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Case studies: Ancestry

Area: Employment
Ground: Ancestry
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A man employed as a labourer complained that  supervisors and other employees subjected him to derogatory comments about his Native-Canadian ancestry. He did not believe he could make a complaint to anyone in the company, as his supervisors were part of the problem. He was offended by the comments and felt he had no option but to leave his employment. The employer stated the man left his job after some concerns with his job performance were raised with him, and that the employer was unaware of any derogatory comments made about the man's native ancestry. This complaint was resolved through conciliation. The employer implemented a policy prohibiting discrimination to ensure similar incidents did not occur in the future. In addition, the employer offered a letter of apology to the complainant, as well as financial compensation for damages to hurt feelings. The complainant accepted the offer.

Area: Employment
Ground: Ancestry, race, colour, place of origin  
Result: Dismissed 

A man of aboriginal ancestry filed a complaint against his employer, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry and place of origin.  He alleged a large number of discriminatory incidents culminating in his termination of employment.

Conciliation of this case was not successful, and an investigation was done.  The investigation determined that some of the allegations were a result of the complainant's lack of information and, in the other cases, there were reasonable non-discriminatory explanations for the employer's actions.  The complaint was dismissed, and the complainant did not appeal the dismissal.

Area: Services
Grounds: Ancestry, place of origin
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation
A person of European ancestry complained of discrimination in the area of services. He alleged a local licensing body refused to recognize his qualifications from his home country, preventing him from practicing his trade in Alberta. The licensing authority denied the allegation and stated the person's performance in the provincial qualifying test was questionable and did not satisfy the organization. Through conciliation, the licensing body agreed to review its decision, resulting in its granting permission to the complainant to practice his trade in Alberta.

Area: Services
Grounds: Ancestry, race, gender
Result: Discontinued

A woman filed a complaint alleging discrimination in the area of services, on the grounds of ancestry, race and gender. She claimed that while enrolled in a course at a post-secondary institution, she was subjected to remarks of a derogatory nature about her culture, and because of these and other incidents, failed her course. The investigation found merit. The complainant did not settle for the recommended remedy, and her file was discontinued.

Revised: December 14, 2011


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.