A human rights commission is a body that is set up to promote or protect human rights. There is a federal human rights commission and almost every Canadian province or territory has a human rights commission, except British Columbia and Nunavut. Each commission is unique. For example, they may have different levels of independence, varying budget size and unique core functions.

Functions of a commission may include:

  • Educating the public on human rights;
  • Raising awareness about human rights law and obligations;
  • Hosting websites and other online information and services to resolve a complaint;
  • Developing guidelines or policies to help service providers, landlords, employers, and others to understand their rights and responsibilities;
  • Initiating complaints that affect a group of people (known as systemic complaints) and helping to resolve these complaints; and
  • Acting as a ‘gatekeeper to the tribunal’ which means that they investigate complaints before they can be filed with a tribunal.

 

To find out more about commissions across Canada and their specific functions, visit their websites at the links below:

Alberta Human Rights Commission

British Columbia – no Human Rights Commission

Manitoba Human Rights Commission

New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Nunavut – no Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

(Québec) Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Yukon Human Rights Commission