Improving access
to our services

In recent years, many people made it clear that accessing the Commission’s services was confusing, difficult and intimidating. In an effort to correct this situation, the Commission introduced a number of new initiatives, including a new online complaint platform that uses accessible and simple language. This change means that no matter where you live, filing a complaint takes the same effort and the same amount of time. Steps that once took weeks or months now take minutes.

25,000 people

contacted the Commission
to complain in 2018


Surpassing any other year

As a result, the Commission saw a dramatic increase in the number of people looking for help and wanting to complain because they believed they had been had been discriminated against. In fact, more people contacted the Commission to complain than in any other year in our history. The increase in volume has been significant.

The Commission takes a “no wrong door” approach and tries to help each and every person who asks for help — no matter how that request reaches us. This starts with determining whether a person has the basis of a human rights complaint and if so, whether the Commission is the right organization to help them.

With this new online complaint platform, many of these people are able to find help, find answers, or find a solution without filing a formal complaint with the Commission. In many instances, the Commission directs the complainant to the appropriate organization. For example, sometimes a complainant’s concern is best addressed by provincial or territorial human rights Commissions, or other federal organizations that have been given the authority to resolve human rights complaints.

We have taken considerable steps to respond to this increase in demand for our services and to respond with efficiency to each complainant. Each person is treated individually, frequently requiring follow-up and one-on-one conversations with a human rights officer. In cases when someone is in a vulnerable situation, the Commission now takes measures to ensure they are helped as quickly as possible.

Only a fraction of the thousands of people who contacted the Commission went on to file a complaint.

Offering a new way to complain

The Commission introduced a new online complaint platform and saw a significant increase in the number of people who wanted to complain.

By completing a self-evaluation questionnaire, a person can figure out whether their experience meets the criteria needed to file a human rights complaint. The questionnaire also helps people determine whether their complaint belongs with the Commission, or another body, such as a provincial human rights commission or the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

If the complainant’s answers meet the necessary criteria, the second step is to complete and submit the complaint form. This is where complainants must provide details about who discriminated against them, what exactly happened, where it happened, when it happened, and why they believed it happened.

Of the 25,000 people

who contacted the Commission
to complain,



of them did so through
our online platform.

Our commitment to those we serve

A human approach
We treat others with respect and dignity, recognizing the inherent humanity of the people we deal with, and listening actively and with empathy to the people we serve.

A flexible, case-by-case approach
We offer tailored services, remaining sensitive, using common sense when responding to and accommodating individuals’ needs, and adapting processes so that they are less bureaucratic.