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We offered written advice

Every year, the OHRC makes submissions on legislation, regulations and other issues. We also write to organizations and communities across Ontario and issue statements to offer advice, note concerns and clarify human rights issues. Here are some highlights for 2015-2016:

Submissions (includes deputations)



OHRC cases 2014-2015

The OHRC continues to be involved in cases in the courts and tribunals that we think could affect a wide number of people or groups, or advance human rights law. Here are some of our cases from 2014-2015:

Supreme Court of Canada

McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

  • Scope of employment protections
Federal Court of Appeal

Canadian National Railway v. Seeley

  • Test for discrimination based on family status
Court of Appeal for Ontario

Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

  • Accommodating an employee’s mental health disability

Sarnia (City) v. River City Vineyard

  • Creed, municipal zoning

Taylor-Baptiste and Attorney General of Ontario v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al.

  • Sexist comments on a union blog, Charter values, competing rights, interpreting “with respect to employment”

Tanudjaja et al. v. Attorneys General (Canada and Ontario)

  • Provincial and federal government Charter obligations relating to affordable housing
Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court)

D’Orazio, Cardile v. Ontario Human Rights Commission et al.

  • Challenge of OHRC’s racial discrimination policy

MacConnell v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)

  • Special Diet Allowance funding for people on social assistance who have disabilities that require dietary modifications

Ontario Provincial Police et al. v. de Lottinville

  • Interpreting and applying s.45.1 of the Code in the context of officer misconduct complaints under the Police Services Act

Hay v. Ontario Provincial Police et al.

  • Whether Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner’s ability to suspend or terminate First Nations Constables' appointments without the procedural rights given to a "police officer" under the Police Services Act constitutes prima facie discrimination

Aiken v. OPSB et al.

  • Applicant seeking public interest remedies relating to police racial profiling
Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Dream Team v. City of Toronto

  • Zoning: minimum separation distances for group homes

Dream Team v. Town of Smiths Falls

  • Zoning: minimum separation distances for group homes

Jahn v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services)

  • Treatment and segregation of women with mental health disabilities in correctional facilities

J.T. v. Hockey Canada et al.

  • Locker room access for transgender hockey players

Sjaarda v. Ottawa Police Services Board

  • Pregnancy/sex discrimination and family status accommodation

Wheaton and Perrault v. City of Ottawa

  • Whether a municipal bylaw is a service under the Code

Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board

  • Whether s.25(2.1) of the Code violates s.15 of the Charter based on age

Cole v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care)

  • Whether a cap on nursing services in a regulation under the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 violates the Code

Tang v. McMaster University et al.

  • Establishing prima facie discrimination, procedural duty to accommodate, comparator group discrimination analysis

Misetich v. Value Village

  • The OHRC is intervening in this case to make submissions about the proper test for discrimination in cases involving obligations related to family status
Special Diet Allowance complaints

Reached settlement agreements in the following complaints concerning Special Diet Allowance funding for people on social assistance with disabilities requiring dietary modification:

  • Charles v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Raymond v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Salm v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Lesser v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Jackson v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Debbie MacDonald v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • John MacDonald v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Williams v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Hanna v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Walker v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Landry v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Burt v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Lockwood v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Monteath v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Priolo v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Smart v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Abbs v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
  • Rose v. Ontario (Community and Social Services)
Workplace Safety Insurance and Appeals Tribunal

Decision No. 66510I2

  • Appeal from board decision denying entitlement for traumatic mental stress; challenge under the Code and Charter to subsections13(4) and(5) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

More on adding the personal touch 2014-2015

The OHRC provided education to more than 7,800 people at 90 events across Ontario. Our education activities included lectures, presentations, panel presentations, speeches, and even full-day training sessions. Here’s a list of where we provided training in 2014-2015. Note that we did more than one session with several of these organizations.

  • Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie
  • Anduhyaun Aboriginal Shelter
  • Asian Canadian Educators Network of Ontario
  • Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
  • Cabinet Office – Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies
    (CASHRA) Conference
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora Branch
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay Branch
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch
  • Centre for Education and Training, Newcomer Information Centre
  • CERIS (Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement)
  • Corporation of the County of Hastings
  • County of Simcoe – Local Immigration Partnership
  • CUPE 3906 Political Action Committee
  • Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Employment Help Centre
  • Engineers Canada
  • Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario
  • Family Mental Health Support Network of Niagara
  • Fanshawe College
  • Federated Press
  • First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre
  • Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable
  • Human Resources Professional Association
  • Humber College Administration Program
  • Infonex Inc.
  • Kenora Chiefs Advisory
  • Law in Action within Schools (LAWS)
  • Legal Aid Ontario
  • McGill University
  • Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services – Human Rights Project Charter
  • Ministry of Education – Inclusive Education Branch
  • Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
  • Ministry of Government Services – WDHP Section, Centre for Employee Health, Safety and Wellness
  • Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Court Services
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Supervised Access Program
  • Office of the Independent Police Review Director
  • Office of the Ontario Ombudsman
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Business Improvement Area Association
  • Ontario College of Teachers
  • Ontario Police College
  • Ontario Professional Planners Institute
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union
  • OPS Pride Network
  • Partners for a Safe Community: Kingston
  • Police Literacy Initiative
  • Prisoners Justice Day
  • Professional Engineers Ontario
  • Promoting Education & Community Health (PEACH) and York University
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Queen's University
  • Queen's University – Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program
  • Queen's University and St. Lawrence College
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Ryerson University
  • Ryerson University Ethics and Criminal Justice Class
  • Schedule 2 Employer's Group
  • Sioux-Hudson Employment Services
  • Sound Times Support Services Toronto
  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation
  • Toronto Police Service
  • Trent University Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility
  • United Food & Commercial Workers Canada, Locals 175 & 633
  • United Way Peel and Partners
  • University of Toronto Crime and Culture
  • University of Toronto Housing Services and Hart Social Justice Committee
  • University of Toronto, Queens and Northern Ontario Medical Schools
  • Urban Alliance on Race Relations
  • Western University
  • Workplace Health Community of Practice
  • Workplace Safety Prevention Services
  • York Region Children's Aid Society
  • York Region District School Board
  • York University Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • YWCA Toronto

Chief Commissioner and Interim Chief Commissioner speeches in 2014-2015

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba delivered more than 40 speeches and presentations across the province. Here are some highlights:

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute – Human rights at work: balancing competing rights
  • Asian Canadian Educators’ Network – Human rights and education
  • City of Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
  • Cobourg Collegiate Institute – Human rights past, present and future
  • Dare Summit – Engaging in politics and with institutions for human rights
  • First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre – Introducing Human Rights 101, Portuguese edition
  • Greater Sudbury Police Service – Celebrating the new GSPS video on understanding the transgender community
  • Harmony Awards Gala – Honouring Jeremy Dias
  • Ministry of Community and Safety and Correctional Services – launch of the MCSCS Trans Inmate Policy
  • Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression – Ottawa: Family Services Ottawa, City of Ottawa, Ottawa Rainbow Service Providers’ Network; Sudbury – TgInnerselves, United Steelworkers, City of Sudbury, Greater Sudbury Police Service; Toronto – The 519 Church Street Community Centre
  • OPS Pride Network – Gender identity, gender expression, the Code and the law
  • Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA) Conference – Schools: a reflection of our communities
  • Policy on preventing discrimination because of mental health disabilities and addictions – Queen’s University, Kingston; Ryerson University, Toronto; Trent University, Peterborough
  • Proud Politics Out to Win Conference – LGBT issues in politics
  • Riverdale Historical Society – Human rights history
  • Ryerson Planning Forum – Human rights and planning
  • Sir Alan MacNab Secondary School – Gender issues and human rights
  • Taking it Local regional training day with York Regional Police – Human rights start locally
  • Toronto Police LGBTQ Community Consultative Committee – Let’s talk gender identity
  • Toronto Police Services Board – Deputation on the Community Contacts Policy
  • Updated Policy on preventing discrimination because of pregnancy and breastfeeding (video – webinar) in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
  • Upper Grand Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario – Human rights, bullying and the role of teachers
  • Urban Alliance on Race Relations – The community’s role in human rights
  • Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board – Project Charter wrap-up
  • York University: Black history, social justice, human rights

Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba: Speeches, written statements

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