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Business Plan 2022–23 – 2024–25

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1. Mandate
2. Staffing
3. Three-year financial plan
4. Key performance indicators and measurements


1. Mandate

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) was established in 1961 as an arm’s-length agency of government, to prevent discrimination and to promote and advance human rights in Ontario. The OHRC is one pillar of Ontario’s human rights system alongside the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC).

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the OHRC has a broad statutory mandate to promote, protect and advance respect for human rights, and to identify and promote the elimination of discriminatory practices. The OHRC promotes and enforces human rights to create a culture of human rights accountability. The OHRC fulfills this mandate in many ways, including through education, policy development, public inquiries and litigation.

Section 29 of the Code states that the functions of the OHRC are to:

…”promote and advance respect for human rights in Ontario, to protect human rights in Ontario and, recognizing that it is in the public interest to do so and that it is the OHRC’s duty to protect the public interest, to identify and promote the elimination of discriminatory practices” and, more specifically:

  1. To forward the policy that the dignity and worth of every person be recognized and that equal rights and opportunities be provided without discrimination that is contrary to law
  2. To develop and conduct programs of public information and education
    1. to promote awareness and understanding of, respect for and compliance with this act, and
    2. prevent and eliminate discriminatory practices that infringe rights under Part I
  3. To undertake, direct and encourage research into discriminatory practices and to make recommendations designed to prevent and eliminate such discriminatory practices
  4. To examine and review any statute or regulation, and any program or policy made by or under a statute, and make recommendations on any provision, program or policy that in its opinion is inconsistent with the intent of this act
  5. To initiate reviews and inquiries into incidents of tension or conflict, or conditions that lead or may lead to incidents of tension or conflict, in a community, institution, industry or sector of the economy, and to make recommendations, and encourage and coordinate plans, programs and activities, to reduce or prevent such incidents or sources of tension or conflict
  6. To promote, assist and encourage public, municipal or private agencies, organizations, groups or persons to engage in programs to alleviate tensions and conflicts based upon identification by a prohibited ground of discrimination
  7. To designate programs as special programs in accordance with section 14
  8. To approve policies under section 30
  9. To make applications to the Tribunal under section 35
  10. To report to the people of Ontario on the state of human rights in Ontario and on its affairs
  11. To perform the functions assigned to the OHRC under this or any other act. 2006, c. 30, s. 4.


OHRC vision, mission and values

Vision: An inclusive society where everyone takes responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights; where everyone is valued and treated with equal dignity and respect; and where everyone’s human rights are a lived reality.

Mission: To promote and enforce human rights, to engage in relationships that embody the principles of dignity and respect, and to create a culture of human rights compliance and accountability. We act as a driver for social change based on principles of substantive equality. We accomplish our mission by exposing, challenging and ending entrenched and widespread structures and systems of discrimination through education, policy development, public inquiries and litigation.


  • Respectful, engaged, trusting and collaborative relationships: We will engage in respectful, trusting and collaborative relationships, and put the lived-experience of people at the centre of our work.
  • Transformative approaches: We will be courageous, persistent, creative and innovative in pursuing systemic change and real impact.
  • Integrity: We will be principled and independent in advancing and securing substantive equality.
  • Accountability: We will be transparent and accountable to the people of Ontario both in terms of the pursuit of our mandate and the use of our resources.

The OHRC’s mandate, vision, mission and values align with those of the Ministry of the Attorney General, including the vision of an innovative, sustainable and responsive justice system that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.


OHRC governance and operation

Under the Code, the OHRC is composed of persons (Commissioners) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) who have knowledge, experience or training in human rights law and issues, and who broadly reflect the diversity of Ontario’s population. The LGIC also appoints a Chief Commissioner.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Chief Commissioner, on behalf of the OHRC, and the Attorney General sets out the OHRC’s accountability to, and independence from, government. Under section 11.2 of the MOU, the Chief Commissioner’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Keeping informed of human rights issues and trends, domestic and, as appropriate, international, and of the activities, performance and expenditures of the OHRC to advise and make recommendations to the minister
  • Meeting with the Minister to discuss possible corrective action if the OHRC forms the opinion that serious questions of public importance have arisen about the government's compliance with the Code
  • Ensuring that the OHRC carries out its affairs in accordance with the Code
  • Developing performance measures and targets for the OHRC
  • Carrying out effective public communications as the OHRC's chief spokesperson
  • Communicating OHRC policy and strategic directions to the Executive Director
  • Monitoring the performance of the OHRC to ensure the implementation of its goals and long-term vision
  • Keeping the Minister informed of pending appointment vacancies and offering recommendations for appointments and reappointments
  • Submitting the OHRC's annual report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in accordance with section 31.6(2) of the Code.

OHRC Commissioners are responsible for helping the Chief Commissioner provide strategic leadership and direction, including setting the OHRC’s goals, objectives and strategic direction. For example, Commissioners develop and approve the strategic plan and annual report, and evaluate the OHRC’s performance and impact. Commissioners also make recommendations, and review and approve major initiatives, including litigation, public inquiries and human rights policies.

OHRC Commissioners and staff broadly reflect the community and also engage with community members regularly. This includes:

  • Meeting and consulting with community and advocacy groups and people with lived experience and expertise to inform our ongoing work (for example, through meetings with individuals, community and stakeholder meetings, roundtables and online surveys)
  • Making presentations to community groups and respondent duty holders
  • Participating in OHRC sessions and events, such as “Taking it Local”
  • Attending community events on behalf of the OHRC
  • Responding to mail and email correspondence, and telephone and website inquiries
  • Engaging with the HRTO and HRLSC about the provincial human rights system via regular three-pillar meetings
  • Engaging with the public on social media.

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2. Staffing

The OHRC adheres to all Ontario Public Service (OPS) policies, directives and guidelines related to human resources management, and works with the Ministry of the Attorney General to comply with all applicable administrative standards.

Over the next three years, the OHRC will continue to manage its budget, while ensuring it has the capacity and appropriate resources in place to meet current and future business needs.


OHRC organizational structure and staff composition


On August 19, 2021, Patricia DeGuire was appointed Chief Commissioner for a term of two years.

The Chief Commissioner, who is the only full-time Commissioner appointee, oversees all other part-time Commissioner appointees. Historically, the OHRC has operated with eight to 10 part-time Commissioners to ensure the Code’s requirement that part-time Commissioners reflect the diversity of the province, provide strategic direction and governance, and ensure that the OHRC acts in the public interest.





Violetta Igneski

January 9, 2020

January 8, 2022

Randall Arsenault

January 9 2020

January 8, 2022

Jewel Amoah

May 28, 2020

May 27, 2022

Brian Eyolfson

November 12, 2020

November 11, 2022

Gary Pieters

March 25, 2021

March 24, 2023


OHRC structure

Office of the Chief Commissioner

  • Chief Commissioner
  • Executive Assistant
  • Administrative Scheduling Coordinator

Office of the Executive Director

  • Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel
  • Executive Advisor
  • Administrative Assistant

Centralized Corporate Services

  • Chief Administrative Officer
  • IT Technical Lead
  • Project Lead Web**
  • Technical Support Analyst
  • Web Administrator Developer**
  • Financial Analyst
  • Coordinator, Administrative Services
  • Administrative Clerk**

Communications and Issues Management

  • Manager
  • Team Lead, Communications and Issues Management
  • Senior Strategic Communications Advisor**
  • Issues and Media Relations Officer (Des)
  • Senior Communications Officer
  • Communications, Digital and Issues Coordinator
  • Stakeholder Relations and Outreach Officer
  • Analyst Issues Coordinator
  • Web Developer Editor
  • Correspondence Coordinator**

Legal Services and Inquiries

  • Manager
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Counsel
  • Legal Secretary
  • Inquiry Analyst
  • Inquiry Analyst**
  • Inquiry Analyst (Des)
  • Articling Student*

Policy, Education, Monitoring and Outreach

  • Director
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Senior Policy Analyst (Des)
  • Human Rights Education and Change Specialist**
  • Human Rights Education and Change Specialist (Des)**
  • Public Education and Outreach Officer**
  • Electronic Education Specialist
  • Policy Analyst
  • Policy Analyst**

*not included in Active Headcount or Full-time Equivalent (FTE) positions cap

**unfilled positions for which funding has been used in FY 2021-22 as offsets to fund critical operational expenses.



Representation category

Active headcount

FTE positions (cap)









































[Based on Workforce Information Network (WIN) data as of December 31, 2021]

The active headcount includes numbers that represent OHRC positions that are filled as of December 31, 2021. The numbers under FTE positions (cap) represent the total number of FTE positions the OHRC has.

The OHRC has had to employ vacancy management to fund its business-related projects/initiatives. Evolving business needs and funding requirements over the past few years has led to operational pressures and having to forego key opportunities in the work of the OHRC. The OHRC is working with the Ministry to review the organization’s funding needs to ensure it can continue to operate effectively and meet its mandate and priority objectives.

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3. Three-year financial plan

The OHRC complies with Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and Ministry of Finance directives on financial management and accountability. The OHRC works with the Ministry of the Attorney General to meet all applicable reporting requirements. The OHRC is responsible for ensuring that the actions it takes to fulfill its statutory mandate are in accordance with its authority under the Ontario Human Rights Code and otherwise lawful.

The OHRC is accountable to the Legislative Assembly through its annual reports, and to the Attorney General through regular financial and administrative reporting.

The OHRC is continuing its efforts to address human rights issues across Ontario. These issues have been growing in complexity, have an increasingly high social impact and public profile, and require significant investments in time and resources now more than ever. As noted above, the OHRC is in the process of reviewing its budgetary needs including strategies to address staffing pressures to ensure it continues to have the ability to effectively meet its provincewide mandate to address discrimination across the Ontario Human Rights Code’s 17 grounds and five social areas.

Notwithstanding these resource constraints, over the next three years, the OHRC will work towards meeting its objectives within its current funding envelope by:

  • Managing position vacancies (e.g. delaying and/or foregoing backfilling vacated positions)
  • Using employee attrition, and building capacity to reduce staffing costs (e.g. enabling staff to take on the responsibilities of vacated positions by supporting ongoing learning and development)
  • Increasing its use of digital resources to disseminate information (more cost-effective than traditional printing)
  • Making all policy documents available in downloadable and accessible PDF formats (to reduce printing costs)
  • Using video conferencing technology (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.)/ teleconferences/webinars/webcasts for most public education and stakeholder engagement-related activities in place of in-person meetings/events where possible, to reduce travel costs and as a health and safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Using internal resources where possible to perform some previously outsourced tasks (e.g. publication design)
  • Negotiating pricing with suppliers where possible (e.g. expert fees)
  • Prioritizing initiatives and partnering with other organizations to reduce costs on joint projects/initiatives
  • Using a business-critical lens to assess all expenditure requests and looking for efficiencies and cost-reduction options at every stage of the business planning and implementation process.


Three-year budget outlook

The OHRC publicly released its 2017–22 strategic plan, Putting people and their rights at the centre, in December 2016. The OHRC has developed its operational plan based on this strategic plan, which includes four key focus areas: Indigenous reconciliation, the criminal justice system, poverty and education. The plan also includes building on foundational strengths, including the OHRC’s leadership voice, people and relationships and taking evidence-informed approaches to deliver practical guidance and solutions that build understanding and support for human rights protections.

The current strategic plan, its priorities and key initiatives, will conclude at the end of 2022. A new strategic plan beginning in 2023 will provide a framework to determine the key initiatives and expenditures over the next strategic plan period. The OHRC expects that these programs, initiatives and activities will follow to a certain extent the historical pattern for operational budgets and expenditures and any unexpected or new budgetary requirements such as those related to special projects (i.e. strategic planning, website refresh and IT migration) will be reviewed and addressed in partnership with the Ministry of the Attorney General. Based on this expectation, the OHRC currently anticipates its next three years as follows:

Expense category





2022–23 expenditure estimates





2023–24 expenditure estimates





2023–24 expenditure estimates



Salaries and Wages (S&W)















Transportation and Communications (T&C)















Developing 2023–25 OHRC Strategic Plan


(includes additional one-off costs of approximately $50,000)






Phase One (balance) & Phase Two: OHRC Website Transformation/Redesign Project


(includes additional one-off costs of approximately



(includes additional one-off costs of approximately $25,000)




Deployment/ Implementation Phase of OHRC’s migration from its own IT network to the network


(includes additional one-off costs of approximately






Supplies and Equipment (S&E)







TOTAL Operating








The OHRC will also have to take into consideration the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic in determining and allocating resources as it continues to advise government and others on human rights implications during the pandemic.

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4. Key performance indicators and measurements

The OHRC will use the following key performance indicators (KPIs) and measurements to guide its work. The KPIs were strategically selected, with a mix of different types of indicators and using different data sources, to provide a clear picture of our progress in achieving commitments set out in the OHRC’s strategic plan. The OHRC also collects data on:

  • Number of events and participants at OHRC speeches, presentations and public education sessions
  • Number of engagements with government and community groups
  • Traffic and viewer time spent on the OHRC website
  • Number of impressions/engagements on social media
  • Written and verbal consultations with government (e.g. meetings, letters and submissions)
  • Enforcement actions and systemic remedies obtained.

The OHRC’s current strategic plan ends in 2022. The OHRC expects to review its strategic plan beginning in 2023, which may include new KPIs to align with the new plan.


Key performance indicators

Focus area: Indigenous reconciliation


Performance measures


The OHRC’s products and activities reflect a deep understanding of Indigenous perspectives

Percentage of key Indigenous leaders, community members and who agree or somewhat agree that the OHRC’s products and activities reflect a deep understanding of Indigenous perspectives

5% increase in survey response rate

The OHRC is culturally competent and possesses an understanding of anti-Indigenous racism

Percentage of OHRC staff who receive training on Indigenous perspectives and issues, and how colonization impacts Indigenous peoples

100% of staff receive training on Indigenous cultural competency

100% of staff receive anti-Indigenous racism training

Ontario municipalities address discrimination relating to the display of Indigenous-themed logos for sports teams

Percentage of municipalities that have engaged local Indigenous communities because sports teams in their communities use Indigenous-themed logos and names


25% increase in municipalities that have engaged local Indigenous communities on the use of Indigenous logos in their facilities in 2023; and a further 25% increase by 2025

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Focus area: Criminal justice


Performance measures


No prisoners in administrative segregation in Ontario

Number of prisoners in administrative segregation in Ontario

Zero prisoners in administrative segregation

All prisoners with diagnosed or reported mental health disabilities have mental health alerts on their files

Percentage of prisoners with diagnosed or reported mental health disabilities who have mental health alerts on their file

100% of prisoners with a diagnosed or reported mental health disability have a mental health alert on their file

Reduced racial disparities in use of force in policing

Percentage reduction in racial disparities in police use of force

Baselines and targets for police use of force related to other police services will be established once the Solicitor General reports on race-based data collection in accordance with the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and O. Reg. 267/18  

Indigenous, Black and other racialized people in Peel region have improved relationships with police

Percentage increase in responses by Indigenous, Black and other racialized people to Peel Regional Police community surveys who describe their experiences with police as positive

5% increase in results of Indigenous, Black and other racialized people who describe positive interactions with Peel Regional Police in community survey in 2023; and a further 5% increase by 2025

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Focus area: Poverty


Performance measures


Advanced understanding of protections under the Code for people who experience poverty, hunger and homelessness

Legal interventions in areas of poverty that intersect with grounds of the Code

One new or ongoing legal intervention/application in the area of poverty each year

Human rights law recognizes how systemic discrimination causes and sustains poverty and disproportionately affects people experiencing poverty

Qualitative review of HRTO/court decisions relating to poverty issues

Case law review to be completed in 2022

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Focus area: Education


Performance measures


School boards identify and address systemic discrimination in the education system

Percentage of recommendations implemented by school boards from the Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities

5% increase in recommendations adopted by school boards from the Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities

Education partners identify and address systemic discrimination related to students with reading disabilities

Percentage of recommendations implemented by education partners in accordance with the OHRC’s Right to Read inquiry report

100% of OHRC recommendations from the Right to Read inquiry report adopted by education partners

Report on implementation in 2022–23; set benchmarks for targets over time to reach 100%

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Focus area: Covid-19 pandemic


Performance measures


Duty holders and members of the public are aware of their human rights and responsibilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Percentage increase in accessing the OHRC’s resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic

5% increase over previous year’s results in number of unique website views of guidance related to COVID-19

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Focus area: Foundational strengths


Performance measures


Leadership voice:

Members of the public are aware and have strengthened knowledge about human rights protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code

Percentage increase in accessing the OHRC’s resources on the OHRC website and through social media

5% increase over a baseline of 5,500,000 for website unique page views

5% increase over previous year in social media followers and friends

5% increase over a baseline of 730,000 for views of OHRC eLearning products

Our people:

Strengthened culture at the OHRC that fosters engagement and supports achievement

Percentage increase in OHRC employee engagement index, inclusion index and leadership index in the annual OPS employee experience survey

2% increase in employee engagement index, inclusion index, leadership index

Our relationships:

The OHRC maintains effective relationships with all stakeholders

Percentage of community leaders and experts and duty holders, including employment and business leaders and police and school board stakeholders who “agree” or “somewhat agree” that the OHRC maintains effective relationships with all stakeholders

10% increase in the number of community leaders and duty holders, including employment and business leaders and police and school board stakeholders who “agree” or “somewhat agree” that the OHRC maintains effective relationships with stakeholders