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Spreading the message about human rights in housing: you can help!

June 1, 2011 - At the Ontario Human Rights Commission, we have heard many stories of discrimination in rental housing. Some people face discrimination right at the beginning of their search – in rental housing advertisements. Tenants and advocates have brought a number of these ads to our attention. As a result, we are working with partners in housing and the media to increase awareness of human rights in housing, and find ways to prevent and address discriminatory ads.

Re: Bill 140, Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011

April 5, 2011 - On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, I would like to congratulate you on bringing forward Bill 140. The Bill is receiving general support for taking positive steps on oversight, local planning and flexibility for delivery of affordable housing services, as well as for its requirements on municipal zoning laws permitting second unit apartments. However, concerns remain about very long waiting lists for limited availability of affordable housing in Ontario.

Re: Coach who protested racial slur suspended until April (16/12/10)

December 17, 2010 - Racial slurs and other name-calling because of one’s personal characteristics such as disability, sex or sexual orientation is wrong. The Ontario Human Rights Code makes that clear. It’s also clear that sports organizations and their governing bodies in Ontario must follow provincial human rights legislation. They should be prohibiting and not sanctioning such conduct.

Re: Census questionnaire

July 15, 2010 - I am writing to you regarding the Federal Government’s intent to end the mandatory requirement for completing the detailed Census questionnaire. Data from this survey provides an invaluable resource for measuring human rights equality. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is concerned that a voluntary approach will result in inadequate data that is skewed by self-selection and no longer comparable to previous censuses.

Re: Good information comes at a price

July 15, 2010 - I share your concerns about deleting the census long form. In “Count me in!”, our new guide to collecting human rights-based data, the OHRC identifies this information as a vital starting point for organizations working to eliminate barriers for their workers and their customers. It is hard to solve problems or run a successful business or make a good policy without all of the information – yet that is exactly what is being proposed with these changes.

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