Request for a lunch-hour haircut turns into a battle over competing human rights

Last week the Toronto Star published the story of Faith McGregor, a women who last June was denied a haircut when the barber Omar Mahrouk told her his Muslim faith prohibits him from touching a woman who is not a member of his family. McGregor has now filed a human rights complaint – bringing to the fore difficult questions regarding how to balance competing human rights claims in an increasingly diverse Canada.

In March 2010, in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) the YCPPL held a Policy Dialogue on the very issue of competing human rights claims. This was the first step towards developing an OHRC policy on balancing competing human rights, a policy that was released on October 3, 2012.

The essays from this Dialogue have been published in a special edition of Canadian Diversity, “Balancing competing human rights”, which is available online in both English and French here.

You can also read the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s new policy on Competing Rights here.

To read the full Toronto Star article, click here.