The Canadian Human Rights Commission is akin to an Agent of Parliament. It operates independently from government. As Canada’s human rights watchdog, the Commission is 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 law, which protects people in Canada from discrimination when based on any of the grounds of discrimination such as race, sex and disability.
The Commission receives discrimination 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 determines that further examination is warranted, it may refer the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
The Commission also works with federally regulated employers to ensure compliance with the Employment Equity Act. This contributes to the elimination of employment barriers in various workplaces for women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
The Commission operates across Canada with a team of approximately 185 people and is led by Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry.
In 2017, the Commission’s executive team comprised Deputy Chief Commissioner David Langtry, part-time Commissioners Sheila M. MacPherson, Kelly J. Serbu, Q.C., Judy C. Mintz, Tara Erskine, and Peggy Warolin.
The Commission welcomed Geneviève Chabot to the position of Deputy Chief Commissioner in December.