Goods, services and facilities
You have the right to be free from discrimination when you receive goods or services, or use facilities. For example, this right applies to:
- stores, restaurants and bars
- hospitals and health services
- schools, universities and colleges
- public places, amenities and utilities such as recreation centres, public washrooms, malls and parks
- services and programs provided by municipal and provincial governments, including social assistance and benefits, and public transit
- services provided by insurance companies
- classified advertisement space in a newspaper.
Relevant policies and guides:
October 2001 - In October 1999, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a Discussion Paper for public consultation entitled Human Rights Issues in Insurance. This Consultation Report summarizes comments and viewpoints that were communicated to the Commission. The Report also examines possible directions to ensure human rights issues in insurance continue to receive attention in the future. A summary of relevant Code sections and selected case law is included in the appendices.
January 2001 - Access to public transportation services is a human rights issue. Transportation is fundamental to the capacity of most persons to function in society. Transit services facilitate integration into public and social life in our communities, as well as allow people to access work, and basic goods, services and facilities. However, certain persons who are protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code face significant barriers in using transit services. While the issue of transit accessibility is most often discussed in the context of persons with disabilities, it also impacts on others, such as older persons and families with young children.
2000 - The Ontario Human Rights Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education, without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services. Education providers have a duty to accommodate students with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship. Students with disabilities are not always being provided with appropriate accommodation, and, in some cases, are falling victim to disputes between the various parties responsible for accommodation. The accommodation process is a shared responsibility.
2000 - Once a disability-related need has been identified, or a case of discrimination has been established, education providers have a duty to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. Accommodation is a means of preventing and removing barriers that impede students with disabilities from participating fully in the educational environment. Accommodation involves three principles: dignity, individualization and inclusion.
2000 - Business inconvenience, resentment or hostility from other co-workers, the operation of collective agreements and customer "preferences" cannot be considered in the accommodation process. When a person with a disability needs supports in order to work, use a service or access housing, the employer, service provider or landlord has a duty to provide these supports. There are limits to this duty, and these limits are called undue hardship.
October 1999 - The objective of the Paper is twofold: to promote dialogue on protecting human rights in the insurance industry and to examine alternatives to current practices by obtaining input from experts, regulators and consumers. Access to insurance in our society raises significant issues about distributive justice and fairness in the public sphere, issues that have received scant attention in Canada and in Ontario where rate setting has traditionally been viewed as a private matter.
October 14, 1999 - Insurance practices routinely make distinctions based on, among other things, gender, age, marital status and disability. While many of these distinctions are based on valid business practices, others raise questions and concerns. These concerns relate to the existence of non-discriminatory alternatives to current practices and about respect for human rights.
November 28, 1997 - In accordance with PART IV, s.36 of the Ontario Insurance Commission’s (“the OIC”) Rules of Practice and Procedure for Commissioner, Superintendent and Advisory Board Hearings, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”) submits this letter of comment with respect to the public hearing to be held on an application filed by (the insurer) for an automobile insurance classification system and automobile insurance rates.
July 1997 - This policy deals with scholarships or other forms of awards or grants that are available only on a limited basis to individuals who are identified by a ground set out in the Code. These grounds include race, sex, colour, religion, age and ethnic origin, to name a few. These types of scholarships or awards are called "exclusionary" because only certain individuals can apply for them, while others, who do not share the same characteristics, are excluded.
June 1996 - The purpose of this publication is to provide some practical guidance to organizations in developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements and to respond to human rights issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and accommodation needs. Employers, landlords and service providers all have an obligation to ensure that human rights are respected, and can all benefit from the information provided in this publication.