COMMISSION CONGRATULATES JANICE R. ASHCROFT, Q.C., ON APPOINTMENT TO COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH IN ALBERTA
(June 23, 2017)
Janice R. Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, was appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta in Calgary on June 23, 2017. During her 19 years at the Commission, Justice Ashcroft was a committed ambassador for human rights in Alberta, litigating cases for the Commission in her early years as legal counsel for the Director of the Commission and advising tribunal members as senior legal counsel to the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals in recent years. She also spoke regularly at educational forums and conferences about human rights and administrative law issues.

Justice Ashcroft’s commitment to and empathy for vulnerable Albertans will be an enduring legacy. Her colleagues and friends at the Commission congratulate her and wish her the best in her new role. Read the news release from Justice Canada.

COMMISSION BIDS FAREWELL TO DON SMALLWOOD
(June 30, 2017)
On June 30, 2017, Don Smallwood left his position as Director of the Commission to take a new position within the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General as Executive Director, Claims and Recoveries Branch, Justice Services Division. Mr. Smallwood served as Director of the Commission from April 2, 2012 to June 30, 2017.

Commission staff express their gratitude for the leadership provided by Mr. Smallwood during his tenure at the Commission. His hard work and commitment to human rights have moved the work of the Commission forward in significant ways over the last five years. We wish him all the best in his new position.

COMMISSION NEWSLETTER
You can read the June 21, 2017 issue of the Commission newsletter, which includes information about National Aboriginal Day and the Chief's Message regarding this significant day, as well as other human rights news.

RECENT TRIBUNAL DECISIONS
(July 2017)

  • Renee Nolting v. 847012 Alberta Ltd. o/a Prime West Contracting (June 21, 2017; Karen Scott, Tribunal Chair)
  • Kara-Lindsay Martin v. Sphere Environmental Ltd. (June 14, 2017; Melissa L. Luhtanen, Tribunal Chair)
  • Renee Mandziak v. Taste of Tuscany and Medhat Salem (Decision on Remedy; May 17, 2017; Kathryn Oviatt, Tribunal Chair)
  • Jennifer Sylvan v. A.B.W. Management Ltd. o/a South Calgary Oral and Maxilliofacial Surgery (SCOMS) (Procedural Matters Decision; April 18, 2017; D. Jean Munn, Q.C., Tribunal Chair)

These tribunal decisions can be accessed free of charge through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

AGE WILL BE ADDED AS A PROTECTED GROUND UNDER SECTIONS 4 AND 5 OF
THE ALBERTA HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
(January 2017)
A court application, pursuant to the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was brought against the Alberta Government on January 6, 2017. The application alleged that with the omission of “age” as a protected ground under sections 4 (goods, services, accommodation or facilities) and 5 (tenancy) of the Alberta Human Rights Act, certain rights of seniors in Alberta are not protected. Alberta Justice consented to the application, but requested a 12-month reprieve to allow the government time to change the legislation. The Court granted the 12-month time frame as part of the Consent Order. In following the direction of the Court, the Commission will not accept complaints on the ground of age under sections 4 and 5 until such time as the legislation is amended or January 6, 2018, whichever occurs first. 

GENDER IDENTITY AND GENDER EXPRESSION NOW EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION
Bill 7 is now in force. The Bill amends the Alberta Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the Act as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination.

PLEASE NOTE:
The Commission is in the process of updating its publications and website to reflect the amendments to the legislation. In the meantime, if you are reading a Commission publication or web page dated before December 11, 2015, please note that the amendments have not yet been incorporated into the publication or web page.

For more information, see the Notice of Changes to Alberta's Human Rights Legislation.

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ABOUT THE COMMISSION
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta. Our mandate is to foster equality and reduce discrimination. We provide public information and education programs, and help Albertans resolve human rights complaints.

The Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund has provided funding for this website.

Revised: July 18, 2017


The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.

Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination by email. Please contact the Commission by phone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.

You can access information about making FOIP requests for records held by the Commission on our Contact us page.

The Commission will make publications available in accessible formats upon request for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.