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The Ontario Human Rights Commission and Christian Horizons today released the following statement

August 15, 2013

Christian Horizons and the Ontario Human Rights Commission are pleased to announce a partnership initiative to enhance diversity within the CH workforce, strengthening CH's mission to serve people living with developmental disabilities. As part of the initiative, CH will be welcoming applications for future vacancies in support worker and program manager positions from all persons regardless of creed.

Letter to the City of Guelph regarding report No. 13-32 - Rental housing licensing cost-benefit analysis

July 11, 2013

Over the past several months, City staff have been in contact with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) as the City considers its options for licencing rental housing in Guelph. We are pleased to see that some of this discussion is reflected in references to human rights in the Rental Housing Licensing Cost-Benefit Analysis report.

OHRC calls for Waterloo to remove discriminatory sections of rental housing licensing bylaw

May 27, 2013

Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released a report on its inquiry into rental housing licensing in the City of Waterloo. The report outlines what the OHRC heard, identifies the City’s response to some concerns, gives recommendations for advancing human rights, and refers to two parts of the bylaw where human rights issues remain.

Letter to the City of London on Zoning By-law Amendment number Z-8063 (methadone clinic)

May 22, 2013

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the OHRC”) understands that, on October 31, 2012, City Council approved zoning by-law amendment number Z-8063, permitting a methadone clinic to be established under certain conditions at 425 Wharncliffe Road. The OHRC further understands that, while Council approved this amendment, it applied a holding provision which required a public site plan meeting be held.

OHRC wraps up inquiry into rental housing licensing in North Bay, publishes new guide on human rights and licensing

May 8, 2013

Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released a report on its inquiry into rental housing licensing in the City of North Bay. The report outlines what the OHRC heard, identifies the City’s response to some concerns, gives recommendations for advancing human rights moving forward, and also refers to one part of the bylaw where human rights issues remain.

Letter to the Toronto Police Services Board regarding the analysis of contact card data

March 28, 2013

Dear Dr. Mukherjee, I wish to commend the Toronto Police Services Board's (the "TPSB") approval of a project to collect and analyze data related to contact cards and the pattern of contact between the police and members of the community in general including young people from certain racialized communities. I also understand that the TPSB is seeking an opinion from the City Solicitor on the legality of the practice of carding and the issuance of receipts, which engages the issue of human rights-based data collection and analysis.

Celebrating the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 21, 2013

Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) joins human rights commissions and agencies across Canada and around the world in celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The day pays tribute to the tragic events of March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa when 69 peaceful demonstrators were killed as they protested against apartheid. Canada was one of the first countries to support the UN initiative.

Re: Human Rights Commissions Have Had Their Day, editorial, March 6

March 7, 2013

Letter to the editor, National Post - Some people will be amazed by the editorial board’s suggestion that “racism, sexism and homophobia have become rare in Canadian public life.” That is clearly not the experience of young black men or aboriginal people, or of women who are fired when they get pregnant or of LGBT youth bullied at school.

The right to balanced rights

February 28, 2013

Opinion Editorial, Globe and Mail - A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada was very, well, Canadian. A young Muslim woman wanted to testify in court while wearing her niqab, saying her religious beliefs required it – and that she had the right to do so. The accused objected, claiming their right to a fair trial would be affected if they could not see the face of the witness. Which right trumps the other?

OHRC letter to The Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands regarding a methadone clinic and potential amendments to zoning bylaws

February 5, 2013

Your Worship, We understand that the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, by letter dated December 19th, 2012 directed Robinson IDA Pharmacy Ltd to cease dispensing methadone at the 19 Water Street Clinic in Little Current by January 31, 2013, and subsequently provided a two week extension to Feb 15, 2013.

MMAH Provincial Policy Statement Review on land use planning - OHRC letter

December 7, 2012

Dear Minister, Please find attached the submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) regarding the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s proposed amendments to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) 2005 on land use planning. The OHRC made an initial submission when your Ministry’s review began in 2010.

Alternative voting methods – an OHRC letter to Elections Ontario

December 4, 2012

Dear Mr. Essensa, Thank you for the opportunity to meet earlier this month regarding Elections Ontario’s review and public consultation on alternative voting methods involving internet and telephone voting technologies. The Ontario Human Rights Commission supports these forms of accessible voting as well as the eight electoral principles identified by Elections Ontario.

OHRC granted party status in Lynwood Charlton Centre OMB appeal

November 5, 2012

In a decision on October 31, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) granted the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) party status in the Lynwood Charlton Centre’s appeal of a decision by the City of Hamilton. The OHRC requested party status because of its concerns about human rights issues when the City turned down Lynwood Charlton’s request to move its housing for eight teenage girls with mental health issues.

OHRC launches survey into Canadian experience requirement

October 5, 2012

Toronto – A new survey launched today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) asks job seekers and employers to describe how “Canadian experience” requirements in the Ontario job market have affected them. “In our conversations with newcomers, they often talk about the requirement for ‘Canadian experience’ as a big barrier to their entry into the workforce,” commented OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, “We want to learn more about how this requirement plays out in real life.”

OHRC seeks to intervene in Lynwood Charlton Centre OMB appeal

October 4, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has made a formal request to the Ontario Municipal Board to intervene in the Lynwood Charlton Centre’s appeal of a decision by the City of Hamilton. This step is based on the OHRC’s concerns about human rights issues when the City denied Lynwood Charlton the zoning required to move housing for eight teenage girls with mental health issues.

OHRC releases consultation report on human rights, mental health and addictions

September 13, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions. This report outlines what the OHRC heard in its largest-ever policy consultation across Ontario, and sets out a number of key recommendations and OHRC commitments to address human rights issues that affect people with mental health disabilities or addictions.

Letter to the City of Belleville regarding proposed by-law amendments affecting methadone clinics

July 6, 2012

I am writing to comment on proposed amendments to the city’s zoning by-laws that would include new definitions for ‘Opioid Substitution Therapy Clinics’ and ‘Methadone Dispensaries’ and differentiate them from other clinics, medical clinics or professional offices. As noted in the City’s staff report GP-2012-03, the effect of this differentiation would be to identify opioid substitution treatment and services as distinct uses and “to require any such new uses to be specifically zoned for that purpose”.

OHRC letter to the the Town of Tillsonburg regarding zoning By-Law for methadone clinics and dispensaries

June 21, 2012

Your Worship, I am writing to comment on By-Law Number 3636, which establishes “interim control provisions for the town of Tillsonburg to prohibit the establishment of new methadone clinics and methadone dispensaries for an interim period of up to one year in order to permit the completion of a planning study on the potential regulation of these uses.”

June 15 marks 50 years for Ontario’s Human Rights Code

June 11, 2012

Toronto – June 15 is the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code – the first such code in Canada. To mark this important event, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) is working with partners across Ontario to look back at human rights over the 50 years, and look ahead to the human rights of tomorrow. Highlights include a commemorative plaque and the “Proclamation Project” with municipalities across Ontario.

Re: White liberal guilt

May 24, 2012

Tarek Fatah is wrong to suggest I or anyone else “forced” Toronto Police to allow Khalsa Sikhs to wear kirpans in courtrooms. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said the police were “pleased to have worked cooperatively to arrive at a procedure which recognizes the needs and rights of the Sikh community and the obligation to provide a safe, secure and accessible courthouse environment."

Khalsa Sikhs can wear kirpan in Toronto courthouses

May 15, 2012

Toronto – Sikhs who wish to enter a Toronto courthouse wearing a kirpan (stylized representation of a sword) now face fewer barriers according to a settlement reached with the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) agreed to revise its procedures to ensure that practicing members of the Sikh faith will be allowed to wear kirpans in public areas of courthouses, subject to an individualized risk assessment.

Re: Information Report on the Lynwood Charlton Centre (CM12005)

April 3, 2012

Your Worship and Councillors, I am writing to restate my concerns about the human rights implications raised by the zoning application by the Lynwood Charlton Centre. As stated in my letter of January 24, 2012, applying the radial separation distance to this application makes one ask whether the City of Hamilton is creating discriminatory barriers for vulnerable people.

Inquiries launched into rental housing licensing in North Bay, Waterloo

March 8, 2012

Toronto – Two public interest inquiries by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will explore if new rental housing licensing bylaws in North Bay and Waterloo create discriminatory barriers to rental housing. New bylaws in the two municipalities come into force in the next few months – Waterloo’s on April 1, 2012 and North Bay’s on May 1, 2012.

Living Rights Project adds a human face to human rights

February 27, 2012

Toronto - Ontario Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today launched the Living Rights Project, a web-based living library that puts real people into the human rights discussion. The project was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, and to be an ongoing resource for all Ontarians. Hall made the announcement at Parkdale Collegiate Institute, which will serve as a program partner.

Re: Proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment; Methadone Clinics

February 24, 2012

Your Worship, Chair Polhill, and Committee Members, I am writing to comment on proposed amendments to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. As you consider these amendments, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) would like to outline some human rights principles that may affect your decision, and to ask some questions.

Building human rights into municipal planning is aim of new OHRC guide

February 17, 2012

Kingston - Attorney General John Gerretsen today joined Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, to launch In the zone: Housing, human rights and municipal planning. The guide offers municipalities information about their legal obligations, and about the tools and best practices they can apply to connect human rights and housing when making zoning and planning decisions.

OHRC unveils Human Rights 101 e-learning in Arabic and Spanish

December 9, 2011

Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today announced it is working on two new versions of its popular e-learning module, Human Rights 101 at an event to celebrate International Human Rights Day hosted by Overland Learning Centre, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) adult learning centre and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. The Overland Learning Centre has a large English as a Second Language Program helping many new Canadians integrate into Canadian society.

Human rights cases settled as transit providers offer more accessible services

September 29, 2011

Toronto - The cities of Hamilton, Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have settled three human rights cases at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The OHRC filed the complaints in 2009 to increase accessibility for riders with vision disabilities by ensuring the calling out of all transit stops.

Landmark human rights case settled

August 27, 2011

Toronto – A settlement has been reached in the longest-running human rights case in Canadian history. The case of Michael McKinnon v. the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services concerned discrimination on the basis of Aboriginal ancestry and has become the leading Canadian case on human rights remedies in race discrimination. The original complaint by Mr. McKinnon, a correctional officer working in the Ministry, was filed in 1988 and has now been settled after 23 years.

Police record checks guideline eliminates mental health descriptions

July 25, 2011

On July 25, 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) released the LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks. This new guideline shows police services how to conduct police record checks for people seeking either work or volunteer opportunities. The OHRC worked with the OACP to provide a human rights perspective, and to outline protections under the Code for persons with disabilities, with a focus on people with mental health issues.

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