February 28, 2017 - Dear Minister Lalonde, I am writing today to provide you with a summary of what we learned. There are some issues that appear unique to the Kenora Jail that raise human rights concerns and warrant further consideration and action on the part of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). I look forward to discussing these issues further at our upcoming meeting scheduled for early March.
Family and marital status
The Code includes two grounds that provide protections for persons in relationships: marital status and family status. “Marital status” is defined in section 10 of the Code as “the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated and includes the status of living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage”, including both same-sex and opposite sex relationships.
“Family status” is defined as “the status of being in a parent and child relationship.” This can also mean a parent and child “type” of relationship, embracing a range of circumstances without blood or adoptive ties but with similar relationships of care, responsibility and commitment.
The grounds of marital and family status intersect to cover a range of family forms, including lone parent and blended families, as well as families where the parents are in a ‘common law’ relationship.
March 2005 - The Commission views this Discussion Paper as a first step in its examination of human rights and family status and as an opportunity to expand awareness of human rights protections based on family status.
November 2006 - The Cost of Caring is the final Report on the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (“the Commission”) research and public consultation on issues related to the ground of family status.
2007 - The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits housing providers from discriminating against families with children. This applies to renting, being evicted, building rules and regulations, repairs, and use of services and facilities.
2007 - Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, persons in a parent-child relationship have a right to equal treatment in the workplace. This means that employers cannot discriminate in hiring, promotion, training, benefits, workplace conditions, or termination of employment because a person is caring for a child or parent.
2012 - The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination based on various grounds. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario, in employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or vocational associations. The Code protects you from discrimination in these areas based on your family status.