About the Commission
In Alberta, the Alberta Human Rights Act protects Albertans from discrimination in certain areas based on specified grounds. The purpose of the Alberta Human Rights Act is to ensure that all Albertans are offered an equal opportunity to earn a living, find a place to live, and enjoy services customarily available to the public without discrimination.
The Alberta Human Rights Act establishes the Alberta Human Rights Commission to carry out functions under the act. The Commission is an independent commission created by the Government of Alberta. The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General is responsible for the Commission.
The Commission has a two-fold mandate: to foster equality and to reduce discrimination. It fulfills this mandate through public education and community initiatives, through the resolution and settlement of complaints of discrimination, and through human rights tribunal and court hearings.
The Chief of the Commission and Tribunals and members of the Commission are appointed by Order in Council. As the head of the Commission, the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals is responsible for keeping the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General informed about human rights issues, providing the members of the Commission with guidance regarding their tribunal hearings and other functions, and providing the director with guidance regarding the overall goals and direction of the Commission. In addition, the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals undertakes other related activities.
The Chief of the Commission and Tribunals reviews appeals of decisions made by the director to dismiss or discontinue complaints. The Chief of the Commission and Tribunals also appoints members of the Commission to serve on human rights tribunals that hold public hearings into human rights complaints. The primary purpose of the tribunals in relation to complaint resolution and settlement is adjudicative.
An appointed director and employees handle the administrative responsibilities related to the resolution and settlement of complaints made under the Alberta Human Rights Act. This work is separate and distinct from the work of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals in reviewing appeals and the work of the members of the Commission in adjudicating human rights complaints. In keeping with the purposes of the act, the director and employees also provide public information and education and consultation services, engage in community initiatives and undertake other related activities.
Revised: October 24, 2012