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Support For Ontario's New Human Rights System

Archived Backgrounder

Support For Ontario's New Human Rights System

Backgrounder

Ministry of the Attorney General

Ontario has launched a new human rights system that will ensure the speedy resolution of human rights cases, provide individuals with human rights application-related legal services, and promote, protect and advance human rights throughout the province.

Here's what people are saying about the new strategy:

"Today is an important day in Ontario's history as Ontarians for the first time are empowered to directly enforce their fundamental human rights," said Mary Cornish, Chair of the 1992 Ontario Human Rights Code Review Task Force. "With a new human rights system focussed on securing systemic compliance, the Ontario Government, employers, service and accommodation providers are now in a position to make significant progress in realizing the right of all Ontarians to live and work free of discrimination."

"We are very excited that our clients will finally have their matters heard before a decision maker in an expeditious manner," said Ryan Peck, Executive Director, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario).

"CERA is pleased to welcome a healthier human rights environment in the province and we look forward to a faster resolution of discrimination claims - of particular advantage to people who have been shut out of the housing market because of race, disability or source of income," said Leilani Farha, Acting Executive Director, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA).

"The Ontario Bar Association actively participated in the legislative process leading up to these changes and we believe they will ensure strong and effective human rights protections in Ontario," said Gregory Goulin, President of the Ontario Bar Association.

"This is an historic moment for human rights in Ontario," said Bruce Porter, of the Social Rights Advocacy Centre. "For many years, the United Nations has asked that Canada's provincial human rights laws be changed to ensure that everyone has the right to an effective remedy before a competent human rights tribunal. With today's launch of the new human rights system, Ontario has answered the international community's call."

"We applaud the effort of the Ontario government to make Ontario's human rights system more accessible and easier to use," said Derry Millar, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

"ARCH Disability Law Centre welcomes the renewed opportunity to advance a human rights system in Ontario that works for all for whom the right to live free from discrimination is infringed," said Ivana Petricone, Executive Director, ARCH Disability Law Centre. "The Board and staff of ARCH look forward to a reinvigorated and accessible process for the enforcement of human rights through the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, a strengthened Ontario Human Rights Commission poised to achieve greater social change and a culture of human rights, and a partnership with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre in ensuring access to justice to all those who seek it."

"The Commission's expanded role to combat systemic discrimination and to educate the public about the importance of diversity will increase the opportunities for racialized people in Ontario to live and work free from discrimination," said Ahmed Hussein, President of the Somali Canadian Congress. "We applaud the Ontario government for leading these groundbreaking reforms."

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