Bill 132: the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015.
This new, proposed Ontario law is part of the Ontario governments three-year action plan: Its Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment released in March of this year.
Employers, educational institutions and landlords will face new obligations. For example:
Employers Ontarios Occupational Health & Safety Act will be changed to increase employers obligations with respect to workplace harassment programs, imposing more duties to protect workers from workplace harassment and ensuring that incidents are adequately and appropriately investigated with the outcome conveyed to complainants and alleged harassers. Inspectors would also be permitted to order employers to have workplace harassment investigations conducted by impartial third parties.
Landlords and Tenants Ontarios limitation period legislation and the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 will be changed to remove obstacles and improve the rights of victims of sexual violence. These changes will remove certain limitation periods for lawsuit proceedings based on sexual assault and for compensation applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The changes would also allow tenants the right to terminate residential leases on short notice where the tenants are facing domestic or sexual violence.
The Ontario government has also pledged to launch a public education and awareness campaign, increase funding and support for community-and-hospital-based sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centres and to improve the experience of and legal aid available to sexual assault survivors in the criminal justice system.