Human Rights Policy In Ontario, 2011 Edition

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This new edition of Human Rights Policy in Ontario marks a milestone for human rights in the province of Ontario. In 2011, the Ontario Human Rights Commission celebrated 50 years building a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person in Ontario. Human Rights Policy in Ontario, a publication first introduced in 1998, sets out how the Ontario's Human Rights Code will be interpreted and applied in dealing with human rights complaints. For this reason, the general public, human rights lawyers, community advocates, as well as courts, and tribunals, often reference this publication for clarification of rights and responsibilities. Since the Code was introduced, society's understanding of human rights has evolved, and protections under it have expanded to reflect these changes. Where the Code once covered six grounds race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, and place of origin, today there are 15 protected grounds including the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender, marital and family status, disability, and sexual orientation.

This edition includes updates in all areas of the Code and introduces the Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing, the first policy of its kind in Canada. It also contains an extensively revised Policy on Preventing Sexual and Gender-based Harassment.

About the Ontario Human Rights Commission:

The Ontario Human Rights Commission was established in 1961 to administer the Code. The Commission is an arm's length agency of government accountable to the legislature through the attorney general.

The Commission's mandate under the Code includes:

  • Investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment
  • Making efforts to settle complaints between parties
  • Preventing discrimination through public education and public policy
  • Looking into situations where discriminatory behaviour exists


Practice Area:
Human rights


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