For immediate publication
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Keith Norton today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Year-End Results for the 2003-2004 fiscal period.
In speaking about the Commission’s major accomplishments for the year, Mr. Norton stated that, "Certainly, the year-end results demonstrate some of the important work that the Commission does to defend and promote human rights in Ontario".
Key achievements include:
- the completion of an inquiry into the effects of racial profiling on individuals, their families and communities, and the release of its report on the inquiry entitled, Paying the Price: the Human Cost of Racial Profiling;
- the release of a consultation report on disability and access to primary, secondary and post-secondary education entitled, The Opportunity to Succeed: Achieving Barrier-free Education for Students with Disabilities; and,
- commitments from seven restaurant chains following the Commission’s report, Dining Out Accessibly.
During the same period, 2,450 new cases were filed at the Commission, 38% more than the previous year, while the Commission closed 2,038 cases. The active caseload on March 31, 2004 was 2,549 cases. The average age of the Commission’s active caseload was 10.8 months, down from 11.5 months last year, indicating that the Commission continues to maintain a current caseload of 12 months or less. The Commission also referred a record 288 human rights complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, 200 of which were autism-related complaints that will be heard together.
The year 2003-2004 was also marked by the launch of a public education awareness campaign to address age discrimination in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart and CARP, the Canadian Association for the Fifty-Plus, and the release of an updated Human Rights at Work, a publication that addresses workplace issues, such as accommodating persons with disabilities, anti-discrimination and harassment policies, benefits for same-sex partners and rights for pregnant employees, produced in partnership with the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario.
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Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management