Ontario’s Human Rights Code

Heather Conklin | Research Officer


[1] Human RightsCode, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (Code), Part I (“Freedom from Discrimination”), ss. 1-6.

[2]Code, s. 10(1) (definition of “record of offences”).

[3]Code, ss. 2(2), 5(2), and 7.

[4]Code, s. 10(1) (definition of “harassment”).

[5] Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), “Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed,” 5. Legal framework.

[6]Code, ss. 40 (“Disposition of applications”), 43 (“Tribunal rules”).

[7]Code, s. 45.2 (“Orders of Tribunal: applications under s. 34”); Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, “Application and Hearing Process.”

[8] Tribunals Ontario, Landlord and Tenant Board, “Interpretation Guideline 17: Human Rights”; see also Walmer Developments v. Wolch, 2003 CanLII 42163 (ON SCDC) at para. 18 and Tranchemontagne v. Ontario (Director, Disability Support Program), 2006 SCC 14.

[9] The Social Benefits Tribunal subsequently found that the provisions discriminated on the basis of disability. That finding was upheld by the courts; see Ontario (Disability Support Program) v. Tranchemontagne, 2010 ONCA 593 (CanLII). The provisions at issue (s. 5(2)) remain in the Act, but are not applied to ODSP applications; legislation passed in 2021 will repeal s. 5(2) of the ODSPA, once the relevant provision (Sched. 21, s. 25(1)) is proclaimed into force.

[10]Code, ss. 27(2)-(3).

[11] OHRC, “The Human Rights System.” See also OHRC, Ontario Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022, “Introduction.”

[12]Code, s. 45.11; see also Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC), “Our Mission.”

[13]Code, s. 45.12(b).

[14] HRLSC, “Understanding the Duty to Accommodate.”

[15] OHRC, “Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability,” 5. Establishing discrimination.

[16] Ibid.

[17] HRLSC, “Proving Discrimination,” 7. What if there is no evidence that directly proves discrimination? What is circumstantial evidence?

[18] OHRC, “Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability.”

[19] See for example, OHRC, “Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed,” 8. Defences and exceptions; and “Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability,” 3. Legal framework.

[20] OHRC, “Guide to your rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code,” Constructive discrimination.

[21] OHRC, “Human Rights at Work 2008 – Third Edition,” IV. Human rights issues at all stages in employment, 2. Setting job requirements.

[22]Code, s. 14. As well, s. 15 allows the age of sixty-five years or over as a qualification for preferential treatment.

[23]Code, s. 24(1)(a).

[24]Code, ss. 24(1)(b) and 24(2).

[25] British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU, [1999] 3 SCR 3, at para. 54.

[26] OHRC, “A policy primer: Guide to developing human rights policies and procedures,” June 19, 1996 (revised December 2013), pp. 7-8.