Social Justice Tribunals

Ontario has a group of eight adjudicative tribunals, which assist in the administration of justice in Ontario. The tribunals are mandated to provide fair and accessible dispute resolution to thousands of Ontarians.

The kinds of disputes Knights LPC assists our clients in addressing and resolving are disputes between landlords and tenants, appeals from people seeking social assistance and complaints from those who feel the service they received from children’s aid societies has been unfair. We advocate on applications about human rights and the rights of children and families relating to education.

We advocate for victims of violent crimes in Ontario.  Knights LPC is committed to provide the necessary legal assistance to our clients seeking financial compensation for pain and suffering, and other costs that result from being a victim of a crime.

Common Questions

What are the different Tribunals of the SJTO?

Child and Family Services Review Board
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
Custody Review Board
Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
Landlord and Tenant Board
Ontario Special Education Tribunal
Social Benefits Tribunal

What does The Child and Family Service Review Board (CFSRB) review?

The Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) conducts reviews and hearings on a number of matters that affect children, youth and families in Ontario.

  • Under the Child and Family Services Act, the CFSRB can review:
  • A children’s aid society’s decision to remove a foster child (Crown ward) from a foster home where the child has lived continuously for two or more years (section 61)
  • Certain complaints related to services provided by children’s aid societies (sections 68 and 68.1)
  • Residential placements of children in care (section 36)
  • Emergency admission of a child to a secure treatment program (section 124)
  • Decisions to refuse an adoption of a particular child, to impose a term or condition on an adoption, or to remove a child from an adoption placement, (sections 141,142.3 and 144 ) Under the Education Act, the Board can hear appeals about the expulsion of students by school boards.

Under the Intercountry Adoption Act, the Board can review:

  • A Director’s refusal to approve a person as eligible to adopt from outside of Canada
  • Conditions attached to Director’s approval to adopt from outside Canada

The CFRSB holds mediations and hearings throughout the province. CFSRB members have diverse backgrounds in the fields of law, social services, mental health and education.

When should I contact the CFSRB?

Contact Knights LPC to assist with any of the following applications to the CFSRB.

  • Request a review of the removal of your foster child
  • Complain about services of a children’s aid society
  • Request a review of your group home, foster home or treatment centre placement
  • Request a review of a refusal to allow you to adopt a particular child
  • Request a review of the removal of a child placed with you for adoption
  • Request a child or youth’s release from emergency secure treatment
  • Appeal a school expulsion
What does the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board review?

The CICB assesses and awards financial compensation for victims and family members of deceased victims of violent crimes committed in Ontario.

The CICB can compensate victims for pain and suffering, loss of income, treatment expenses, funeral expenses and other costs that result from being a victim of the crime.

The CICB is committed to the principles of the Victims’ Bill of Rights, 1995, which states that all victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their personal dignity and privacy.

When should I contact the CICB?

Contact Knights LPC to assist an application to the CIBC if you are a victim looking for compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income, treatment expenses, funeral expenses and other costs that result from being a victim of the crime.

Victims may also qualify for assistance from other government programs such as the Financial Assistance for Families of Homicide Victims or the Victim Quick Response Program.

What does the Custody Review Board review?

The Custody Review Board (CRB) hears applications and makes recommendations on the placement of young people in custody or detention. The CRB operates under the jurisdiction of the Child and Family Services Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Most reviews are conducted as inquiries over the phone and are completed very quickly. The CRB can also choose to hold a hearing. The CRB members who conduct the reviews have knowledge and expertise relating to youth and youth justice.

When should I contact the CRB?

Contact Knights LPC to assist an application to the CRB if you are a young person who was charged with an offence that occurred when you were under the age of 18, you may be able to apply to the Custody Review Board for:

  • a review of the youth justice placement where you are being held or transferred to
  • a review of your transfer from a place of open custody to a place of secure custody
  • a review of the decision by the Provincial Director to deny your request for a temporary release or reintegration leave from a custody facility.
What does the Human RIghts Tribunal review?

If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment, you can file an application with the HRTO. The HRTO resolves claims of discrimination and harassment brought under the Human Rights Code in a fair, just and timely way.

The HRTO resolves claims of discrimination and harassment brought under the Human Rights Code, a law that protects people in Ontario from discrimination and harassment in five areas:

  • employment
  • accommodation (housing)
  • goods, services and facilities
  • contracts
  • membership in trade and vocational associations.

The HRTO first offers parties the opportunity to settle the dispute through mediation. If the parties do not agree to mediation, or mediation does not resolve the application, the HRTO holds a hearing.

HRTO decisions are made by adjudicators called vice-chairs or members. HRTO adjudicators have experience, knowledge and training in human rights law and issues.

When should I contact the HRTO?

Contact Knights LPC to assist an application to the HRTO if you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment.  Knights LPC will help you file an application with the HRTO and assist with resolving a claim of discrimination and or harassment brought under the Human Rights Code.

The Code prohibits discrimination and harassment on any of the following grounds:

  • Race
  • Colour
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Disability
  • Creed
  • Sex, including sexual harassment and pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Receipt of public assistance (Applies only to claims about housing.)
  • Record of offences (Applies only to claims about employment and to criminal convictions for which you have received a pardon.)

Harassment is a form of discrimination. The Code defines harassment as “a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome”. It includes offensive comments or actions directed at you that are related to one or more of the Code grounds.

The Code also prohibits:

  • Discrimination against a person because he or she has a relationship, association or dealing with someone who is identified by one of the grounds listed above.
  • Reprisal (a legal term that means punishment or retaliation) or threats of reprisal, because a person has either claimed their rights, refused to discriminate against someone else or was a participant in a human rights proceeding.
  • Sexual solicitation or advances by a person who is in a position to give or deny a benefit.
  • Reprisal or threats of reprisal for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance.
What is not discrimination?

Not all unfair conduct or unequal treatment is covered by the Code. For the Code to apply, unequal treatment must have occurred in one of the five areas in the Code and be based on one or more of the grounds in theCode.

The Code includes some defences and exemptions to discrimination. For example, although theCode prohibits different treatment based on age – different insurance rates based on age are allowed.

Another example of an exemption occurs in housing. The Code allows an owner to refuse to rent to someone based on gender or race if:

  • the owner or his or her family also lives on the premises; and,
  • the owner or his or her family would be sharing a kitchen or bathroom with the tenant.
What does the Landlord and Tenant Board review?

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) was created by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on January 31, 2007. The RTA gives residential landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities, and sets out a process for enforcing them.

The RTA also sets out the process for resolving non-profit housing co-operative (“co-op”) eviction disputes.

The LTB does not provide information about the rights and obligations of non-profit housing co-operatives and their members.

When should I contact the LTB?

Contact Knights LPC to assist with filing an application to the LTB if you are experiencing or experienced a dispute between your landlord or tenant.

The role of the LTB is to:

  • resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through mediation or adjudication
  • resolve eviction applications from non-profit housing
  • provide information to landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities under the RTA
What does the Ontario Special Education Tribunal review?

The Ontario Special Education Tribunals (English, for the English Public and Catholic school boards and French, for the French Public and Catholic school boards) hear appeals from parents, legal guardians or adult students who disagree with a school board’s decision about the identification or placement of students with exceptional learning needs under the Education Act and its regulations. The OSETs are independent from both school boards and the Ministry of Education.

When can I appeal to the OSET?

Contact Knights LPC to assist with filing an appeal to the OSET as there are many steps to consider to ensure are completed before any appeal can be made. Before an appeal is made to the OSETs the issues must have been considered by the school board’s Identification and Placement Review Committee (IPRC)and a Special Education Appeal Board (SEAB).

An Appeal can be made to the OSET by:

  • A parent or guardian of a child with exceptional learning needs who does not agree with the school board’s decision on the child’s exceptionalities or placement of the child.
  • An adult student with exceptional learning needs who does not agree with the school board’s decision about identification or placement.
What does this Social Benefit Tribunal review?

The Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) hears appeals from people who disagree with a decision that affects the amount of, or their eligibility for, social assistance under the Ontario Works Act or the Ontario Disability Support Program Act.

When should I appeal to the SBT?

Contact Knights LPC to assist with filing an appeal to the SBT when you have been refused social assistance or when your social assistance has been cancelled, reduced or put on hold, or an overpayment has been assessed.

Most appeals to the SBT are about:

  • Whether you are a person with a disability
  • Disputing an overpayment
  • Refusal or denial of a benefit or assistance
  • Cancellation of a benefit or assistance
  • Reduction of assistance
  • Change in the status of your file

Some decisions cannot be appealed to the SBT:

  • Decisions about discretionary benefits
  • Decisions not to extend the time for internal review
  • Decisions about paying a portion of basic financial assistance directly to a third party
  • Decisions about employment supports.
More Information

The following information provided to you in Common Questions section is for educational purposes and by no means deemed for commercial use. For more information or to view the originating source of the information, please go to the Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario: