Canadian Human Rights Commission
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The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) was established in 1977 by the government of Canada. It is empowered under the Canadian Human Rights Act to investigate and try to settle complaints of discrimination in employment and in the provision of services within federal jurisdiction. The CHRC is also empowered under the Employment Equity Act to ensure that federally regulated employers provide equal opportunities for four designated groups: women, Aboriginal people, the disabled and visible minorities. The CHRC helps enforce these human rights and inform the general public and employers of these rights.
Organization and structure
The Canadian Human Rights Commission was established by Parliament in 1977 to administer the Canadian Human Rights Act. Its role was later expanded to include the Employment Equity Act.
Both these laws apply to federally regulated organizations. This includes federal government departments and agencies, Crown corporations, and private sector organizations such as banks, airlines, as well as transportation and telecommunication companies.
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Commission protects the human rights of all individuals lawfully present in Canada. It promotes a vision for Canada where all individuals have equal opportunity and are able to live their lives free from discrimination.
The Commission is responsible for dealing with allegations of discrimination. By law, it is bound to screen every discrimination complaint it receives. When possible, the Commission encourages people to try to solve their disputes informally.
In the event people are unable to solve the matter themselves, the Commission may conduct an investigation. If it believes the complaint has merit, the Commission can send it to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for further examination. Otherwise, the complaint is dismissed.
In some instances, the Commission can also appear before the Tribunal. This occurs when the Commission feels that the complaint deals with a matter of public interest. This includes decisions that have the potential to clarify, influence, shape or define human rights law in Canada.
Under the Employment Equity Act, the Commission promotes equality in the workplace for the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. It works with employers to ensure no person is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to their abilities. To this end, the Commission conducts compliance audits to help employers meet the requirements of the Employment Equity Act.
Criticism and controversy
The Commission has been criticized over its investigations of alleged hate speech as well as its procedures regarding admissibility of evidence.
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Canadian Human Rights Commission free speech controversy
- Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
- Human Rights Commission
- Human Rights in Canada