News Release Archive

The introduction of the Human Rights Commission policy on housing
and employment advertising yielded surprising results.  

Commission executive director A. Wayne MacKay said, "Not only did 
advertisers and media review and consult with us regarding
housing advertisements, we also received numerous calls regarding
employment ads."

The commission released the policy in September, 1996 hoping to
answer many of the questions asked by advertisers, media and
individuals. The policy addresses situations where media can
potentially print discriminatory copy.

"As suitable jobs and housing become harder to find the
commission receives more calls from individuals about what they
believe to be discriminatory advertisement," said Mr. MacKay.

Not all complaints lead to a finding that the ad was
discriminatory. The Human Rights Act does have certain provisions
to address specific employer needs or programming. For example it
may be reasonable to insist on a female employee to work at a
battered woman's shelter.

Employers, landlords and media can be held accountable if they 
discriminate. All incidents brought to the attention of the
commission will be investigated. Each party will be required to
address their involvement in placing or receiving the
advertisement. Newspapers will not be held responsible if an 
advertisement is accepted in good faith.

Mr. MacKay said, "Advertisers and media are responsible to know
and use the policy. Copies have been provided to most provincial
media sources. We will continue to provide the policy to
employers, landlords and media upon request."

Policy highlights include, employment advertisements which state
a preference in an area covered by the Human Rights Act will be
required to show that preference is a necessary requirement of
the job.

An example might be an advertisement reading, "young person
required" or "suitable for retired person." Such advertisements
would be investigated if they were reported to the commission.
The policy also clarifies that housing advertisements which
target seniors by offering discounts are acceptable as long as
others are provided equal access and consideration.

The advertisement policy like other commission policies does not
provide for penalties, but can provide compensation to victims.
The commission recommends media, firms and individuals check with
the commission if questions arise.

The policy addresses areas covered by the provincial Human Rights
Act and is consistent with similar policies across Canada.


Contact: A. Wayne MacKay  902-424-4111 or 902-477-5864

         Francine Comeau  902-424-4111

trp                      Mar. 17, 1997 - 1:08 p.m.