Human Rights in Ontario


367 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-459-35460-4






Reviewed by Paul G. Thomas

Paul G. Thomas is a political science professor at the University of
Manitoba and the co-author of Canadian Public Administration:
Problematical Perspectives.


This book is written by a lawyer for a professional audience. It deals with the broadened Ontario Human Rights Code which was proclaimed on June 15, 1982. Although the number of court cases involving the new act is still limited, much of the Code is built upon its predecessor and legislation in other jurisdictions, so that a reasonably reliable interpretation of its meaning is possible. The book deals with areas where discrimination is prohibited, with permissible exceptions to the non-discriminatory rights, and with the functions and operations of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. There are interesting discussions of the clause which allows affirmative action programs to co-exist with the standard of equal treatment. Another interesting section deals with “systemic discrimination” where job requirements have a disproportionate impact on certain group members. The book is thoroughly researched with numerous case references. A copy of the Code, a digest of unreported board of inquiry decisions, and a detailed index make the book an indispensable reference source for lawyers working in this field. It is a technical book, not a philosophical treatment of the issues, and it is not therefore aimed at a general audience.


Keene, Judith, “Human Rights in Ontario,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,