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Ontario Human Rights Commission reduces its caseload

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June 23, 2000

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For immediate publication 

Toronto - Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released its Case Management Report. Key accomplishments include a reduction in the time required to resolve human rights complaints as well as a reduction in the number of cases. The average age of cases now stands at 13 months, down from about 20 months a couple of years ago. The median age of cases has dropped to 9 months.

For the fourth year in a row, the Commission resolved more cases (2,305) than were opened (1,861). Today, the Commission’s caseload roughly matches the number of complaints it receives and resolves on a yearly basis.

"We said that we would improve on our timelines for handling complaints, and reduce the backlog, " stated Chief Commissioner Keith Norton. "Clearly, the results show that we have successfully turned the situation around and are fulfilling our commitment to the people of Ontario."

The Commission closed over 400 cases above the number it opened, making 1999-2000 one of the most productive years in its history. As of April 1, 2000, the overall number of active cases stood at 1,952 down significantly from a caseload of 2,745 on March 31, 1998.

Other accomplishments include an improved centralized call centre where people can get all the information they need for filing a complaint simply by calling the Commission, and the Commission’s focus on resolving older cases in its inventory. In 1998-99, the Commission committed to resolve 95% of the 387 cases that were three years of age or over. As of April 1, 2000, that number has been reduced to 106 cases. In 1999-00, the Commission also committed to resolve 80% or 520 cases that were two years of age or older. The Commission closed 555 of these cases and achieved 106% of the target.

In 1999-2000, the Commission also referred 92 cases to a Board of Inquiry. The Board of Inquiry is an independent administrative tribunal which holds public hearings and makes decisions on cases the Commission forwards to it.

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François Larsen