Discrimination, Holocaust, World War II, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inequality, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Vriend v. Alberta, 2016
The idea of equality has been the dream of the hopeful but the reality is only a glimpse of the ideal. Since the Holocaust in World War II, there has been an international recognition for equality as outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the idea of equality has eluded the daily interactions that people experience. Sexual harassment continues to exist in the workplace; degrading stereotypes still circulate around communities; and discrimination constantly divides Canadians. Although classification is a process that is innate, discrimination is not. The problem with discrimination parallels the problem of equality: there is no clear definition for these ideas. Through statutes and precedents, the interpretation of discrimination is clearer yet it is not the only obstacle to equality.
[...] The main issue is to identify what grounds of discrimination should be prohibited. The list started with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but many new grounds have been added since then. Unfortunately, the laws that govern private activities are enacted by the respective provincial government. For instance, the Ontario Human Rights Code added two new grounds of discrimination (i.e. “gender identity” and “gender expression”) in 2012 but these are not explicitly stated in other provincial human rights code (“Grounds of Discrimination”, n.d.). [...]
[...] In some circumstances, filing a complaint may be viewed as being a weakness in character. Due to the fear of being ridiculed, some employees may ignore the harm that was inflicted in order to avoid further harm from their colleagues. Especially for those who are seeking for advancement, they may fear that they will lose their opportunity if they file a complaint. These social factors have deterred many victims of discrimination from seeking remedy. While the complaint process may be less efficient than it should be, it is available. [...]
[...] The greatest of milestones have often challenged the systematic obstacles that had once existed. Likewise, discrimination is simply another systematic obstacle that is withholding the opportunities of workers. As a result, discrimination remains in a status quo because people believe it is. Therefore, barriers such as the glass ceiling are created through the coexistence of discrimination and the indifference thereof. To effectively create equality, people must denounce discrimination as opposed to the brave actions of change. References Fairey, D. B. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, recognizing the harm of discrimination is not enough. Since the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched into the Constitution Act there has been new issues that are raised regarding equality. The protection of equality rights has been enacted by the federal and provincial governments but the effectiveness of enforcement has been limited. Under the Employment Equity Act, four protected groups are identified: women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. However, this only applies to federally- regulated or public workplaces; thus, discrimination within the private sector is more common (“Standards and Equity”, 2014). [...]
[...] Retrieved February from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rch&AN= 69727529&site=ehost-live Serebrin, J. (2015, October 28). Survey reveals Canada still has a ways to go on workplace discrimination. Retrieved February from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ report-on-business/careers/the-future- of-work/survey-reveals-canada-still-has-a-ways-to-go-on-workplace- discrimination/article27006279/ Standards and Equity. (2014, January 30). Retrieved February from http://www.labour.gc.ca/eng/standards_equity/index.shtml Thomas, D. (2014, April 23). The Census and the evolution of gender roles in early 20th century Canada. Retrieved February from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/ 2010001/article/11125-eng.htm Justin Trudeau's cabinet gender quota raises debate. (2015, November 04). Retrieved February from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/justin-trudeau-s-cabinet -gender-quota-raises-debate- 1.3303356 Vriend v. Alberta. [...]
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