Statement - Building back better means leaving no one behind

December 10, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Today, on Human Rights Day, Marie-Claude Landry, the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issues the following statement:

Today, on International Human Rights Day, we must reflect on the global pandemic that has impacted our everyday lives and the human rights of people in Canada.

As Canada now begins to move toward recovery from COVID-19, the reality is that we are still in the midst of a crisis that continues to have unintended and disproportionate consequences for people living in vulnerable circumstances. They are bearing the brunt of this economic crisis, this healthcare crisis, and this human rights crisis.

The pandemic has expanded the circle of vulnerability and amplified the inequality and injustice that many people in Canada were already living with every day. Longstanding issues of systemic racism, hate and intolerance, socioeconomic inequality, food insecurity, barriers to adequate housing, barriers to gender equality and barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities are all-the-more pronounced.

As we look to recover, we have an opportunity to create a new and better normal where everyone is included. In developing response plans, every voice must be heard, every person must be included, every issue must be considered.

As we emerge from this crisis, we urge our governments to consider the issues and recommendations put forward by human rights experts and rights holders aimed at supporting everyone in Canada and bringing our country back to economic health.

The COVID-19 crisis has reaffirmed that we are a resilient nation. We have an opportunity to build back better. No one can be left behind. A better normal depends on all of us being included. In a year defined by uncertainty, there is one thing we know for sure: when everyone is included, everyone benefits.

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