People with criminal records can’t be discriminated against: Human Rights Panel

WINNIPEG — A new decision from an adjudication panel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission has said Manitobans are now protected from experiencing discrimination based on a criminal record.

This decision comes after a man said he was discriminated against based on his criminal record.

Chief Adjudicator Michael Werier found that criminal records are not specifically listed in the Human Rights Code, but it should be protected by the code.

“Many individuals in Canada with criminal records are individuals who come from certain backgrounds and/or suffer from addiction or mental disabilities and can be subject to stereotyping and discrimination for the rest of their life,” Werier said in a news release.

He added the code looks to address the stereotyping and discrimination.

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission said it hopes it is now clear that people who have criminal records cannot experience unreasonable discrimination.

“This decision is an important step toward removing barriers to equality and ensuring every person can live in dignity and rights in Manitoba,” said Karen Sharma, executive director of the Commission.

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