Language selector

News Centre

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.

Proposed Transportation Accessibility Standards a setback for Ontarians with disabilities

August 30, 2007

Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has made a submission to the Transportation Accessibility Standards Development Committee of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The Committee is charged with developing the Initial Proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Human Rights Commission settles claim with respect to the exhibition of closed captioned movies

July 24, 2007

Toronto, Ontario - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today announced a settlement in the complaints between Nancy Barker, Gary Malkowski and Scott Simser, and movie exhibitors Alliance Atlantis Cinemas partnership, AMC Entertainment International Inc., Cineplex Entertainment LP and Rainbow Centre Cinemas Inc.

Archives of Ontario launch on-line exhibit honouring Dr. Daniel G. Hill, first Director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

June 15, 2007

Toronto - This June 15th, marks the 45th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, which came into effect in 1962. Equally historic, was the appointment of Dr. Daniel G. Hill, as the first Director of the Human Rights Commission.

Tribunal rules racial profiling in case against Peel Police

May 17, 2007

Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was successful in a significant racial profiling case under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The complaint was filed by Ms. Jacqueline Nassiah against the Peel Regional Police Services. The Commission thoroughly investigated the matter finding evidence indicative of racial profiling. Attempts to mediate and settle the case with Peel Police were unsuccessful. In a decision released on May 11, 2007, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found that a Peel police officer subjected Ms. Nassiah, a Black woman, to a more intensive, suspicious and prolonged investigation because of her race.

Commission defines connection between human rights and family relationships

May 2, 2007

Toronto - Today the Ontario Human Rights Commission released the results of its groundbreaking initiative on discrimination based on family status. “Ontario is proud to be the first jurisdiction to examine the human rights implications of barriers faced by families who are caring for children, aging parents or relatives, and family members with disabilities”, said Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner.

Media advisory: Ontario Human Rights Commission releases Consultation Report and Policy on discrimination on the basis of family status

May 1, 2007

On Wednesday, May 2nd, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall begins a four-city launch of the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Consultation Report and Policy on Discrimination on the basis of Family Status. The documents set out how family relationships affect access to employment, housing and services and human rights protections related to family status under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

Launch of Commission's consultation report and policy of family status

April 18, 2007

I am excited to have the opportunity to share with you the results of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (the “Commission”) groundbreaking project on discrimination on family status. The project is the first in Canada to examine the human rights implications of the barriers faced by families who are caring for children, aging parents or relatives, and family members with disabilities.

Message from Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, marking Black History Month

February 9, 2007

Toronto - This year’s celebration of Black History Month is particularly significant as it marks the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. Despite many positive developments in human rights protections since then, racism and racial discrimination continue to exist. Eliminating them and the barriers they create for many requires real commitment and joint effort from governments, institutions and organizations … in short, from all of us.

Message from Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall marking International Human Rights Day

December 8, 2006

Since December 10, 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by Canada and other member States of the United Nations, Ontario’s human rights system has evolved to be a leader within the global human rights system. All of us have every reason to be proud of that and what we have accomplished.

Commission hosts workshop between Rights & Democracy and the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA)

November 30, 2006

Toronto - Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission hosted a full-day workshop on Creating and Strengthening National Human Rights Institutions Abroad: Engaging Canada’s human rights agencies in international cooperation for the promotion of human rights. The Workshop looked at past collaborations between human rights commissions in Canada and others abroad and explored opportunities for new initiatives in partnerships with other Canadian and international actors.

Letter to the Premier of Ontario regarding the Government's notice to invoke closure and prematurely end debate on Bill 107

November 21, 2006

Toronto - I wish to express my profound dismay at your Government’s notice to invoke closure and prematurely end debate on Bill 107, An Act to Reform the Ontario Human Rights Act. From the start of the Bill 107 process, more than a year ago, the Commission has commented on the need for full consultation by the Ministry of the Attorney General. What should have been a broad, consensus-building exercise in the best traditions of promoting human rights, was undertaken in a way which, instead, caused division within the communities concerned.

Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall remarks to the standing committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 107, an Act to amend the Human Rights Code

November 15, 2006

I am pleased to be with you this morning and to bring you the view of the Commission on Bill 107 and its implications for the Human Rights System in Ontario. I anticipate that over the next few days and weeks you will hear many considered and informed opinions about the proposed legislation.

Transit accessibility

November 14, 2006

Equal access by persons with disabilities, older Ontarians, and families with young children to adequate, dignified public transit services is a right protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. For many, it is also a necessity – in order to obtain an education, find and keep a job, or use basic public services like health care. Lack of access to transit may also lead to isolation, as visiting friends or participating in the life of the community becomes difficult or impossible. Unfortunately, equal access to transit services is far from reality for many Ontarians.

Pages