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Ontario Streamlines Human Rights Legislation
January 23, 2007

The Ontario legislature has enacted legislation to streamline the processing of human rights complaints in that province.

Currently, complaints are screened by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which investigates the complaints to determine which ones should be referred to a second body, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, for adjudication.

This system has caused lengthy delays, with some complaints taking four or five years to be heard. In an effort to reduce delay and backlogs, Bill 107 abolishes the Human Rights Commission’s screening function and allows complainants to proceed directly to the Human Rights Tribunal.

The Commission’s revised mandate will be to identify and promote the elimination of systemic discrimination practices and promote compliance with human rights legislation.

British Columbia eliminated its Human Rights Commission in 2003, permitting complainants to proceed directly to the BC Human Rights Tribunal.