Who can make a complaint in the area of providing goods, services, accommodation or facilities

Section 20 of the Alberta Human Rights Act sets out who can make a complaint of discrimination under the Act as follows:

20(1) Any person, except the Commission, a member of the Commission and a person referred to in section 18, who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person has contravened this Act may make a complaint to the Commission.

(2) A complaint made pursuant to subsection (1) must
(a) be in a form acceptable to the Commission, and
(b) be made within one year after the alleged contravention of the Act occurs.

Section 18 of the AHR Act says:
18(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint a director for the purpose of the administration of this Act.

(2) The Minister may appoint any employees that the Minister considers necessary for the purpose of the administration of this Act.

This means a person can make a human rights complaint if they have a reasonable basis to believe that someone has discriminated against them. A complaint may be made on behalf of another individual. Complainants are entitled (but not required) to have a third party, for example, a lawyer or advocate, represent them in the complaint process. If a complainant chooses to pay for help from a lawyer or advocate, the complainant is responsible for the cost.

There are three exceptions that allow specific types of age restrictions that do not contravene the Act: benefits for minors or seniors; seniors-only housing; and age-restricted condominiums, co-operative housing units and mobile home sites that existed before January 1, 2018. You can read more about age as a protected ground.

For more information, see Making and resolving human rights complaints.

Revised: August 10, 2020



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