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TSP, TPSB and Ontario Human Rights Commission celebrate new milestone

May 17, 2010

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.

Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the City of Oshawa's Student Accommodation Strategy

March 30, 2010

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.

Mobilizing Municipalities to address racism and discrimination

March 15, 2010

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.

Campaign promotes "Housing as a human right"

March 1, 2010

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.

Tough talk

December 10, 2009

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.

Ontario Human Rights Commission files complaints against three public transit providers

July 6, 2009

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.

Adjudication Boards Built Human Rights into Decisions

June 18, 2009

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.

Letter to the Attorney General regarding police record checks on potential jurors

June 4, 2009

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.

Letter re: Final Proposed Accessible Transportation Standard

April 14, 2009

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.

Commission Reports on Progress Since Inquiry into Assaults against Asian Canadian Anglers

April 7, 2009

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.

Employers get expert help on human rights in the workplace

November 5, 2008

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.

RE: Transit Stop Announcements

October 16, 2008

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.

Doctors mustn't discriminate

September 6, 2008

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.

Commission launches report calling for collective housing strategy

July 8, 2008

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.

Human Rights system changes take effect

June 30, 2008

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.

OHRC hosts national human rights conference

June 18, 2008

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.

Dear transit services provider:

April 28, 2008

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.

Tribunal rules on employee lifestyle and morality statement

April 25, 2008

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.

Commission statement concerning issues raised by complaints against Maclean's Magazine

April 9, 2008

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.

Commission issues statement on decision in Maclean’s cases

April 9, 2008

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.

OHRC marks opening of fishing season with update on Asian Canadian fishing inquiry

April 8, 2008

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.

Private College Has Duty to Accommodate Students with Disabilities, Human Rights Tribunal Confirms

March 20, 2008

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.

Updated guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures

March 13, 2008

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.

Re: Jennifer Brown’s February 16th article on apartment hunting

February 21, 2008

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.

Human Rights Settlement Wins Hotel Visual Fire Alarms for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guests

January 30, 2008

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.

Preliminary findings released in Inquiry into assaults against Asian Canadian Anglers

December 14, 2007

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.

The Commission celebrates International Human Rights Day

December 10, 2007

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.

Human rights policy in Ontario - 2008 edition

December 7, 2007

On this 45th anniversary of the Ontario Human Rights Code, I am pleased to present the fourth edition of Human Rights Policy in Ontario, a publication first introduced in 1998. I am also pleased that Carswell, a respected publisher of employment and human rights related material, is our partner in putting together this latest compendium of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policies and guidelines.

Inquiry launched into assaults against Asian Canadian anglers

November 2, 2007

Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today announced the launch of an inquiry into alleged assaults against Asian Canadian anglers. The inquiry is being conducted in partnership with the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and involves other community partners. It arises out of concern following a number of violent incidents involving Asian Canadians who have been either physically or verbally assaulted while fishing in a number of communities around the province.

Ontario Transit Services expected to announce all transit stops

October 25, 2007

Toronto - Following up on several key developments in the area of accessible transit, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall has written to transit services across the province asking them to remove barriers faced by riders with disabilities. “Stop announcements are not only necessary for visually impaired riders but can benefit all transit users including visitors and even many of us who can't see the stops due to crowds or weather conditions,” commented Chief Commissioner Hall.

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