Council was told security hired to prevent encampments wouldn’t make arrests. One councillor is questioning why city documents say otherwise.
Taken together, the new findings are enough to raise doubts about the integrity of the city’s human-rights watchdog, and raise questions about what the city says about its treatment of asylum seekers.
“We believe any human-rights violations occurring are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pervasive pattern of discrimination, abuse and harassment that exists in our own backyard,” she said.
The Star asked for comment from the city, but it could not be reached Thursday.
The findings come weeks after city officials said they had no direct evidence that the security guards were targeting asylum seekers and that human-rights complaints had been mishandled by the city’s human-rights commission, which has been without a permanent chair, as it sought to rebuild an investigation into the matter.
The city also said it is seeking a review into recent recommendations by the commission that it adopt a code of conduct for all of the city’s security staff.
The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the city’s human-rights commission are separate. The human-rights commission is a council-run commission, while the city’s commission is governed by the City Manager.
The mayor’s office has been trying to distance itself from allegations of human rights violations in the immigrant detention system, saying city staff are responding to a request from the city manager to review complaints filed with the human-rights commission.
It is the only city staff department to be made to testify before the commission.
The council has approved a series of interim measures aimed at addressing the human-rights situation in Canada’s largest city.
There is legislation in Ontario and British Columbia that can be used to try asylum seekers in cases that involve human rights violations.
The interim measures include installing