Competing human rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
October 2014 - This case law review looks at important developments in the law dealing with discrimination based on pregnancy and breastfeeding between 2008 and January 2014. The discussion of the law in Ontario is intended as a resource, to be read along with the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Preventing Discrimination because of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding (the Policy), about the rights of women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, who have had a baby or who are breastfeeding. However, it is not legal advice.
May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.
Toronto – A significant decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) in XY v. Ministry of Government and Consumer Services reinforces the human rights of trans people. The decision found that legislation requiring a person to have “transsexual surgery” before they can change the sex designation on their birth registration is discriminatory.
Adler v. Ontario,  3 S.C.R. 609
Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37
Assn. of Justices of the Peace of Ontario v. Ontario (Attorney General) (2008), 92 O.R. (3d) 16
B. (R.) v. Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto,  1 S.C.R. 315
Bothwell v. Ontario (Minister of Transportation), 2005 CanLII 1066 (ON S.C.D.C.)
Bou Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia CMR Inc.,  1 S.C.R. 214
While the courts have not set a clear formula or analytical approach for dealing with competing rights, they have provided some guidance. Where rights appear to be in conflict, Charter principles require decision-makers to try to “reconcile” both sets of rights.
March 2012 - The OHRC will focus its comments on the issues and barriers identified in the CRSAO’s reports that connect to the OHRC’s current priority initiatives dealing with racism experienced by Aboriginal people and other groups as well as disability, especially mental health discrimination.
Preventing discrimination is at the heart of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The courts and tribunals continue to clarify what this means. One example is a landmark ruling in September 2010.
In Tranchemontagne v. the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that two alcoholics were entitled to disability benefits. This case looked at what constituted discrimination in human rights law.
A. v. Colloredo-Mansfeld (No. 3) (1994), 23 CHRR D/328 (Ont. Bd. Inq.)
Ahmed v. 177061 Canada Ltd. (2002), 43 CHRR D/379 (Ont. Bd. Inq.)
Alcoholism Foundation of Manitoba v. Winnipeg (City of), (Man. C.A.), (1990), 69 D.L.R. (4th) 697
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) has long been concerned about the significant barriers that persons with disabilities face when attempting to access transportation services.