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Federally, Canada has it’s Canadian Human Rights Act and has the Canadian Human Rights Commission as well as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, (“CHRT”) of which cases can be found here.

Grounds of Discrimination Recognized: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

Areas of Application: The Canadian Human Rights Act protects people in Canada from discrimination when they are employed by or receive services from the federal government, First Nations governments or private companies that are regulated by the federal government such as, banks, trucking companies, broadcasters, and telecommunications companies.

Procedure: Once a complaint is filed, the Commission may: 1) Dismiss your complaint, 2) encourage voluntary mediation, 3) require mediation through a process called conciliation, or 4) Refer the matter to the CHRT. Complaints are referred to the CHRT by the Commission, which will encourage mediation and alternative go through a pre-hearing case management and a hearing.

How to Begin a Complaint: You can initiate a complaint online, by mail or by phone. You can download the online complaint form from the Commission’s website here.

Limitation Periods: In most cases, you should file your complaint within 12 months of the incident. If you have experienced a prolonged situation of discrimination, the date of the latest incident will be used to base this timeline. In some instances, there may be exceptions where cases are accepted after the 12-month period, for example in extenuating circumstances such as prolonged illness.

Remedies: The CHRT can order a party to cease a discriminatory practice, take measures to prevent discrimination in the future, that a party should provide the opportunity or privilege they had deprived another, compensate a party for lost wages, compensate a party for obtaining alternative goods or services, for damage to dignity and self-respect and order interest.