any organization seeking to impose a vaccine ban.

The commission said exempting people for medically documented reasons is a “reasonable accommodation”.

Testing those who are unable to be vaccinated for the virus is an “option” for organisations, and the costs must be covered as “part of the duty to accommodate”.

The commission also emphasized that while restrictions denying people employment or access to services on grounds protected under human rights law may be acceptable, they should be used only for the “shortest possible” time.

“Such policies can be justified only during a pandemic. They should be reviewed and updated regularly to match the most current pandemic situation and to reflect up-to-date evidence and public health guidance. “

The commission urged provincial and municipal governments to “take proactive steps to ensure that any enforcement of vaccine mandates or vaccination policies does not target or criminalize Indigenous people, black and other racial communities, those who are at risk of homelessness.” are experiencing, or are with. mental health disability and/or addiction.”

Human rights complaints are handled provincially Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Complaints can be made about federally supervised organizations such as banks, airlines, and the federal government. human rights commission of canada.

Jim Rankin is a Star Reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @jailrankin

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