Toronto – June 15 is the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code – the first such code in Canada. To mark this important event, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) is working with partners across Ontario to look back at human rights over the 50 years, and look ahead to the human rights of tomorrow. Highlights include a commemorative plaque and the “Proclamation Project” with municipalities across Ontario.
Tarek Fatah is wrong to suggest I or anyone else “forced” Toronto Police to allow Khalsa Sikhs to wear kirpans in courtrooms. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said the police were “pleased to have worked cooperatively to arrive at a procedure which recognizes the needs and rights of the Sikh community and the obligation to provide a safe, secure and accessible courthouse environment."
Toronto – Sikhs who wish to enter a Toronto courthouse wearing a kirpan (stylized representation of a sword) now face fewer barriers according to a settlement reached with the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) agreed to revise its procedures to ensure that practicing members of the Sikh faith will be allowed to wear kirpans in public areas of courthouses, subject to an individualized risk assessment.
Toronto - A settlement between the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) means Ottawa Police Services (OPS) will begin to collect race-based data on traffic stops by OPS officers.
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission today launches a new Policy on competing human rights. The policy is designed to help organizations and individuals deal with everyday situations of competing rights, and try to avoid the time and expense of bringing a legal challenge before a court or human rights tribunal.
Toronto – A significant decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) in XY v. Ministry of Government and Consumer Services reinforces the human rights of trans people. The decision found that legislation requiring a person to have “transsexual surgery” before they can change the sex designation on their birth registration is discriminatory.
Your Worship and Councillors, I am writing to restate my concerns about the human rights implications raised by the zoning application by the Lynwood Charlton Centre. As stated in my letter of January 24, 2012, applying the radial separation distance to this application makes one ask whether the City of Hamilton is creating discriminatory barriers for vulnerable people.
Toronto - A report on first year activities undertaken as part of joint Project Charter with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) was released today by the Windsor Police Service (WPS), the Windsor Police Services Board (WPSB) and the Ontario Police College (OPC).
Toronto – Two public interest inquiries by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will explore if new rental housing licensing bylaws in North Bay and Waterloo create discriminatory barriers to rental housing. New bylaws in the two municipalities come into force in the next few months – Waterloo’s on April 1, 2012 and North Bay’s on May 1, 2012.
Toronto - Ontario Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today launched the Living Rights Project, a web-based living library that puts real people into the human rights discussion. The project was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, and to be an ongoing resource for all Ontarians. Hall made the announcement at Parkdale Collegiate Institute, which will serve as a program partner.
Your Worship, Chair Polhill, and Committee Members, I am writing to comment on proposed amendments to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. As you consider these amendments, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) would like to outline some human rights principles that may affect your decision, and to ask some questions.
Kingston - Attorney General John Gerretsen today joined Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, to launch In the zone: Housing, human rights and municipal planning. The guide offers municipalities information about their legal obligations, and about the tools and best practices they can apply to connect human rights and housing when making zoning and planning decisions.
Your Worship and Councillors, I am concerned about the human rights implications of the zoning application by the Lynwood Charlton Centre, to be considered at your Council meeting on January 25, 2012.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today announced it is working on two new versions of its popular e-learning module, Human Rights 101 at an event to celebrate International Human Rights Day hosted by Overland Learning Centre, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) adult learning centre and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. The Overland Learning Centre has a large English as a Second Language Program helping many new Canadians integrate into Canadian society.
Toronto - The cities of Hamilton, Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have settled three human rights cases at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The OHRC filed the complaints in 2009 to increase accessibility for riders with vision disabilities by ensuring the calling out of all transit stops.
Toronto – A settlement has been reached in the longest-running human rights case in Canadian history. The case of Michael McKinnon v. the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services concerned discrimination on the basis of Aboriginal ancestry and has become the leading Canadian case on human rights remedies in race discrimination. The original complaint by Mr. McKinnon, a correctional officer working in the Ministry, was filed in 1988 and has now been settled after 23 years.
On July 25, 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) released the LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks. This new guideline shows police services how to conduct police record checks for people seeking either work or volunteer opportunities. The OHRC worked with the OACP to provide a human rights perspective, and to outline protections under the Code for persons with disabilities, with a focus on people with mental health issues.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2010-2011 Annual Report.
Toronto – As part of its ongoing work with police across the province, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today releases a new guide. Human rights and policing: creating and sustaining organizational change aims to encourage and support police services across Ontario in building human rights into all their work.
Toronto – As part of its ongoing work with community partners in the area of human rights and housing, the Commission announced today that it has written to media and housing websites to ask them for help in addressing discriminatory housing advertisements. Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner, commented that, “Over the years, we have heard many stories of discrimination in rental housing. That some people are still facing discrimination right at the very start of their search for housing is unacceptable.”
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has extended its deadline for written submissions to its consultation on human rights and mental health to April 30, 2011.
Toronto - North Bay-area residents will have their say at the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) final round table session on human rights and mental health issues on Monday, March 28, 2011. The OHRC, in cooperation with the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, People for Equal Partnerships in Mental Health (PEP) and True Self, will meet with consumer/survivors, members of the mental health community, people with addictions, employers and housing and service providers. They will hear personal stories of discrimination and identify solutions and best practices to deal with discrimination in the areas of housing, services and employment.
Toronto – Today, human rights commissions and agencies across Canada are celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Toronto – A new policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment was launched today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in partnership with the Ryerson Students’ Union, Ryerson University and the CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University.
Windsor - A new project, aimed at preventing discrimination and racism in policing, launched today in Windsor. The Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board, Ontario Police College and Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced a major joint initiative to address policing and human rights issues. Police Chief Gary Smith, Board Chair Eddie Francis, Police College Acting Director Bill Stephens and Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall made the announcement during today’s public Board meeting at Windsor Police Service headquarters.
Toronto - Ottawa-area residents will have their say at the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) next human rights and mental health round table session on Wednesday March 2, 2011. The OHRC and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ottawa Branch will meet with consumer/survivors, members of the mental health community, people with addictions, employers and housing and service providers. They will hear personal stories of discrimination and identify solutions and best practices to deal with discrimination in the areas of housing, services and employment.
Following a successful session in Toronto, the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) consultation on human rights and mental health issues is heading to Windsor. On Thursday, February 17th, the OHRC will meet with members of the mental health community, including consumer/survivors, people with addictions, employers, and housing and service providers to talk about human rights and mental health-related issues.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has serious concerns about the degree to which people with mental health disabilities experience discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, and services. Discriminating against someone because they have a mental health disability or addiction is a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
Toronto - The next phase of a consultation on human rights and mental health begins Thursday February 3rd. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will meet with people with mental health disabilities and addictions, employers and housing and service providers to discuss human rights and mental health-related issues.
Toronto – Marking International Human Rights Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today launches Rental Housing e-learning at an event hosted by the York Centre for Human Rights. This second in a series of e-learning courses provides online learning and training for everyone who needs information on human rights issues that come up in rental housing.
Toronto - As society evolves, we see more and more cases where rights based on one ground of the Human Rights Code seem to conflict with rights of another ground. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), along with many partners, is working to find answers.
Toronto - December 3rd marks the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day to promote a better understanding of disability-related issues, the rights of persons with disabilities, and their integration in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched a survey today to learn more about the human rights issues and barriers people with mental health and addiction disabilities face. The survey kicks off a broader consultation process on human rights and mental health-related issues.
Toronto – The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that newspaper editorials are not covered by Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) intervened in this case, Whiteley v. Osprey Media Publishing Inc. and Sun Media Corporation before the Tribunal. The OHRC argued that section 13 of the Code does not restrict newspapers from printing opinions that some people may not like. The Tribunal agreed, saying “…publication of opinion in the media is a matter at the core of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in a democratic society”.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that two alcoholics are entitled to disability benefits. The case is important because it looks at what constitutes discrimination in human rights law.
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, has been selected as President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA). She takes over the post from Mary Pat Short, Chair of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2009-2010 Annual Report.
Toronto - The OHRC provides tools and approaches that individuals, organizations and sectors across Ontario can use in their own efforts to advance human rights. A new reference guide, Anti-racism, Anti-discrimination for Municipalities, offers tips and templates municipalities can apply to their work.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission is launching Human Rights 101, the first in a series of eLearning modules on human rights. Developed with assistance from the New Media Studies Program at the University of Toronto Scarborough and input from community stakeholders, Human Rights 101 users will be able to learn about human rights information from anywhere they have internet access. Created to be accessible to a wide range of users, students, office or factory workers, employers or those new to Canada will be able to get information on human rights history, principles, legislation and policies at the click of a button any time of the day.
Toronto - A major joint initiative between the Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to bring about institutional change in combating racism and discrimination celebrates a new milestone. An event celebrating the project’s completion is being held today at 11:50 a.m, at St. Lawrence Hall.
The OHRC recognizes the work of the City of Oshawa in preparing a strategy that will increase the amount of affordable housing in the community, which will benefit not only young people, but also other people across the community who may be from groups protected by the Human Rights Code ("Code"). Based on our work in this area, we have made several recommendations for the City's consideration, which we believe will help promote a culture of human rights and will support compliance with the Code.
Toronto - This morning, senior business and community leaders joined the Ontario Human Rights Commission to launch “Count me in!”, a new guide that provides information and advice on collecting human rights-based data in a wide variety of sectors across Ontario.
Toronto - The City of Vaughan, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) are pleased to announce an important forum that will focus on “Mobilizing Municipalities to Address Racism and Discrimination”. This partnership brings together municipal officials, community representatives, universities and the non-profit sector. Together, they have created an introductory manual for municipalities to confront racism and discrimination.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission, the City of Toronto, the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre have joined forces to promote housing as a human right. The partners are encouraging Toronto tenants and landlords to learn more about these rights by today launching a poster that will appear in 120 transit shelters across Toronto during the month of March.
Municipalities have to consider the needs of everyone - including people with disabilities or on social assistance - when making bylaws. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made that ruling late last week, saying “municipalities – and this Board – are bound by the [Human Rights] Code”.
Thunder Bay - Janice Kakegamic said when she and her friends are standing outside Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School it’s not unusual for people to drive by and yell ‘dirty Indians’ or give them the finger.
Toronto- The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released its Human Rights Mental Health Strategy for public consultation.
Toronto - New guidelines will help improve equal access to rental housing for all Ontarians. The Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing, Canada’s first comprehensive look at how barriers to housing can be indentified and eliminated, was released today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission continued to work towards a human rights culture in the province during a year of transition, according to the Commission’s Annual Report for 2008-09, released today.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today filed applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Hamilton, Sudbury and Thunder Bay transit providers, on behalf of transit riders with a vision disability. The OHRC took the action after these Ontario public transit providers failed to implement plans to call out all stops for bus passengers.