Bill 49 2003
An Act to protect
people over the age of 65
by amending the
Human Rights Code
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. (1) The definition of "age" in subsection 10 (1) of the Human Rights Code is amended by striking out "except in subsection 5 (1) where "age" means an age that is eighteen years or more and less than sixty-five years".
(2) The Act is amended by adding the following section:
Review of Employment Standards Act
25.1 (1) Within 180 days after the day this section comes into force, the Minister of Labour shall review the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the regulations made under it to ensure that there are no provisions that permit discrimination on the basis of age in an employee superannuation or pension plan or fund or a contract of group insurance between an insurer and an employer.
(2) If, after 180 days after the day this section comes into force, there remain provisions in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the regulations made under it that permit discrimination on the basis of age in an employee superannuation or pension plan or fund or a contract of group insurance between an insurer and an employer, such provisions shall be deemed to be amended to prohibit such discrimination.
(3) The Act is amended by adding the following section:
Appointment of the Seniors' Ombudsman
28.1 (1) The chair of the Commission shall appoint an employee of the Commission as the Seniors' Ombudsman.
(2) The Seniors' Ombudsman shall,
(a) act as an advocate on behalf of the elderly who are residents of long-term care facilities and similar medical facilities;
(b) investigate complaints of abuse and neglect in the facilities mentioned in clause (a); and
(c) report to the chair of the Commission on the results of his or her investigations.
Publication of reports
(3) Reports of investigations into complaints by the Seniors' Ombudsman shall be made available to the public.
Protection of personal information
(4) Nothing in subsection (3) permits the release of personal information without the prior approval of the person to whom the information relates.
(5) In this section,
"long-term care facility" means a nursing home under the Nursing Homes Act; ("établissement de soins de longue durée")
"personal information" means personal information as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. ("renseignements personnels")
2. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
3. The short title of this Act is the Seniors' Protection Act, 2003.
The Bill amends the Human Rights Code to require the appointment of a Seniors' Ombudsman. The Ombudsman reports to the chair of the Human Rights Commission. The Seniors' Ombudsman acts as an advocate for the elderly and attempts to resolve complaints of abuse and neglect of the elderly in long-term care and medical facilities.
The Act is also amended to remove the reference to 65 years. This results in it being contrary to the Act to discriminate in employment on the basis of age because a person is 65 years of age or older.
The Bill also prevents employers from changing the access to benefits or rights to benefits for workers who are 65 years of age or older.