Message from Michael Gottheil,
Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission

(October 10, 2018)
Message to Albertans from newly appointed Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Michael Gottheil
"I am truly honoured to have been appointed as Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, and look forward to working with the staff and Members of the Commission, as well as all Albertans to make the principles of equality, fairness and human dignity a reality for all.

Any position in the public service comes with the responsibility to exemplify the highest standards of integrity, fairness and professionalism and to uphold the law we have been asked to administer. Because human rights are “quasi-constitutional” and go to the very heart of what it means to be an individual, the responsibility is that much more important. 

Human rights affect everyone. They ensure every person is able to participate and contribute to their community. They protect individuals from discrimination and harassment because of, among other grounds, gender, disability, racial or religious background. They set the standards that we, as Albertans, expect of our government, workplaces, educational institutions and businesses. They are, in a very real sense, our shared values enacted by the legislature and surely to be embraced by all.

What flows from that responsibility, is to ensure that the Alberta Human Rights Commission is respected as a fair and competent institution; that it has the internal capacity to meet its mandate; and is responsive to the ever-evolving needs of Alberta society. If our strength and richness comes from building on our history, diversity and mutual respect, then the Alberta Human Rights Commission has an important role to play in our future prosperity.

Over the coming months, we will be working to renew our processes to make the complaint system more timely, to continue our collaboration with community groups and municipalities across Alberta, and to boost our support for businesses and organizations that wish to learn about and foster the values of the Alberta Human Rights Act. I hope many of you will have the opportunity to work with me and the Commission’s dedicated staff in a constructive and collaborative way. 

For those who believe their rights have been infringed and choose to file a complaint, and for those who may be named in a complaint, I again commit to working to improve the timeliness of our processes, to make them more accessible, while continuing to ensure that resolutions are fair and determined on the merits."

Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.