Ontario Human Rights Code
Statutes of Ontario 1990, Chapter H.19

PART IV -- ENFORCEMENT


Complaints
32. (1) Where a person believes that a right of his under this Act has been infringed, the person may file with the Commission a complaint in a form approved by the Commission.
Idem
(2) The Commission may initiate a complaint by itself or at the request of any person.
Combining of complaints
(3) Where two or more complaints,
(a) bring into question a practice of infringement engaged in by the same person; or
(b) have questions of law or fact in common,
the Commission may combine the complaints and deal with them in the same proceeding. [1981, c.53, s.31.]

Investigation of complaints
33. (1) Subject to section 34, the Commission shall investigate a complaint and endeavour to effect a settlement.
Investigation
(2) An investigation by the Commission may be made by a member or employee of the Commission who is authorized by the Commission for the purpose.
Powers on investigation
(3) A person authorized to investigate a complaint may,
(a) enter any place, other than a place that is being used as a dwelling, at any reasonable time, for the purpose of investigating the complaint;
(b) request the production for inspection and examination of documents or things that are or may be relevant to the investigation;
(c) upon giving a receipt therefor, remove from a place documents produced in response to a request under clause (b) for the purpose of making copies thereof or extracts therefrom and shall promptly return them to the person who produced or furnished them; and
(d) question a person on matters that are or may be relevant to the complaint subject to the person's right to have counsel or a personal representative present during such questioning, and may exclude from the questioning any person who may be adverse in interest to the complainant.
Entry into dwellings
(4) A person investigating a complaint shall not enter a place that is being used as a dwelling without the consent of the occupier except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (8).
Denial of entry
(5) Subject to subsection (4), if a person who is or may be a party to a complaint denies entry to any place, or instructs the person investigating to leave the place, or impedes or prevents an investigation therein, the Commission may request the Minister to appoint a board of inquiry or may authorize an employee or member to apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant to enter under subsection (8).
Refusal to produce
(6) If a person refuses to comply with a request for production of documents or things, the Commission may request the Minister to appoint a board of inquiry, or may authorize an employee or member to apply to a justice of the peace for a search warrant under subsection (7).
Warrant for search
(7) Where a justice of the peace is satisfied on evidence upon oath that there are in a place documents that there is reasonable ground to believe will afford evidence relevant to the complaint, he may issue a warrant in the prescribed form authorizing a person named in the warrant to search a place for any such documents, and to remove them for the purposes of making copies thereof or extracts therefrom, and the documents shall be returned promptly to the place from which they were removed.
Warrant for entry
(8) Where a justice of the peace is satisfied by evidence upon oath that there is reasonable ground to believe it is necessary that a place being used as a dwelling or to which entry has been denied be entered to investigate a complaint, he may issue a warrant in the prescribed form authorizing such entry by a person named in the warrant.
Execution of warrant
(9) A warrant issued under subsection (7) or (8) shall be executed at reasonable times as specified in the warrant.
Expiration of warrant
(10) Every warrant shall name a date on which it expires, which shall be a date not later than fifteen days after it is issued.
Obstruction
(11) No person shall hinder, obstruct or interfere with a person in the execution of a warrant or otherwise impede an investigation under this Act.
Idem
(12) Subsection (11) is not contravened by a refusal to comply with a request for the production of documents or things made under clause (3)(b).
Admissibility of copies
(13) Copies of, or extracts from, documents removed from premises under clause (3) (c) or subsection (7) certified as being true copies of the originals by the person who made them, are admissible in evidence to the same extent as, and have the same evidentiary value as, the documents of which they are copies or extracts. [1981, c.53, s.32.]

Decision to not deal with complaint
34. (1) Where it appears to the Commission that,
(a) the complaint is one that could or should be more appropriately dealt with under an Act other than this Act;
(b) the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith;
(c) the complaint is not within the jurisdiction of the Commission; or
(d) the facts upon which the complaint is based occurred more than six months before the complaint was filed, unless the Commission is satisfied that the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person affected by the delay,
the Commission may, in its discretion, decide to not deal with the complaint.
Notice of decision and reasons
(2) Where the Commission decides to not deal with a complaint, it shall advise the complainant in writing of the decision and the reasons therefor and of the procedure under section 37 for having the decision reconsidered. [1981, c.53, s.33.]

Panel of members for boards of inquiry
35. (1) The Minister shall appoint a panel of persons to act as members of boards of inquiry.
Remuneration
(2) The members of boards of inquiry shall be paid such allowances and expenses as are fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. [1981, c.53, s.34.]

Referred to board of inquiry
36. (1) Where the Commission fails to effect a settlement of the complaint and it appears to the Commission that the procedure is appropriate and the evidence warrants an inquiry, the Commission may request the Minister to appoint a board of inquiry and refer the subject-matter of the complaint to the board.
Notice of decision not to appoint inquiry
(2) Where the Commission decides to not request the Minister to appoint a board of inquiry, it shall advise the complainant and the person complained against in writing of the decision and the reasons therefor and inform the complainant of the procedure under section 37 for having the decision reconsidered. [1981, c.53, s.35.]

Reconsideration
37. (1) Within a period of fifteen days of the date of mailing the decision and reasons therefor mentioned in subsection 34(2) or subsection 36(2), or such longer period as the Commission may for special reasons allow, a complainant may request the Commission to reconsider its decision by filing an application for reconsideration containing a concise statement of the material facts upon which the application is based.
Notice of application
(2) Upon receipt of an application for reconsideration the Commission shall as soon as is practicable notify the person complained against of the application and afford the person an opportunity to make written submissions with respect thereto within such time as the Commission specifies.
Decision
(3) Every decision of the Commission on reconsideration together with the reasons therefor shall be recorded in writing and promptly communicated to the complainant and the person complained against and the decision shall be final. [1981, c.53, s.36.]

Appointment of board
38. (1) Where the Commission requests the Minister to appoint a board of inquiry, the Minister shall appoint from the panel one or more persons to form the board of inquiry and the Minister shall communicate the names of the persons forming the board to the parties to the inquiry.
Members at hearing not to have taken part in investigation, etc.
(2) A member of the board hearing a complaint must not have taken part in any investigation or consideration of the subject-matter of the inquiry before the hearing and shall not communicate directly or indirectly in relation to the subject-matter of the inquiry with any person or with any party or his representative except upon notice to and opportunity for all parties to participate, but the board may seek legal advice from an adviser independent of the parties and in such case the nature of the advice shall be made known to the parties in order that they may make submissions as to the law. [1981, c.53, s.37.]

Hearing
39. (1) The board of inquiry shall hold a hearing,
(a) to determine whether a right of the complainant under this Act has been infringed;
(b) to determine who infringed the right; and
(c) to decide upon an appropriate order under section 41,
and the hearing shall be commenced within thirty days after the date on which the members were appointed.
Parties
(2) The parties to a proceeding before a board of inquiry are,
(a) the Commission, which shall have the carriage of the complaint;
(b) the complainant;
(c) any person who the Commission alleges has infringed the right;
(d) any person appearing to the board of inquiry to have infringed the right;
(e) where the complaint is of alleged conduct constituting harassment under subsection 2(2) or subsection 5(2) or of alleged conduct under section 7, any person who, in the opinion of the board, knew or was in possession of facts from which he or she ought reasonably to have known of the conduct and who had authority to penalize or prevent the conduct.
Adding parties
(3) A party may be added by the board of inquiry under clause (2)(d) or clause (2)(e) at any stage of the proceeding upon such terms as the board considers proper.
Adjournment on production
(4) Where a board exercises its power under clause 12(1)(b) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act to issue a summons requiring the production in evidence of documents or things, it may, upon the production of the documents or things before it, adjourn the proceedings to permit the parties to examine the documents or things. [R.S.O. 1980, c.484]
Adjournment for view
(5) The board may, where it appears to be in the interests of justice, direct that the board and the parties and their counsel or representatives shall have a view of any place or thing, and may adjourn the proceedings for that purpose. [1981 c.53, s.38.]

Recording of evidence
40. The oral evidence taken before a board at a hearing shall be recorded, and copies of a transcript thereof shall be furnished upon request upon the same terms as in the Supreme Court. [1981, c.53, s.39.]

Orders of boards of inquiry
41. (1) Where the board of inquiry, after a hearing, finds that a right of the complainant under Part I has been infringed and that the infringement is a contravention of section 9 by a party to the proceeding, the board may, by order,
(a) direct the party to do anything that, in the opinion of the board, the party ought to do to achieve compliance with this Act, both in respect of the complaint and in respect of future practices; and
(b) direct the party to make restitution, including monetary compensation, for loss arising out of the infringement, and, where the infringement has been engaged in wilfully or recklessly, monetary compensation may include an award, not exceeding $10,000, for mental anguish. [1981, c.53, s.40(1).]
(2) Repealed: [1986, c.64, s.18(16).]
(3) Repealed: [1986, c.64, s.18(16).]
Order to prevent harassment
(4) Where a board makes a finding under subsection (1) that a right is infringed on the ground of harassment under subsection 2(2) or subsection 5(2) or conduct under section 7, and the board finds that a person who is a party to the proceeding,
(a) knew or was in possession of knowledge from which he ought to have known of the infringement; and
(b) had the authority by reasonably available means to penalize or prevent the conduct and failed to use it,
the board shall remain seized of the matter and upon complaint of a continuation or repetition of the infringement of the right the Commission may investigate the complaint and, subject to subsection 36(2), request the board to re-convene and if the board finds that a person who is a party to the proceeding,
(c) knew or was in possession of knowledge from which he or she ought to have known of the repetition of infringement; and
(d) had the authority by reasonably available means to penalize or prevent the continuation or repetition of the conduct and failed to use it,
the board may make an order requiring the person to take whatever sanctions or steps are reasonably available to prevent any further continuation or repetition of the infringement of the right.
Re-appointment of board
(5) Where a board of inquiry for any reason is unable to exercise its powers under this section or section 39, the Commission may request the Minister to appoint a new board of inquiry in its place.
Costs
(6) Where, upon dismissing a complaint, the board of inquiry finds that,
(a) the complaint was trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith; or
(b) in the particular circumstances undue hardship was caused to the person complained against,
the board of inquiry may order the Commission to pay to the person complained against such costs as are fixed by the board.
Decision within 30 days
(7) The board of inquiry shall make its finding and decision within thirty days after the conclusion of its hearing. [1981, c.53, s.40(4-7).]

Appeal from decision of board of inquiry
42. (1) Any party to a proceeding before a board of inquiry may appeal from a decision or order of the board to the Divisional Court in accordance with the rules of court.
Record to be filed in court
(2) Where notice of an appeal is served under this section, the board of inquiry shall forthwith file in the Divisional Court the record of the proceedings before it in which the decision or order appealed from was made and the record, together with a transcript of the oral evidence taken before the board if it is not part of the record of the board, shall constitute the record in the appeal.
Powers of court
(3) An appeal under this section may be made on questions of law or fact or both and the court may affirm or reverse the decision or order of the board of inquiry or direct the board to make any decision or order that the board is authorized to make under this Act and the court may substitute its opinion for that of the board. [1981, c.53, s.41.]
Settlements
43. Where a settlement of a complaint is agreed to in writing, signed by the parties and approved by the Commission, the settlement is binding upon the parties, and a breach of the settlement is grounds for a complaint under section 32, and this Part applies to the complaint in the same manner as if the breach of the settlement were an infringement of a right under this Act. [1981, c.53, s.42.]
Penalty
44. (1) Every person who contravenes section 9, subsection 33(11), or an order of a board of inquiry, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000.
Consent to prosecution
(2) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except with the consent in writing of the Attorney General. [1981, c.53, s.43.]

Acts of officers, etc.
45. (1) For the purposes of this Act, except subsection 2(2), subsection 5(2), section 7 and subsection 44(1), any act or thing done or omitted to be done in the course of his or her employment by an officer, official, employee or agent of a corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization shall be deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted to be done by the corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization.
Opinion re authority or acquiescence
(2) At the request of a corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization, a board of inquiry in its decision shall make known whether or not, in its opinion, an act or thing done or omitted to be done by an officer, official, employee or agent was done or omitted to be done with or without the authority or acquiescence of the corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers' organization, and the opinion does not affect the application of subsection (1). [1981, c.53, s.44.]

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