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.
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.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2010-2011 Annual Report.
Toronto – As part of its ongoing work with police across the province, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today releases a new guide. Human rights and policing: creating and sustaining organizational change aims to encourage and support police services across Ontario in building human rights into all their work.
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.”
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has extended its deadline for written submissions to its consultation on human rights and mental health to April 30, 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.
Toronto – Today, human rights commissions and agencies across Canada are celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Toronto - The next phase of a consultation on human rights and mental health begins Thursday February 3rd. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will meet with people with mental health disabilities and addictions, employers and housing and service providers to discuss human rights and mental health-related issues.
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.
Toronto - As society evolves, we see more and more cases where rights based on one ground of the Human Rights Code seem to conflict with rights of another ground. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), along with many partners, is working to find answers.
Toronto - December 3rd marks the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day to promote a better understanding of disability-related issues, the rights of persons with disabilities, and their integration in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
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.
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”.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that two alcoholics are entitled to disability benefits. The case is important because it looks at what constitutes discrimination in human rights law.
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, has been selected as President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA). She takes over the post from Mary Pat Short, Chair of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2009-2010 Annual Report.
Toronto - The OHRC provides tools and approaches that individuals, organizations and sectors across Ontario can use in their own efforts to advance human rights. A new reference guide, Anti-racism, Anti-discrimination for Municipalities, offers tips and templates municipalities can apply to their work.
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.
Toronto - A major joint initiative between the Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to bring about institutional change in combating racism and discrimination celebrates a new milestone. An event celebrating the project’s completion is being held today at 11:50 a.m, at St. Lawrence Hall.
The OHRC recognizes the work of the City of Oshawa in preparing a strategy that will increase the amount of affordable housing in the community, which will benefit not only young people, but also other people across the community who may be from groups protected by the Human Rights Code ("Code"). Based on our work in this area, we have made several recommendations for the City's consideration, which we believe will help promote a culture of human rights and will support compliance with the Code.
Toronto - This morning, senior business and community leaders joined the Ontario Human Rights Commission to launch “Count me in!”, a new guide that provides information and advice on collecting human rights-based data in a wide variety of sectors across Ontario.
Toronto - The City of Vaughan, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) are pleased to announce an important forum that will focus on “Mobilizing Municipalities to Address Racism and Discrimination”. This partnership brings together municipal officials, community representatives, universities and the non-profit sector. Together, they have created an introductory manual for municipalities to confront racism and discrimination.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission, the City of Toronto, the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre have joined forces to promote housing as a human right. The partners are encouraging Toronto tenants and landlords to learn more about these rights by today launching a poster that will appear in 120 transit shelters across Toronto during the month of March.
Municipalities have to consider the needs of everyone - including people with disabilities or on social assistance - when making bylaws. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made that ruling late last week, saying “municipalities – and this Board – are bound by the [Human Rights] Code”.
Thunder Bay - Janice Kakegamic said when she and her friends are standing outside Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School it’s not unusual for people to drive by and yell ‘dirty Indians’ or give them the finger.
Toronto- The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released its Human Rights Mental Health Strategy for public consultation.
Toronto - New guidelines will help improve equal access to rental housing for all Ontarians. The Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing, Canada’s first comprehensive look at how barriers to housing can be indentified and eliminated, was released today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
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.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today filed applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Hamilton, Sudbury and Thunder Bay transit providers, on behalf of transit riders with a vision disability. The OHRC took the action after these Ontario public transit providers failed to implement plans to call out all stops for bus passengers.
Toronto - Recent settlements of complaints with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing show an emerging commitment to human rights, the Ontario Human Rights Commission reports. The settlements follow the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Tranchemontagne v. the Ministry of Community and Social Services. In that decision, the Court told the Social Benefits Tribunal to apply the Code to resolve the issue before it. The Supreme Court stressed the primacy of the Code over other Ontario laws, unless the legislation governing the body expressly states that the Code will not prevail.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission was concerned to learn this past week about broad police record checks being conducted on some jury pools. While this matter raises important issues around disclosure, impartiality, judicial fairness, privacy, and informed consent, there are also human rights implications for individuals with mental health disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
The Commission is pleased with the progress that has been made since we first commented on the 2007 initial proposed standard. In its current submission, the Commission is recommending a number of modifications be made before the standard is drafted into regulation to ensure it is understood and applied in a harmonized manner consistent with obligations under human rights law.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released its final report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers. Entitled Fishing without Fear: Follow-up report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers, this follow-up report highlights the progress 22 organizations have made in response to reports of harassment and assaults against Asian Canadian anglers. The report also identifies areas for improvement, and calls for communities to continue working on and responding to incidents of racism.
Toronto - Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found casino tour operator Tai Pan Vacations Inc. liable for committing an act of reprisal against a female employee who had settled a related human rights complaint.
Toronto – The new edition of a human rights handbook will help employers put human rights into action. The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released the newly-updated third edition of Human Rights at Work. This plain-language guide includes examples, best practices, sample forms and other resources to help people develop and maintain inclusive, respectful workplaces that meet the standards of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”), I would like to thank you for the commitment you have made to announce stops in your transit services. I am pleased to report that all 38 of Ontario’s public transit providers have now committed to announcement of all transit stops by the end of this year.
Toronto - Youth have a new, interactive tool to facilitate learning and engage in dialogue about human rights issues affecting Canadians.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission's role is to speak out on issues that can lead to discrimination. We know from complaints and media accounts that some individuals are being denied public health services because of their race, faith, age, gender, sexual orientation and other grounds under Ontario's Human Rights Code. That's why we are pleased the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has drafted an anti-discrimination policy for its members.
The Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board tabled a report at the Board’s meeting today on first year activities undertaken as part of their partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Kindergarten to grade 8 students in Ontario’s elementary public schools soon will be learning how ‘racism hurts’ and what they can do to combat it, thanks to a unique campaign announced today.
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched “Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario.” This report, which follows a year of public sessions, meetings and submissions involving hundreds of individuals and organizations across the province, focuses on housing as a human right, and sets out a framework for collective action to identify, remove and prevent discrimination in rental housing.
"As our mandate changes, and the transformation of Ontario’s human rights system continues, we are restructuring the Commission to fulfill new opportunities,” says Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s 2007/2008 Annual Report made public today.
Toronto - The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 30 is now in effect. As a result, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will no longer accept complaints of discrimination. All new applications alleging discrimination are to be filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Complaints that were filed with the Commission before June 30, 2008 can be changed to applications to the HRTO if the Complainant takes an active step to do so.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was pleased to host this year’s annual conference of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies’ (CASHRA) from June 15th to 17th at Niagara College Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. CASHRA is the association of Canada’s human rights commissions and tribunals, which are charged with administering federal, provincial and territorial human rights legislation. Among others, its goals include fostering collaboration among its members and serving as a national voice on human rights issues of common concern.