Under the Code, the Commission is required to receive all complaints that fall within its jurisdiction. In the fiscal year 2003-2004, 2,450 new complaints were filed at the Commission. This amounts to an increase of 674 cases (or 38%) over complaints filed in the 2002-2003 fiscal period and represents a general rise in complaints across most grounds of discrimination. Until this past year, new complaints filed generally remained below 2,000 cases per year. During the same period, the Commission closed 2,038 complaints.
Inquiry and Intake
In 2003-2004, the Commission’s Inquiry and Intake office received 2,275 written inquiries, attended to 843 visitors to the office and responded to 42,650 of the 67,216 telephone calls it received.
Staff sent out 4,847 intake packages, and received 2,709 completed intake packages in return.
The Commission’s Mediation Office offers both formal and informal mediation services to parties. During 2003-2004, the Mediation Office closed 1,104 cases, and the mediation settlement rate was 71%.
The Commission’s Investigation Office conducts investigation and conciliation of complaints that are not settled or otherwise resolved through the Mediation Office. In this fiscal year, the total number of cases closed through investigation was 934.
On March 31, 2004, the Commission’s active caseload was 2,549 cases. This represents an increase of 412 cases over last year’s caseload of 2,137.
Despite an increase in the number of complaints filed, the Commission closed 2,038 cases compared to the 1,954 complaints closed last year, and continued to reduce the average age of the Commission’s active caseload from 11.5 months to 10.8 months.
The Commission also referred a record 288 cases to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (200 of which are being heard together). Last year, 58 referrals were made.