Anti-Discrimination Policy

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The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) supports and promotes equity, diversity and inclusion at every level within the organization.OTF is committed to adhering to the Ontario Human Rights Code and going beyond it to ensure that it operates in an inclusive way and that public funds are not used to carry out activities that are discriminatory or to support organizations engaged in discriminatory practices.


OTF affirms its strong commitment to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and will neither discriminate in any of its practices nor tolerate it in its grantees. This policy applies to all OTF activities, including but not limited to employment, grantmaking, purchasing, and selecting vendors or consultants, and extends to the use of public funds by grantees.


3.1 Protected Grounds

OTF prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on the following grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code:

  • age
  • ancestry
  • colour
  • race
  • citizenship
  • ethnic origin
  • place of origin
  • creed
  • disability
  • family status
  • marital status
  • gender identity
  • gender expression
  • sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • sexual orientation
  • receipt of public assistance
  • record of offences

3.2  Funding of Grantees

OTF will not fund organizations that discriminate, or that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of people.

Organizations who discriminate in any way against people based on the protected grounds listed above will not be funded by OTF. This includes but is not limited to direct actions, and organization materials, website, and publications that promote or communicate discriminatory treatment on any grounds listed above. Initiatives will not be funded if the staffing requirements, program content or participant eligibility are restricted in ways contrary to this policy.

OTF requires that all grant applicants confirm that they will follow this policy, not discriminate in any of their practices, and operate in an inclusive way.

3.3 Eligibility of Organizations with Limited Affiliations

Organizations with limited affiliations that are registered charities or incorporated not-for-profits are eligible to receive OTF grants for the delivery of programs or services, so long as those organizations do not engage in discriminatory practices as defined in this policy.

3.4 Eligibility of Faith-based Organizations

Faith-based groups that are registered charities or incorporated not-for-profits are eligible to receive OTF grants for the delivery of programs or services that serve the broader community in which they are located and that are not religious activities.

Religious freedom is an important human right in Ontario. However, as a public agency, OTF cannot use public funds to support organizations whose practices do not treat everyone with the dignity and fairness they are entitled to; nor can OTF fund organizations who seek to limit the legitimate legal rights and activities of people.

In all cases of grants to faith-based organizations, the proposed benefit to the broader community must be clearly demonstrated. The benefit must be broader than the immediate community of faith. The activities need to be open to anyone, without having to participate in dimensions of faith, including prayer, proselyting, devotions, and dress traditions.

OTF will not fund religious activities or facilities that are used for the specific purpose of religious observance.

3.5 Penalties

Discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored at the Foundation. If a claim of discrimination is proven, disciplinary measures will be applied. For staff this includes suspension, suspension without pay, and termination; for volunteers this includes suspension and termination; for grantees this includes rescinding the grant and revoking the eligibility of an organization to reapply for funding until it can prove it no longer has discriminatory practices.


Discrimination: Unfair or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of grounds listed in section 3.1. Discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, has the effect of preventing or limiting access to opportunities, benefits, or advantages that are available to other members of society. It is not a discriminatory practice for a person to adopt or carry out a special program, plan or arrangement designed to prevent, eliminate or reduce disadvantages that are likely to be suffered by any group of individuals when those disadvantages would be based on or related to the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Diversity: The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

Equity: A condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating people the same without regard for individual differences.

Family Status: Spouse or spousal equivalent, children, parents or siblings.

Inclusion: The situation in which individuals or communities (both physical and demographic) are fully involved in the society in which they reside, including the economic, social, cultural and political dimensions of that society.

Organizations with limited affiliations: Organizations that meet the needs of specific populations – including youth or seniors groups, cultural associations, Legions, faith-based groups, and other organizations with limited affiliations.


Anti-Discrimination; Human Rights; Discrimination; Equity; Inclusion; Religious Organizations


Staff; Volunteers; Applicant Organizations; Grantees; Partners

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