A Human Rights-Based Approach to Immigrant Workers: The Policy on Removing the Canadian Experience Barrier


  • Lorne Preston Foster York University, School of Public Policy and Administration


The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Policy on removing the ‘Canadian experience’ barrier (CEB)is focused on the strict usage of ‘Canadian experience’ (CE) as an employment or accreditation requirement that raises human rights concerns, and prevents our multicultural society from using the full range of immigrant talents and competencies. The purpose of this paper is to provide an assessment of the OHRC policy initiative as a strategic link between the goals of a skilled labour force and a bias-free workplace, both of which are required to effectively compete in the global economy. This paper argues that making the policy case for the human rights dimensions of social exclusion in hiring is an innovative way to advance creative organizational change that effectively responds to the marginalization and racialization of newcomer populations, by dismantling the chronic rationalization of a harmful workplace practice.