The following sets out the procedures for handling hate activity incidents/allegations. All incidents must be reported to the City’s Human Rights Office.
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 educational/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.
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/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.
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.
Incidents reported will be classified accordingly, and included in the Human Rights Office’s Annual Report.
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.
Director, Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Division
December 17, 1998
July 7, 2015