Toronto – The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that newspaper editorials are not covered by Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) intervened in this case, Whiteley v. Osprey Media Publishing Inc. and Sun Media Corporation before the Tribunal. The OHRC argued that section 13 of the Code does not restrict newspapers from printing opinions that some people may not like. The Tribunal agreed, saying “…publication of opinion in the media is a matter at the core of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in a democratic society”.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that two alcoholics are entitled to disability benefits. The case is important because it looks at what constitutes discrimination in human rights law.
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, has been selected as President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA). She takes over the post from Mary Pat Short, Chair of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2009-2010 Annual Report.
Toronto - The OHRC provides tools and approaches that individuals, organizations and sectors across Ontario can use in their own efforts to advance human rights. A new reference guide, Anti-racism, Anti-discrimination for Municipalities, offers tips and templates municipalities can apply to their work.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission is launching Human Rights 101, the first in a series of eLearning modules on human rights. Developed with assistance from the New Media Studies Program at the University of Toronto Scarborough and input from community stakeholders, Human Rights 101 users will be able to learn about human rights information from anywhere they have internet access. Created to be accessible to a wide range of users, students, office or factory workers, employers or those new to Canada will be able to get information on human rights history, principles, legislation and policies at the click of a button any time of the day.
Toronto - A major joint initiative between the Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to bring about institutional change in combating racism and discrimination celebrates a new milestone. An event celebrating the project’s completion is being held today at 11:50 a.m, at St. Lawrence Hall.
The OHRC recognizes the work of the City of Oshawa in preparing a strategy that will increase the amount of affordable housing in the community, which will benefit not only young people, but also other people across the community who may be from groups protected by the Human Rights Code ("Code"). Based on our work in this area, we have made several recommendations for the City's consideration, which we believe will help promote a culture of human rights and will support compliance with the Code.
Toronto - This morning, senior business and community leaders joined the Ontario Human Rights Commission to launch “Count me in!”, a new guide that provides information and advice on collecting human rights-based data in a wide variety of sectors across Ontario.
Toronto - The City of Vaughan, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) are pleased to announce an important forum that will focus on “Mobilizing Municipalities to Address Racism and Discrimination”. This partnership brings together municipal officials, community representatives, universities and the non-profit sector. Together, they have created an introductory manual for municipalities to confront racism and discrimination.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission, the City of Toronto, the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre have joined forces to promote housing as a human right. The partners are encouraging Toronto tenants and landlords to learn more about these rights by today launching a poster that will appear in 120 transit shelters across Toronto during the month of March.
Municipalities have to consider the needs of everyone - including people with disabilities or on social assistance - when making bylaws. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made that ruling late last week, saying “municipalities – and this Board – are bound by the [Human Rights] Code”.
Thunder Bay - Janice Kakegamic said when she and her friends are standing outside Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School it’s not unusual for people to drive by and yell ‘dirty Indians’ or give them the finger.
Toronto- The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released its Human Rights Mental Health Strategy for public consultation.
Toronto - New guidelines will help improve equal access to rental housing for all Ontarians. The Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing, Canada’s first comprehensive look at how barriers to housing can be indentified and eliminated, was released today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission continued to work towards a human rights culture in the province during a year of transition, according to the Commission’s Annual Report for 2008-09, released today.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today filed applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Hamilton, Sudbury and Thunder Bay transit providers, on behalf of transit riders with a vision disability. The OHRC took the action after these Ontario public transit providers failed to implement plans to call out all stops for bus passengers.
Toronto - Recent settlements of complaints with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing show an emerging commitment to human rights, the Ontario Human Rights Commission reports. The settlements follow the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Tranchemontagne v. the Ministry of Community and Social Services. In that decision, the Court told the Social Benefits Tribunal to apply the Code to resolve the issue before it. The Supreme Court stressed the primacy of the Code over other Ontario laws, unless the legislation governing the body expressly states that the Code will not prevail.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission was concerned to learn this past week about broad police record checks being conducted on some jury pools. While this matter raises important issues around disclosure, impartiality, judicial fairness, privacy, and informed consent, there are also human rights implications for individuals with mental health disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
The Commission is pleased with the progress that has been made since we first commented on the 2007 initial proposed standard. In its current submission, the Commission is recommending a number of modifications be made before the standard is drafted into regulation to ensure it is understood and applied in a harmonized manner consistent with obligations under human rights law.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released its final report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers. Entitled Fishing without Fear: Follow-up report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers, this follow-up report highlights the progress 22 organizations have made in response to reports of harassment and assaults against Asian Canadian anglers. The report also identifies areas for improvement, and calls for communities to continue working on and responding to incidents of racism.
Toronto - Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found casino tour operator Tai Pan Vacations Inc. liable for committing an act of reprisal against a female employee who had settled a related human rights complaint.
Toronto – The new edition of a human rights handbook will help employers put human rights into action. The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released the newly-updated third edition of Human Rights at Work. This plain-language guide includes examples, best practices, sample forms and other resources to help people develop and maintain inclusive, respectful workplaces that meet the standards of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”), I would like to thank you for the commitment you have made to announce stops in your transit services. I am pleased to report that all 38 of Ontario’s public transit providers have now committed to announcement of all transit stops by the end of this year.
Toronto - Youth have a new, interactive tool to facilitate learning and engage in dialogue about human rights issues affecting Canadians.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission's role is to speak out on issues that can lead to discrimination. We know from complaints and media accounts that some individuals are being denied public health services because of their race, faith, age, gender, sexual orientation and other grounds under Ontario's Human Rights Code. That's why we are pleased the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has drafted an anti-discrimination policy for its members.
The Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board tabled a report at the Board’s meeting today on first year activities undertaken as part of their partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Kindergarten to grade 8 students in Ontario’s elementary public schools soon will be learning how ‘racism hurts’ and what they can do to combat it, thanks to a unique campaign announced today.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched “Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario.” This report, which follows a year of public sessions, meetings and submissions involving hundreds of individuals and organizations across the province, focuses on housing as a human right, and sets out a framework for collective action to identify, remove and prevent discrimination in rental housing.
"As our mandate changes, and the transformation of Ontario’s human rights system continues, we are restructuring the Commission to fulfill new opportunities,” says Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s 2007/2008 Annual Report made public today.
Toronto - The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 30 is now in effect. As a result, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will no longer accept complaints of discrimination. All new applications alleging discrimination are to be filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Complaints that were filed with the Commission before June 30, 2008 can be changed to applications to the HRTO if the Complainant takes an active step to do so.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was pleased to host this year’s annual conference of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies’ (CASHRA) from June 15th to 17th at Niagara College Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. CASHRA is the association of Canada’s human rights commissions and tribunals, which are charged with administering federal, provincial and territorial human rights legislation. Among others, its goals include fostering collaboration among its members and serving as a national voice on human rights issues of common concern.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released the results of its Inquiry into assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers launched last November in partnership with the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today announced that thirty-one transit providers have committed to begin announcing all stops by this fall. This result was obtained after the Commission launched an inquiry into Transit Stop Announcements in the fall of 2007 to help riders with disabilities.
The Ontario Human Rights Code guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities to equal access to adequate, dignified transportation. For the reasons set out in its 2002 consultation report, Human Rights and Public Transit in Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has long been concerned by the significant barriers that persons with disabilities face when attempting to access transportation services. I am writing to share two recent developments in the area of transit and human rights, and to request that you provide the Commission with information on your organization’s accessibility efforts with regard to the announcement of transit stops.
Toronto, Ontario – The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario released its decision in the case of Connie Heintz v. Christian Horizons. The decision has a significant impact for faith-based and other organizations that provide services to the general public. Such organizations must ensure their hiring policies and practices do not unreasonably restrict or exclude the employment of persons based on grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
In a recent decision, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) decided not to proceed with complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine related to an article “The future belongs to Islam”. The complainants alleged that the content of the magazine and Maclean’s refusal to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights.
Toronto -The Ontario Human Rights Commission has decided not to proceed with complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine related to its publication of an article “The future belongs to Islam.” The complainants alleged that the content of the article and Maclean’s refusal to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights. The decision means that the complaints will not be referred to a hearing before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Toronto - Last December, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released preliminary findings from its inquiry into discrimination and harassment including instances of assault against Asian Canadian anglers. Since that time, the Commission has made progress working with key players across the province, including government ministries, municipalities, community organizations and fishing/sporting associations.
Toronto - Some media have recently commented incorrectly that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has made a “ruling” on a complaint involving York University and the accommodation of religious days of observance.
Toronto - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has issued its decision in the case of Brown v Trebas Institute Ontario Inc. The case involves a complaint filed by Delano Brown who is blind and alleged the private post-secondary career college discriminated against him in his efforts to enrol in a Music Business Administration study program.
Today the Human Rights Commission released an updated version of its Guidelines on Developing Human Rights Policies and Procedures (previously called Developing Procedures to Resolve Human Rights Complaints within Your Organization). This Policy contains the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s interpretation of provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code relating to organizational policies and procedures to prevent and address human rights issues.
Human rights commissions across Canada provide a vital forum to facilitate the difficult dialogue between rights and responsibilities. We have a system envied the world round and one I believe must be preserved.
Jennifer Brown’s article has good advice on how to deal with credit history and debt when assessing prospective tenants. But it does not mention the legal obligations landlords have under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Of most concern is Industry representative Rob Watt’s implication that landlords could use a 30 percent maximum rent-to-income ratio to deny tenancy.
Toronto - The Commission will appear as an intervener at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on February 14 and 15, 2008, in the case of R. v. Badesha.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released a Draft Policy on Mental Health Discrimination and Police Record Checks for public consultation.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has reached a settlement between the Days Hotel and Conference Centre, Toronto Airport East and hotel guest Barbara Dodd. The settlement will see the establishment of new fire safety practices for the hotel and sets a positive example for the use of visual strobe light fire alarms for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individuals in Ontario hotel accommodations as an important practice to be followed by the hospitality industry province-wide.
Toronto - A recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision in the case of Lane v. ADGA Group Consultants Inc. of Ottawa has upheld the right of persons with a mental health disability to be appropriately accommodated in the workplace under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Preliminary Findings of its Inquiry into Assaults against Asian Canadian Anglers. The Inquiry, which was launched on November 2nd, stemmed from a series of media reports and community concerns about a number of incidents across south and central Ontario in which Asian Canadian anglers were physically or verbally assaulted while fishing.
This special day is celebrated each year on December 10th, and commemorates the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This year marks the 59th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. International Human Rights Day is a time to reflect on the progress society has made in protecting and promoting human rights and on the challenges that lie ahead.