For immediate publication
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.
The Report provides a snapshot of successes and challenges of the past year, new policies and important legal decisions, and sets out the Commission’s priorities for the future.
During the past year, the OHRC has begun to deliver its new mandate. The Commission no longer handles the complaints of individuals. It proactively addresses systemic and public interest issues, getting at the roots of discrimination and preventing it before it happens.
“We’re taking a stronger role in Ontario’s communities,” says OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. “By working with transit providers, police services, school boards and a wide range of community groups we are raising awareness of discrimination and eliminating barriers to access and success.
“Hard economic times make life for Ontario’s most vulnerable people even harder,” says Barbara Hall. “Nothing is more central to someone’s well-being and health than adequate affordable housing. This past year, we worked with students, psychiatric survivors and other vulnerable groups to look at discrimination in rental housing. I am pleased that this work will result in the release of a new Housing Policy this Fall.”
This year’s Annual Report is available from the OHRC’s website – www.ohrc.on.ca. Although the main text is concise, the internet version adds a story within the story, by providing links to dozens of related publications and other sources of information on the work of the OHRC.
“I’m very proud of our accomplishments in the past year,” Barbara Hall says. “The annual report tells some of that story and it also points to how we plan to use our new and expanded role in the future to help build a truly equitable and inclusive society for Ontarians.”
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Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management