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Published: January 15, 2021
Updated: July 17, 2021
June 21: 2021 Stand Up Canada has a LEGAL CHALLENGE to the unlawful "NO MASK NO ENTRY" business policy in Ontario! A win will create a major legal precedent in Ontario and every person who is unable to wear a mask will benefit from this. Please visit OUR LEGAL CHALLENGE page for more details about this. We need your help to support us!
This legal information was provided to Stand Up Canada by Jane Scharf Paralegal.
These instructions are available for DOWNLOAD as a PDF at the bottom of this page. Please DOWNLOAD to your phone or PRINT - be sure to keep this on you when you are out in public spaces.
1. DOWNLOAD whichever regulation applies: Step 1 = Ontario Regulation 82/20, Step 2 = Ontario Regulation 263/20 or Stage 3 = Ontario Regulation 364/20 (mask requirement offences); or PRINT and bring it with you if you cannot locate it on your phone; if you cannot do either not to worry, the relevant sections are quoted below
2. DOWNLOAD the Police Statement of Principles section 1. (2) Police Service Act also relevant sections are quoted below
3. If you are being denied service - STAY CALM take a few deep breaths to maintain your composure; you will not be able to defend yourself if you are upset; DO NOT argue, REMAIN CALM and take calm action whenever you are ready
4. VIDEO or audio tape everything and permission is not legally required
5. In the event that a store advises you that you must wear a mask, you need to ADVISE them right away that you are exempt
6. If they ask what your exemption is, you TELL them you do not have to tell them what your exemption is according to the mask requirement (same in all three regulations 0.Reg 82/20, O.Reg 263/20 and O.Reg 364/20) General Compliance, section 2(6) It is not necessary for a person to present evidence to the person responsible for a business or place that they are entitled to any of the exceptions set out in subsection 2(4)
7. Mask requirement section 2(4) General Compliance, section 2(4)
(g) has a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
(h) is unable to put on or remove their mask or face covering without the assistance of another person;
(j) is being accommodated in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
(k) is being reasonably accommodated in accordance with the Human Rights Code; (note: this is found under Section 1, Services)
8. Section 1 of the Human Rights Code:
1. Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.
9. DEFINITION OF CREED FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of creed is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their creed. The Code does not define creed, but the courts and tribunals have often referred to religious beliefs and practices. Creed may also include non-religious belief systems that, like religion, substantially influence a person’s identity, worldview and way of life. People who follow a creed, and people who do not, have the right to live in a society that respects pluralism and human rights and the right to follow different creeds.
10. If police are called: REMIND the Police Officer of their obligation under Declaration of Principles:
Section 1 (2) of the Police Service Act :
The importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code.
11. If the store or Police threaten to charge you with TRESPASSING - tell the police they would be DISCRIMINATING against you under Section 1 of the HUMAN RIGHTS CODE
12. If police charge you with trespassing they are assisting the store in discriminating against you and in which there is an official COMPLAINT PROCESS to file a grievance against the police for not respecting your rights to accommodation under the Human Rights Code contrary to their legal obligations to respect the provisions of the Human Rights Code
13. If you are charged with trespassing or removed from the store - ADVISE the store owner and the Police that you will immediately FILE a human rights complaint for the store and a human rights complaint against Police as well as a professional standards complaint
14. NOTE KEEPING: Store - record the store name, address, time of incident, and names of staff; ask for a copy of the store policy; Witness(es) – obtain their contact info so you can get a statement from them afterwards; Police – record police names and badge numbers if police are called. If you get a ticket for trespassing, you have a defence in that the ticket was in violation of your rights
15. WRITE down everything as soon as you can to DOCUMENT what happened
Additional Legal Action
You may wish to file an official complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal for discrimination upon disability. We have a self-represented Legal Solutions Package #3 which could assist you with this legal action.
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