The following sets out the City of Toronto procedures for handling hate activity incidents or allegations under the City of Toronto Hate Activity Policy.
Hate Activity is not always preventable, but staff can implement measures within their Divisions that challenge the assumptions and stereotypes that lead some individuals to engage in Hate Activity. Staff are encouraged to develop and/or adapt education and awareness programs to foster inclusion within the City. There are a whole host of online resources available, including pre-existing campaigns that can be used. See the resources section below for examples of just a few.
Incidents must be reported to management personnel promptly where the employee is subjected to, witnesses, or has knowledge of hate activity, or has reason to believe that hate activity may occur.
Where a resident raises a concern of Hate Activity at a City owned property or facility, or in relation to City services, the staff person receiving this concern or complaint must report them as soon as possible to their manager. If possible, obtain contact information for the resident for any appropriate follow up.
Management should first attend to safety requirements: If it is an emergency, management is required to act immediately based on existing emergency guidelines, and notify the police. Management should obtain and record all details, including physical evidence, and ask questions such as who, what, where, when, why, and how. Management must report all incidents to the Human Rights Office.
Incidents captured under the Hate Activity Policy may, depending on the specific context, also amount to Workplace Violence. Review the City’s Workplace Violence Policy for specific responsibilities where incidents of hate activity include the exercise or attempt to exercise physical force, or where a threat to exercise physical force has been made.
If the incident is a criminal offence, the local police division should be contacted to conduct an investigation.
Complaints of hate activity related to contracted services may also be made to the Division responsible for the contracted service. Similarly, complaints related to the use of public space or facilities, and/or grant recipients may be made to the Division that approved the grant or authorized the use of public space. Upon receipt of a complaint, Divisions will review their contracts with contracted service providers, grant recipients and authorized public space users to determine whether a breach has occurred, and if so, take appropriate measures to address the breach.
Cases involving incidents alleged to be perpetrated by City of Toronto staff, Members of Council, volunteers, and citizen advisory committees/bodies may also be dealt with as part of a complaint under the City’s Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy
The following are examples of how hate motivated incidents should be dealt with.
In order that the police obtain fingerprints from hate mail and from any other object involved in a hate-motivated incident, ensure that the item is handled as little as possible. Place the item in a protective envelope or clear plastic bag. Keep the item aside and inform your direct supervisor immediately.
Follow the bomb threat procedures of the specific site. In addition, notify building security of the hate motivated bomb-threat incident. Building security must notify police that the bomb threat is hate-motivated. Police are required to take specific actions in such cases.
Hate motivated threatening phone-calls or voicemail messages must be documented immediately by the receiver. Notify your direct supervisor as soon as possible.
City Management, independently or in coordination with the Facilities Management Division, will ensure that Hate motivated graffiti is removed within 24 hours of notification. Police should be notified in extreme cases or in the event of persistent hate-motivated graffiti where there is a pattern to suggest a single individual may be responsible.
Several of the City’s Agencies and Corporations, such as the Toronto Transit Commission, have their own graffiti removal protocols. Follow the existing procedure.
Where an incident of suspected hate activity occurred at a public space or facility within the jurisdiction of the City of Toronto, security and/or police should be notified immediately. The incident should be documented wherever safe and possible to do so.
Where a permit has been issued by the City of Toronto, the division or agency that granted the permit should be notified immediately of the hate activity and will review the alleged activity and permit documentation. In accordance with the Declaration of Compliance with Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Legislation and City Policy, the division or agency may cancel the permitted event, prevent future permits from being approved, or other appropriate action in consultation with Legal Services.
The City does not issue permits for rallies or protests on public property; however, where the City becomes aware of individuals or groups wishing to hold a rally or protest in a public space they should be directed to complete the Toronto Police Notice of Demonstration. If the City is in receipt of such notice, it will coordinate to ensure appropriate response protocols are put into place.
Where appropriate, managers will conduct a risk assessment in consultation with experts such as Corporate Security, Occupational Health and Safety, Legal Services, and/or Police. Divisions may also need to review internal processes to respond to concerns and prevent future occurrences.
If such Hate Motivated Incidents occur, the City will take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure an environment free from Hate to the extent possible, which may include involvement of Legal Services; issuing no trespass notices; removal under the Trespass Property Act, and/or contacting Police.
Any Employee who is found to have violated this Policy may be disciplined according to the severity of the actions, up to and including termination.
Employees will be encouraged to consult the City’s Employee Assistance Program at (416) 392-6633. When appropriate, external complainants will be referred to community agencies and/or victim-services programs.
Questions or concerns related to hate activity may be directed to the Human Rights Office. The Human Rights Office can be reached by phone (416) 392-8383, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting a secure online complaint form.
Incidents reported will be classified accordingly, and included in the Human Rights Office’s Annual Report to City Council.
The City will allocate appropriate resources for the efficient response to hate activity.
Each police division has a trained Hate Crimes Detective. If there is evidence that a criminal offence motivated by hate has occurred, the TPS are informed immediately. The TPS has an extensive hate crimes protocol to follow when such incidents are reported. In an emergency call 911. Otherwise call (416) 808-2222.
The City’s Hate Activity Policy and Procedures do not deny or limit one’s right to seek redress through the HRTO.
Chief People Officer
December 17, 1998
December 22, 2020