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Human Rights system changes take effect

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June 30, 2008

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For immediate publication

Toronto - The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 30 is now in effect. As a result, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will no longer accept complaints of discrimination. All new applications alleging discrimination are to be filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Complaints that were filed with the Commission before June 30, 2008 can be changed to applications to the HRTO if the Complainant takes an active step to do so.

As the mandate of the OHRC changes, and the transformation continues, the Commission is restructuring to meet new opportunities. A new strategic plan will be released by the OHRC later this year.

"We will carefully choose work that will offer the most benefit to the most vulnerable people in our society," said OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. "We will need to be clear about what we can accomplish within our priorities and our resources," she noted.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission will continue to expand its work to promote, protect and advance human rights in Ontario. The Commission will focus on addressing broad public interest or systemic issues of discrimination. Activities will include research and monitoring, policy development, and education and training. The OHRC will also conduct targeted inquiries and may initiate applications or intervene in important cases before the Human Rights Tribunal.

An essential part of this work will be building the foundations for new partnerships. "The reason for focusing on partnerships is simple - we can't do it alone," says Commissioner Hall. "For the Commission to succeed in advancing human rights, we need to work with communities, government, the private sector and individuals across Ontario to make sure the human rights written on paper are the rights enjoyed by all Ontarians."

Further information on the changes underway at the Ontario Human Rights Commission are available elsewhere on our website. More information on system-wide changes can be found at

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Afroze Edwards
Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management
(416) 314-4528


Jeff Poirier
Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission