Language selector

News Centre

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.

Opening the door to fairer housing ads

June 14, 2011

Toronto – As part of its ongoing work with community partners in the area of human rights and housing, the Commission announced today that it has written to media and housing websites to ask them for help in addressing discriminatory housing advertisements. Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner, commented that, “Over the years, we have heard many stories of discrimination in rental housing. That some people are still facing discrimination right at the very start of their search for housing is unacceptable.”

Mental health round table sessions wrap up in North Bay

March 24, 2011

Toronto - North Bay-area residents will have their say at the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) final round table session on human rights and mental health issues on Monday, March 28, 2011. The OHRC, in cooperation with the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, People for Equal Partnerships in Mental Health (PEP) and True Self, will meet with consumer/survivors, members of the mental health community, people with addictions, employers and housing and service providers. They will hear personal stories of discrimination and identify solutions and best practices to deal with discrimination in the areas of housing, services and employment.

Celebrating International Women's Day – Ontario Human Rights Commission releases new Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

March 8, 2011

Toronto – A new policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment was launched today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in partnership with the Ryerson Students’ Union, Ryerson University and the CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University.

Working together on policing and human rights

February 24, 2011

Windsor - A new project, aimed at preventing discrimination and racism in policing, launched today in Windsor. The Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board, Ontario Police College and Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced a major joint initiative to address policing and human rights issues. Police Chief Gary Smith, Board Chair Eddie Francis, Police College Acting Director Bill Stephens and Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall made the announcement during today’s public Board meeting at Windsor Police Service headquarters.

Human rights and mental health project arrives in Ottawa

February 24, 2011

Toronto - Ottawa-area residents will have their say at the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) next human rights and mental health round table session on Wednesday March 2, 2011. The OHRC and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ottawa Branch will meet with consumer/survivors, members of the mental health community, people with addictions, employers and housing and service providers. They will hear personal stories of discrimination and identify solutions and best practices to deal with discrimination in the areas of housing, services and employment.

Human rights and mental health project goes to Windsor

February 11, 2011

Following a successful session in Toronto, the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) consultation on human rights and mental health issues is heading to Windsor. On Thursday, February 17th, the OHRC will meet with members of the mental health community, including consumer/survivors, people with addictions, employers, and housing and service providers to talk about human rights and mental health-related issues.

The OHRC introduces a new resource for human rights and mental health

January 25, 2011

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has serious concerns about the degree to which people with mental health disabilities experience discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, and services. Discriminating against someone because they have a mental health disability or addiction is a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

New e-learning package puts human rights training online

December 10, 2010

Toronto – Marking International Human Rights Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today launches Rental Housing e-learning at an event hosted by the York Centre for Human Rights. This second in a series of e-learning courses provides online learning and training for everyone who needs information on human rights issues that come up in rental housing.

OHRC launches survey on discrimination based on mental health and addiction disabilities

November 16, 2010

Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched a survey today to learn more about the human rights issues and barriers people with mental health and addiction disabilities face. The survey kicks off a broader consultation process on human rights and mental health-related issues.

Newspaper editorials are not restricted by Ontario's Human Rights Code

October 28, 2010

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”.

Human Rights 101 eLearning GOES LIVE on June 8, 2010!

June 8, 2010

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.

Pages