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Jill Andrew, co-founder of the Body Confidence Canada Awards, militates for fat acceptance

Activist seeks to make size, shape and weight discrimination illegal in Ontario

She says weight deserves the same attention as discrimination by age, sex, disability, ethnic origin and sexual orientation.

Body image advocate Jill Andrew is working to have a person’s size, shape and weight protected against discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Body image advocate Jill Andrew is working to have a person’s size, shape and weight protected against discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

LIZ BEDDALL/METRO / METRO Order this photo

Body image advocate Jill Andrew is working to have a person’s size, shape and weight protected against discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

A Toronto activist wants to make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their size, shape or weight.

Jill Andrew, co-founder of the Body Confidence Canada Awards, is meeting Wednesday with the province’s human rights commissioner to discuss possible changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Rena Mandhane

Rena Mandhane | Jim Rankin/Toronto Star

Weight deserves the same attention as other basis for discrimination that are protected by the code today, including age, sex, disability, ethnic origin and sexual orientation, Andrew said.

“All of the same social and cultural stereotypes that are wrongly linked to being fat — being lazy or being unintelligent or lacking energy — have fed into employers who discriminate against people who are looking for work or to be promoted,” she said.

If the her proposal is adopted, it would be illegal to discriminate against a person — to fire them or refuse to rent an apartment to them, for example — because of their weight.

Andrew got the opportunity to make her case to when she spoke alongside Rena Mandhane, who heads Ontario’s Human Rights Commission, at a recent event for women in politics in Toronto.

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