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Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission regarding Section 57 three-year statutory review of the Ontario Human Rights System

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March 01, 2012

1. About the OHRC ­­­

The Ontario Human Rights Commission was established in 1961 to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Code protects people in Ontario against discrimination in employment, accommodation, goods, services and facilities, contracts and membership in vocational associations and trade unions.

There are fifteen grounds of discrimination under the Code: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (includes religion), sex (includes pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age (18 and over, 16 and over in occupancy of accommodation), marital status (includes same sex partners), family status, receipt of public assistance (in accommodation only) and record of offences (in employment only).

The OHRC is an independent, arm's length agency of government accountable to the people of Ontario through the legislature. Its mandate is set by the Ontario Human Rights Code. There is a full-time Chief Commissioner and a varying number of part-time Commissioners, appointed by Order-in-Council. Commissioners are required to have knowledge, experience or training with respect to human rights laws or issues.  Staff of the OHRC are appointed under the Public Service of Ontario Act.

The OHRC’s vision is an Ontario in which everyone is valued, treated with dignity and respect and where human rights are nurtured by us all.

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