For immediate publication
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today released the Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2010-2011 Annual Report.
“This year marks a special anniversary for the Commission” said Ms Hall. The report looks back at some of the key advances over the past five decades in protecting and promoting human rights for all Ontarians. It also documents the OHRC’s accomplishments during the last 12 months as we’ve worked to build on our 50-year legacy. We’re working to move forward, with other sectors and partners, addressing emerging human rights concerns and trying to make a real difference in the lives of people who face barriers and discrimination every day.”
Highlights of the past year include:
- Issuing a newly-revised policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment in employment, housing and education; the policy also speaks to gender-based harassment which can be especially damaging for young people.
- Addressing mental health issues: we held a province-wide consultation on discrimination and mental health issues, provided input on the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s 10-year mental health strategy, and worked with community groups and police on the issue of police record checks
- Addressing human rights issues in municipal zoning and rental housing licensing bylaws, and working with the Seniors’ Secretariat to help retirement home providers meet their obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code
- Concluding an organizational change project with the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board to eliminate racism and discrimination in employment practices and the police services. WE began a similar Project Charter with the Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board and the Ontario Police College to build human rights into all parts of their work.
- Working for greater accessibility for everyone: improved accessibility for voters with disabilities, supported the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), provided comments on the independent review of the Act and input on how to remove physical and attitudinal barriers for persons with disabilities through the proposed integrated accessibility regulations.
In other areas, the OHRC launched two e-learning modules - “Human Rights 101” and online learning and training on human rights issues that come up in rental housing, and started using the social media tools Facebook and Twitter to increase public awareness about human rights across the province.
This year’s Annual Report is available at: www.ohrc.on.ca.