In 2008, changes were implemented to how human rights applications would be heard in Ontario. Historically, all applications were made to the Ontario Human Rights Commission who would process, investigate, mediate and, where appropriate, forward complaints to be heard by the Human Rights Tribunal. Under the amendments, applications would be handled directly by the Tribunal and the Commission’s role was redefined to focus on the development of policies, as well as providing information and education, and promoting compliance with the Code.
The Code required a review of these changes three years after their implementation. Accordingly, the Attorney General has appointed a Reviewer to conduct a review of the effectiveness of these changes.
As a part of this review process, the Reviewer is accepting written submissions from members of the public and other organizations. Written submissions can be made at any time up until March 1, 2012 by mail, email or fax to:
Andrew Pinto, Chair
Ontario Human Rights Review
393 University Avenue, Suite 2000
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6
All submissions must include: name, organization (if any), title, address, email address, phone, and date of submission. The Reviewer has indicated that no anonymous responses will be accepted.
Further, a number of public meetings are to be held across the Province, tentatively scheduled as follows:
Anyone wishing to participate in the public hearings must submit a written request by email or fax by January 23, 2012. Participation requests must include: name, organization (if any), email address, phone, city of preference, morning or afternoon session, and accommodation requirements (if any). There will also be a limited number of “stakeholders meetings” open to groups or organizations, by request, which will be held from January 30 to February 3.
Once the submissions have been received and reviewed, the Reviewer will be preparing a report dealing with the effectiveness of the recent changes, as well as advising on best practices and any other comments that will improve the effectiveness of the system.
For more information, or for assistance in preparing submissions, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
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