Human Rights Tribunal
“Be careful with your judgment … be used in Human Rights
application. Human Rights is a very scary place.”
—Jonathan Fine during hearing to Justice Myers
If a condo resident is being harassed or discriminated against by other
condo residents, employees, contractors, management or the directors
for any category that is recognized by the Human Rights Code, and the
board will not take action to stop the harassment or discrimination,
then the resident can make an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
The beauty of Human Rights applications is that there is little or no
cost to the applicant to apply. The applicant does not require a lawyer
so there need not be expensive legal fees. There are agencies that help
applicants with their cases.
However, applicants need to know that although the Tribunals often rule
in favour of the applicants, the monetary awards are relatively modest.
Condo lawyers hate Human Rights cases because the outcome is often hard
to predict and the applicants often win. Also, the applications and
rulings are made public and many are posted on CanLII which can prove embarrassing for the respondents.
If an owner believes that they have a human rights complaint, it is
important to make an application to the Human Rights Tribunal before
the condo corporation makes an application to the courts because the
courts also have jurisdiction to hear human rights cases so whoever
applies first, has a big advantage.
Although an applicant does not need a lawyer to present their claim at
at Human Rights Tribunal, it would be very wise to consult with a
lawyer who is experienced in human rights law before filing your claim.
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