halfway house

In Income Assistance

Halfway houses are also called “community residences”. When someone is serving a sentence, they may spend time in a halfway house.

harassing communications

In Criminal Law, Types of Offences, Bail, Probation, and Court Attendance, Assault, Driving, Drugs, Firearms, Gender-based violence, Harassment, Mischief, Theft, Threats, Victims and witnesses

Harassing communications are when someone harasses a person on purpose by repeatedly communicating with them, for example, by phone, text message, or mail.

To harass someone means to behave in a way that repeatedly torments, troubles, or disturbs them. The behaviour often makes them feel intimidated and uncomfortable. Harassing behaviour is more serious than annoying behaviour.


In Employment and Work, Housing Law, Human Rights

Ontario’s laws say that harassment happens when someone says or does things that they know, or should know, will bother you. This could be because what is said or done is offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, or not welcome. This usually has to happen more than once to be considered harassment, but a single incident can be considered harassment if it causes you to feel very uncomfortable.

Harassment can include sending emails, posting materials or pictures, making jokes or other comments about:

  • your race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age
  • things like the way you dress, how you talk, or your religious practices
  • in housing law, if you are receiving social assistance
  • in employment law, your record of criminal offences

Harassment like this goes against human rights laws and is a kind of discrimination. For example, if an employer harasses you because of your record of criminal offences or a landlord harasses you because you are on welfare.

Harassment is also against the laws that protect a workers’ health and safety, and the laws that protect tenants. 

health-care provider

In Health and Disability, Mental health

A health-care provider is a person who takes care of or treats your physical or mental health. For example, a doctor, nurse, therapist, or counsellor. A health-care provider must have a professional license.


In Criminal Law

A hearing is a formal proceeding that takes place in a courtroom. During the proceeding, evidence and arguments are presented. A judge or justice of the peace makes a decision based on the evidence and arguments.

held down

In Criminal Law

When your case is held down it means that the court has not finished addressing it. The court will come back to your case at some point later that day. You must not leave the courthouse if your case is being held down. You must return to the courtroom that day to finish it or adjourn your case to the next court date.

Highway Traffic Act

In Criminal Law

The Highway Traffic Act includes Ontario’s laws related to traffic, highways, and other issues related to transportation.

holiday pay

In Employment and Work

In most jobs, people get public holidays off with holiday pay. To figure out your holiday pay:

  • add up your earnings, which are your regular wages plus vacation pay, for the 4 work weeks before the work week with the holiday in it
  • divide that total by 20
home study

In Family Law

A home study is an assessment written by an adoption worker that says whether an individual, or a couple, will be suitable to parent an adopted child. The report has many details about the adoptive parents. For example, their values, beliefs, personalities, experience with children and adoption, education, and work experience. It also says what type of child the worker thinks is suitable for the parents.

The home study has to be current. This means it has to be updated whenever there is an important change. For example, if an adoptive parent changes their job or is diagnosed with a serious disease.


In Employment and Work

Under the Employment Standards Act, homeworkers are employees who do work out of their own homes for an employer. Examples of homework are sewing, stuffing envelopes, online research, answering calls for a call centre, and telemarketing.

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