Time for an early new year’s resolution – book some training!

December 14th, 2020 by Iler Campbell LLP

Nearly five years ago, in March 2016, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) released a landmark case for housing providers.  The decision, Welykyi and Rouge Valley Co-operative Homes Inc., was the first significant decision of the HRTO to relate to housing.  Although it was a co-op case, it helps all housing providers understand the importance of decisive action when tenants or members harass each other on grounds protected under the Human Rights Code.  

The decision emphasizes the need for housing providers to have formal processes in place to deal with human rights issues that come up among the tenants or members.   But the decision says more than that.  The adjudicator, Douglas Sanderson, says:  In my view, the formal processes and policies that a housing provider may have in place are less important than what it actually does once it receives a complaint of harassment. [emphasis added] (paragraph 169)

We get calls almost every day from housing providers about issues that relate to human rights.  They range widely, including:

  • requests for modifications to units or common spaces to help tenants or members with mobility issues
  • concerns about flooring that may be contributing to allergies
  • complaints from neighbours about behaviour that may be caused by a mental health disability
  • the need to use cannabis as medication
  • requests to be allowed to have emotional support animals or service animals
  • unit condition issues that might relate to a mental health disability

Since the Rouge Valley decision was released, a major focus of our training at the firm has been on human rights.  For example, in the past five years, we have delivered nearly 60 conference and education day workshops with some human rights content.  Individual clients too have approached us to deliver training for their boards, the tenants or members, and their staff:  we’ve led about 18 human rights seminars to individual clients. Of course, since March 2020, we have delivered all of these online.  If you are looking for ways to vary your videoconference board meetings this winter, think about whether you would benefit from some focused human rights training.  We’ll join you and provide worthwhile content at reasonable rates.

Not a housing provider?  Not a problem.  The Human Rights Code applies to employers as well.  We can help you too.

Of course, human rights is not the only training we do.  We can help you out with board governance, employment law, privacy, smoking, cannabis, evictions, social media, and the list goes on.

Give us a call if you’re interested in booking some training.   Our 2021 calendars are – well – pretty open!

We’ve put some of our presentations on our website, too.  If you’re looking for distraction over the holidays you might want to take a look.  We think we’re building a pretty impressive list!

Filed in: Human Rights, IC Education Resources, IC Education Updates

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