Articles written by BakerLaw

Technological Accessibility: The Future Begins with Federal Government Websites

  • August 16, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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In June 2017, the University of Pennsylvania Press published Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology, edited by Jonathan Lazar and Michael Ashley Stein. The work is a collection of essays discussing barriers and accommodations for persons with disabilities in an increasingly technologically-driven world. Chapter 6, “Using Provincial Laws to Drive a National Agenda: Connecting Human Rights and Disability Rights Law”, by Ravi Malhotra and Megan A. » Read the rest

Reflections on Justice John Matheson’s Landmark Decision in Clark v Clark

  • August 16, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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In 1982, Justin Clark made history when he successfully defeated his parents’ application to have him declared legally incapable of making his own decisions. Justin had lived in the Rideau Regional Centre in Lanark County for 18 of his 20 years of life, and suffered multiple disabilities as a result of cerebral palsy. » Read the rest

Remembering the History of Euthanasia in Canada

  • August 9, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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A former client recently published a piece on euthanasia in the magazine Policy Options. The article traces the history of devaluing the lives of persons with disabilities and details events in Canadian history involving euthanasia of infants with disabilities. With the legalization of medical assistance in dying, it is important to remain aware of how the lives of persons with disabilities continue to be seen as less valuable, which increases vulnerability to involuntary assistance in dying. » Read the rest

Barriers in the Digital Workplace

  • August 3, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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Bakerlaw recently posted a story about its client, a federal public servant who is fighting to remove barriers in the digital workplace. You can read more about that story here (link).

A similar story was recently published which further explains the challenges persons with disabilities face when struggling to navigate inaccessible technology. » Read the rest

New Developments in Harassment and Poisoned Environment Jurisprudence in Ontario

  • July 24, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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The month of June, 2017 was full of promising decisions from the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal with respect to workplace harassment and poisoned environment. In Gricken v Andriano, the Tribunal awarded $20,000 to a complainant whose landlord persistently harassed her on the basis of sex. In George v 1735475 Ontario Limited, the Tribunal also awarded $20,000 to the complainant, this time based on a poisoned work environment on the basis of race. » Read the rest

New Decision Puts Responsibility on Employers to Remedy Poisoned Work Environments

  • July 24, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s recent decision in George v 1735475 Ontario Limited (2017 HRTO 761) is an important precedent in combatting discrimination that permeates a work environment. This type of discrimination is known as a ‘poisoned environment’. In this case, a construction company was found liable for a racially poisoned environment. » Read the rest

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awards compensation to tenant whose landlord “made her personal life a misery”

  • July 24, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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In Gricken v Andriano, 2017 HRTO 698, Janice Gricken brought an application before the HRTO alleging discrimination with respect to housing based on sex, age, and perceived receipt of public assistance, as well as reprisal, contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The application was made against Ms. Gricken’s landlord, Jacques Andriano. » Read the rest

Ontario Superior Court Recognizes Independent Tort of Harassment in Sweeping Critique of the RCMP

  • July 24, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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On February 28, 2017, the Ontario Superior Court released a lengthy, sweeping judgment, criticizing the RCMP and its officers for a prolonged campaign of harassment against Sergeant Peter Merrifield.

Over a period of seven years, the Court found that members of the RCMP had launched unsubstantiated disciplinary investigations against Sergeant Merrifield; had transferred Sergeant Merrifield away from his field of expertise and denied him assignments; accused him of “kiting” or stealing funds from his RCMP American Express card; critiqued Sergeant Merrifield for engaging in public appearances; made disparaging comments about Sergeant Merrifield to his human intelligence sources as well as other members of the RCMP; and ultimately did what they could to ensure Sergeant Merrifield’s illustrious career was stonewalled. » Read the rest

Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corp. Summary: SCC Reaffirms Test for Discrimination but Gives a Narrow Understanding of Addiction

  • June 27, 2017
  • BakerLaw
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On June 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision in the case of Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30.  The majority judgment affirmed the current framework for determining whether discrimination has occurred. However, bakerlaw is concerned that the majority decision could have a chilling effect on individuals suffering from an addiction, as the Court’s ruling hinged on a very narrow understanding of addiction, which impacted its decision on whether in this case, drug dependence was a factor in the termination of employment. » Read the rest

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