The Ontario Human Rights Code guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities to equal access to adequate, dignified transportation. For the reasons set out in its 2002 consultation report, Human Rights and Public Transit in Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has long been concerned by the significant barriers that persons with disabilities face when attempting to access transportation services. I am writing to share two recent developments in the area of transit and human rights, and to request that you provide the Commission with information on your organization’s accessibility efforts with regard to the announcement of transit stops.
In a recent decision, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) decided not to proceed with complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine related to an article “The future belongs to Islam”. The complainants alleged that the content of the magazine and Maclean’s refusal to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights.
Human rights commissions across Canada provide a vital forum to facilitate the difficult dialogue between rights and responsibilities. We have a system envied the world round and one I believe must be preserved.
Jennifer Brown’s article has good advice on how to deal with credit history and debt when assessing prospective tenants. But it does not mention the legal obligations landlords have under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Of most concern is Industry representative Rob Watt’s implication that landlords could use a 30 percent maximum rent-to-income ratio to deny tenancy.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has identified discriminatory NIMBY “Not in My Back Yard” opposition as a human rights concern and a major barrier to the development of much needed affordable and supportive housing.
I am writing to urge the Government of Canada to reconsider its position opposing the adoption by the United Nation’s General Assembly of the existing draft of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
May 2007 - I am very pleased to launch the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s review of human rights and rental housing and to invite your input into this area of significant concern.
As you know, changes are underway in the Ontario’s Human Rights system. In the next few years, we will see a change in roles and responsibilities as we work together to prevent discrimination and promote equality.