Statistics

In any given year, the Canadian Human Rights Commission helps thousands of people determine whether they have a valid human rights complaint. In many cases, the Commission helps people resolve their issues quickly and informally, or find the appropriate process to resolve their concerns.

Only a fraction of the people who contact the Commission file a formal discrimination complaint.

The statistics below report on formal written complaints handled by the Commission in 2015.

By law, the Commission must consider every written discrimination complaint it receives. The Commission can decide not to deal with the complaint or refer it to an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. When possible, the Commission encourages people to try to resolve their disputes informally and at the earliest opportunity. In the event no agreement is reached, the Commission may conduct an investigation. When warranted, the Commission refers the case to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a hearing.

2015

Complaints filed with the CHRC

1,207

complaints received1

630

complaints accepted2

363

complaints referred to another redress process3

226

complaints settled

155

complaints dismissed

46

complaints referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

142

complaints not dealt with4

1 A received complaint, also known as a potential complaint, is a contact that falls within the mandate of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), and that may lead to an accepted complaint after analysis and review.

2 An accepted complaint is a document, in a form acceptable to the CHRC, that is filed by an individual or group of individuals having reasonable grounds for believing that a person or organization is engaging or has engaged in a discriminatory practice.

3 The number of complaints referred to another redress process includes those that were referred to the Public Service Labour Relations Board or the Public Service Staffing Tribunal before they became accepted complaints.

4 The CHRC can decide not to deal with complaints that do not meet the criteria listed under subsections 41(1) (c,d,e) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (e.g. the complaint fell outside of the CHRC’s jurisdiction or the complaint was frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith.)

Employment equity audits

In 2015, the Canadian Human Rights Commission conducted compliance reviews with a focus on ensuring progress towards equality in the workplace:

  • The Commission produced audit reports for 41 federally regulated employers. These reports acknowledged the actions these employers have taken to fulfill their employment equity obligations.
     
  • The Commission issued 48 status reports for employers that achieved good employment equity results in their industry sectors. The status reports also flag outstanding challenges facing these employers.
     
  • The Commission negotiated agreements with 43 employers that were not in compliance with the Employment Equity Act. Each agreement outlined actions that the employer would take to improve their employment equity performance.
     

Figure 1

Complaints received by province or territory (2015)

Figure 21

Complaints received by province or territory

Province or territory
2013
2014
2015
Newfoundland and Labrador
2013
10
1%
2014
16
1%
2015
9
1%
Prince Edward Island
2013
6
1%
2014
6
1%
2015
0
0%
Nova Scotia
2013
52
4%
2014
44
3%
2015
36
3%
New Brunswick
2013
42
3%
2014
34
2%
2015
38
3%
Quebec
2013
146
12%
2014
147
11%
2015
160
13%
Ontario
2013
565
46%
2014
653
48%
2015
583
48%
Manitoba
2013
63
5%
2014
60
4%
2015
52
4%
Saskatchewan
2013
58
5%
2014
28
2%
2015
28
2%
Alberta
2013
134
11%
2014
161
12%
2015
126
10%
British Columbia
2013
149
12%
2014
199
15%
2015
167
14%
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Outside of Canada
2013
11
1%
2014
16
1%
2015
8
1%
Total
2013
1,236
100%
2014
1,364
100%
2015
1,207
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Figure 32

Complaints received by types of respondents

2013
2014
2015
Private Sector
2013
496
40%
2014
585
43%
2015
492
41%
Federal Government*
2013
602
49%
2014
616
45%
2015
588
49%
Reserves, Bands and Councils
2013
93
8%
2014
91
7%
2015
81
7%
Unions
2013
25
2%
2014
44
3%
2015
24
2%
Individuals
2013
20
2%
2014
28
2%
2015
22
2%
Total
2013
1,236
100%
2014
1,364
100%
2015
1,207
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

*Includes employers in the core public administration, separate federal government organizations or agencies, and Crown corporations.

Figure 43

Complaints received by types of allegation cited

2013
2014
2015
Employment-related (sections 7,8,10,11)
2013
1,228
71%
2014
1,347
70%
2015
1,145
65%
Services-related (sections 5,6)
2013
321
19%
2014
376
19%
2015
391
22%
Harassment - employment (section 14)
2013
118
7%
2014
138
7%
2015
155
9%
Union membership (section 9)
2013
22
1%
2014
41
2%
2015
20
1%
Retaliation (section 14.1)
2013
22
1%
2014
23
1%
2015
25
1%
Harassment - services (section 14)
2013
17
1%
2014
12
1%
2015
23
1%
Notices, signs, symbols (section 12)
2013
7
1%
2014
0
0%
2015
0
0%
Total
2013
1,735
100%
2014
1,937
100%
2015
1,759
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Total number of allegations cited exceeds the total number of received complaints because some complaints dealt with more than one allegation.

Figure 54

Complaints accepted by province or territory

Province or territory
2013
2014
2015
Newfoundland and Labrador
2013
-
-%
2014
-
-%
2015
-
-%
Prince Edward Island
2013
-
-%
2014
-
-%
2015
-
-%
Nova Scotia
2013
18
3%
2014
18
3%
2015
15
2%
New Brunswick
2013
23
3%
2014
16
2%
2015
15
2%
Quebec
2013
70
11%
2014
86
12%
2015
75
12%
Ontario
2013
312
47%
2014
343
48%
2015
305
48%
Manitoba
2013
25
4%
2014
29
4%
2015
31
5%
Saskatchewan
2013
30
5%
2014
13
2%
2015
13
2%
Alberta
2013
67
10%
2014
77
11%
2015
64
10%
British Columbia
2013
99
15%
2014
116
16%
2015
103
16%
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Outside of Canada
2013
10
2%
2014
11
2%
2015
4
1%
Total
2013
661
100%
2014
720
100%
2015
630
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

-- Indicates that the data has been withheld to protect confidentiality.

Figure 65

Complaints accepted by types of respondents

2013
2014
2015
Private Sector
2013
343
52%
2014
407
57%
2015
341
54%
Federal Government*
2013
239
36%
2014
216
30%
2015
206
33%
Reserves, Bands and Councils
2013
50
8%
2014
53
7%
2015
57
9%
Unions
2013
20
3%
2014
35
5%
2015
17
3%
Individuals
2013
9
1%
2014
9
1%
2015
9
1%
Total
2013
661
100%
2014
720
100%
2015
630
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

*Includes employers in the core public administration, separate federal government organizations or agencies, and Crown corporations.

Figure 76

Complaints accepted by types of allegation cited

2013
2014
2015
Employment-related (sections 7,8,10,11)
2013
749
69%
2014
812
68%
2015
692
64%
Services-related (sections 5,6)
2013
214
20%
2014
210
18%
2015
250
23%
Harassment - employment (section 14)
2013
71
7%
2014
109
9%
2015
99
9%
Union membership (section 9)
2013
18
2%
2014
34
3%
2015
15
1%
Retaliation (section 14.1)
2013
14
1%
2014
25
2%
2015
19
2%
Harassment - services (section 14)
2013
11
1%
2014
4
1%
2015
14
1%
Notices, signs, symbols (section 12)
2013
6
1%
2014
0
0%
2015
0
0%
Total
2013
1,083
100%
2014
1,194
100%
2015
1,089
100%

The percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Total number of allegations cited exceeds the total number of received complaints because some complaints dealt with more than one allegation.

Figure 87

Final decisions by type

2013
2014
2015
Section 40/41 Analysis*
2013
344
2014
283
2015
260
Dismissed
2013
196
2014
217
2015
155
Settled**
2013
234
2014
293
2015
226
Referred to Tribunal
2013
72
2014
70
2015
46
Total
2013
846
2014
863
2015
687

* Under section 40/41 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the CHRC may decide not to deal with a complaint because the complainant ought to pursue another redress mechanism, the incident occurred too long ago, or because the complaint is out of jurisdiction, or considered trivial, frivolous or vexatious.

** Total number of settlements includes all settlements reached between parties, with or without help from the CHRC.

Figure 98

Proportion of complaints received in 2015 by ground of discrimination

NOTE: In this graph, the total exceeds 100% because some complaints cite more than one ground.