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annual report

Focusing on family: updating the pregnancy/breastfeeding policy

From: Annual report 2008-2009

In April 2009, the OHRC published an updated Policy on Discrimination Because of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. The revised Policy reflects recent changes to the human rights system. It includes new legal cases about pregnancy and breastfeeding, more examples of discrimination based on pregnancy and breastfeeding, and more information on preventing discrimination in housing, services, goods and facilities.

Realizing rights in rental housing

From: Annual report 2008-2009

In July 2008, the OHRC released Right at Home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario. This report followed a year of public sessions, meetings and submissions involving hundreds of individuals, organizations and landlords across the province. It focuses on housing as a human right, and sets out a framework for collective action to identify, remove and prevent discrimination in rental housing.

Resolving conflict and tension: follow-up on the Asian Canadian Angler Inquiry

From: Annual report 2008-2009

In April 2009, the OHRC released its final report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers, entitled Fishing without Fear: Follow-up report on the Inquiry into Assaults on Asian Canadian Anglers. This report highlighted the progress 22 organizations have made in response to reports of harassment and assaults against Asian Canadian anglers.

Continuing the connection with Toronto Police

From: Annual report 2008-2009

The Commission continues to work with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), to identify human rights issues and develop appropriate initiatives to prevent and eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination. This three-year project, now in its second year, affects both police employment policies and the way police services are delivered to the public.

Activity highlights to date include:

Accommodating religious beliefs in our courtrooms

From: Annual report 2008-2009

Although it is rare for the Commission to intervene in a criminal case, it will do so when human rights issues arise that are of greater public interest. This is why the OHRC applied to intervene at the Superior Court of Ontario, which was hearing the judicial review application of a woman who was ordered to remove her niqab when testifying at a preliminary hearing in a sexual assault case. A niqab is a veil for covering the hair and face except for the eyes that is worn by some Muslim women.

When faith and public service collide: the Christian Horizons decision

From: Annual report 2008-2009

In April 2008, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario released its decision in the case of Connie Heintz v. Christian Horizons. The decision has a significant impact for faith-based and other organizations that provide services to the general public. Such organizations must make sure their hiring policies and practices do not unreasonably restrict or exclude the employment of persons based on grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Reaffirming the rights of employees with mental illness

From: Annual report 2008-2009

In August 2008, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the finding of discrimination of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in Lane v. ADGA Group Consultants Inc. After being hired as the most qualified candidate, Mr. Lane, a quality assurance analyst, was fired eight days into the job because he requested accommodation for his mental illness. The Court found that the employer had a dismissive attitude towards Mr. Lane and showed disregard for his bipolar condition. When he lost his job, Mr.

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