Message from the Chief Commissioner
I am pleased to report on the work of the Ontario Human Rights Commission for the April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004 fiscal year.
This year, the Commission opened 2,450 cases and closed 2,038 cases. The active caseload on March 31, 2004 was 2,549 cases. The average age of the Commission’s active caseload was 10.8 months, which indicates that the Commission continues to maintain a caseload that is 12 months or less. The Commission referred a record 288 human rights complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
During 2003-2004, the Commission accomplished several key achievements. Most notably, the Commission:
- conducted an inquiry into the effects of racial profiling on individuals, their families and communities, and released its report on the inquiry entitled, Paying the Price: the Human Cost of Racial Profiling;
- released a consultation report on disability and access to education services entitled, The Opportunity to Succeed: Achieving Barrier-free Education for Students with Disabilities;
- launched a public education awareness campaign to address age discrimination in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart and CARP, the Canadian Association for the Fifty-Plus;
- referred 200 autism-related complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario; and,
- secured commitments from seven restaurant chains following the Commission’s report, Dining Out Accessibly.
Finally, I am grateful to staff for their continued hard work, which has enabled the Commission to meet a number of challenges during the past year.
Keith C. Norton Q.C., B.A., LL.B
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) is an arm’s length agency of the government, accountable to the Legislature of Ontario through the Attorney General. The Commission’s principal functions are set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) and include the promotion and advancement of human rights and the investigation, mediation, settlement and litigation of complaints.