Commission events archive 2013 to 2014

Here you will find an archive of Commission events from 2013 to 2014 that have been previously posted on the Commission's events page.


Employer forum series: Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace (Edmonton, November 19, 2014)

The Commission, in partnership with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Sturgeon County and the Teamsters' Union, hosted the human rights in employment forum Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace on November 19, 2014 in Edmonton. Darrell Petersen, Senior Legal Counsel, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.; Tracy Johnson, Mental Health Educator, Canadian Mental Health Association; and Janice Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, all emphasized the stigma still associated with mental health issues and provided concrete strategies for accommodating individuals with mental health disabilities. The session concluded with a discussion of scenarios based on real cases

Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) initiative receives award (Ottawa, November 18, 2014) 

The Alberta Human Rights Commission, together with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), received a 2014 Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) Award of Excellence in the Government/Public Sector category for the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Initiative. From the AUMA news release: "WIC's goal is to build municipal capacity to combat racism and other forms of discrimination through developing tools and organizing events that facilitate the sharing of best practices. The initiative has also provided support and information to encourage municipalities to join the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination, and to develop tangible action plans to help them meet their commitments as a signatory. 'This national award recognizes the long-term, complex work being done in Alberta by all orders of government, and by a diversity of organizations and people, who are working together to build communities where all Albertans are welcomed, included and feel that they belong,' says Robert A. Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals."

The Awards of Excellence are part of the CRRF's Best Practices initiative. From the CRRF website: "The Canadian Race Relations Foundation's 2014 Awards of Excellence will pay tribute to public, private and voluntary organizations whose efforts represent best practices in building an awareness and understanding of Canadian values and identity that are reflective of Canadian diversity." An awards dinner took place on November 18, 2014, at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, offers a message about the 2014 CRRF Award of Excellence. You can view the video




Photo is courtesy of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Symposium & Awards of Excellence 2014
From left to right: Rachel Bocock, Director, Policy and Advocacy, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association; Alberta Lo, Chairperson, Canadian Race Relations Foundation; Cassie Palamar, Director, Education and Engagement, Alberta Human Rights Commission; Amarjeet Sohi, Councillor, City of Edmonton & Vice President, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association; Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission; Madeleine Ziniak, National Vice President, Roger's Communications (former).

National Restorative Justice Symposium (Banff, November 16 to 18, 2014) 

Cam Stewart, Policy and Program Consultant, Alberta Human Rights Commission and Anna Robinson, Project Coordinator for the Inclusive Restorative Practices Project, facilitated a pre-conference full-day workshop, Inclusive Restorative Practices, and a conference session, Using restorative principles to promote reconciliation, understanding and cultural awareness, at the 2014 National Restorative Justice Symposium held in Banff from November 16 to 18, 2014. Over 250 delegates, including lawyers, mediators, practitioners and educators in restorative practices from across North America, attended the symposium.
 
 
Anna Robinson, Project Coordinator for the Inclusive Restorative Practices Project, and Cam Stewart, Policy and Program Consultant, Alberta Human Rights Commission, at the National Restorative Justice Symposium.

Personal Information and Privacy Connections Conference presentation (Calgary, November 14, 2014) 

Janice Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, was part of a plenary panel along with Glenn Solomon, Q.C., Managing Partner, JSS Barristers, and Abby Deshman, Director, Public Safety Program, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, at the 2014 Personal Information and Privacy Connections Conference on November 14, 2014 in Calgary. The panel spoke about the intersection of human rights and privacy. Ms. Ashcroft presented on how the surveillance of individuals who are absent from work can conflict with human rights, and commented on the strict framework that arbitrators and human rights decision makers have placed around the  surveillance of employees.

Alberta Disabilities Forum (Edmonton, October 23, 2014)

The Alberta Disabilities Forum, a coalition of over forty non-profit Alberta-based disability organizations, hosted a one-day forum on October 23, 2014 in Edmonton. Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, attended the event and provided the keynote address, speaking about the need to eliminate the barriers that people with disabilities face in order to open up opportunities and create possibilities. Mr. Philp commended the participants for the progress they have made and emphasized that together we are involved in creating a society full of possibilities that respects the potential of each individual to contribute to and fully participate in a society that values and embraces our diversity. 

Presentation to university law school students (Calgary, October 7, 2014) 

Janice Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission spoke to students at a University of Calgary law class on October 7, 2014. The students learned about human rights practice and procedure and emerging current human rights issues.

Consultation with human rights and employment law lawyers (Calgary, September 9, 2014; Edmonton, September 11, 2014) 

Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, hosted  two lunch meetings with the private bar in Calgary (September 9, 2014) and in Edmonton (September 11, 2014). Human rights and employment law lawyers provided valuable feedback on Commission process and also put forth possible strategies to encourage more timely resolution of complaints. Mr. Philp thanks all lawyers who attended for their time and thoughtful participation.

Human Rights in Employment Forum:
Family Status Accommodation and Compassionate Care Leave (Calgary, September 10, 2014)

The Commission, in partnership with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, hosted the Human Rights in Employment Forum, "Family Status Accommodation and Compassionate Care Leave," on September 10, 2014 in Calgary. The forum outlined the Compassionate Care Leave amendments to the Employment Standards Code that came into effect on February 1, 2014 and explored how they apply to workplaces in Alberta.

Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, acknowledged the role that businesses and organizations play in protecting and addressing human rights in Alberta. He highlighted how their willingness to look within their own workplaces to ensure that their policies and practices are inclusive, fair and respectful, and that they create an environment that fosters equality and reduces discrimination has greatly contributed to our province's success. Darrell Petersen, Senior Legal Counsel, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., and Janice Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, shared their subject matter expertise and guided participants through the discussion on rights and obligations concerning family status protection and Compassionate Care Leave.



Mr. Darrell Petersen, Senior Legal Counsel, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.; Ms. Janice Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission; and Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, at the forum.
 
Aboriginal Justice Camp (Calgary, September 6 to 9, 2014)

Two Commission representatives, as guests of the Calgary Police Service (CPS), attended an Aboriginal Justice Camp offered by the CPS for their members from September 6 to 9, 2014. This intensive program, led by Cindy Provost, CPS Aboriginal Liaison Officer, offered an experiential learning opportunity to deepen understanding about Aboriginal culture and history, and the impacts of the system barriers that members of the Aboriginal community face, the challenges this creates in building inclusive and healthy communities, and the possibilities for the future. Participation in the program is helping to increase Commission understanding and effectiveness in engaging in human rights issues related to Aboriginal communities. In addition to input provided directly by Aboriginal Elders, CPS leadership spoke about the need for respectful behaviours around diversity and the importance of inclusion.

GlobalFest Human Rights Forum 2014 (Calgary, August 13, 2014)

On August 13, 2014, Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, offered the keynote address at the GlobalFest Human Rights Forum 2014. This annual forum, presented by TD as part of Calgary's GlobalFest celebrations, aims to promote diversity, cross-cultural respect, and equality to encourage systemic change across the Canadian community in a positive and safe environment. The forum topics are structured around UNESCO Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD). The Commission has been involved with CCMARD since 2007.

Mr. Philp's presentation, Justice - Fighting Inequality by Engaging the Marginalized, focused on strategies for engaging marginalized populations in order to address inequities and find solutions for a more inclusive and just society. The Commission also participated in the week-long event with its display, providing information and resources on human rights and on the Commission's programs and services.

Other speakers included Elder Leonard Bastien of Child and Family Services and Stuart Murray, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. You can read more about the forum.
 


Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, offers the keynote address to forum delegates.

Citizenship Ceremony (Calgary, June 5, 2014) 

On June 5, 2014, the Commission, along with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Cardel Place and the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative welcomed 70 new Canadians from 23 countries during a community citizenship ceremony at Cardel Place in Calgary.

Over 170 people attended the citizenship ceremony, which was presided over by Citizenship Judge Joseph Woodard. The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, and Frank Muller, President, Board of Directors, Cardel Place, offered welcome remarks. Mr. Mason congratulated the new Canadian citizens and their families, and highlighted the shared goal of shaping a society where diversity and inclusion are valued and celebrated, and where human rights principles are reflected in our attitudes and everyday actions. Members of the community, including professionals and city leaders, along with Commission staff, led roundtable discussions with the new citizens encouraging all to share stories, experiences and perspectives on what it means to be Canadian. 

This event was an opportunity to celebrate National Aboriginal History Month. Elder Doreen Spence offered a prayer at the beginning of the event, and the Blackfoot Confederacy drummed the procession on and off the stage.

 

Participants joined in a Round Dance at the Citizenship Ceremony.




The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission.



Elder Doreen Spence congratulates a new Canadian citizen.



The Blackfoot Confederacy drummed as participants joined in a Round Dance.

Employer forum series: Navigating the Medical Information Maze (Calgary, May 6, 2014)

The Commission, together with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, hosted a forum, "Navigating the Medical Information Maze," on May 6, 2014 in Calgary. 70 participants attended this second session in the Duty to Accommodate employer forum series. The breakfast forum dealt with employer responsibilities under Alberta's human rights legislation in requesting and receiving medical information from employees with disabilities. 

 

    Susan Coombes, Manager, Education and Engagement, Alberta Human Rights Commission, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Commission. Janice Ashcroft, QC, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission and Darrell Peterson, Senior Legal Counsel, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., shared their knowledge on how to obtain medical information when accommodating an employee with a disability. Participants discussed case studies and various scenarios and enjoyed a lively discussion on the topic.

    Law Day (Edmonton, Calgary, Wetaskiwin, April 26, 2014)

     The Commission participated in Law Day events in Edmonton, Calgary and Wetaskiwin on April 26, 2014, by hosting information booths. Participants attending the Law Day events engaged with Commission staff to learn more about diversity, human rights and the programs and services offered by the Commission. Throughout the month of April, The Canadian Bar Association, in cooperation with, and with funding from, the Alberta Law Foundation and the Law Society of Alberta, hosted events across the province, encouraging Albertans to experience our legal system and learn more about how it works in Alberta.



    Sushila Samy, Diversity Specialist, Education and Engagement, Alberta Human Rights Commission, at the Commission's information booth at the Edmonton Law Day event.

    Employer forum series: Family Status Accommodation and Compassionate Care Leave (Edmonton, April 15, 2014)

    The Commission, together with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Sturgeon County and the Teamsters' Union, hosted a forum, "Family Status Accommodation and Compassionate Care Leave," on April 15, 2014 in Edmonton. This was the third session in the Duty to Accommodate employer forum series. The breakfast forum attracted 75 participants from various union and employer groups.

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, welcomed the participants and encouraged them to actively engage in discussing this complex topic. He thanked the partners for their work in planning the forum and assisting with various activities on the day of the event and asked for their continued support in working with the Commission. This was followed by a panel presentation by Janice Ashcroft, QC, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission; Darrell Petersen, Senior Legal Counsel, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.; Kate Young, Workplace Education Consultant and Vicky Giles, Partner, McLennan Ross, LLP, on the employer's responsibilities in providing family status accommodation under the Alberta Human Rights Act and compassionate care leave to be provided under the Employment Standards Act. After the question and answer session, participants were provided with case studies to discuss and report back to the larger group.

    The forum was targeted towards owners, managers and human resources professionals of organizations to provide them with information on family status accommodation and the newly announced compassionate care leave. This forum was piloted in Edmonton as the first in a series of human rights related topics to assess interest from employers. The feedback from participants indicated that they are interested in attending future forums.

    Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Alberta National Event (Edmonton, March 27 -  30, 2014)

    The Alberta Human Rights Commission partnered with the Canadian Human Rights Commission to host a display table at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Alberta National Event held in Edmonton March 27 to 30, 2014.  Over 20,000 people gathered for this final event to be part of the "national journey of healing and reconciliation," sharing the truth about residential schools and their legacy. 

    Come Together Alberta Provincial Conference (Calgary, February 6 - 7, 2014)

    The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) hosted the Come Together Alberta Provincial Conference: Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities at the University of Calgary on February 6 to 7, 2014. This two-day conference was attended by provincial and community organizations, municipalities and Government of Alberta representatives interested in developing welcoming and inclusive communities throughout the province. The conference supported networking and provided an opportunity for participants to learn about other initiatives taking place across Alberta.

    Working together since 2006, the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the AUMA have partnered on the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) and Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) initiatives and a number of other projects. The Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund (HREMF) has provided several grants to the AUMA to support this work, including the development of a provincial network.

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, has long been a champion of CCMARD and WIC. Mr. Mason attended the conference and brought greetings to the participants on day two of the conference. He highlighted the importance of strong relationships and collaborations in creating welcoming and inclusive communities where people can participate in and contribute to the cultural, social, economic and political life of Alberta without discrimination.

     

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, brings greetings to conference delegates.

     

    Cassie Palamar, Director of Education and Engagement, and Susan Coombes, Manager of Education and Engagement, both of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, at the Commission information booth.


    Citizenship Ceremony (Calgary, December 17, 2013) 
    On December 17, 2013, the Alberta Human Rights Commission partnered with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Aero Space Museum of Calgary to host roundtable discussions and a citizenship ceremony for 50 new Canadians. Commission staff facilitated group discussions before the ceremony and the The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, addressed the new Canadians after they took their oath of citizenship. You can watch a video of the event on the CBC news website. 

    Celebrating Humanity event (Calgary, December 7, 2013)
     
    On December 7, 2013, the Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, was honoured at a naming ceremony in Calgary. The Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI), in partnership with the Calgary Police Service and the Alberta Human Rights Commission, hosted the event Celebrating Humanity: CUAI Holiday Celebration and Round Dance in celebration of Human Rights Day. Mr. Mason received the name of "Arriving Buffalo Bull" ("Sta mi kso toa" in the Blackfoot language) from Elder Herman Yellow Old Woman. It is rare that a Non-Aboriginal person is honoured with a naming ceremony. Mr. Mason was given his name due to his efforts in positively impacting the relations between the Alberta Human Rights Commission and Aboriginal people in Alberta by supporting communities in their understanding and promotion of human rights. Mr. Mason highlighted that on Human Rights Day "we celebrate and honour all humanity by continuing to remove the barriers that people face because of discrimination, systemic racism and prejudice, and we continue to promote the rights of Aboriginal People" and emphasized that "every step forward in human rights, no matter how small, must be celebrated."

    This holiday event, celebrating volunteers and the community, also included special ceremonies to honour community members, as well as a traditional round dance, drummers and a feast.

     
    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, speaking at the Celebrating Humanity: CUAI Holiday Celebration and Round Dance event.

     
    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, with Elder Herman Yellow Old Woman after the naming ceremony in Calgary. Mr. Mason was honoured to receive the name of "Arriving Buffalo Bull."

     
    Cam Stewart, Community Consultant, Education and Engagement, Alberta Human Rights Commission, congratulates the Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, after the naming ceremony.

    Employer forum: Navigating the Medical Information Maze: (Edmonton, November 20, 2013)

    The Commission, in partnership with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Enbridge, SMS Equipment, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Teamsters Union, hosted a forum, "Navigating the Medical Information Maze," on November 20, 2013 in Edmonton. This was the second session in the Duty to Accommodate employer forum series. The breakfast forum attracted 62 participants from various employer groups. The forum was targeted towards managers of organizations to provide them with information on potential challenges in obtaining and maintaining employee medical information. Three organizations set up information tables at the forum.

    The Commission's Director of Education and Engagement, Cassie Palamar, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Commission and outlined the services and resources available to Albertans to foster equality and reduce discrimination. She encouraged organizations to look within their own workplaces to ensure that their policies and practices are inclusive, fair and respectful. Janice Ashcroft, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, discussed the human rights framework for obtaining medical information when accommodating mental or physical disabilities. The participants worked on scenarios to broaden their understanding of their responsibilities when medical information is required. A panel of experts, including staff from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and legal counsel from Enbridge Pipelines, presented their perspectives on asking for and retaining medical information and addressed questions from the participants.

    40th Anniversary of the Alberta Human Rights Commission (Calgary, Edmonton October 2013)


    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. In 1972, the Honourable Peter Lougheed introduced two human rights bills, the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Individual's Rights Protection Act, which form the basis for Alberta's existing human rights legislative framework. This legislation then led to the creation of the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 1973.

    The 40th anniversary of the Commission marks Alberta's longstanding commitment to human rights. This milestone provides the opportunity to reflect upon the many accomplishments that have been made, assess the current challenges and opportunities, and recommit to the work ahead that will advance the Commission's goal of building a province that promotes and protects human rights.

    In October, the Commission held events in Calgary and Edmonton to commemorate the 40th anniversary. Amongst the speakers were Alberta's Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, the Honourable Jonathan Denis, QC, and the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, the Honourable Blair Mason, QC, who highlighted the progress that has been made in human rights in Alberta and congratulated staff and the Members of the Commission on their contributions to the Commission's successes over the past 40 years.  Minister Denis brought greetings from Premier Redford and presented a congratulatory letter to the Commission. You can view the video of Premier Redford's greetings.

     

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, speaking at the 40th Anniversary of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.



    The Honourable Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, speaking at the 40th Anniversary of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

    Employer Forum: Accommodating mental and physical disabilities in the workplace (Calgary, June 12, 2013)

    The Alberta Human Rights Commission (the Commission), in partnership with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, hosted a forum, "Accommodating Mental and Physical Disabilities in the Workplace," on June 12, 2013 in Calgary. The breakfast forum attracted 55 participants from various employer groups in Calgary. The forum was targeted towards managers of organizations to provide them with information on accommodating employees with disabilities in a timely manner. Six organizations set up information tables at the forum.

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, welcomed the participants and encouraged active engagement in discussing this complex topic. Janice Ashcroft, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, focused on employers' responsibilities under the Alberta Human Rights Act in accommodating employees with mental and physical disabilities and cited human rights tribunal and court decisions. The participants were provided with case studies and worked through various workplace accommodation scenarios. This was followed by a panel presentation with representatives from the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Commission, who provided brief presentations on accommodation and responded to audience questions regarding accommodations. The forum concluded with an employee who has been blind since birth speaking about his own experiences of being accommodated. He asked employers to have discussions with employees who have disabilities regarding how they would complete the tasks of their position rather than making assumptions that they would not be able to complete the tasks.

    Rights Respecting Schools Plaque Presentation (Edmonton, April 25, 2013)

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, congratulated and presented a plaque to the students at Evansdale Elementary School for being a leader in the province in becoming the first school in Alberta to take the steps to become a Rights Respecting School. The ; COLOR: #1f497d">UNICEF Canada's Rights Respecting Schools Initiative uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child to serve as the basis for the school's culture to promote active citizenship and inclusive learning. Mr. Mason spoke to the students about human rights in the students' lives and the important role the students play in building a respectful and inclusive environment in their school and community. Staff from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights were at the presentation.  

    Hate Crime Awareness Day (Calgary, April 24, 2013) 

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, spoke at a Hate Crime Awareness Day event held at the Calgary Public Library on April 24, 2013. Hate Crime Awareness Day was organized by the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC) to encourage communities, governments and police to unite to send the message that hate crimes will not be tolerated. This year's theme was "We all have a role." Mr. Mason spoke to the importance of partnerships and collaborative efforts in addressing prejudice and hate in our communities and praised the work and successes of community and other organizations in Alberta. He also spoke to this year's theme, outlining the role that governments, businesses and citizens play in countering hate and bias incidents and crimes. Deputy Mayor Diane Colley-Urquhart offered opening remarks and proclaimed April 24, 2013 as Hate Crime Awareness Day. Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson also offered remarks.

    Events were also hosted in Edmonton, Lethbridge and Brooks. The Commission has been a member of the AHCC since its establishment in 2002.

     

    The Honourable Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, speaking at the Hate Crime Awareness Day event.

    Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson speaking at the Hate Crime Awareness Day event. 

    Citizenship Ceremony and Roundtable Discussion (Calgary, February 20, 2013)

    The Alberta Human Rights Commission (the Commission), in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Mount Royal University, co-hosted a citizenship ceremony, roundtable discussion and reception on February 20, 2013 at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, congratulated the new Canadian citizens and talked about the work of the Commission and its role in protecting people from discrimination and supporting many proactive initiatives aimed at reducing discrimination, prejudice and racism. Approximately 300 participants attended, including 75 new Canadian citizens representing 23 countries, their friends and family.

    Several Commission staff participated as facilitators for the round table discussions where the new Canadians and their families explored and discussed what citizenship means to them.

     



    New Canadians and their families participate in round table discussions with Commission staff as facilitators.

     

    Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, congratulates a new Canadian citizen.

    Employer Forum: Accommodating Mental and Physical Disabilities in the Workplace (Edmonton, January 30, 2013)

    The Alberta Human Rights Commission (the Commission), in partnership with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Enbridge and SMS Equipment hosted a forum on "Accommodating Mental and Physical Disabilities in the Workplace" on January 30, 2013 in Edmonton. The early morning breakfast forum attracted 65 people from various employer groups in Edmonton. Seven organizations set up information tables at the forum. Blair Mason, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, welcomed the participants and encouraged them to actively engage in discussing this complex topic. Mr. Mason thanked the partners for their work in planning the forum, assisting with various activities at the event and asked for their continued support in working with the Commission. Janice Ashcroft, Senior Legal Counsel for the Commission, spoke on employer's responsibilities under the Alberta Human Rights Act in accommodating employees with mental and physical disabilities and cited human rights tribunal and court decisions. The participants were provided with case studies to discuss with others at their table and to report to the larger group. This was followed by a panel presentation by Ms. Heather Ruhl of the Alberta Treasury Branch. Ms. Ruhl spoke of her mental disabilities and how her manager accommodated her. This touching presentation was followed by a presentation by Ms. Ruhl's manager, who described how the accommodation of Ms. Ruhl came about and why it was successful in meeting the needs of the employer and the employee.

    The forum was targeted towards managers of organizations to provide them with information on accommodating disabilities within a short period of time. The forum was piloted in Edmonton as the first in a series of human rights related topics to assess interest from employers. The feedback from participants shows that they would like more time allotted to the discussion and all the participants have indicated that they will attend future forums. The next forum will be held in Calgary.

    Revised: April 14, 2015

     

     


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