The upcoming Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are an exciting opportunity to showcase the many ways Ontario is a world leader. One notable accomplishment should be our ability to welcome and include guests and residents of all backgrounds and abilities. The Games offer a good opportunity to raise awareness about what Ontario and its municipalities are doing to promote and enhance accessibility.
The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that society must be designed to include all people, including members of a Code-protected group. It is no longer acceptable to structure systems in a way that ignores needs or barriers related to Code grounds. Instead, systems should be designed so they do not create physical, attitudinal or systemic barriers.
February 18, 2014 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) appreciates the opportunity to have participated in the City of Toronto's recent consultation about internet voting. I am pleased that City Council is considering implementing internet and telephone voting for the upcoming 2014 municipal election.
December 2013 - Under the Code, all organizations are prohibited from treating people unfairly because of Code grounds, must remove barriers that cause discrimination, and must stop it when it occurs. Organizations can also choose to develop “special programs” to help disadvantaged groups improve their situation. The Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms both recognize the importance of addressing historical disadvantage by protecting special programs to help marginalized groups. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized the need to protect “programs” established by legislation that are designed to address the conditions of a disadvantaged group.
January 2014 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has used a range of its functions to reduce and eliminate discrimination relating to land use planning. However, to meet Ministry goals and be consistent with Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the land use planning and appeal system needs to incorporate a human rights lens and provide human rights-related information, education and resources to those who implement and use the system. Planners and decision-makers throughout the system and in municipalities will benefit from clear guidance from the Province.
Thank you for this opportunity to provide our comments to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Land Use Planning and Appeal System Review. Please find attached the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s written submission.
November 20, 2013 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities as set out in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the OHRC’s Policy and guidelines on disability and the duty to accommodate, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005. The OHRC is committed to complying with the accessibility standards set out in the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation.
Dear Minister, Please find attached the submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) regarding your Ministry’s proposed changes to the barrier-free requirements of the Ontario Building Code Regulation.