About the commission
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is Canada's human rights watchdog. We work for the people of Canada and operate independently from the Government. The Commission helps ensure that everyone in Canada is treated fairly, no matter who they are. We are responsible for representing the public interest and holding the Government of Canada to account on matters related to human rights.
The Canadian Human Rights Act gives the Commission the authority to research, raise awareness, and speak out on any matter related to human rights in Canada. The Commission is responsible for administering the Act, which protects people in Canada from discrimination when based on any of the grounds of discrimination such as race, sex and disability. Under the Act, the Commission receives human rights complaints and works with both the complainant and respondent to resolve the issues through mediation.
When a complaint cannot be settled, or when the Commission decides that further examination is warranted, it may refer the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a decision. In cases where the issue has the potential to either affect the rights of many people in Canada or help define or clarify human rights law, the Commission's legal team will participate in the hearing and represent the public interest.
The Accessible Canada Act, the Employment Equity Act, and the Pay Equity Act give the Commission the authority to work with federally regulated employers to ensure they are preventing discrimination and promoting inclusion through proactive compliance with these laws. This contributes to the elimination of employment barriers and wage discrimination in federally regulated workplaces for women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and racialized groups. Footnote 1
The Commission operates across Canada with a team of approximately 265 people and is led by Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry
In 2020, the Commission's executive team comprised Deputy Chief Commissioner Geneviève Chabot; Pay Equity Commissioner, Karen Jensen; full-time Commissioner Edith Bramwell; and part-time Commissioners Joanna Harrington, Rachel Leck, and Dianna Scarth.