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Applying housing legislation and programs to prevent discrimination

From: In the zone: Housing, human rights and municipal planning

Responsibility for housing, either as a Service Manager or as a landlord, also includes a responsibility for human rights. A human rights lens needs to be applied to all housing matters, including the use of tools enabled by legislation.

Municipalities must follow a variety of provincial legislation regulating housing and housing-related issues. Examples are the Residential Tenancies Act and the Housing Services Act. Both of these contain provisions that can help prevent discrimination and encourage inclusiveness.

Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission regarding Interim Reports of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario

March 2012 - The OHRC will focus its comments on the issues and barriers identified in the CRSAO’s reports that connect to the OHRC’s current priority initiatives dealing with racism experienced by Aboriginal people and other groups as well as disability, especially mental health discrimination.

II. Introducing the Ontario Human Rights Code

From: Human Rights at Work 2008 - Third Edition

1. The context for interpreting the Code

a) Background and history

In 1962, many laws dealing with discrimination were brought together, along with additional protections, to create the Code. The Code has been amended at various times since then. The most recent amendments were passed in December 2006. The Ontario Code only provides protection against discrimination in Ontario. There are other pieces of human rights legislation in each of the other provinces and territories and federally.

IV. Other legislative schemes

From: Consultation paper: Human rights and rental housing in Ontario

In addition to the Code, there are a number of other laws that are applicable in the rental housing context. These include the newly proclaimed Residential Tenancies Act, the Social Housing Reform Act, the Co-operative Corporations Act, the Ontario Building Code and various municipal by-laws. The Code applies to these laws, the enforcement mechanisms set out in them and to administrative decision makers they establish such as the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Other approaches to multiple grounds

From: An intersectional approach to discrimination: Addressing multiple grounds in human rights claims

As discussed above, the intersectional approach is the preferred one for complaints and cases that cite multiple grounds. Nevertheless, there are other ways in which multiple grounds matters are being handled by human rights bodies, courts and international bodies such as the United Nations (the “UN”). In some instances, the grounds are looked at sequentially to see whether discrimination can be made out on the basis of each one in turn.

Systemic and societal human rights issues in housing

From: Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario

The Commission heard that the eligibility criteria for some of these programs make them inaccessible to people on disability pensions or social assistance. MMAH noted that some service managers allow or disallow social assistance recipients and social housing tenants from accessing rent bank assistance because they already benefit from other programs.

Part 1 – Setting the context: understanding race, racism and racial discrimination

From: Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination

1. Introduction

1.1. The Code context

The Code states that it is public policy in Ontario to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination. The provisions of the Code are aimed at creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person feels a part of the community and feels able to contribute to the community.

The shadow of the law: Surveying the case law dealing with competing rights claims

This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims. The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.

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