OHRC Today: Annual report 2014 - 2015

May 25, 2015

Hon. Dave Levac
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Room 180
Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON
|M7A 1A2

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Under Section 31.6 (2) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontario Human Rights Commission is required to submit a report on the Commission’s activities for the previous fiscal period by June 30th of each year, to be tabled in the Legislature.

In this regard, I am pleased to provide you with the Commission’s Annual Report of its activities from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Goba, Hon. BA, LLB
Interim Chief Commissioner

A message from Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba

It has been an honour – and a pleasure! – to step in and guide the OHRC through Barbara Hall’s retirement and the selection of a new Chief Commissioner. Barbara set the stage for success in so many ways, and I hope I have helped that progress continue.

Over the past year, we have seen many positive human rights developments, such as our work on mental health disabilities and addictions, and the growing understanding and acceptance of the transgender community. We have also seen areas where the results are not so positive. That is why we have intensified our efforts in areas like sexual harassment, pregnancy and breastfeeding, racial profiling and outreach to Indigenous communities.

This annual report, called Human rights today, offers you a quick look at the work we are doing for tomorrow and the results we are seeing today. Although progress on systemic issues or “big picture” work is sometimes slow, our aim is still to make things better for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations across the province.

Whether we are talking about successes or challenges, I commend our impressive team of community partners who continue to provide leadership, expertise and commitment to advancing human rights for everyone in Ontario. I also thank our internal team of Commissioners and excellent staff who do quality work to bring human rights to life.

Let’s continue to work together so that we all have true human rights today.

Ruth Goba, Hon. BA, LLB
Interim Chief Commissioner

Thank you, Barbara Hall

In February 2015, the OHRC said farewell to Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, after almost a decade of her leadership. Barbara was at the helm as the OHRC moved from a complaint-driven organization to a role involving more collaboration, education and advocacy to eliminate the root causes of discrimination. She also played a key role in our work in housing, gender identity and gender expression, and mental health disabilities and addictions.

Thank you, Barbara, for your vision, your compassion and your leadership. Your work has set the stage and the direction for our ongoing work, and people across Ontario will reap the results for many years to come.

OHRC Commissioners 2014-2015

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner (appointed November 28, 2005; completed her term on February 27, 2015)

Ruth Goba, Interim Chief Commissioner (appointed as Commissioner October 5, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015; appointed Interim Chief Commissioner March 2, 2015)

Raja Khouri (appointed September 20, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015)

Fernand Lalonde (appointed May 18, 2005; term expires December 31, 2015)

Julie Lee (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Lawrence McDermott (Appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Errol Mendes (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Fiona Sampson (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Bhagat Taggar (appointed May 18, 2005; term expires December 31, 2015)

Margaret Wente (appointed October 5, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015).


In the news

Mental health disabilities, addictions and human rights take centre stage in Ontario

In summer 2014, along with its partners at Ryerson University, the OHRC released its new Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions. This policy provides user-friendly guidance on how to define, assess, handle and resolve human rights issues related to mental health and addiction disabilities.

People with mental health disabilities or addictions continue to face considerable discrimination, stigma and social exclusion in Canada. Many people experience adverse treatment, negative attitudes and harassment in employment, housing and when receiving services. Many are afraid to disclose their disability to others because of the stereotypes and stigma associated with these disabilities. People with mental health disabilities or addictions are also more likely to have low incomes, and many live in chronic poverty.

The policy addresses:

  • different forms of discrimination
  • rights at work, in rental housing, and when receiving services
  • organizations’ responsibilities to prevent and eliminate discrimination
  • how to create environments that are inclusive and free from discrimination
  • how the duty to accommodate applies to people with mental health or addiction disabilities.

Today: After an overwhelmingly positive community response, we continue to offer training across Ontario. We have provided guidance on new guidelines for colleges and universities, and have reached a preliminary agreement with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences on a long-term project to embed human rights in all facets of this healthcare organization. This is a ground-breaking initiative in the health sector.

We also enjoy a continuing partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, bringing the OHRC message to a broader audience.

OHRC: Bias-free policing is needed now

Racial profiling has a deeply corrosive impact, especially on young Black and Indigenous men. Our communities need to be welcoming and inviting – but when racial profiling happens, neighbourhoods become places of distrust and fear. So it’s time to root out and eliminate racial profiling whenever we see it.

Racial profiling by the Toronto Police Service is a recognized problem in need of an effective solution. While we appeared to make progress in the Toronto Police Services Board`s policy on community engagement – commonly called carding – in early 2014, we view the revised policy, released in 2015, to be a step backwards. We strongly urge the Board to either make major revisions or eliminate the policy altogether. We are calling on the Board to:

  • Guide and limit officer discretion to stop and question people
  • Require that officers tell the people they stop about their right to leave and not answer questions, as much as possible in the circumstances
  • Show effective monitoring and accountability including race-based data collection to identify racial bias
  • Provide transparency through receipts
  • Immediately purge carding intelligence data, already collected, that lacks a non-discriminatory explanation.

We are considering how to best use the full range of our legislated powers to ensure bias-free policing in Toronto and across Ontario.

Reaching out to Indigenous peoples

The OHRC has expanded its efforts to reach out to Indigenous peoples in Ontario. Highlights of our work in the past year included preparing a statement on designating employment and contracting provisions in Impact and Benefit Agreements as special programs under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) are becoming an industry standard for resource development projects that are located on or impact Indigenous people’ traditional lands and rights. The agreements often contain employment and contracting provisions that give priority for training, hiring and contracting to Indigenous peoples.

We also set up new partnerships with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, and conducted outreach events in Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie.

While law clear, reminders needed on pregnancy and breastfeeding

We continue to see regular reports of women not getting hired or losing their jobs because they are pregnant, or getting fired when they take or return from a maternity leave. That’s why we hosted a webinar to launch an updated version of our Policy on preventing discrimination because of pregnancy and breastfeeding, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

The updated policy, released in October 2014, outlines the needs of, and barriers faced by, women who are or will be mothers and offers a plain-language guide for employers, landlords and service providers on how to address, handle, resolve and prevent any pregnancy or breastfeeding-related discrimination or harassment in their organization.

Today: Organizations such as Restaurants Canada are helping to send the message that it is against the law to discriminate based on pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Gender identity policy just the beginning

Launching our Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression in spring 2014 was just the beginning of a larger job to educate and advocate for change in Ontario. We are already seeing important results.

For example, we welcomed Ontario’s new procedures and forms allowing for changing sex designation on the birth registration of minors. In the new system, parents or legal guardians and a physician or psychologist (including a psychological associate) need to agree the change is appropriate. The child must agree as well. Youth age 16 and 17 can decide for themselves and follow the same procedure for adults. These changes reflect some of the issues we raised in a submission to the government in August 2014, and also appear in keeping with the OHRC’s policy.

We were also involved with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as it developed and launched a ministry-wide policy preventing discrimination against inmates because of their gender identity or gender expression.

Today: Understanding and acceptance of transgender people is growing in Ontario, as is awareness that discriminating based on gender identity or gender expression is against the law.

Sexual harassment: the story continues

Sexual harassment is a significant problem in workplaces across Canada. We have worked to remind employers, service and housing providers of their human rights obligations to prevent and respond to sexual harassment. We released a position statement on sexual harassment in December 2014, hosted our best-attended webinar ever, and continue to work with partners to enhance understanding of human rights in this area. We have also offered our expertise to help deliver the Ontario government’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, and are serving on the Roundtable on Violence Against Women.

New options for employers

Getting human rights information into the right hands in workplaces across Ontario is essential. We made a major step forward in the past year though our work with the Human Resources Professionals association. As we have for many years, we attended the annual HRPA conference and distributed thousands of brochures, guides and policies to employers. Work is underway to combine our expertise with HRPA’s connections with employers to increase human rights awareness among their 22,000 members.

Today: Employers have a growing range of options for learning about their human rights responsibilities.

Promoting human rights on the home front

The OHRC continued to promote human rights in housing across Ontario, with some important successes in 2014-15. For example, along with the Dream Team and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, we reached settlements with the cities of Toronto and Smiths Falls. Both cities removed minimum separation distance requirements for group homes from their zoning bylaws, increasing the options for this form of housing for some of Ontario’s most vulnerable residents. We urge all municipalities to remove minimum separation distances for group homes and other forms of much-needed housing.

We worked with the Province of Ontario in several areas to further connect human rights and housing laws and we’re seeing some results. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Provincial Policy Statement under the Planning Act – PPS 2014, effective April 2014, incorporates some of the recommendations we made. Most importantly, it has a statement that the PPS shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the Human Rights Code and the Charter. This statement has led to increasing interest in our work among planners and planning schools, and is helping us as we continue to speak to municipalities about zoning.

We are also involved in building partnerships with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and Ryerson University. We have made presentations at OPPI and planning schools, and continue to promote human rights as a key element of planning education.

Today: Vulnerable people have increased options for group home living, because municipalities are removing zoning barriers.

Keeping tabs on Canadian experience

In 2013, we released our Policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier. Our position is that a strict requirement for “Canadian experience” is prima facie discrimination (discrimination on its face) and can only be used in very limited circumstances.

In the past year, we have monitored job ads and contacted employers and employment agencies when we see this requirement coming up. While it appears that the larger online job sites do not have Canadian experience requirements as often as they used to, we have found several smaller firms that do. In these cases, we are contacting the organizations, advising them of our policy and expectations, and offering to meet with them on the issue. We will continue to monitor job ads in the coming year.

Organizational change

Moving forward on the Correctional Services’ Human Rights Project Charter

We continued our work with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Correctional Services) and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) on a Human Rights Project Charter. This long-term organizational change project, which arose from the settlement of a long-standing human rights complaint, has now been extended to 2017.

Over the past year, Correctional Services, with support from the OHRC and MGCS, has done critical planning and begun to put in place some of the major human rights initiatives to be implemented between now and 2017. This includes creating criteria and long-term strategies for developing and reviewing policies and programs from human rights and Indigenous perspectives. Similar work has begun on reviewing Correctional Services’ training curricula. We have also worked on plans for evaluating the outcomes of the Human Rights Plan and longer-term human rights organizational change.

Correctional Services’ human rights staff have also provided input into the review and updating of dozens of employment and operational policies in  institutional and community services.

Continuing to help organizations look at the big picture

We work with organizations to bring about “big-picture” changes by helping them learn to use a human rights lens in their work. The goal is to identify human rights barriers, remove them and prevent future human rights problems from arising.

Over the past year, we continued this kind of work in policing. We wrapped up our three-year project charter with the Windsor Police Service, and continued our efforts on race-based data collection with the Ottawa Police Service. This latter initiative is now being described as the largest study of its kind in the history of Canadian policing. We have also had ongoing discussions with Ontario Provincial Police about a potential human rights charter, like those in Windsor and Toronto, and have an ongoing partnership with the Ontario Police College to develop new human rights training and support existing training.

We are also involved in a new initiative with the Workplace Safety Prevention Services, arms-length government agency. This partnership will establish important new linkages to employers. We will work together to look at overlapping/complementary mandates, and the relationship between the Human Rights Code, workplace harassment legislation and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Extending the big-picture view

We are increasingly being asked to provide advice on organizational policies. Recent work in this area includes:

  • Meeting with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to discuss concerns around a “red flag” list that would cause investigators to begin covert surveillance of some injured workers. A community legal clinic wrote to us with concerns that the list appeared to contravene the Code. WSIB has confirmed that the list is no longer in use and that all references to it have now been removed. WSIB is to share new draft guidelines with us, for comment and advice.
  • Recommendations for the Child and Family Services Act review.
  • A submission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons on its policy on “Physicians and the Human Rights Code,” aimed at helping physicians understand their rights and obligations under the Code and to set out the College’s expectation that physicians will respect the fundamental rights of individuals and patients who seek medical services. The College adopted many of our suggestions.
  • Several submissions to different bodies on Police Use of Force and Mental Health, including to the Ombudsman and the OIPRD.

Legal briefs

From hockey to policing: OHRC interventions

We continue to intervene in cases in the courts and tribunals, when we think the case decision could affect a wider number of people or groups, or advance human rights law. Here are some highlights:

JT. v. Hockey Canada: locker room access for trans hockey players

We intervened in a case at the HRTO about locker room access for transgender amateur hockey players. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre and applicant negotiated a settlement requiring Hockey Canada to allow all players in Ontario to use locker rooms that match their self-identified gender identity, review and revise its procedures to protect privacy about players’ trans status, and provide training to all Ontario coaches on gender identity and related discrimination and harassment. This case has received attention across Canada. We are following up by targeting other Ontario sports organizations and working to ensure they are aware of their Human Rights Code-related obligations and responsibilities.

Sjaarda v. Ottawa Police Services Board: accommodating for pregnancy and childcare

In this HRTO application, a female police officer of 10 years alleged she was denied certain training and job placement opportunities because of her maternity leaves and her sex. She also said she was not accommodated for her pregnancy and childcare needs. In our intervention, we sought public interest remedies including policy review and training.

Sarnia (City) v. River City Vineyard: adding creed to the zoning mix

We intervened in an appeal in the Court of Appeal for Ontario. This followed a lower court ruling that upheld a City of Sarnia decision to deny an application from a local church to rezone its premises to operate a shelter for homeless persons.

We focused the Court’s attention on the fact that the Superior Court accepted that sheltering poor and homeless people in the Church was a sincerely held belief, and that based on the evidence and the legal requirements for establishing a sincerely held belief, there was no good reason to depart from that finding.

Fair v. Hamilton Wentworth District School Board: reinstatement, 10 years’ back pay

In this case, the HRTO ruled that the school board did not accommodate Ms. Fair’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fired her instead. The HRTO ordered the board to reinstate her in a suitable job, pay her roughly 10 years’ back wages, make retroactive payments to the Canada Pension Plan, reinstate her years of service for pension purposes and pay her $30,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect. The School Board appealed the HRTO’s decision to the Divisional Court, which deemed the HRTO’s decision and remedies to be reasonable.

We intervened in this judicial review application to provide the court with an accommodation framework, and to argue that the HRTO’s remedial authority is at the very heart of its expertise and therefore reasonableness, the most deferential standard of review, is to be applied to HRTO remedial orders. The School Board is seeking to take the case to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which we are opposing.

Jahn v. MCSCS: making mental health a priority in corrections

In 2013, we negotiated a major settlement agreement with the Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections (MCSCS) on the treatment of inmates with mental illness – particularly women – and the use of segregation in correctional facilities. The settlement agreement sets out commitments until 2017.

To date, the settlement has resulted in MCSCS:

  • Reviewing its psychiatric physician contacts to try and address how to meet the needs of inmates with mental health issues
  • Amending its policies to state that segregation will not be used for inmates with mental illness (to the point of undue hardship)
  • Providing all inmates in segregation with information about their rights
  • Completing a report in consultation with mental health experts setting out recommendations for how to serve women with mental illness
  • Providing the OHRC with statistics about the number of women placed in segregation.

New Litigation and Inquiry Strategy

We developed and posted to our website our first Litigation and Inquiry Strategy. This strategy explains how we make decisions on inquiries, interventions, and Commission-initiated applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

We intervene in cases for many reasons, including when cases:

  • Fall within our priority work areas
  • Have a broad, systemic impact
  • Raise significant issues of public policy or public interest from a human rights perspective
  • Will affect vulnerable or marginalized people protected by the Code
  • Will shape, clarify or advance human rights law in Ontario
  • Are sufficiently serious or complex that OHRC involvement is needed
  • Can be done within current OHRC resources.

Methadone inquiry ramps up

We began an inquiry into municipal regulations that could have a discriminatory impact on clients of methadone clinics and pharmacies. We have already advised several municipalities on their pending or enacted bylaws on methadone clinics, where we see the bylaws may contravene the Human Rights Code.

Facts and figures

Adding the personal touch

We provided education to more than 7,800 people at 90 events across Ontario. Target audiences included private- and public-sector employers, human resources professionals and unions; health, education, police, corrections, housing, newcomer support and other service providers; mediators, regulatory bodies; arbitrators and lawyers.

Topics included: human rights essentials, equity and inclusion in schools, duty to accommodate, gender identity and gender expression, mental health disabilities and addictions, competing rights, the “Canadian experience” barrier, racial profiling, creed rights, systemic discrimination, sexual and gender-based harassment, pregnancy and breastfeeding, human rights and housing, human rights at work and human rights data collection.

We also presented two regional training days at the Regional Municipality of York and the City of Windsor. More than 260 participants from local governments, police services, education institutions and social services agencies attended.

Our Chief Commissioners also played a key role in adding the personal touch, delivering over 40 speeches and presentations across the province. Highlights included:

  • Human rights – past, present and future , Coburg Collegiate Institute, Coburg
  • Human rights and planning, Ryerson University Planning Forum, Toronto
  • Gender identity and policing, Sudbury Police Service, Sudbury
  • Human rights is a community concern, Taking it Local, Windsor

Computers plus training equals success

OHRC online training continues to be a hit with learners across Ontario. Here are some highlights for online learning in the past year:

We’re getting more social

The OHRC had an increase of 30% in followers of its Twitter feed. Facebook participation also continues to increase. Other social media platforms are being developed along with a pilot project to improve outreach to Indigenous Peoples in Ontario via Twitter.

2014-2015 Financial summary



(April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015)



2014-2015 Printed Estimates



Revised Budget March 31, 2015



Actual Expenditures March 31, 2015



2014-2015 Year End Variance from Revised Budget




Salaries & Wages












Other Direct Operating Expenses (ODOE)






Total Expenses






Activity supplement

We offered written advice

Every year, the OHRC makes submissions on legislation, regulations and other issues. We also write to organizations and communities across Ontario and issue statements to offer advice, note concerns and clarify human rights issues. Here are some highlights for 2015-2016:

Submissions (includes deputations)



OHRC cases 2014-2015

The OHRC continues to be involved in cases in the courts and tribunals that we think could affect a wide number of people or groups, or advance human rights law. Here are some of our cases from 2014-2015:

Supreme Court of Canada

McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

  • Scope of employment protections
Federal Court of Appeal

Canadian National Railway v. Seeley

  • Test for discrimination based on family status
Court of Appeal for Ontario

Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

  • Accommodating an employee’s mental health disability

Sarnia (City) v. River City Vineyard

  • Creed, municipal zoning

Taylor-Baptiste and Attorney General of Ontario v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al.

  • Sexist comments on a union blog, Charter values, competing rights, interpreting “with respect to employment”

Tanudjaja et al. v. Attorneys General (Canada and Ontario)

  • Provincial and federal government Charter obligations relating to affordable housing
Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court)

D’Orazio, Cardile v. Ontario Human Rights Commission et al.

  • Challenge of OHRC’s racial discrimination policy

MacConnell v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)

  • Special Diet Allowance funding for people on social assistance who have disabilities that require dietary modifications

Ontario Provincial Police et al. v. de Lottinville

  • Interpreting and applying s.45.1 of the Code in the context of officer misconduct complaints under the Police Services Act

Hay v. Ontario Provincial Police et al.

  • Whether Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner’s ability to suspend or terminate First Nations Constables' appointments without the procedural rights given to a "police officer" under the Police Services Act constitutes prima facie discrimination

Aiken v. OPSB et al.

  • Applicant seeking public interest remedies relating to police racial profiling
Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Dream Team v. City of Toronto

  • Zoning: minimum separation distances for group homes

Dream Team v. Town of Smiths Falls

  • Zoning: minimum separation distances for group homes

Jahn v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services)

  • Treatment and segregation of women with mental health disabilities in correctional facilities

J.T. v. Hockey Canada et al.

  • Locker room access for transgender hockey players

Sjaarda v. Ottawa Police Services Board

  • Pregnancy/sex discrimination and family status accommodation

Wheaton and Perrault v. City of Ottawa

  • Whether a municipal bylaw is a service under the Code

Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board

  • Whether s.25(2.1) of the Code violates s.15 of the Charter based on age

Cole v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care)

  • Whether a cap on nursing services in a regulation under the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 violates the Code

Tang v. McMaster University et al.

  • Establishing prima facie discrimination, procedural duty to accommodate, comparator group discrimination analysis

Misetich v. Value Village

  • The OHRC is intervening in this case to make submissions about the proper test for discrimination in cases involving obligations related to family status
Special Diet Allowance complaints

Reached settlement agreements in the following complaints concerning Special Diet Allowance funding for people on social assistance with disabilities requiring dietary modification:

  • Charles v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Raymond v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Salm v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Lesser v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Jackson v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Debbie MacDonald v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • John MacDonald v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Williams v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Hanna v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Walker v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Landry v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Burt v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Lockwood v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Monteath v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Priolo v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Smart v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Abbs v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Rose v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
Workplace Safety Insurance and Appeals Tribunal

Decision No. 66510I2

  • Appeal from board decision denying entitlement for traumatic mental stress; challenge under the Code and Charter to subsections13(4) and(5) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

More on adding the personal touch 2014-2015

The OHRC provided education to more than 7,800 people at 90 events across Ontario. Our education activities included lectures, presentations, panel presentations, speeches, and even full-day training sessions. Here’s a list of where we provided training in 2014-2015. Note that we did more than one session with several of these organizations.

  • Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie
  • Anduhyaun Aboriginal Shelter
  • Asian Canadian Educators Network of Ontario
  • Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
  • Cabinet Office – Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies
    (CASHRA) Conference
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora Branch
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay Branch
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch
  • Centre for Education and Training, Newcomer Information Centre
  • CERIS (Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement)
  • Corporation of the County of Hastings
  • County of Simcoe – Local Immigration Partnership
  • CUPE 3906 Political Action Committee
  • Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Employment Help Centre
  • Engineers Canada
  • Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario
  • Family Mental Health Support Network of Niagara
  • Fanshawe College
  • Federated Press
  • First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre
  • Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable
  • Human Resources Professional Association
  • Humber College Administration Program
  • Infonex Inc.
  • Kenora Chiefs Advisory
  • Law in Action within Schools (LAWS)
  • Legal Aid Ontario
  • McGill University
  • Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services – Human Rights Project Charter
  • Ministry of Education – Inclusive Education Branch
  • Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
  • Ministry of Government Services – WDHP Section, Centre for Employee Health, Safety and Wellness
  • Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Court Services
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Supervised Access Program
  • Office of the Independent Police Review Director
  • Office of the Ontario Ombudsman
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Business Improvement Area Association
  • Ontario College of Teachers
  • Ontario Police College
  • Ontario Professional Planners Institute
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union
  • OPS Pride Network
  • Partners for a Safe Community: Kingston
  • Police Literacy Initiative
  • Prisoners Justice Day
  • Professional Engineers Ontario
  • Promoting Education & Community Health (PEACH) and York University
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Queen's University
  • Queen's University – Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program
  • Queen's University and St. Lawrence College
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Ryerson University
  • Ryerson University Ethics and Criminal Justice Class
  • Schedule 2 Employer's Group
  • Sioux-Hudson Employment Services
  • Sound Times Support Services Toronto
  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation
  • Toronto Police Service
  • Trent University Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility
  • United Food & Commercial Workers Canada, Locals 175 & 633
  • United Way Peel and Partners
  • University of Toronto Crime and Culture
  • University of Toronto Housing Services and Hart Social Justice Committee
  • University of Toronto, Queens and Northern Ontario Medical Schools
  • Urban Alliance on Race Relations
  • Western University
  • Workplace Health Community of Practice
  • Workplace Safety Prevention Services
  • York Region Children's Aid Society
  • York Region District School Board
  • York University Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • YWCA Toronto

Chief Commissioner and Interim Chief Commissioner speeches in 2014-2015

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba delivered more than 40 speeches and presentations across the province. Here are some highlights:

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute – Human rights at work: balancing competing rights
  • Asian Canadian Educators’ Network – Human rights and education
  • City of Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
  • Cobourg Collegiate Institute – Human rights past, present and future
  • Dare Summit – Engaging in politics and with institutions for human rights
  • First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre – Introducing Human Rights 101, Portuguese edition
  • Greater Sudbury Police Service – Celebrating the new GSPS video on understanding the transgender community
  • Harmony Awards Gala – Honouring Jeremy Dias
  • Ministry of Community and Safety and Correctional Services – launch of the MCSCS Trans Inmate Policy
  • Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression – Ottawa: Family Services Ottawa, City of Ottawa, Ottawa Rainbow Service Providers’ Network; Sudbury – TgInnerselves, United Steelworkers, City of Sudbury, Greater Sudbury Police Service; Toronto – The 519 Church Street Community Centre
  • OPS Pride Network – Gender identity, gender expression, the Code and the law
  • Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA) Conference – Schools: a reflection of our communities
  • Policy on preventing discrimination because of mental health disabilities and addictions – Queen’s University, Kingston; Ryerson University, Toronto; Trent University, Peterborough
  • Proud Politics Out to Win Conference – LGBT issues in politics
  • Riverdale Historical Society – Human rights history
  • Ryerson Planning Forum – Human rights and planning
  • Sir Alan MacNab Secondary School – Gender issues and human rights
  • Taking it Local regional training day with York Regional Police – Human rights start locally
  • Toronto Police LGBTQ Community Consultative Committee – Let’s talk gender identity
  • Toronto Police Services Board – Deputation on the Community Contacts Policy
  • Updated Policy on preventing discrimination because of pregnancy and breastfeeding (video – webinar) in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
  • Upper Grand Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario – Human rights, bullying and the role of teachers
  • Urban Alliance on Race Relations – The community’s role in human rights
  • Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board – Project Charter wrap-up
  • York University: Black history, social justice, human rights

Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba: Speeches, written statements

The year in pictures

Speakers at the launch of the OHRC’s Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions at Ryerson University stand together, holding posters of the policy cover.










June 2014 – Speakers at the launch of the OHRC’s Policy on preventing discrimination
based on mental health disabilities and addictions at Ryerson University, Toronto.
Front row (left to right): Lucy Costa, The Empowerment Council: A Voice for Clients
of CAMH; Joanne Dallaire, Ryerson University; Myra Lefkowitz, Ryerson University;
Cherie Robertson, OHRC; Pascale Demers, OHRC, Ann Whiteside, OHRC. Back row
(left to right): Kevin Marsh, OHRC; Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, Ryerson University;
Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, OHRC; Bhagat Taggar, Commissioner, OHRC;
Leslie Miller, The Dream Team.

Artist A. Jay, whose artwork was chosen for the policy cover, shows off his work with Chris Mitchell of Workman Arts and Barbara Hall










June 2014 – A. Jay, whose artwork was chosen for the policy cover,
shows off his work with Chris Mitchell of Workman Arts (left) and
Barbara Hall, at the launch of the OHRC’s Policy on preventing
discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions
at Ryerson University, Toronto.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall stands in a crowd surrounded by people holding community flags. The photo is taken from behind.











June 2014 – Joining the world to celebrate the transgender community
at Pride Toronto’s Trans March.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, her husband Max, OHRC staff, family and friends march behind a large, colourful OHRC banner that says “We heart human rights” at the Pride parade.












June 2014 – Showing support, celebrating at the Toronto Pride Parade.

A group of smiling youth dressed in colorful clothing pose for a photo with their squirt guns.












June 2014 – Encouraging the next generation of human rights crusaders
at the Toronto Pride Parade.

Crowd shot of people sitting in the event hall listening to one of the presentations.











July 2014 – Celebrating the OHRC’s new Policy on preventing discrimination
because of gender identity and gender expression in Sudbury. Photo: Luc Chretien.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall unveils the new sign at Barbara Hall Park. Her Husband Max and City Counsellor Kristen Wong Tam stand in the small crowd nearby.











July 2014 – Growing her personal legacy: opening Barbara Hall park.

Remi Warner stands in front of a projection screen and presents to a group of seated attendees.











October 2014 – Remi Warner, OHRC, leads a discussion on creed at the
Taking it Local training day in York Region.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall stands with a group of people. Posters of the cover for the Policy on preventing discrimination based on gender identity and expression hang in the background.











October 2014 – Introducing the OHRC’s Policy on preventing discrimination
because of gender identity and gender expression in Ottawa (left to right):
OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall; Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches,
City of Ottawa; Kathryn Ann Hill, Family Services Ottawa; Vanessa Tamburro,
OHRC; Hannah Biancardi, Ottawa Rainbow Service Providers Network;
Robert Pascoe; Jeff Poirier, OHRC; Talia Johnson; Jennifer Purkiss,
Centretown Community Health Centre.

A woman holding a copy of Teaching human rights in Ontario sits in a chair.











November 2014 – Learning more about Teaching human rights in Ontario.

Outside Toronto City Hall, Rev. Brent Hawkes and Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall stand together in a crowd.











November 2014 – Rev. Brent Hawkes and Barbara Hall reflect on the
Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at Toronto City Hall.

OHRC staff stand at a resource table handing out copies of the mental health policy and speaking with event attendees.











November 2014 – Getting set to launch the Policy on preventing discrimination
based on mental health disabilities and addictions at Queen’s University, Kingston.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and Executive Director Diane Carter stand with OHRC staff in a semi-circle around the Human Rights Code Plaque at Queens Park.











January 2015 – Checking out the recently installed human rights historical
plaque at Queen’s Park.

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall stands with Executive Director Diane Carter. Diane wears a long bright green wig. Barbara wears a long, bright blue wig and holds up her peace fingers.













February 2015 – Barbara Hall (left) and Dianne Carter, OHRC Executive Director,
try a new fashion look as Ambassadors for the “Flip Your Wig for Justice Campaign.
” Founded by a collective of non-profits, this fundraiser supports access to justice
programs in Ontario. Photo: Sam Pereira

Chief Commissioner Barabra Hall stand with OHRC choir, one member poses with his guitar.











February 2015 – Barbara Hall pauses for posterity with the OHRC choir,
known as the “Hall” Monitors.

Barbara Hall dances with her husband Max.











February 2015 – Barbara Hall and her husband Max Beck dance up a storm
as the OHRC bids her farewell.

Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba stands behind a podium addressing the crowd.











March 2015 – Ruth Goba makes her first speech as Interim Chief Commissioner
of the OHRC at the Taking it Local regional training day in Windsor.

Senior Policy Analyst Cherie Robertson stands behind a podium presenting to a crowd of attendees. A woman in a wheelchair and her service dog appear in the foreground.











March 2015 – Hearing what’s new in human rights at the Taking it Local
regional training day in Windsor.