The Commission made significant strides in its Ontario-wide campaign to have all transit stops announced. By October 2008, all 38 of Ontario’s public transit providers had made a commitment to announce all stops by the end of 2008.
This request for action, which began in October 2007, reflected the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision in Lepofsky v. TTC, in which the transit provider was given 30 days to begin announcing all stops on all transit routes.
As part of the changed Commission, we are looking at new ways of presenting our annual report. Respect for the environment has led the Commission, wherever possible, to use means other than paper to send its message. This year’s report has been shortened to include a high-level overview of the Commission’s progress in the past year and future directions. An expanded online version will provide many helpful links to descriptions of Commission activities.
Since June 30, 2008, the OHRC ended its role of accepting individual human rights complaints. All new human rights complaints – or applications – were filed directly with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The following numbers chart the OHRC’s work on cases during this transition phase:
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the OHRC worked with CASHRA, TakingITGlobal and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights to create a new website: www.tigweb.org/themes/udhr60/. This site offers youth an interactive tool to learn about human rights and to talk about human rights issues affecting Canadians.
The OHRC was pleased to host the 2008 conference of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) at Niagara College. Under this year’s theme, Collective Strength: Commission to Communities and Back, over 200 people (including representatives from human rights commissions across Canada and community representatives) shared experiences and expertise on a number of key human rights issues ranging from national security and profiling, working with policing services and other public institutions for systemic change, to the accommodation debate.
The OHRC continued its extensive efforts to educate the public about human rights issues. It based its selection of public events, presentations and speeches to focus on strategic priorities including the new human rights system, housing, law enforcement, mental health and other vulnerable sectors.