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The ARCH Blog explores topics on disability law, the legal profession, and matters that may fall in between.

Case Summary and analysis: Recent Divisional Court case in Ontario affirms the contextual approach in Ontario for accommodating addictions disabilities in the workplace

Divisional Court confirms that a contextual, human rights analysis is required where a person with an addictions disability is terminated.…Read More

Accessible Practice: Meaningfully Accessing Administrative Boards and Tribunals

Practice tips to secure accommodations clients need and ensure that they can participate in the administrative process in a meaningful way. …Read More

Provincial Government Introduces Legislation about Access to Records at Administrative Boards and Tribunals

A Summary and Analysis of Tribunal Adjudicative Records Act, 2019, in light of the Toronto Star v AG case and the Charter challenge targeting the application of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to align administrative tribunals more closely with the open-court principle.…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: Denial of Service Animal Benefit for self-trained service animal is not discriminatory

April 11, 2019

A case summary of Leach v Ontario (Community and Social Services), 2019 HRTO 204 Introduction Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) offer a monthly Guide Dog Benefit for guide dogs and service animals to recipients of OW and ODSP for routine care of the animal. To be eligible for this benefit, the…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: Accommodating Addictions Disabilities in the Workplace

March 29, 2019

A Case Summary and Analysis of Regional Municipality of Waterloo (Sunnyside Home) v Ontario Nurses’ Association, 2019 CanLII 433 (ON LA) Introduction Accommodating addictions disabilities in the workplace has received various, and at times diametrically different, treatment by provincial human rights tribunals which has led to some confusion, both in regards to what is expected…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: Simpson v Prananjen Group Ltd. o/a Nimigon Retirement Home

ARCH’s most recent blog post analyzed the unsettled state of the law for the test for family status discrimination. In particular,  the post analyzed the development of the test in different jurisdictions leading up to the recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision, Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC v Suen, 2019 BCCA 46 (Suen). That case…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: Suen v. Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC

March 01, 2019

The Prima Facie Test and Discrimination Based on Family Status: A Case Law Review and Analysis of Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC v. Suen, 2019 BCCA 46 Background Despite the test for prima facie discrimination being set out clearly in Moore v. British Columbia (Education) (Moore), and reaffirmed in Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corporation (Stewart…Read More

Focus: The Availability of Charter Remedies at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

February 15, 2019

Although not widely available, there are specific instances when applicants at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) may raise challenges and seek remedies pursuant to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter). In particular, Rule 4.1 of the HRTO Rules of Procedure allows for applicants to raise a constitutional question “[w]here a party intends…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation

February 01, 2019

Case Summary and Analysis: S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, 4 SCC 2019 On January 25, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in S.A v Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (“S.A”). The decision was significant for many persons with disabilities who are beneficiaries of a Henson trust but also rely on social assistance programming. The significance of the S.A. decision…Read More

Accessible Practice: Practice tips for maintaining privilege and confidentiality for a client accompanied by a support person

November 09, 2018

Q: What are the obligations and best practices for lawyers and paralegals working with clients who are accompanied by a support person? Introduction According to the Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), a support person is someone who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal…Read More

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario Releases Practice Direction on New Case Processing System

October 26, 2018

New Case Processing System at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) recently released a practice direction on a new case processing system in response to an increased caseload and in an effort to process cases more quickly. This post will outline the new system and the potential implications it may…Read More

Case Summary and Analysis: Alford v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 ONSC 4269

October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018 On July 8, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in a motion brought by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) in an application brought against it by one of its licensees, Ryan Alford. While the motion itself turned on a question of jurisdiction, the substantive issue at the…Read More

Bona Fide Academic Requirements in the New OHRC Policy

September 28, 2018

At the end of August, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“OHRC”) released a new Policy on Accessible Education for Students with Disabilities (the ‘Policy’). The Policy represents a significant step forward as many students with disabilities continue to experience barriers in attempting to access the education system. The Policy outlines the OHRC’s interpretation of human…Read More

Focus: Naming the Right Respondent at the HRTO

September 14, 2018

Identifying the appropriate respondent is an important step in filing an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Simply put, the respondent is the person or persons legally responsible for the alleged discriminatory acts.  For the majority of cases, identifying the respondent is relatively simple. For example, the proper respondent is the employer…Read More

Focus: The Law of Service Animals in Ontario

July 13, 2018

The term “service animal” is often perceived to refer to one particular type of service animal for one particular disability: the service animal being a guide dog and that disability being a vision disability.  However, the scope of what a service animal is and what accommodation it provides to other disability-related needs is much wider.  …Read More

Focus: A More Contextual Approach to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s One-Year Limitation Period

June 29, 2018

Generally, the one-year limitation period at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the Tribunal) has been applied quite stringently by the Tribunal with the threshold applied being so high that most applicants who fall outside the one-year limitation period are often shut out from being able to have their applications heard.  An analysis of a recent…Read More

ARCH Celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day – Highlights Work of BCANDS

June 21, 2018

The Board and Staff of ARCH Disability Law Centre recognize that our work takes place on traditional Indigenous territories across Ontario, which have been home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. We further recognize that the land on which our office is located is a sacred gathering place of the many Indigenous peoples of Turtle…Read More

Accessible Practice: The Importance of Privacy for Clients with Disabilities

June 15, 2018

There is no question that privacy is of utmost importance to all clients. However, there are privacy concerns that are specific to clients with disabilities that may not arise in matters where the litigant/applicant/complainant is not a person with a disability.  What are these privacy concerns and what can you do in your legal practice…Read More

New Federal Accessibility Legislation on the Horizon

June 08, 2018

New legislation intended to increase accessibility and remove barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from participating in society is expected to be introduced in the House of Commons this month. The legislation is likely to create new accessibility requirements for federally-regulated employers and service providers, such as banks, interprovincial transportation, telecommunications, and Government of Canada…Read More

Accessible Practice: When Your Client Cannot Sign Documents

June 01, 2018

A version of this article was first published in the June 2017 ARCH Alert issue As lawyers, we depend a lot on the power of a signature. Our solicitor-client relationship does not begin until our client agrees to and signs a retainer. We require clients to sign everything from consent to release information forms, affidavits, and settlement agreements,…Read More

Letter from the Executive Director: National AccessAbility Week

May 28, 2018

I write this post in celebration of this year’s National AccessAbility Week, a week dedicated to celebrating and promoting inclusion and accessibility in Canada. ARCH is involved in several events throughout this week that are meant to inform and encourage discussion on issues that are of importance to disability communities. But first …  A (Brief)…Read More

July 18, 2019

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