OTTAWA – Lucille Collard, Justice Critic for the Ontario Liberal Party, made the following statement:
Doug Ford is continuing his attack on Ontario’s human rights protections with yet another partisan appointment. His latest patronage appointee to lead the Human Rights Tribunal, one of Ontario’s most important human rights protections, is a partisan Conservative with little experience in the field of human rights.
This is clearly a reward for an all-star Doug Ford fundraiser – who served as a top fundraiser for the Conservative Party in the 2018 provincial election.
The partisan appointment is only the latest in a pattern of Doug Ford’s actions undermining Ontario’s human rights system, including:
- Leaving positions at the Human Rights Commission and Tribunal vacant, cut or eliminated.
- Tearing up a shortlist of qualified candidates to fill vacant positions put forward by Ontario’s human rights commissioner, and instead appointing commissioners with ties to the Conservative Party.
- Slashing budgets for the Human Rights commission.
- Consulting with Jordan B. Peterson, who has long been a proponent of eliminating the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Tribunal.
Democracy Watch has already sounded the alarm on Doug Ford playing politics with our human rights, arguing he “violates the constitutional principles of administrative tribunal independence and the rule of law.”As Ontario, Canada and the world struggles with the impacts of systemic racism, Ontarians deserve a human rights system that is led by qualified people that are free of partisanship.
Even conservative Premier Jason Kenney appointed a human rights lawyer to oversee the human rights tribunal in Alberta. Ontario should do the same.