Greater Town of Napanee settles human rights claim with disabled residents

NAPANEE, ON, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, the Town of Greater Napanee reached an agreement with residents of a group home who had filed a human rights application against the Town in August 2012. The agreement acknowledges that the residents are entitled to live in the neighbourhood of their choice without discrimination. 

The group home which was the subject of the dispute has been officially licensed by the Town. The Town's legal counsel, Christopher J. Edwards commented, "The Town regrets that some people in the community felt they were being treated in a discriminatory manner.  Napanee welcomes people of all abilities and respects the dignity and worth of each of the residents." 

The Council of the Town of Greater Napanee will ensure its bylaws and zoning policies are in compliance with the protections in Ontario's Human Rights Code for people with disabilities, recognizing their particular need of safe and affordable housing.  The Council has agreed to consult with human rights experts to confirm Napanee's by-laws are in full compliance with the law. 

Jo-Ann Seamon, legal counsel with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre said, "We are pleased that the Town of Greater Napanee has taken this action and are grateful to the City's staff, Mayor Schermerhorn and Council.  We encourage municipalities across Ontario to take similar stands to allow for an expanded range of desperately needed housing, particularly for low-income community members with disabilities."

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers free legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code.

SOURCE: Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information:

Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre 416-597-4958 or mobile 416-522-5931 or Chris Edwards, Counsel for the Town of Greater Napanee (613) 543-1889 ext. 2205


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