CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at 1356.cupe.ca This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Monday, May 01, 2006

OFL - Human Rights Now Only Available in Ontario If You CanAfford It

"Human Rights legislation introduced in the Ontario legislature
yesterday will only make matters worse for the very people the Commission
was set up to help," said Terry Downey, executive vice-president of the
Ontario Federation of Labour.

"Under the guise of 'direct access' to a Human Rights Tribunal this
legislation only allows access to a court - not justice," Downey said. "This
is privatization of a publicly funded human rights system. These amendments
to the Code serve to Americanize the system - just like the government's
plans to privatize Ontario's health care."

"The fundamental role of any Human Rights system is to make it as completely
accessible as possible to all people who have a complaint. The Legislation
before the House will do no such thing. It takes away previously guaranteed
rights to free resources that include investigation, mediation and legal
support. This Legislation even allows the Tribunal to charge user fees,"
Downey said. "If you're wealthy enough to afford a lawyer, your case will
probably get to the Tribunal - otherwise - forget it."

"Under this model the Tribunal becomes the investigator, the Judge, the Jury
and the ultimate decision-maker in deciding if a case should move forward.
The Tribunal has the final say - there is no appeal.

"We are once again calling on the government to rethink this legislation and
hold broad extensive public hearings. Human rights and justice are on the
chopping block in Ontario. This is a crisis. We're asking the government to
slow down, to reconsider and to talk to the people in the province. The
state of human rights defines a society and how it treats its citizens. This
legislation must be halted immediately," Downey said.

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