Resolving a Dispute Under the Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is dedicated to preventing discrimination and resolving disputes in a fair, transparent and effective way. The Commission emphasizes early dispute resolution through mediation and informal dialogue.

If a dispute cannot be resolved through dialogue or mediation, the inquirer can file a complaint. Once the complaint is accepted, the Commission's triage function ensures that each complaint is addressed using the most appropriate and timely process.

For more information on the Commission's services, consult their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Delivered by: Canadian Human Rights Commission

Eligibility Information

The Commission protects anyone living in Canada against discrimination by the following federally regulated employers or service providers:

  • federal departments, agencies and crown corporations;
  • chartered banks;
  • airlines;
  • television and radio stations;
  • interprovincial communications and telephone companies;
  • buses and railways that travel between provinces;
  • First Nations; and
  • other federally regulated industries, such as certain mining operations.

Note: The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on a person's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for which a pardon has been granted.

Process for Requesting Assistance

  • If you suspect a situation of discrimination, you may wish to discuss allegations of discrimination with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
  • The Commission will provide basic information about its programs and services under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and will let you know if the matter can be dealt with by the Commission.
  • If the matter can be filed with the Commission, an officer will discuss the options that are available to you to resolve the matter.
  • If the matter cannot be dealt with by the Commission, the officer will suggest another alternative or organization that can help.
  • Throughout the process, the parties are encouraged to look for solutions by participating in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Process for Resolving Complaints

  • In each case, the Commission is required to render a decision on the complaint.
  • Commissioners can dismiss the complaint, appoint a conciliator, or refer the matter to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for further inquiry.
  • When the Commission finds that the complaint requires further inquiry, it refers the case to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
  • The Tribunal holds public hearings to hear arguments.
  • The Tribunal determines whether there has been discrimination based on a prohibited ground.
  • If appropriate, the Tribunal orders a remedy.
  • Resolution timelines vary from case to case, depending on the availability of parties to participate in the process and the outcome of each step.

Contact Information

  • General Enquiries: 613-995-1151
  • Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
  • TTY: 1-888-643-3304
  • Fax: 613-996-9661

Related Information

Information on other services provided by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, including but not limited to discrimination prevention resources, research and jurisprudence, is available on the Commission's Quick links – A-Z index.