Annual Report and Statistics

The Commission reports on complaints statistics and its extensive education activities.

Annual report

The Commission's current 2022-23 Annual Report provides information on how many complaints were opened and closed and at what stage of the process they were closed. It also has information about the Commission's extensive education program.

Human rights complaints

Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination, as defined by the Alberta Human Rights Act, may make a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The Commission can only accept complaints that are within its jurisdiction. The Commission provides services to resolve and settle complaints, while the Tribunal adjudicates​ complaints that cannot be resolved.

In the 2022-23 fiscal year:

  • the Commission opened 822 complaint files
  • the Commission closed 988 complaint files
  • 81% of the complaints closed were dealt with through the Commission's complaint resolution and settlement processes
  • the remaining 19% closed through the tribunal process.

2022-23 complaint statistics

For the fourth consecutive year, the number of complaints closed (988) exceeded the number of complaints opened (822).

While the Government of Alberta lifted the province-wide COVID-19 restrictions, the Commission continued to experience the impact in our process, accepting 113 new complaints related to COVID-19.

Complaints opened and closed and year-end count
   2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
Complaints opened 903 1,040 822
Complaints closed 1,334 1,118 988
Open complaints at March 31 1,667 1,589 1,423


Note: Commission staff review completed human rights complaint forms to determine if they can be accepted ​as complaints under the Act. Complaints must fall within jurisdiction of the Act, demons​trate reasonable grounds, be made within one year of the alleged contravention of the Act, and meet requirements described in the Commission's Bylaws.

The 2022-23 fiscal year was the first full year that the revised complaints process was in effect. The changes include using specialized teams, triaging complaints, placing more emphasis on conciliation, and having a team that drafts decisions for the Director of the Commission's review.

  • Through the work of our specialized teams, the average length of time from acceptance of a complaint until resolution, dismissal, or referral to Tribunal reduced to 515 days in 2022-23, from 538 days in 2021-22.
  • Due to the time saving benefits of the new complaint process, files waiting for a decision from the Director dropped by 72% year over year.

As in previous years, physical and mental disability were the most cited grounds in complaints opened in 2022-23. Notably, the ground of religious beliefs dropped to 8% in 2022-23 from 13% in 2021-22. The drop is likely due to the overall decrease in the number of vaccine- and mask-related complaints received and accepted.

Circles showing percentages for physical disability 25%, mental disability 24%, gender 13%, and race/colour 9%.

This table provides information on the number of grounds and areas cited in the 822 new complaint files opened in 2022-23. Each complaint may cite more than one ground and area. Percentages have been rounded.

Complaints by ground and independent areas*
April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023
Protected ground   Times cited Per cent of total
Physical disability 657 25%
Mental disability 633 24%
Gender 336 13%
Race/Colour 222 9%
Religious beliefs 201 8%
Family status 166 6%
Ancestry/Origin 148 5%
Age 91 3%
Sexual orientation 36 1%
Marital status 35 1%
Gender identity 32 1%
Gender expression 18 <1%
Retaliation* 17 <1%
Source of Income 8 <1%
Equal pay* 5 <1%
Malicious/Vexatious* 1 <1%
Total 2,606  

* Sections 6 and 10 of the Act allow for complaints that do not depend on the involvement of a protected ground. These sections are referred to as independent areas.

​As in previous years, discrimination in the area of ​employment was the most commonly cited section in complaints opened in 2022-23.

Circles showing percentages for employment practices 78% and goods/services 17%.

This table provides information on the number of areas cited in the 822 new complaint files opened in 2022-23. Each complaint may cite more than one protected ground and area.

Complaint grounds cited by section of the Alberta Human Rights Act
April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023
Protected area Per cent of total
Employment practices (section 7) 78%
Good, services, accommodation, or facilities (section 4) 17%
Tenancy (section 5) 4%
Retaliation (section 10.1) <1%
Applications and advertisements re: employment (section 8) <1%
​Membership in trade union, etc. (section 9) <1%
Equal pay (section 6) <1%
Frivolous or vexatious complaints with malicious intent (section 10.2) <1%
Publications, notices (section 3) 0%


Requests for Review decided by the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals in 2022-23​

If the Director of the Commission dismisses a complaint, the complainant may file a Request for Review to the Chief, pursuant to section 26 of the Alberta Human Rights Act.

In 2022-23, 49 Requests for Reviews were decided. For 36 complaints, the Chief agreed (or upheld) the Director's dismissal and the files were closed. For the remaining 13, the Chief disagreed (or overturned) with the dismissal and the complaints proceeded to Tribunal.

Circles showing percentages for requests for review results, 73% were upheld and 27% were overturned for 49 requests reviewed.

Tribunal Process

At the Tribunal process, parties are offered mediation by a Member of the Commission through a tribunal dispute resolution (TDR) process. If the parties are unable to settle the matter at TDR or choose not to participate in the TDR, the matter proceeds to a tribunal hearing for adjudication by a different Member or Members.

The Tribunal continued to see a high number of complaints, holding 95 TDR sessions and a record number of 32 hearings in 2022-23.

These are the outcomes of the 150 complaints closed through the human rights Tribunal process:

  • 52 closed through the TDR process
  • 53 closed through private settlement
  • 32 closed as a result of a tribunal hearing
  • 13 withdrawn or closed for other reasons

Educational workshops, forums and webinars

The Commission informs and educates the public on human rights principles, their rights and responsibilities under Alberta's human rights legislation, and the Commission's programs and services.

In the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Commission:

  • Informed Albertans of their rights and responsibilities related to the Act through our core education tool, our website. The website had 200,000 new visitors from May 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
  • We furthered efforts to engage Albertans through the launch of our #AB50for50 campaign, encouraging individuals and organizations to expand their knowledge and understanding of human rights.
  • Launched a LinkedIn account, gaining 200 followers within the first month
  • Delivered six online public workshops with 95% of participants saying they are likely to use information learned about human rights in their workplace
  • Educated the public through webinars and videos with 7,315 views
  • Informed 3,455 people subscribed to our online newsletter, Alberta Human Rights Information Service about recent Tribunal decisions, Commission news and events, significant human rights dates, and related human rights information
  • Spoke at 12 events, delivering remarks or presentations for organizations, lawyers, post-secondary students, human rights educators, and other stakeholders
  • Responded to 33 media requests on various topics
  • Released six public statements on important issues and dates significant to human rights and diversity
  • Published the updated human rights guide, Human rights, pregnancy, and parental rights and responsibilities
  • Collaborated with key stakeholders in the disability sector working on accessibility legislation in Alberta
  • Conducted an organization-wide external review, as part of our Indigenous Human Rights Strategy and with the support of our Indigenous Advisory Circle, began reviewing and implementing a number of the report's recommendations
  • Collaborated with partner organizations on several initiatives that address hate, racism, and inequity, including the Coalitions Creating Equity (CCE) initiative and the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC)
  • Provided specialized consultative and advisory services to assist organizations, institutions, and governments to advance their human rights programs and initiatives within Alberta and internationally