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The Ontario Human Rights
Exchange Summit
What Does Bill 107 Mean to You?

Scroll Down to Read and Hear the Results

On Wednesday October 4, 2006, Warren's World presented a learning discussion and knowledge exchange on Bill 107, called the Ontario Human Rights Exchange Summit.

Bill 107, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Code, proposes significant changes to Ontarios' human rights system.

Our summit brought together two dozen of Ontario's leading experts and advocates in human rights, including Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall, and Michael Gottheil, Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Thank you to all the participants who contributed to advancing the dialogue and understanding of Bill 107.

Note: The views expressed in the audio files below do not necessarily reflect those of Warren's World or March of Dimes. The viewpoints and opnions expressed are intended to demonstrate the breadth and diversity of the overall reaction to Bill 107 and what changes might be considered critical to improve Ontario's human rights system.

David Lepofsky talks about bill 107

Warren's World "Year 2"
focuses on human rights
by Claire Taylor

3 - 2 - 1. Welcome to the kick-off of the second year of Canada's accessibility machine, Warren's World.

What started as a student placement and a policy learning project has developed into a main pillar of Canada's March of Dimes and an instrumental part of effecting change to Canada's governing system

And the newly-minted, 23-year old March of Dimes representative, Warren Rupnarain, who uses a motorized wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, couldn't be happier. "I have never been so busy, and it's great," explains Warren. "The work we've been doing touches people's lives in some really profound ways."

Over the summer months alone, Warren's World has been to Parliament Hill to promote national legislation, received an honorary celebration by Ryerson University's top brass, and worked with Toronto's food and eateries establishments to identify Toronto's Top 20 most accessible venues. This all amounts to a grueling schedule for anyone, but this team is inspired by the adrenaline.

March of Dimes official, Steven Christianson, Manager of Government Relations & Advocacy, explains. "Several initiatives will unfold over the coming months, many of which are truly national in scope, and one or two that transcend national borders. We're advancing on the national legislative front, we're pressing for more accessible taxi service in Toronto, we're holding a major session at Queen's Park. So we're building on the momentum and the expertise cultivated over the past year and opening things up in a very exciting way."

Sheila Casemore, March of Dimes Government Relations official who coordinates the Warren's World infrastructure, elucidates. "Just around the corner is our human rights summit. We're bringing together some of Ontario's leading experts in human rights and equity, including Ontario's Human Rights Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall, to discuss the implications of Bill 107, the provincial government's move to amend Ontario's human rights system."

The Government of Ontario recently introduced this bill as part of a move to streamline the human rights code and the ways in which Ontarians file and proceed with complaints of equity and discrimination. Interestingly, even the blogs on the Warren's World website dating back to February explicitly draw the connection between the work of Warren's World as the pursuit of equality and human rights.

Aptly titled, the Ontario Human Rights Exchange Summit: What Does Bill 107 Mean to You?, the session will be held at Toronto's Metro Hall on Wednesday October 4th, and moderated by Warren himself. Casemore says the crew will employ their trademark podcasting and web features. Yet, it is the list of participants that catches one's eye, which features experts from ARCH Disability Law Centre, Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment Services, Ontario Federation of Labour, Canadian Association of Retired Persons, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Centennial College, City of Toronto, Ontario Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Canadian African Legal Clinic, to name a few.

A passionate initiative with a very impressive group.

So what does Warren's World hope to achieve by the end of the Summit? "Very simply, we hope everyone walks away with a richer appreciation of the overall human rights arena in Ontario," explains Christianson. "Everyone has their own unique perspective and their own experiences, so let's see what we can all learn from each other in a positive way, and transform that new understanding into constructive recommendations for Queen's Park. It's a policy dialogue to help make the legislative proposals better - for everyone."

As this crew of Warren's World enters its second year, one wonders whether they should be renamed, "The Amazing Race"?

Useful Resources and Background About Bill 107

AODA Alliance
link

ARCH Disability Law Centre
link

Bill 107: An Act to Amend the Human Rights Code

2nd Session, 38th Legislature, Ontario

55 Elizabeth II, 2006

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
link

Ontario Human Rights Commission
link

Background Information, News Releases and Discussion Papers from the Ontario Human Rights Commission
link

Debates, Committee Hearing Minutes, Minister’s and Member’s Statements
link

Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall, delivers remarks to the Summit
Foreground: Warren and Barbara Hall; Background: Jimmy Dick and Nancy Martin from Mizewe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training
Michael Gotthiel, Chair, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, describes the role of the Tribunal
Terry Downey, Executive Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour
Foreground: Roberto Lattanzio addressing the Summit; Background: Barbara Hall, Rev. Donald Butler, and Warren.
Roberto Lattanzio and Laurie Letheren, ARCH Disability Law Centre
Reverend Donald Butler, Church of the Natvity (Malvern - Scarborough).
Left to Right: Kathy Laird, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, Bill Gleberzon, Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Grace Vaccarelli, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, John Fraser, Centre for Equality in Accommodation.
Warren giving the learning session a "thumbs up".
Cynthia Peterson, Human Rights Lawyer
From Mizewe Biik: Jimmy Dick, President, and Nancy Martin, Executive Director.
Len Rudnick, Canadian Jewish Congress
Grace Vaccarelli and John Fraser
ARCH Disability Law Centre lawyer, Laurie Letheren.
Bill Gleberzon, Grace Vaccarelli, and Warren.
Roberto Lattanzio, ARCH Disability Law Centre, and Warren of Warren's World.
Warren considering the issues (foreground), with Michael Gottheil, Human Rights Tribunal, listening.
Warren and Barbara Hall, Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner, giving the Summit a "Thumbs Up".
Warren meets The Great One's father, Mr. Walter Gretzky, while at the Human Rights Summit wrap-up meeting.
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