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Recommendations to strengthen the National Housing Strategy

May 18, 2018 - Dear Minister Duclos and President Siddall: I trust this letter finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is committed to bringing a human rights perspective to government and community strategies aimed at addressing poverty, homelessness and hunger. I am writing today to commend the Government for introducing Canada’s first National Housing Strategy, and to make recommendations to ensure that it is meaningful, effective, and meets Canada’s obligation to progressively realize the fundamental human right to housing.

Strengthening Bill 3 (“Pay Transparency Act”) to protect human rights

April 18, 2018 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on Bill 3, An Act respecting transparency of pay in employment (the Bill). The OHRC is encouraged by the Bill’s potential to narrow the persistent gender pay gap and other employment discrimination. To be most effective, the draft legislation requires amendments as outlined below.

Human rights recommendations on income security reform, and “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change”

March 13, 2018 - Dear Minister Coteau, I hope this letter finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) commends your Ministry for the work it is doing to reform the income security system, as an integral part of the Government’s poverty reduction efforts. I am writing to express support for the Community Working Groups’ report, “Income Security: a Roadmap for Change,” and to make recommendations to ensure that the Ministry’s final Income Security Plan reflects both Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Code) and Canada’s international commitments to social and economic rights.

Proposed regulation on inclusionary zoning – concerns and recommendations

February 1, 2018 - Dear Minister Mauro and Minister Milczyn, I hope this finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) commends the Government for giving municipalities inclusionary zoning powers as a means to increase the availability of affordable housing. However, I am writing today to raise concerns about the “Proposed regulation under the Planning Act related to inclusionary zoning,” and to urge the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to make changes to its proposed regulation to make sure that it provides the tools and flexibility that municipalities need to meaningfully address the affordable housing crisis.

RE: University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy ­raises human rights concerns

I am writing today to outline the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s concerns regarding the University of Toronto’s proposed University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy which is being considered by the University Affairs Board tomorrow (January 30, 2018). The OHRC is concerned that the treatment of students contemplated in the Policy may result in discrimination on the basis of mental health disability contrary to the Human Rights Code.

Re: Development of a new accessibility standard for education

November 17, 2017 - I am writing today regarding the government’s commitment to develop a new accessibility standard for education in Ontario. Regulatory standards are an effective way to address specific accessibility barriers and compliment the aim of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Standards need to align with legal obligations under the Code and with the interpretive policies of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).

Letter to Minister Naqvi re: Support for Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017

October 24, 2017

I am writing to express the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) support for Bill 164, which was introduced on October 4, 2017 in the Legislature. We understand that the Second Reading will take place on October 26. As I expressed in our meeting on October 2, it is the OHRC’s position that Bill 164 improves the Human Rights Code by including new grounds of protection for people under social condition, police records, genetic characteristics, and immigration status.

Re: Requiring public sector organizations to collect race-based data

September 20, 2017 - Dear Minister Coteau, I hope this letter finds you well. I am pleased that the Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD) has been actively consulting with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on developing race-based data standards and guidelines. I am writing today to call on the government to build on this important work by requiring select public sector organizations to collect and analyze race-based data, especially in key sectors such as health care, corrections, law enforcement, education, and child welfare.

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