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Invitation to public session

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March 13, 2007

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Office of the Chief Commissioner
180 Dundas Street West, 8th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2R9
Courier postal code:
Tel.: (416) 314-4537
Fax.: (416) 314-7752

Dear Sir/Madame,

As you know, changes are underway in the Ontario’s Human Rights system. In the next few years, we will see a change in roles and responsibilities as we work together to prevent discrimination and promote equality.

But right now, and for some months to come, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will continue processing and resolving discrimination complaints. We are committed to improving the way we do that work. To that end, we would like to let you know about a pilot project, aimed at increasing the efficiency – and thus, shortening the processing times – of our complaints system.

This pilot is already underway. The emphasis is on fixed mediation dates and fact-finding meetings; complaints will be served with two months of being received by us. When the complaint is served parties will be notified of a fixed mediation date (between 6 weeks and 2 months after serving the complaint) and a fixed fact-finding meeting date (between 6 weeks and 2 months after the mediation date).

We are building on our success with mediation and conciliation. Our experience suggests fixed meeting dates will help the parties achieve their rights and resolve the matter sooner. But, as always, if no resolution can be reached through mediation, we will continue to investigate complaints with the assistance of the fact-finding meeting, before the Commission decides whether or not to refer a case to the Tribunal. We firmly believe that these changes will move cases through the system faster and benefit both complainants and respondents.

At the beginning of this pilot period we will be holding three public sessions on Monday, April 2, 2007 to share the details of the project and receive your comments. The times of the sessions are: 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. All sessions will be held in the Superior Room, MacDonald Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto. Please note that there will be sign language interpretation and real time captioning at the 10:00 a.m. to Noon session.

If you are interested in taking part, please indicate to us by Monday, March 26, 2007 which session you will be attending. Please also let us know if you have any disability-related accommodation needs. You can rsvp to: or call 416-314-4524. If you are unable to attend but would like to participate via teleconference, please let us know via e-mail and we will contact you with the appropriate number to call.

Yours truly,

Barbara Hall, B.A., LL.B, Ph.D (hon.)
Chief Commissioner