Human Rights

ONPHA Members: Read our InfoON report on Smoke-free apartment buildings & medical marijuana

November 18th, 2016 by Iler Campbell

In a report just published to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s members only website, Lauren Blumas outlines the issues and related decisions that must be made while considering implementing a non-smoking policy.

If you’re a member you can log on here to read the report.

Accommodations for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities: free workshop Dec 6

November 9th, 2016 by Iler Campbell


Katie Douglas will be leading an hour-long workshop at our offices on 9AM on December 6 on what students with intellectual and developmental disabilities are entitled to with respect to school accommodations and how not-for-profits and advocacy groups can help them get those accommodations.

The workshop will cover:

  • Accommodations under the Human Rights Code and Education Act
  • The Individual Education Plan and Individual Placement and Review Committee processes
  • Appeals of placement and accommodation decisions to the Special Education Tribunal
  • Appeals of expulsions to the Child and Family Services Review Board

To claim a spot email

Landlords and tenants to fight out right to grow medical marijuana under new regulations

October 27th, 2016 by Lauren Blumas and Claudia Pedrero

This article was first published on

The new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR), which came into force on August 24, 2016, has changed how patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana can get their medicine. The ACMPR came to be, in part, as a response to a Federal Court ruling that the former Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) violated the Charter because it prohibited personal production of medical cannabis. For many medicinal cannabis users, the cost of accessing through the channels allowed under the MMPR were simply unaffordable.

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Dispatches from “Hoarding: New Approaches to Community Management,” October 20, 2016

October 21st, 2016 by Celia Chandler

I attended a day-long seminar on a topic of significance to our housing clients called “Hoarding: New Approaches to Community Management” on October 20, 2016. The session, hosted by VHA Home HealthCare (VHA), was well attended by mental health agency staff, housing providers, and assorted others – like me – serving housing providers who encounter the problems resulting from tenants’ and members’ excessive clutter. The fifth of such events in Toronto, there is heightened awareness of problematic hoarding since the fire at 200 Wellesley Street, just over six years.

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From Rio to Tokyo, gender discrimination in sport continues

August 25th, 2016 by Katie Douglas

This article was first published on

Caster Semenya, a South-African woman, ran and won the women’s 800-metre race at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Saturday night. Semenya has hyperandrogenism, a condition that causes her body to produce more testosterone than the average woman. Controversy around Semenya dates back to 2009 when she was forced to undergo blood and chromosome tests and a gynecological exam to prove that she is a woman. Many have argued that her high testosterone levels give her an unfair athletic advantage and she should either take medication to bring her testosterone levels in line with those of average women or be barred from competing.

This controversy brings to light one of society’s most persistent and destructive myths — that sex is a binary concept and our deeply entrenched view of the two genders and their respective roles is to be upheld in all areas from domestic tasks to sporting competitions. Athletes like Semenya are important because her participation raises the arbitrary and exclusive nature of this falsehood and the question of what society is going to do about it on an international and high‑profile stage. Read the rest of this entry

New Accessible Customer Service Standards come into force July 1st. Are you ready?

June 22nd, 2016 by Katie Douglas

On July 1, 2016, the Accessible Customer Service Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the AODA) are changing. The changes apply to all organizations in Ontario with one or more employees that provide goods or services to the public.

The AODA is organized into five ‘standards’: customer service, information and communications, transportation, employment, and the design of public spaces. These standards are being phased in gradually and will be fully implemented in 2025. We’ve previously written about the new employment standards coming into force under the AODA in 2017. Those changes apply to all organizations with fewer than 50 employees. Read up on them here.

Below is a brief summary of the changes coming July 1st under the Customer Service Standard. Organizations with questions or which are unsure if they are meeting their obligations under the AODA are encouraged to contact us. Read the rest of this entry