Each individual’s experience of his or her family status is profoundly influenced by other aspects of their identify, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, race, marital status, or disability: this was a major theme of the submissions the Commission received. For example, the experience of an aging parent of a child with a disability will differ from that of an Aboriginal single mother in search of housing. A heterosexual married mother seeking career advancement will experience different barriers than a lesbian couple dealing with their children’s schooling.
1. The Current Code Definition
The Code includes two grounds that provide protections for persons in relationships: marital status and family status. “Marital status” is defined in section 10 of the Code as “the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated and includes the status of living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage”, including both same-sex and opposite sex relationships. “Family status” is defined as “the status of being in a parent and child relationship.”
The Code contains provisions to help ensure that everyone has the equal opportunity to access housing, and the benefits that go along with it, without discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, creed (religion), place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability and receipt of public assistance. It also prohibits harassing behaviour in housing on the basis of these grounds.
1. Code Definitions
The experience of discrimination based on family status may differ based on other aspects of a person’s identity. Whenever an issue relating to family status is raised, it is important to take into account the intersecting impact of the person’s sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race and age, as well as whether the person or his or her family member has a disability.
1. Defining Discrimination
To a significant degree, the workplace is still built on the assumption that families are composed in a ‘traditional’ fashion, of two married heterosexual parents, one of whom is providing full-time caregiving for children, aging relatives, and other family members as necessary. Work schedules, policies and benefits all too often reflect the assumption that employees do not have substantial caregiving obligations. The corollary to this assumption is the belief that workers who do have substantial caregiving obligations are in some way inferior and undesirable employees.
Overall Change Objectives
- The identification and elimination of any discrimination that may exist in employment policies of the Toronto Police Services Board (“TPSB”) and the practices of the Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) that may be contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- The identification and elimination of any discrimination that may exist in the provision of policing services by the TPS to the residents of the City of Toronto that may be contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code.
From: Annual report 2007-2008
Commission-initiated complaint against the Ministry of Education
From: Annual report 2007-2008
HRTO FINAL DECISIONS
Bekele v. Cierpich
race, colour, ethnic origin
Benedetto v. Inco Limited, Garber, Callaghan
(complaint dismissed on consent)