Genetic discrimination bill introduced in Ontario legislature


On May 18, 2011, Liberal MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence) introduced a private member’s bill in the Ontario legislature to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include “genetic characteristics” as a prohibited ground of discrimination, along with race, marital status and disability. If passed, the bill, would prohibit insurance providers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to disease. It would also prohibit employers from taking into account employees’ genetic background in hiring, firing or promoting.

Colle’s support for the cause arose subsequent to his attendance at a Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) Joint Brain Strategy meeting at Queen’s Park. The issue of genetic discrimination received widespread media coverage, including this Toronto Star/ article, Young woman faces insurance hoops due to father with Huntington’s.

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