DECEMBER 10 IS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
December 10, 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You can read more about Human Rights Day in the special issue of the Commission newsletter.

BILL 23, ALBERTA HUMAN RIGHTS AMENDMENT ACT, 2017, WILL STRENGTHEN HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND PROTECT ALBERTANS FROM AGE DISCRIMINATION

(November 14, 2017)
Bill 23, Alberta Human Rights Amendment Act, 2017, was passed in the Alberta Legislature on November 14, 2017. The bill will come into force on January 1, 2018.

The bill amends the Alberta Human Rights Act (the Act) to add “age” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under sections 4 (goods, services, accommodation or facilities) and 5 (tenancy) of the Act. There are some exceptions that allow specific types of age distinctions to continue without violating the Act.

In addition to the amendments to sections 4 and 5 of the Act, Bill 23 also amends the Act to provide protection for ameliorative programs and activities, which are designed to improve the condition of disadvantaged people. An example of this is employment or internship programs for Indigenous youth.

Important information about making a human rights complaint relating to age under sections 4 and 5:

  • The Commission cannot accept complaints on the ground of age under sections 4 and 5 until the amendments come into force on January 1, 2018.
  • Only incidents that occur on or after January 1, 2018 will be covered by the new protection.

You can read a more detailed overview of the amendments.

GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR CHIEF OF THE ALBERTA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
(October 16, 2017)
The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General is seeking applications from visionary individuals who are passionate about human rights, and are dedicated to protecting and promoting the human rights of Albertans by serving as the Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The Minister is looking for an inspirational leader who understands the diverse needs of communities across Alberta. Offices are located in both Edmonton and Calgary. Details can be found in the recruitment posting on the Government of Alberta website. The closing date for the competition is January 31, 2018.

RECENT TRIBUNAL DECISIONS
(November 2017)

  • Joanne Goossen v. Summit Solar Drywall Contractors Inc. AND Hans Goossen v. Summit Solar Drywall Contractors Inc. (Reconsideration Decision; October 30, 2017; Sharon Lindgren, Tribunal Chair)
  • Rambo Landry v. Vegreville Autobody (1993) Ltd. (October 17, 2017; Karen Scott, Tribunal Chair)
  • Morley Johnsen v. Pro Line Property Maintenance Ltd. (September 5, 2017; Joanne Archibald, Tribunal Chair)
  • Sandra Binks v. Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (August 25, 2017; Karen Scott, Tribunal Chair)
  • Dean Redhead v. Pillar Resource Services Inc. (Preliminary matters decision re delay; August 24, 2017; Joanne Archibald, Tribunal Chair)

These tribunal decisions can be accessed free of charge through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

ACTING CHIEF OF THE COMMISSION AND TRIBUNALS APPOINTED
(August 30, 2017)
The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Kathleen Ganley, has appointed William D. McFetridge, Q.C., as Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, through a Ministerial Order signed August 23, 2017. Robert A. Philp, Queen’s Counsel, completed his term as Chief of the Commission and Tribunals on June 30, 2017. Commission staff express their gratitude for the leadership provided by Mr. Philp who was strongly committed to human rights, the principle of full inclusion for all, and the complex and multi-faceted work of the Commission.

Mr. McFetridge has served as a Member of the Commission since September 30, 2010. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and his Law degree from the University of Calgary. Mr. McFetridge is a Chartered Arbitrator and since 1983 has chaired interest and rights arbitrations to resolve grievances and collective bargaining disputes in the public and private sectors. Mr. McFetridge brings to the Commission an extensive legal background including over 35 years of experience in the industrial relations field. You can read the Ministerial Order and more about Mr. McFetridge on the Biographies page.

GENDER IDENTITY AND GENDER EXPRESSION NOW EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION

Bill 7 is now in force. The Bill amends the Alberta Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the Act as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination.

PLEASE NOTE:
The Commission is in the process of updating its publications and website to reflect the amendments to the legislation. In the meantime, if you are reading a Commission publication or web page dated before December 11, 2015, please note that the amendments have not yet been incorporated into the publication or web page.

For more information, see the Notice of Changes to Alberta's Human Rights Legislation.

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ABOUT THE COMMISSION
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta. Our mandate is to foster equality and reduce discrimination. We provide public information and education programs, and help Albertans resolve human rights complaints.

The Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund has provided funding for this website.

Revised: December 8, 2017


The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.

Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination by email. Please contact the Commission by phone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.

You can access information about making FOIP requests for records held by the Commission on our Contact us page.

The Commission will make publications available in accessible formats upon request for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.