Toronto - On releasing the Commission’s 2006-2007 Annual Report today at Queen’s Park, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall commented that, “This has been a year of debate, dialogue and development at the Ontario Human Rights Commission.”
The following are some highlights of settlements and decisions reached during the 2006-2007 fiscal year:
Toronto - This June 15th, marks the 45th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, which came into effect in 1962. Equally historic, was the appointment of Dr. Daniel G. Hill, as the first Director of the Human Rights Commission.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was successful in a significant racial profiling case under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The complaint was filed by Ms. Jacqueline Nassiah against the Peel Regional Police Services. The Commission thoroughly investigated the matter finding evidence indicative of racial profiling. Attempts to mediate and settle the case with Peel Police were unsuccessful. In a decision released on May 11, 2007, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found that a Peel police officer subjected Ms. Nassiah, a Black woman, to a more intensive, suspicious and prolonged investigation because of her race.
Toronto - Today the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a background document and consultation paper on human rights in rental housing. Public meetings begin this June in Sudbury, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto to hear people’s stories and bring much needed attention and action to this fundamental issue.
Toronto - Today the Ontario Human Rights Commission released the results of its groundbreaking initiative on discrimination based on family status. “Ontario is proud to be the first jurisdiction to examine the human rights implications of barriers faced by families who are caring for children, aging parents or relatives, and family members with disabilities”, said Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner.
On Wednesday, May 2nd, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall begins a four-city launch of the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Consultation Report and Policy on Discrimination on the basis of Family Status. The documents set out how family relationships affect access to employment, housing and services and human rights protections related to family status under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
On April 30, 2007, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched a survey to collect input from community members on what their views are
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has established a new Vision & Mission.
I am excited to have the opportunity to share with you the results of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (the “Commission”) groundbreaking project on discrimination on family status. The project is the first in Canada to examine the human rights implications of the barriers faced by families who are caring for children, aging parents or relatives, and family members with disabilities.
Toronto - A landmark settlement reached this week between the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Education will promote school safety while ensuring that all students, including students with disabilities and racialized students, are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Toronto – Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have reached a milestone agreement to bring about institutional change in combating racism and discrimination.
Toronto - A pilot project, aimed at speeding up the way complaints are processed, is underway at the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
As you know, changes are underway in the Ontario’s Human Rights system. In the next few years, we will see a change in roles and responsibilities as we work together to prevent discrimination and promote equality.
Toronto - This year’s celebration of Black History Month is particularly significant as it marks the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. Despite many positive developments in human rights protections since then, racism and racial discrimination continue to exist. Eliminating them and the barriers they create for many requires real commitment and joint effort from governments, institutions and organizations … in short, from all of us.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission is piloting changes to its complaint processing system to make it more straightforward.
Since December 10, 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by Canada and other member States of the United Nations, Ontario’s human rights system has evolved to be a leader within the global human rights system. All of us have every reason to be proud of that and what we have accomplished.
Toronto - Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission hosted a full-day workshop on Creating and Strengthening National Human Rights Institutions Abroad: Engaging Canada’s human rights agencies in international cooperation for the promotion of human rights. The Workshop looked at past collaborations between human rights commissions in Canada and others abroad and explored opportunities for new initiatives in partnerships with other Canadian and international actors.
Toronto - On the weekend of November 24-26 th more than 1,100 people visited the Ontario Human Rights Commission booth at the Canadian Aboriginal Festival at the Rogers Centre in Toronto where staff volunteers distributed human rights information in three Aboriginal languages.
Toronto - I wish to express my profound dismay at your Government’s notice to invoke closure and prematurely end debate on Bill 107, An Act to Reform the Ontario Human Rights Act. From the start of the Bill 107 process, more than a year ago, the Commission has commented on the need for full consultation by the Ministry of the Attorney General. What should have been a broad, consensus-building exercise in the best traditions of promoting human rights, was undertaken in a way which, instead, caused division within the communities concerned.
I am pleased to be with you this morning and to bring you the view of the Commission on Bill 107 and its implications for the Human Rights System in Ontario. I anticipate that over the next few days and weeks you will hear many considered and informed opinions about the proposed legislation.
Equal access by persons with disabilities, older Ontarians, and families with young children to adequate, dignified public transit services is a right protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. For many, it is also a necessity – in order to obtain an education, find and keep a job, or use basic public services like health care. Lack of access to transit may also lead to isolation, as visiting friends or participating in the life of the community becomes difficult or impossible. Unfortunately, equal access to transit services is far from reality for many Ontarians.
Toronto - Ministry of the Attorney General: News Release
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU) is calling for a Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism. This draft Preliminary Proposal for a coalition has been prepared by a Pan-Canadian Working Group lead by CCU. It is based on UNESCO’s initiative for an international coalition of cities against racism. The OHRC has lent its expertise and support to the CCU in developing the preliminary proposal.
Toronto - A recent settlement negotiated by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) guarantees equality between female and male doctors seeking parental leave benefits from their employers, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall announced today.
Toronto - Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall was invited to chair a number of sessions at the XVI International AIDS 2006 Conference, including two conference seminars held earlier this week on Hot Topics in Human Rights and HIV/AIDS and Time to Deliver on Stigma and Discrimination.
Toronto - The Ontario Court of Appeal will issue its decision in Wynberg et al. v. Ontario, a case involving government funding of Intensive Behavioural Intervention services (IBI) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") was joined by representatives of the business, government, and disability communities today while releasing Moving Towards Barrier-Free Services, the Commission’s final report into restaurant accessibility. This report demonstrates the progress that can be achieved through cooperation between government and business, but also emphasizes the need for ongoing improvement.
Toronto - On releasing the Commission’s 2005-2006 Annual Report today at Queen’s Park, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall commented that, “This is a pivotal time for human rights in our province.” The Chief Commissioner highlighted a number of issues where progress is being made as well as areas where more work needs to be done to protect and promote human rights for the people of Ontario.
Toronto - Over the past ten years, the Commission has been involved in 72 judicial review decisions, 32 decisions on appeal at the Divisional Court, 40 decisions from the Court of Appeal, and 17 from the Supreme Court of Canada. As of March 31, 2006, the Commission was litigating 462 cases at the Tribunal, eight cases before the Divisional Court, three in the Ontario Court of Appeal, and two before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Toronto - A far reaching decision concerning the discriminatory treatment of psychiatric patients was issued by the Human Rights Tribunal on Tuesday, May 25, 2006. The complaints centred on the provisions of the Coroners Act, which make inquests mandatory when prisoners die in custody, but make inquests discretionary when involuntary psychiatric patients die when in a hospital or institution.
Toronto - A decision concerning the treatment of transsexual persons detained by police was issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on Tuesday, May 16, 2006. The complainant’s case was referred and argued by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Toronto - The Commission provides information to tens of thousands of Ontarians. Last year, Commission staff dealt with over 43,000 inquiries by telephone, 1,760 by letter, and 760 in-person visits. It also received 824,887 unique visits to its website. In addition, the Commission’s public education activity on its policies and the Code reached a further 10,428 people. These contacts resulted in 2,399 new complaints being filed at the Commission.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") resolved 2,260 cases in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006, 45 more than last year. 1,291 cases, or 57 per cent, were resolved through negotiated settlements, 256 received Commission decisions after thorough consideration of parties' written submissions, and a further 170 were referred to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the "Tribunal") for an oral hearing.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) has initiated a complaint against Goldcorp Inc. (“Goldcorp”), alleging that sections of the company’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy violate the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”).
Toronto - On April 26th, 2006, the Attorney General introduced in the legislature Bill 107, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Code, which, if passed, will reform Ontario’s human rights system. The Attorney General has taken the next step in reform of the human rights system by introducing legislation, stated to achieve a number of goals shared by the Commission.
Toronto - The Supreme Court of Canada released a far-reaching decision declaring that the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal has the authority to decide whether a section of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (the “ODSPA”) breaches the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”).
Toronto - I would like to clarify my position regarding support for any proposed model to amend the human rights system. Recent reports suggest that I support the direct access model. These statements are inaccurate. I do not support any specific system, and will not until all of the parameters are made public. Any reform must be based on international principles and involve all affected communities.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) has made an order declaring that paratransit services in Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor and London, are not “special programs.” Rather, these services form part of the legal duty on transit providers under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the “Code”) to accommodate riders with disabilities who cannot access conventional public transit.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released an independent research paper on balancing conflicting human rights. Written for the Commission by an external researcher, this paper was prepared as a first step to explore different views and broaden understanding of issues surrounding this topic.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s ("OHRC") Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall commemorated March 21st, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, alongside City of Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis, at a public ceremony held at the Mackenzie Hall cultural centre. Mayor Francis marked the occasion by signing a Declaration of Intent to join a Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination. David Walden, the Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO ("CCU") was also present for the event.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) has released an updated version of its Policy on Discrimination and Harassment because of Sexual Orientation, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall announced today.
Toronto - I have now had an opportunity to discuss your recent announcement regarding changes to the human rights system in Ontario with my fellow Commissioners. We are pleased that the Government plans to address longstanding issues in the system.
Toronto - The Supreme Court of Canada released its unanimous decision today in the case of Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys. The Court found in favour of Multani, ruling that his religious rights had been infringed.
Toronto - In a decision released on January 18th, 2006, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that the Ottawa Chinese Senior Association discriminated when it terminated the membership of one of its members because she practises Falun Gong.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) has adopted a new Extension Procedure that will standardize its processes and responses to requests for extensions in submitting responses to a Case Analysis or Disclosure Letter under Sections 34, 36 or 37 of the Code.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) celebrates International Human Rights Day today with a reception for stakeholders hosted by Barbara Hall, the Commission’s new Chief Commissioner.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Toronto District School Board have reached an important settlement following a Commission-initiated complaint against the Board in July 2005. The settlement deals with the application of safe school provisions of the province’s Education Act as well as its regulations and related TDSB policy and the disproportional impact on racialized students and students with disabilities. The complaint was not referred to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, but rather, was successfully resolved through cooperation and good will.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has reached a positive settlement in a human rights complaint involving the former Board of Education for the City of Scarborough, which merged with other school boards in 1998 to form the current Toronto District School Board (“the Board”).
Toronto - Earlier this month, the Ontario Human Rights Commission the "Commission") welcomed M. Evangelista Oliveira as its new interim Chief Commissioner. He was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as interim Chief for the period effective October 17th, 2005, through January 31st, 2006, or until a new Chief Commissioner is appointed.