Ontario Human rights Reform - A call to Action

Bill 107 2006
An Act to amend the Human Rights Code

Note: This Act amends the Human Rights Code. For the legislative history of the Act, see Public Statutes - Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

 

 

 

2.  Subsections 14 (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Application to Commission

(2)  A person may apply to the Commission for a designation of a program as a special program for the purposes of subsection (1).

Designation by Commission

(3)  Upon receipt of an application, the Commission may,

(a) designate the program as a special program if, in its opinion, the program meets the requirements of subsection (1); or

(b) designate the program as a special program on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection (1).

 

 

Inquiries initiated by Commission

(4)  The Commission may, on its own initiative, inquire into one or more programs to determine whether the programs are special programs for the purposes of subsection (1).

End of inquiry

(5)  At the conclusion of an inquiry under subsection (4), the Commission may designate as a special program any of the programs under inquiry if, in its opinion, the programs meet the requirements of subsection (1).

Expiry of designation

(6)  A designation under subsection (3) or (5) expires five years after the day it is issued or at such earlier time as may be specified by the Commission.

Renewal of designation

(6.1)  If an application for renewal of a designation of a program as a special program is made to the Commission before its expiry under subsection (6), the Commission may,

(a) renew the designation if, in its opinion, the program continues to meet the requirements of subsection (1); or

(b) renew the designation on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection (1).

 

Effect of designation, etc.

(7)  In a proceeding,

(a) evidence that a program has been designated as a special program under this section is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the program is a special program for the purposes of subsection (1); and

(b) evidence that the Commission has considered and refused to designate a program as a special program under this section is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the program is not a special program for the purposes of subsection (1).

Crown programs

(8)  Subsections (2) to (7) do not apply to a program implemented by the Crown or an agency of the Crown.

Tribunal finding

(9)  For the purposes of a proceeding before the Tribunal, the Tribunal may make a finding that a program meets the requirements of a special program under subsection (1), even though the program has not been designated as a special program by the Commission under this section, subject to clause (7) (b).

3.  (1)  Subsection 17 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out "The Commission, the Tribunal or a court shall not find" at the beginning and substituting "No tribunal or court shall find".

(2)  Subsection 17 (3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Determining if undue hardship

(3)  In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) whether there would be undue hardship, a tribunal or court shall consider any standards prescribed by the regulations.

(3)  Subsection 17 (4) of the Act is repealed.

4.  (1)  Subsection 24 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out "The Commission, the Tribunal or a court shall not find" at the beginning and substituting "No tribunal or court shall find".

(2)  Subsection 24 (3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Determining if undue hardship

(3)  In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) whether there would be undue hardship, a tribunal or court shall consider any standards prescribed by the regulations.

5.  Part III of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

PART III
THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The Commission

27.  (1)  The Ontario Human Rights Commission is continued under the name Ontario Human Rights Commission in English and Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne in French.

Composition

(2)  The Commission shall be composed of such persons as are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Appointment

(2.1)  Every person appointed to the Commission shall have knowledge, experience or training with respect to human rights law and issues.

Criteria

(2.2)  In the appointment of persons to the Commission under subsection (2), the importance of reflecting, in the composition of the Commission as a whole, the diversity of Ontario's population shall be recognized.

Chief Commissioner

(3)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate a member of the Commission as Chief Commissioner.

Powers and duties of Chief Commissioner

(4)  The Chief Commissioner shall direct the Commission and exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to the Chief Commissioner by or under this Act.

Term of office

(5)  The Chief Commissioner and other members of the Commission shall hold office for such term as may be specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Remuneration

(6)  The Chief Commissioner and other members of the Commission shall be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as are fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

 

Employees

(7)  The Commission may appoint such employees as it considers necessary for the proper conduct of its affairs and the employees shall be appointed under the Public Service Act.

Evidence obtained in performance of duties

(7.1)  A member of the Commission shall not be required to give testimony in a civil suit or any proceeding as to information obtained in the performance of duties under this Act.

Same, employees

(7.2)  An employee of the Commission shall not be required to give testimony in a civil suit or any proceeding other than a proceeding under this Act as to information obtained in the performance of duties under this Act.

Delegation

(8)  The Chief Commissioner may in writing delegate any of his or her powers, duties or functions under this Act to any member of the Anti-Racism Secretariat, the Disability Rights Secretariat or an advisory group or to any other member of the Commission, subject to such conditions as the Chief Commissioner may set out in the delegation.

Divisions

(9)  The Commission may authorize any function of the Commission to be performed by a division of the Commission composed of at least three members of the Commission.

Acting Chief Commissioner

28.  (1)  If the Chief Commissioner dies, resigns or is unable or neglects to perform his or her duties, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint an Acting Chief Commissioner to hold office for such period as may be specified in the appointment.

Same

(2)  An Acting Chief Commissioner shall perform the duties and have the powers of the Chief Commissioner and shall be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as are fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

 

Functions of Commission

29.  The functions of the Commission 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 Commission's duty to protect the public interest, to identify and promote the elimination of discriminatory practices and, more specifically,

(a) 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;

(b) to develop and conduct programs of public information and education to,

 

(i) promote awareness and understanding of, respect for and compliance with this Act, and

(ii) prevent and eliminate discriminatory practices that infringe rights under Part I;

(c) to undertake, direct and encourage research into discriminatory practices and to make recommendations designed to prevent and eliminate such discriminatory practices;

(d) 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 his or her opinion is inconsistent with the intent of this Act;

 

(e) 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 co-ordinate plans, programs and activities, to reduce or prevent such incidents or sources of tension or conflict;

(f) 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;

(g)to designate programs as special programs in accordance with section 14;

(g.1) to approve policies under section 29.1;

(h) to make applications to the Tribunal under section 36;

 

(i) to report to the people of Ontario on the state of human rights in Ontario and on its affairs;

(j) to perform the functions assigned to the Commission under this or any other Act.

Commission policies

29.1  The Commission may approve policies prepared and published by the Commission to provide guidance in the application of Parts I and II.

Inquiries

29.2  (1)  The Commission may conduct an inquiry under this section for the purpose of carrying out its functions under this Act if the Commission believes it is in the public interest to do so.

Conduct of inquiry

(2)  An inquiry may be conducted under this section by any person who is appointed by the Commission to carry out inquiries under this section.

Production of certificate

(3)  A person conducting an inquiry under this section shall produce proof of their appointment upon request.

Entry

(4)  A person conducting an inquiry under this section may, without warrant, enter any lands or any building, structure or premises where the person has reason to believe there may be documents, things or information relevant to the inquiry.

Time of entry

(5)  The power to enter a place under subsection (4) may be exercised only during the place's regular business hours or, if it does not have regular business hours, during daylight hours.

Dwellings

(6)  A person conducting an inquiry under this section shall not enter into a place or part of a place that is a dwelling without the consent of the occupant.

Powers on inquiry

(7)  A person conducting an inquiry may,

(a) request the production for inspection and examination of documents or things that are or may be relevant to the inquiry;

(b) upon giving a receipt for it, remove from a place documents produced in response to a request under clause (a) for the purpose of making copies or extracts;

(c) question a person on matters that are or may be relevant to the inquiry, subject to the person's right to have counsel or a personal representative present during such questioning and exclude from the questioning any person who may be adverse in interest to the inquiry;

(d) use any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system used in carrying on business in the place in order to produce a document in readable form;

(e) take measurements or record by any means the physical dimensions of a place;

(f) take photographs, video recordings or other visual or audio recordings of the interior or exterior of a place; and

(g) require that a place or part thereof not be disturbed for a reasonable period of time for the purposes of carrying out an examination, inquiry or test.

Written demand

(8)  A demand that a document or thing be produced must be in writing and must include a statement of the nature of the document or thing required.

Assistance

(9)  A person conducting an inquiry may be accompanied by any person who has special, expert or professional knowledge and who may be of assistance in carrying out the inquiry.

Use of force prohibited

(10)  A person conducting an inquiry shall not use force to enter and search premises under this section.

Obligation to produce and assist

(11)  A person who is requested to produce a document or thing under clause (7) (a) shall produce it and shall, on request by the person conducting the inquiry, provide any assistance that is reasonably necessary, including assistance in using any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system, to produce a document in readable form.

Return of removed things

(12)  A person conducting an inquiry who removes any document or thing from a place under clause (7) (b) shall,

(a) make it available to the person from whom it was removed, on request, at a time and place convenient for both that person and the person conducting the inquiry; and

(b) return it to the person from whom it was removed within a reasonable time.

Admissibility of copies

(13)  A copy of a document certified by a person conducting an inquiry to be a true copy of the original is admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original and has the same evidentiary value.

Obstruction

(14)  No person shall obstruct or interfere with a person conducting an inquiry under this section.

Search warrant

29.3  (1)  The Commission may authorize a person to apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant to enter a place and conduct a search of the place if,

(a) a person conducting an inquiry under section 29.2 has been denied entry to any place or asked to leave a place before concluding a search;

(b) a person conducting an inquiry under section 29.2 made a request for documents or things and the request was refused; or

(c) an inquiry under section 29.2 is otherwise obstructed or prevented.

Same

(2)  Upon application by a person authorized under subsection (1) to do so, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant under this section if he or she is satisfied on information under oath or affirmation that the warrant is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the inquiry under section 29.2.

Powers

(3)  A warrant obtained under subsection (2) may authorize a person named in the warrant, upon producing proof of his or her appointment,

(a) to enter any place specified in the warrant, including a dwelling; and

(b) to do any of the things specified in the warrant.

Conditions on search warrant

(4)  A warrant obtained under subsection (2) shall contain such conditions as the justice of the peace considers advisable to ensure that any search authorized by the warrant is reasonable in the circumstances.

Time of execution

(5)  An entry under a warrant issued under this section shall be made at such reasonable times as may be specified in the warrant.

Expiry of warrant

(6)  A warrant issued under this section shall name a date of expiry, which shall be no later than 15 days after the warrant is issued, but a justice of the peace may extend the date of expiry for an additional period of no more than 15 days, upon application without notice by the person named in the warrant.

Use of force

(7)  The person authorized to execute the warrant may call upon police officers for assistance in executing the warrant and the person may use whatever force is reasonably necessary to execute the warrant.

Obstruction prohibited

(8)  No person shall obstruct or hinder a person in the execution of a warrant issued under this section.

Application

(9)  Subsections 29.2 (11), (12) and (13) apply with necessary modifications to an inquiry carried out pursuant to a warrant issued under this section.

Evidence used in Tribunal proceedings

29.4  Despite any other Act, evidence obtained on an inquiry under section 29.2 or 29.3 may be received into evidence in a proceeding before the Tribunal.

Anti-Racism Secretariat

30.  (1)  The Chief Commissioner directs the Anti-Racism Secretariat which shall be established in accordance with subsection (2).

Composition

(2)  The Anti-Racism Secretariat shall be composed of not more than six persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the advice of the Chief Commissioner.

Remuneration

(3)   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may fix the remuneration and allowance for expenses of the members of the Anti-Racism Secretariat.

Functions of the Secretariat

(4)  At the direction of the Chief Commissioner, the Anti-Racism Secretariat shall,

(a) undertake, direct and encourage research into discriminatory practices that infringe rights under Part I on the basis of racism or a related ground and make recommendations to the Commission designed to prevent and eliminate such discriminatory practices;

(b) facilitate the development and provision of programs of public information and education relating to the elimination of racism; and

(c) undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Chief Commissioner.

Disability Rights Secretariat

31.  (1)  The Chief Commissioner directs the Disability Rights Secretariat which shall be established in accordance with subsection (2).

Composition

(2)  The Disability Rights Secretariat shall be composed of not more than six persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the advice of the Chief Commissioner.

Remuneration

(3)   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may fix the remuneration and allowance for expenses of the members of the Disability Rights Secretariat.

Functions of the Secretariat

(4)  At the direction of the Chief Commissioner, the Disability Rights Secretariat shall,

(a) undertake, direct and encourage research into discriminatory practices that infringe rights under Part I on the basis of disability and make recommendations to the Commission designed to prevent and eliminate such discriminatory practices;

(b) facilitate the development and provision of programs of public information and education intended to promote the elimination of discriminatory practices that infringe rights under Part I on the basis of disability; and

(c) undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Chief Commissioner.

Advisory groups

31.1  The Chief Commissioner may establish such advisory groups as he or she considers appropriate to advise the Commission about the elimination of discriminatory practices that infringe rights under this Act.

 

 

Annual report

31.2  (1)  Every year, the Commission shall prepare an annual report on the affairs of the Commission that occurred during the 12-month period ending on March 31 of each year.

Report to Speaker

(2)  The Commission shall submit the report to the Speaker of the Assembly no later than on June 30 in each year who shall cause the report to be laid before the Assembly if it is in session or, if not, at the next session.

Copy to Minister

(3)  The Commission shall give a copy of the report to the Minister at least 30 days before it is submitted to the Speaker under subsection (2).

Other reports

31.3  In addition to the annual report, the Commission may make any other reports respecting the state of human rights in Ontario and the affairs of the Commission as it considers appropriate, and may present such reports to the public or any other person it considers appropriate.

6.  Part IV of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

PART IV
HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL OF ONTARIO

 

Tribunal

32.  (1)  The Tribunal known as the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in English and Tribunal des droits de la personne de l'Ontario in French is continued.

Composition

(1.1)  The Tribunal shall be composed of such members as are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in accordance with the selection process described in subsection (1.2).

Selection process

(1.2)  The selection process for the appointment of members of the Tribunal shall be a competitive process and the criteria to be applied in assessing candidates shall include the following:

1. Experience, knowledge or training with respect to human rights law and issues.

2. Aptitude for impartial adjudication.

3. Aptitude for applying the alternative adjudicative practices and procedures that may be set out in the Tribunal rules.

Remuneration

(2)  The members of the Tribunal shall be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as are fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Term of office

(3)  A member of the Tribunal shall be appointed for such term as may be specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Chair, vice-chair

(4)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint a chair and may appoint one or more vice-chairs of the Tribunal from among the members of the Tribunal.

Alternate chair

(4.1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate one of the vice-chairs to be the alternate chair.

Same

(4.2)  If the chair is unable to act, the alternate chair shall perform the duties of the chair and, for this purpose, has all the powers of the chair.

 

Employees

(5)  The Tribunal may appoint such employees as it considers necessary for the proper conduct of its affairs and the employees shall be appointed under the Public Service Act.

Evidence obtained in course of proceeding

(6)  A member or employee of the Tribunal shall not be required to give testimony in a civil suit or any proceeding as to information obtained in the course of a proceeding before the Tribunal.

Same

(7)  Despite subsection (6), an employee of the Tribunal may be required to give testimony in a proceeding before the Tribunal in the circumstances prescribed by the Tribunal rules.

Panels

33.  (1)  The chair of the Tribunal may appoint panels composed of one or more members of the Tribunal to exercise and perform the powers and duties of the Tribunal.

Person designated to preside over panel

(2)  If a panel of the Tribunal holds a hearing, the chair of the Tribunal shall designate one member of the panel to preside over the hearing.

Reassignment of panel

(3)  If a panel of the Tribunal is unable for any reason to exercise or perform the powers or duties of the Tribunal, the chair of the Tribunal may assign another panel in its place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application by person

35.  (1)  If a person believes that any of his or her rights under Part I have been infringed, the person may apply to the Tribunal for an order under section 42,

 

 

(a) within one year after the incident to which the application relates; or

(b) if there was a series of incidents, within one year after the last incident in the series.

Late applications

(2)  A person may apply under subsection (1) after the expiry of the time limit under that subsection if the Tribunal is satisfied that the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person affected by the delay.

Form

(3)  An application under subsection (1) shall be in a form approved by the Tribunal.

Two or more persons

(4)  Two or more persons who are each entitled to make an application under subsection (1) may file the applications jointly, subject to any provision in the Tribunal rules that authorizes the Tribunal to direct that one or more of the applications be considered in a separate proceeding.

Application on behalf of another

(4.1)  A person or organization, other than the Commission, may apply on behalf of another person to the Tribunal for an order under section 42 if the other person,

(a) would have been entitled to bring an application under subsection (1); and

(b) consents to the application.

Participation in proceedings

(4.2)  If a person or organization makes an application on behalf of another person, the person or organization may participate in the proceeding in accordance with the Tribunal rules.

Consent form

(4.3)  A consent under clause (4.1) (b) shall be in a form specified in the Tribunal rules.

Time of application

(4.4)  An application under subsection (4.1) shall be made within the time period required for making an application under subsection (1).

Application

(4.5)  Subsections (2) and (3) apply to an application made under subsection (4.1).

Withdrawal of application

(4.6)  An application under subsection (4.1) may be withdrawn by the person on behalf of whom the application is made in accordance with the Tribunal rules.

Where application barred

(5)  A person who believes that one of his or her rights under Part I has been infringed may not make an application under subsection (1) with respect to that right if,

(a) a civil proceeding has been commenced in a court in which the person is seeking an order under section 46.2 with respect to the alleged infringement and the proceeding has not been finally determined or withdrawn; or

(b) a court has finally determined the issue of whether the right has been infringed or the matter has been settled.

Final determination

(6)  For the purpose of subsection (5), a proceeding or issue has not been finally determined if a right of appeal exists and the time for appealing has not expired.

Application by Commission

36.  (1)  The Commission may apply to the Tribunal for an order under section 43 if the Commission is of the opinion that,

 

 

 

(a) it is in the public interest to make an application; and

(b) an order under section 43 could provide an appropriate remedy.

Form

(2)  An application under subsection (1) shall be in a form approved by the Tribunal.

Effect of application

(3)  An application made by the Commission does not affect the right of a person to make an application under section 35 in respect of the same matter.

Applications dealt with together

(4)  If a person or organization makes an application under section 35 and the Commission makes an application under this section in respect of the same matter, the two applications shall be dealt with together in the same proceeding unless the Tribunal determines otherwise.

Parties

36.1  The parties to an application under section 35 or 36 are the following:

1. In the case of an application under subsection 35 (1), the person who made the application.

2. In the case of an application under subsection 35 (4.1), the person on behalf of whom the application is made.

3. In the case of an application under section 36, the Commission.

4. Any person against whom an order is sought in the application.

5. Any other person or the Commission, if they are added as a party by the Tribunal.

Intervention by Commission

36.2  (1)  The Commission may intervene in an application under section 35 on such terms as the Tribunal may determine having regard to the role and mandate of the Commission under this Act.

Intervention as a party

(2)  The Commission may intervene as a party to an application under section 35 if the person or organization who made the application consents to the intervention as a party.

Disclosure of information to Commission

36.3  Despite anything in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, at the request of the Commission, the Tribunal shall disclose to the Commission copies of applications and responses filed with the Tribunal and may disclose to the Commission other documents in its custody or in its control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powers of Tribunal

37.  The Tribunal has the jurisdiction to exercise the powers conferred on it by or under this Act and to determine all questions of fact or law that arise in any application before it.

Disposition of applications

37.1  The Tribunal shall dispose of applications made under this Part by adopting the procedures and practices provided for in its rules or otherwise available to the Tribunal which, in its opinion, offer the best opportunity for a fair, just and expeditious resolution of the merits of the applications.

Interpretation of Part and rules

37.2  This Part and the Tribunal rules shall be liberally construed to permit the Tribunal to adopt practices and procedures, including alternatives to traditional adjudicative or adversarial procedures that, in the opinion of the Tribunal, will facilitate fair, just and expeditious resolutions of the merits of the matters before it.

Statutory Powers Procedure Act

38.  (1)  The provisions of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act apply to a proceeding before the Tribunal unless they conflict with a provision of this Act, the regulations or the Tribunal rules.

Conflict

(2)  Despite section 32 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, this Act, the regulations and the Tribunal rules prevail over the provisions of that Act with which they conflict.

Tribunal rules

39.  (1)  The Tribunal may make rules governing the practice and procedure before it.

Required practices and procedures

(2)  The rules shall ensure that the following requirements are met with respect to any proceeding before the Tribunal:

1. An application that is within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal shall not be finally disposed of without affording the parties an opportunity to make oral submissions in accordance with the rules.

2. An application may not be finally disposed of without written reasons.

Same

(3)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Tribunal rules may,

(a) provide for and require the use of hearings or of practices and procedures that are provided for under the Statutory Powers Procedure Act or that are alternatives to traditional adjudicative or adversarial procedures;

(b) authorize the Tribunal to,

(i) define or narrow the issues required to dispose of an application and limit the evidence and submissions of the parties on such issues, and

(ii) determine the order in which the issues and evidence in a proceeding will be presented;

(c) authorize the Tribunal to conduct examinations in chief or cross-examinations of a witness;

(d) prescribe the stages of its processes at which preliminary, procedural or interlocutory matters will be determined;

(e) authorize the Tribunal to make or cause to be made such examinations of records and such other inquiries as it considers necessary in the circumstances;

(f) authorize the Tribunal to require a party to a proceeding or another person to,

(i) produce any document, information or thing and provide such assistance as is reasonably necessary, including using any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system, to produce the information in any form,

(ii) provide a statement or oral or affidavit evidence, or

(iii) in the case of a party to the proceeding, adduce evidence or produce witnesses who are reasonably within the party's control; and

(g) govern any matter prescribed by the regulations.

General or particular

(4)  The rules may be of general or particular application.

Consistency

(5)  The rules shall be consistent with this Part.

Not a regulation

(6)  The rules made under this section are not regulations for the purposes of the Regulations Act.

Public consultations

(7)  The Tribunal shall hold public consultations before making a rule under this section.

Failure to comply with rules

(8)  Failure on the part of the Tribunal to comply with the practices and procedures required by the rules or the exercise of a discretion under the rules by the Tribunal in a particular manner is not a ground for setting aside a decision of the Tribunal on an application for judicial review or any other form of relief, unless the failure or the exercise of a discretion caused a substantial wrong which affected the final disposition of the matter.

Adverse inference

(9)  The Tribunal may draw an adverse inference from the failure of a party to comply, in whole or in part, with an order of the Tribunal for the party to do anything under a rule made under clause (3) (f).

Tribunal inquiry

39.1  (1)  At the request of a party to an application under this Part, the Tribunal may appoint a person to conduct an inquiry under this section if the Tribunal is satisfied that,

(a) an inquiry is required in order to obtain evidence;

(b) the evidence obtained may assist in achieving a fair, just and expeditious resolution of the merits of the application; and

(c) it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances.

Production of certificate

(2)  A person conducting an inquiry under this section shall produce proof of their appointment upon request.

Entry

(3)  A person conducting an inquiry under this section may, without warrant, enter any lands or any building, structure or premises where the person has reason to believe there may be evidence relevant to the application.

Time of entry

(4)  The power to enter a place under subsection (3) may be exercised only during the place's regular business hours or, if it does not have regular business hours, during daylight hours.

Dwellings

(5)  A person conducting an inquiry shall not enter into a place or part of a place that is a dwelling without the consent of the occupant.

Powers on inquiry

(6)  A person conducting an inquiry may,

(a) request the production for inspection and examination of documents or things that are or may be relevant to the inquiry;

(b) upon giving a receipt for it, remove from a place documents produced in response to a request under clause (a) for the purpose of making copies or extracts;

(c) question a person on matters that are or may be relevant to the inquiry, subject to the person's right to have counsel or a personal representative present during such questioning and exclude from the questioning any person who may be adverse in interest to the inquiry;

(d) use any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system used in carrying on business in the place in order to produce a document in readable form;

(e) take measurements or record by any means the physical dimensions of a place;

(f) take photographs, video recordings or other visual or audio recordings of the interior or exterior of a place; and

(g) require that a place or part thereof not be disturbed for a reasonable period of time for the purposes of carrying out an examination, inquiry or test.

Written demand

(7)  A demand that a document or thing be produced must be in writing and must include a statement of the nature of the document or thing required.

Assistance

(8)  A person conducting an inquiry may be accompanied by any person who has special, expert or professional knowledge and who may be of assistance in carrying out the inquiry.

Use of force prohibited

(9)  A person conducting an inquiry shall not use force to enter and search premises under this section.

Obligation to produce and assist

(10)  A person who is requested to produce a document or thing under clause (6) (a) shall produce it and shall, on request by the person conducting the inquiry, provide any assistance that is reasonably necessary, including assistance in using any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system, to produce a document in readable form.

Return of removed things

(11)  A person conducting an inquiry who removes any document or thing from a place under clause (6) (b) shall,

(a) make it available to the person from whom it was removed, on request, at a time and place convenient for both that person and the person conducting the inquiry; and

(b) return it to the person from whom it was removed within a reasonable time.

Admissibility of copies

(12)  A copy of a document certified by a person conducting an inquiry to be a true copy of the original is admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original and has the same evidentiary value.

Obstruction

(13)  No person shall obstruct or interfere with a person conducting an inquiry under this section.

Inquiry report

(14)  A person conducting an inquiry shall prepare a report and submit it to the Tribunal and the parties to the application that gave rise to the inquiry in accordance with the Tribunal rules.

Transfer of inquiry to Commission

(15)  The Commission may, at the request of the Tribunal, appoint a person to conduct an inquiry under this section and the person so appointed has all of the powers of a person appointed by the Tribunal under this section and shall report to the Tribunal in accordance with subsection (14).

Deferral of application

40.  The Tribunal may defer an application in accordance with the Tribunal rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dismissal in accordance with rules

41.  The Tribunal may dismiss an application, in whole or in part, in accordance with its rules if the Tribunal is of the opinion that another proceeding has appropriately dealt with the substance of the application.

Orders of Tribunal: applications under s. 35

42.  (1)  On an application under section 35, the Tribunal may make one or more of the following orders if the Tribunal determines that a party to the application has infringed a right under Part I of another party to the application:

1. An order directing the party who infringed the right to pay monetary compensation to the party whose right was infringed for loss arising out of the infringement, including compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

2. An order directing the party who infringed the right to make restitution to the party whose right was infringed, other than through monetary compensation, for loss arising out of the infringement, including restitution for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

 

3. An order directing any party to the application to do anything that, in the opinion of the Tribunal, the party ought to do to promote compliance with this Act.

 

Orders under par. 3 of subs. (1)

(2)  For greater certainty, an order under paragraph 3 of subsection (1),

(a) may direct a person to do anything with respect to future practices; and

(b) may be made even if no order under that paragraph was requested.

 

Orders of Tribunal: applications under s. 36

43.  (1)  If, on an application under section 36, the Tribunal determines that any one or more of the parties to the application have infringed a right under Part I, the Tribunal may make an order directing any party to the application to do anything that, in the opinion of the Tribunal, the party ought to do to promote compliance with this Act.

Same

(2)  For greater certainty, an order under subsection (1) may direct a person to do anything with respect to future practices.

Matters referred to Commission

43.1  (1)  The Tribunal may refer any matters arising out of a proceeding before it to the Commission if, in the Tribunal's opinion, they are matters of public interest or are otherwise of interest to the Commission.

Same

(2)  The Commission may, in its discretion, decide whether to deal with a matter referred to it by the Tribunal.

 

Documents published by Commission

44.  (1)  In a proceeding under this Part, the Tribunal may consider policies approved by the Commission under section 29.1.

Same

(2)  Despite subsection (1), the Tribunal shall consider a policy approved by the Commission under section 29.1 in a proceeding under this Part if a party to the proceeding or an intervenor requests that it do so.

Stated case to Divisional court

44.1  (1)  If the Tribunal makes a final decision or order in a proceeding in which the Commission was a party or an intervenor, and the Commission believes that the decision or order is not consistent with a policy that has been approved by the Commission under section 29.1, the Commission may apply to the Tribunal to have the Tribunal state a case to the Divisional Court.

Same

(2)  If the Tribunal determines that the application of the Commission relates to a question of law and that it is appropriate to do so, it may state the case in writing for the opinion of the Divisional Court upon the question of law.

Parties

(3)  The parties to a stated case under this section are the parties to the proceeding referred to in subsection (1) and, if the Commission was an intervenor in that proceeding, the Commission.

Submissions by Tribunal

(4)  The Divisional Court may hear submissions from the Tribunal.

Powers of Divisional Court

(5)  The Divisional Court shall hear and determine the stated case.

No stay

(6)  Unless otherwise ordered by the Tribunal or the Divisional Court, an application by the Commission under subsection (1) or the stating of a case to the Divisional Court under subsection (2) does not operate as a stay of the final decision or order of the Tribunal.

Reconsideration of Tribunal decision

(7)  Within 30 days of receipt of the decision of the Divisional Court, any party to the stated case proceeding may apply to the Tribunal for a reconsideration of its original decision or order in accordance with section 44.2.

Reconsideration of Tribunal decision

44.2  (1)  Any party to a proceeding before the Tribunal may request that the Tribunal reconsider its decision in accordance with the Tribunal rules.

Same

(2)  Upon request under subsection (1) or on its own motion, the Tribunal may reconsider its decision in accordance with its rules.

 

Decisions final

45.  Subject to section 44.1 of this Act, section 21.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and the Tribunal rules, a decision of the Tribunal is final and not subject to appeal and shall not be altered or set aside in an application for judicial review or in any other proceeding unless the decision is patently unreasonable.

Settlements

45.1  (1)  If a settlement of an application made under section 35 or 36 is agreed to in writing and signed by the parties, the settlement is binding on the parties.

Consent order

(2)  If a settlement of an application made under section 35 or 36 is agreed to in writing and signed by the parties, the Tribunal may, on the joint motion of the parties, make an order requiring compliance with the settlement or any part of the settlement.

Application where contravention

(3)  If a settlement of an application made under section 35 or 36 is agreed to in writing and signed by the parties, a party who believes that another party has contravened the settlement may make an application to the Tribunal for an order under subsection (7),

(a) within six months after the contravention to which the application relates; or

(b) if there was a series of contraventions, within six months after the last contravention in the series.

Late applications

(4)  A person may apply under subsection (3) after the expiry of the time limit under that subsection if the Tribunal is satisfied that the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person affected by the delay.

Form of application

(5)  An application under subsection (3) shall be in a form approved by the Tribunal.

Parties

(6)  Subject to the Tribunal rules, the parties to an application under subsection (3) are the following:

 

 

 

1. The parties to the settlement.

2. Any other person or the Commission, if they are added as a party by the Tribunal.

Intervention by Commission

(6.1)  Section 36.2 applies with necessary modifications to an application under subsection (3).

Order

(7)  If, on an application under subsection (3), the Tribunal determines that a party has contravened the settlement, the Tribunal may make any order that it considers appropriate to remedy the contravention.

 

Annual report

45.3  (1)  The Tribunal shall make a report to the Minister not later than June 30 in each year upon the affairs of the Tribunal during the year ending on March 31 of that year.

Report laid in Assembly

(2)  The Minister shall submit the report to the Lieutenant Governor in Council who shall cause the report to be laid before the Assembly if it is in session or, if not, at the next session.

6.1  The Act is amended by adding the following Part:

PART IV.1
HUMAN RIGHTS LEGAL SUPPORT CENTRE

Centre established

45.4  (1)  A corporation without share capital is established under the name Human Rights Legal Support Centre in English and Centre d'assistance juridique en matière de droits de la personne in French.

Membership

(2)  The members of the Centre shall consist of its board of directors.

Not a Crown agency

(3)  The Centre is not an agent of Her Majesty nor a Crown agent for the purposes of the Crown Agency Act.

Powers of natural person

(4)  The Centre has the capacity and the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, subject to the limitations set out in this Act or the regulations.

Independent from but accountable to Ontario

(5)  The Centre shall be independent from, but accountable to, the Government of Ontario as set out in this Act.

Objects

45.5  The objects of the Centre are,

(a) to establish and administer a cost-effective and efficient system for providing support services, including legal services, respecting applications to the Tribunal under Part IV;

(b) to establish policies and priorities for the provision of support services based on its financial resources.

Provision of support services

45.6  (1)  The Centre shall provide the following support services:

1. Advice and assistance, legal and otherwise, respecting the infringement of rights under Part I.

2. Legal services in relation to,

i. the making of applications to the Tribunal under Part IV,

ii. proceedings before the Tribunal under Part IV,

iii. applications for judicial review arising from Tribunal proceedings,

iv. stated case proceedings,

v. the enforcement of Tribunal orders.

3. Such other services as may be prescribed by regulation.

Availability of services

(2)  The Centre shall ensure that the support services are available throughout the Province, using such methods of delivering the services as the Centre believes are appropriate.

Board of directors

45.7  (1)  The affairs of the Centre shall be governed and managed by its board of directors.

Composition and appointment

(2)  The board of directors of the Centre shall consist of no fewer than five and no more than nine members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in accordance with the regulations.

Appointment of Chair

(3)  A Chair designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council will preside at meetings.

Remuneration

(4)  The board of directors may be remunerated as determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Duties

(5)  The board of directors of the Centre shall be responsible for furthering the objects of the Centre.

Delegation

(6)  The board of directors may delegate any power or duty to any committee, to any member of a committee or to any officer or employee of the Centre.

Same

(7)  A delegation shall be in writing and shall be on the terms and subject to the limitations, conditions or requirements specified in it.

Board to act responsibly

(8)  The board of directors shall act in a financially responsible and accountable manner in exercising its powers and performing its duties.

Standard of care

(9)  Members of the board of directors shall act in good faith with a view to the objects of the Centre and shall exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person.

Government funding

45.8  (1)  The Centre shall submit its annual budget to the Minister for approval every year in a manner and form, and at a time, specified in the regulations.

Approved budget included in estimates

(2)  If approved by the Minister, the annual budget shall be submitted to Cabinet to be reviewed for inclusion in the estimates of the Ministry.

Appropriation by Legislature

(3)  The money required for the purposes of this Act shall be paid out of such money as is appropriated therefor by the Legislature.

Centre's money not part of Consolidated Revenue Fund

45.9  The Centre's money and investments do not form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and shall be used by the Centre in carrying out its objects.

Annual report

45.10  (1)  The Centre shall submit an annual report to the Minister within four months after the end of its fiscal year.

Fiscal year

(2)  The fiscal year of the Centre shall be from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

Audit

45.11  (1)  The Centre must ensure that its books of financial account are audited annually in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and a copy of the audit is given to the Minister.

Audit by Minister

(2)  The Minister has the right to audit the Centre at any time that the Minister chooses.

7.  (1)  Section 46 of the Act is amended by adding the following definition:

"regulations" means the regulations made under this Act; ("règlements")

(2)  The definition of "Tribunal" in section 46 of the Act is amended by striking out "section 35" at the end and substituting "section 32".

(3)  Section 46 of the Act is amended by adding the following definition:

"Tribunal rules" means the rules governing practice and procedure that are made by the Tribunal under section 39. ("règles du Tribunal")

8.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

 

 

 

 

Civil remedy

46.2  (1)  If, in a civil proceeding in a court, the court finds that a party to the proceeding has infringed a right under Part I of another party to the proceeding, the court may make either of the following orders, or both:

1. An order directing the party who infringed the right to pay monetary compensation to the party whose right was infringed for loss arising out of the infringement, including compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

2. An order directing the party who infringed the right to make restitution to the party whose right was infringed, other than through monetary compensation, for loss arising out of the infringement, including restitution for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Same

(2)  Subsection (1) does not permit a person to commence an action based solely on an infringement of a right under Part I.

Penalty

46.3  (1)  Every person who contravenes section 9 or subsection 29.2 (14), 29.3 (8) or 39.1 (13) or an order of the Tribunal is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000.

Consent to prosecution

(2)  No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except with the consent in writing of the Attorney General.

Acts of officers, etc.

46.4  (1)  For the purposes of this Act, except subsection 2 (2), subsection 5 (2), section 7 and subsection 46.3 (1), any act or thing done or omitted to be done in the course of his or her employment by an officer, official, employee or agent of a corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization shall be deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted to be done by the corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization.

Opinion re authority or acquiescence

(2)  At the request of a corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization, the Tribunal in its decision shall make known whether or not, in its opinion, an act or thing done or omitted to be done by an officer, official, employee or agent was done or omitted to be done with or without the authority or acquiescence of the corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization, and the opinion does not affect the application of subsection (1).

9.  (1)  Clauses 48 (b), (c), (d) and (e) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

 

 

 

 

 

(b) prescribing matters for the purposes of clause 39 (3) (g);

(c) respecting the Human Rights Legal Support Centre;

(d) governing any matter that is necessary or advisable for the effective enforcement and administration of this Act.

(2)  Section 48 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

(2)  A regulation made under clause (1) (c) may,

(a) further define the Centre's constitution, management and structure as set out in Part IV.1;

(b) prescribe powers and duties of the Centre and its members;

(c) provide for limitations on the Centre's powers under subsection 45.4 (4);

(d) prescribe services for the purposes of paragraph 3 of subsection 45.6 (1);

(e) further define the nature and scope of support services referred to in subsection 45.6 (1);

(f) provide for factors to be considered in appointing members and specify the circumstances and manner in which they are to be considered;

(g) provide for the term of appointment and reappointment of the Centre's members;

(h) provide for the nature and scope of the annual report required under section 45.10;

(i) provide for reporting requirements in addition to the annual report;

(j) provide for personal information to be collected by or on behalf of the Centre other than directly from the individual to whom the information relates, and for the manner in which the information is collected;

(k) provide for the transfer from specified persons or entities of information, including personal information, that is relevant to carrying out the functions of the Centre;

(l) provide for rules governing the confidentiality and security of information, including personal information, the collection, use and disclosure of such information, the retention and disposal of such information, and access to and correction of such information, including restrictions on any of these things, for the purposes of the carrying out of the functions of the Centre;

(m) specify requirements and conditions for the funding of the Centre and for the Centre's budget;

(n) provide for audits of the statements and records of the Centre;

(o) determine whether or not the Business Corporations Act, the Corporations Information Act or the Corporations Act or any provisions of those Acts apply to the Centre;

(p) provide for anything necessary or advisable for the purposes of Part IV.1.

10.  The Act is amended by adding the following Part:

PART VI
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

 

 

 

Definitions

49.  In this Part,

"effective date" means the day sections 5 and 6 of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006 come into force; ("date d'effet")

"new Part IV" means Part IV as it reads on and after the effective date; ("nouvelle partie IV")

"old Part IV" means Part IV as it reads before the effective date. ("ancienne partie IV")

Orders respecting special programs

50.  On the fifth anniversary of the effective date, all orders that were made by the Commission under subsection 14 (2) before the effective date shall be null and void.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application of s. 32 (1.2)

51.  Subsection 32 (1.2) applies to the selection and appointment of persons to the Tribunal on or after the day section 10 of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006 comes into force.

Tribunal powers before effective date

52.  (1)  Despite anything to the contrary in the old Part IV, the Tribunal may, before the effective date,

(a) make rules in accordance with the new Part IV, including rules with respect to the reconsideration of Tribunal decisions; and

(b) when dealing with complaints that are referred to it under section 36 of the old Part IV,

(i) deal with the complaint in accordance with the practices and procedures set out in the rules made under clause (a),

(ii) exercise the powers described in section 37 of the new Part IV, and

(iii) dispose of the complaint in accordance with section 37.1 of the new Part IV.

Application

(2)  Sections 37.2 and 38 of the new Part IV apply to rules made under clause (1) (a).

Tribunal decisions made before effective date

(3)  Despite anything in the old Part IV, the following applies before the effective date with respect to a complaint that is referred to the Tribunal by the Commission under section 36 of the old Part IV on or after the day section 10 of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006 comes into force:

1. Section 42 of the old Part IV does not apply to a decision of the Tribunal made with respect to the complaint.

2. Sections 44.2 and 45 of the new Part IV apply to a decision of the Tribunal made with respect to the complaint.

Complaints before Commission on effective date

53.  (1)  This section applies to a complaint filed with the Commission under subsection 32 (1) of the old Part IV or initiated by the Commission under subsection 32 (2) of the old Part IV before the effective date.

Commission powers continued for six months

(2)  Subject to subsection (3) and despite the repeal of the old Part IV, during the six-month period that begins on the effective date, the Commission shall continue to deal with complaints referred to in subsection (1) in accordance with subsection 32 (3) and sections 33, 34, 36, 37 and 43 of the old Part IV and, for that purpose,

(a) the Commission has all the powers described in subsection 32 (3) and sections 33, 34, 36, 37 and 43 of the old Part IV; and

(b) the provisions referred to in clause (a) continue to apply with respect to the complaints, with necessary modifications.

Applications to Tribunal during six-month period

(3)  Subject to subsection (4), at any time during the six-month period referred to in subsection (2), the person who made a complaint that is continued under that subsection may, in accordance with the Tribunal rules, elect to abandon the complaint and make an application to the Tribunal with respect to the subject-matter of the complaint.

Expedited process

(4)  The Tribunal shall make rules with respect to the practices and procedures that apply to an application under subsection (3) in order to ensure that the applications are dealt with in an expeditious manner.

Applications to Tribunal after six-month period

(5)  If, after the end of the six-month period referred to in subsection (2), the Commission has failed to deal with the merits of a complaint continued under that subsection and the complaint has not been withdrawn or settled, the complainant may make an application to the Tribunal with respect to the subject-matter of the complaint within a further six-month period after the end of the earlier six-month period.

New Part IV applies

(6)  The new Part IV applies to an application made under subsections (3) and (5).

Disclosure of information

(7)  Despite anything in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, at the request of a party to an application under subsection (3) or (5), the Commission may disclose to the party any information obtained by the Commission in the course of an investigation.

Application barred

(8)  No application, other than an application under subsection (3) or (5), may be made to the Tribunal if the subject-matter of the application is the same or substantially the same as the subject-matter of a complaint that was filed with the Commission under the old Part IV.

Settlements effected by Commission

54.  Section 45.1 of the new Part IV applies to the enforcement of a settlement that,

(a) was effected by the Commission under the old Part IV before the effective date or during the six-month period referred to in subsection 53 (2); and

(b) was agreed to in writing, signed by the parties and approved by the Commission.

Where complaints referred to Tribunal

55.  (1)  This section applies to complaints that are referred to the Tribunal by the Commission under section 36 of the old Part IV before the effective date or during the six-month period referred to in subsection 53 (2).

New Part IV applies

(2)  On and after the effective date, the new Part IV applies to a complaint described in subsection (1) as though it were an application made to the Tribunal under that Part and the Tribunal shall deal with the complaint in accordance with the new Part IV.

Parties

(3)  The Commission,

(a) shall continue to be a party to a complaint that was referred to the Tribunal before the effective date; and

(b) subject to subsection (4), shall not be a party to a complaint referred to the Tribunal during the six-month period referred to in subsection 53 (2).

Same, exceptions

(4)  The Commission shall continue as a party to a complaint that was referred to the Tribunal during the six-month period referred to in subsection 53 (2) if,

(a) the complaint was initiated by the Commission under subsection 32 (2) of the old Part IV; or

(b) the Tribunal sets a date for the parties to appear before the Tribunal before the end of the six-month period.

Same

(5)  Nothing in subsection (3) shall prevent,

(a) the Tribunal from adding the Commission as a party to a proceeding under section 36.1 of the new Part IV; or

(b) the Commission from intervening in a proceeding with respect to a complaint described in subsection (1).

Regulations, transitional matters

56.  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for transitional matters which, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable to facilitate the implementation of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006.

Same

(2)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) providing for transitional matters relating to the changes to the administration and functions of the Commission;

(b) dealing with any problems or issues arising as a result of the repeal or enactment of a provision of this Act by the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006.

Same

(3)  A regulation under this section may be general or specific in its application.

Conflicts

(4)  If there is a conflict between a provision in a regulation under this section and any provision of this Act or of any other regulation made under this Act, the regulation under this section prevails.

Review

57.  (1)   Three years after the effective date, the Minister shall appoint a person who shall undertake a review of the implementation and effectiveness of the changes resulting from the enactment of that Act.

Public consultations

(1.1)  In conducting a review under this section, the person appointed under subsection (1) shall hold public consultations.

Report to Minister

(2)  The person appointed under subsection (1) shall prepare a report on his or her findings and submit the report to the Minister within one year of his or her appointment.

 

 

 

Legislation Act, 2006

11.  On the later of the day section 6 of this Act comes into force and the day section 134 of the Legislation Act, 2006 comes into force, subsection 39 (6) of the Human Rights Code Act is amended by striking out "the Regulations Act" at the end and substituting "Part III of the Legislation Act, 2006".

 

 

Commencement

12.  (1)  Sections 6.1, 10 and 11, this section and section 13 come into force on the day this Act receives Royal Assent.

Same

(2)  Sections 1 to 6 and 7, 8 and 9 come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

13.  The short title of this Act is the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006.

This reprint of the Bill is marked to indicate the changes that were made in Committee.

The changes are indicated by underlines for new text and a strikethrough for deleted text.

______________

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Human Rights Code. The amendments have three main purposes:

1. To revise the administration and functions of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

2. To provide that applications relating to the infringement of rights under Part I of the Act are to be made directly to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

3. To continue the Tribunal and revise its procedures and powers in dealing with matters brought before it.

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Part III of the Act is repealed and replaced. Part III relates to the appointment, administration and functions of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Section 27 is amended to include criteria to be considered in the appointment of Commission members and to require the appointment of a Chief Commissioner who shall direct the Commission and perform such other duties as are specified under the Act. The Commission's functions are revised to emphasize the promotion of respect for human rights in Ontario and the elimination of discriminatory practices. The Commission also initiates applications to the Tribunal in order to address infringements of rights under Part I of the Act. The Commission designates programs as special programs for the purposes of subsection 14 (1). The Bill provides for the expiry and renewal of such designations and specifies that the Tribunal may, in a proceeding before it, determine that a program is a special program for the purposes of subsection 14 (1). The Commission publishes policies with respect to the application of Parts I and II. The Chief Commissioner will direct an Anti-Racism Secretariat and a Disability Rights Secretariat, to be established under sections 30 and 31.

Enforcement procedures with respect to rights under Part I

Sections 32 and 33 of the Act currently provide that a person may make a complaint to the Commission if he or she believes that his or her rights under the Act have been infringed. The Commission is required to investigate such complaints and to either settle the complaint, dismiss the matter or refer the matter to the Tribunal.

The Bill would eliminate the role of the Commission with respect to complaints. Instead, an individual who believes his or her rights under Part I of the Act have been infringed could apply directly to the Tribunal for a remedy in respect of the infringement. The Bill gives the Tribunal the power to conduct inquiries to obtain evidence to be used in proceedings before it. However, the Commission continues to conduct inquiries for the purpose of carrying out its functions. The powers of the Commission in conducting inquiries are set out in new sections 29.2 and 29.3. The Commission has the right to intervene in Tribunal proceedings and, under new section 36, to initiate applications to the Tribunal.

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Part IV of the Act is repealed and replaced. The Tribunal is continued under section 32. The Bill requires that Tribunal members be selected in accordance with a competitive process and based on specified criteria. The Tribunal is given powers to enable it to govern its own practices and procedures. Where an application is made to the Tribunal, there are no limits on the amount of monetary compensation that may be ordered and the compensation may include compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. The decisions of the Tribunal are final and not subject to appeal; however, the Tribunal may reconsider its decisions under new section 44.1.

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

The Bill adds a new Part IV.I to the Act which establishes the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. The Centre is a corporation that is independent from, but accountable to, the government. The purpose of the Centre is to provide legal services and other services with respect to the enforcement and application of rights under Part I. The services are to be provided throughout Ontario in a cost-effective manner and are to be funded by the Ministry.

Other significant amendments

 

New section 46.2 enables a court to order monetary compensation or restitution for loss arising out of injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect, where a finding is made that a right under Part I of the Act has been infringed.

A new Part VI is added to the Act to deal with transitional matters arising from the amendments in the Bill. New section 57 provides for a review to be undertaken within three years of the coming into force of the Bill. The review will examine the implementation and effectiveness of the amendments.