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Ontario Human Rights Commission statistics for the year ending March 31, 2006

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May 18, 2006

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For immediate publication

Toronto - 

Public contact with the Commission

The Commission provides information to tens of thousands of Ontarians. Last year, Commission staff dealt with over 43,000 inquiries by telephone, 1,760 by letter, and 760 in-person visits.  It also received 824,887 unique visits to its website.  In addition, the Commission’s public education activity on its policies and the Code reached a further 10,428 people. These contacts resulted in 2,399 new complaints being filed at the Commission.

Breakdown of cases completed at the Commission

16.7% of cases were withdrawn by the complainant, some as a result of a term of settlement  (Avg age: 7.5 months)

57.1% of cases were settled by the Commission or resolved between the parties (Avg age: 12.4 months)

  • 34.4% of cases were settled through early mediation without investigation (Avg 7.4 months)
  • 10.1% of cases were settled at the investigation stage (Avg 26.2 months)
  • 12.6% of cases were resolved between the parties (Avg 15.0 months)

8.6% of cases were dismissed based on preliminary objections (s.34) after a Commission decision based on written submissions (Avg age: 9.5 months) determining that:

  • 2.0% of cases could have been dealt with by another legislated body
  • In 4.0% of cases there was evidence the complaint was frivolous, vexatious, or made in bad faith
  • In < 0.2% of cases the matter was outside the Commission’s jurisdiction
  • In 2.4% of cases the events occurred outside the Ontario Human Rights Code’s six month filing requirement

17.6% of cases received a Commission decision (based on written submissions) on the merits (s.36) (Avg age: 26.9 months):

  • 8.5% of cases were dismissed because of insufficient evidence to warrant a Tribunal hearing (Avg 29.6 months)
  • 2.8% of cases were dismissed because of lack of cooperation by the complainant (Avg 17.4 months)
  • 6.3% of cases were referred to the Tribunal for a hearing (Avg 27.6 months)

Commission decisions:

Although complainants do not appear in person before the Commission, they provide written submissions based upon which, together with the respondent’s submissions and a staff investigation report of findings, Commissioners decide whether the complaint has sufficient evidence to support referral to the Tribunal for a hearing. Once a case is referred to the Tribunal, the Commission litigates the case and represents the public interest, which typically coincides with the interests of the complainant.


  • The Commission received 2,399 new complaints
  • 2,117 cases were completed at the Commission: Average age 12.9 months
  • 143 cases were referred to the Tribunal: Average age 27.6 months
  • An additional 27 cases were sent to the Tribunal after a reconsideration by the Commission of a previous decision
  • Number of complaints over three years old at the Commission: 85 (3 % of 2,880 active caseload)
  • Over the last few years, the Commission has received more cases than it has capacity to address resulting in a backlog of 581 cases

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