Both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act protect people from forms of discrimination such as sexism, racism, and harmful stereotypes.
As a result of the constitutional division of powers, the Ontario Human Rights Code generally applies to entities regulated by provincial law, such as school boards, hospitals, and most businesses. The Code does not apply to federally regulated entities, such as airlines and banks, even when these entities operate within the Province of Ontario. In general, the Canadian Human Rights Act has jurisdiction over complaints about discrimination involving federally regulated entities.
In some cases, jurisdiction is clearly defined. For example, Tyrrell v Royal Bank of Canada, 2014 HRTO 1134 maintained that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, which hears complaints of a violation of the Ontario Code, does not have jurisdiction over banks, as they are federally regulated. Likewise, Voss v Garda Canada Security Corporation, 2013 HRTO 188 held that the work of airport security officers, and their supervisors, falls under federal jurisdiction.
In other complaints, whether the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has jurisdiction may be less clear. In Raiche v Pic Mobert First Nation, 2014 HRTO 1271, the Tribunal decided that depending on the activities of a First Nations organization, the case may fall within provincial jurisdiction or may fall within federal jurisdiction. In Tobin v Aroland First Nations, 2012 HRTO 2360,  OHRTD No. 2318, the Tribunal decided that an application pertaining to the provision of education on First Nations fell under federal jurisdiction, and therefore outside the scope of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
If you have experienced discrimination in a social area such as employment, contracts, housing, membership in an association, or services, goods, or facilities, it is suggested to immediately contact a lawyer or paralegal who has Human Rights as an area of practice. Your rights matter, and you have options.
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