WHAT KINDS OF INTERIM RELIEF CAN BE ORDERED BY THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL?
Interim relief is when a court or tribunal provides some short-term help or an order before a full trial or hearing. Examples of interim relief at the Human Rights Tribunal have included ordering the respondent to allow the applicant to visit his family in a semi-private room in hospital accompanied by his service animal, in Sprague v University Health Network, 2015 HRTO 1706.
More recently, KZ v Cambridge Kips Inc., 2017 HRTO 241 ordered the respondent to allow the applicant, a 12-year-old girl, to train and compete with the respondent's gymnastics club.
The Human Rights Tribunal suggests that granting an interim relief request is an extraordinary step. The party seeking the relief has a significant onus or burden to demonstrate that the request meets requirements. These requirements are set out in Rule 23.2 of the Tribunal's Specific Rules:
1) the Tribunal must be satisfied that the application alleging discrimination has merit,
2) that the balance of harm or convenience favours granting the interim remedy, and
3) that it is just and appropriate in the circumstances to do so.
EC v Ontario (Health and Long-term Care), 2015 HRTO 1462 clarified that, without proper consideration, the request for interim relief should not be granted if the result of this remedy would essentially give the applicant a part of the final remedy sought by the application. In Grant v Bombardier Inc., Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, 2015 HRTO 253, the applicant's request for an interim remedy was refused because the request sought not to preserve an existing state of affairs, but instead sought to form a new employment relationship between the applicant and respondent.
Danbrook v Hilton Toronto Hotel, 2013 HRTO 811 confirmed that financial hardship is not a sufficient factor in granting an order for an interim remedy. Williams v Iroquois Falls (Town), 2010 HRTO 2350 agreed that a delay in an applicant's request for interim relief is a significant factor against granting the relief.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal requires that a request for interim relief is submitted in a Form 16, and then other parties to the dispute typically have seven days to file a Form 17 Response to Request for Interim Remedy and deliver it to other parties, according to the Rules of Procedure.
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