Alberta – Filing a Human Rights Complaint
Instructions, Resources and Help lines
A business is not “private”. When a business owner obtains a business license, they are open to the “public” and they are not permitted to discriminate against anyone who is exempt from wearing a mask.
Nobody has the right to request to see an exemption. It is a violation of your privacy rights under the Privacy Act. This is your personal medical information between you and your physician.
According to the Alberta Health Order CMOH Order 42-2020 you are exempt for the following reasons
- Section 23 does not apply to a person attending an indoor public place if the person
(a) is a child under two years of age;
(b) is unable to place, use or remove a face covering without assistance;
(c) is unable to wear a face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation;
This Order remains in effect until rescinded by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Signed on this 11 day of December, 2020.
Deena Hinshaw declares if you are exempt from mask wearing you do not have to provide proof of your personal Health reasons
- you don’t need to provide proof
- consider contacting businesses before you visit them to learn more about options and requirements
- you must follow all other public health measures, such as keeping 2 metres apart from other people
Province of Alberta HEALTH INFORMATION ACT Statutes of Alberta 2000 Chapter H-5 Current as of December 9, 2020
Purposes of Act
2 The purposes of this Act are
(a) to establish strong and effective mechanisms to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their health information and to protect the confidentiality of that information,
WHEREAS it is recognized in Alberta as a fundamental principle and as a matter of public policy that all persons are equal in: dignity, rights and responsibilities without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation;
Discrimination re goods, services, accommodation, facilities
4 No person shall
(a) deny to any person or class of persons any goods, services, accommodation or facilities that are customarily available to the public, or
(b) discriminate against any person or class of persons with respect to any goods, services, accommodation or facilities that are customarily available to the public,
because of the race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons or of any other person or class of persons.
Alberta Human Rights Commission COVID-19 and Human Rights
We are in the midst of frequent information updates on the impact of COVID-19 in our communities. Below are some general principles concerning our obligation to maintain our best practices in human rights in Alberta.
Topics covered are:
- Depending on the circumstances, an employer, service provider, or landlord may have the duty to accommodatea person with a disability or another relevant protected ground, such as religious belief, that supports a reasonable basis for not wearing a mask.
- When accommodating a relevant protected ground, consideration will be given to the need to balance accommodation obligations with other legal obligations to co-workers and/or customers.
Duty to accommodate
People with certain disabilities may have difficulty wearing a mask if, for example, they have severe allergies, experience asthma attacks, or have other respiratory issues. Masks are a barrier to people with hearing disabilities who rely on lip reading or facial expressions to communicate. Masks may not be suitable for children and adults with certain physical, intellectual, mental, or cognitive disabilities, such as autism or anxiety.
An inability to access or use a mask should not lead to automatic negative consequences, such as harassment, employee discipline or termination, complete denial of service, or eviction from housing. The employer, service provider, or landlord has a duty to accommodate.
Discrimination related to COVID-19 (including harassment against any persons or communities) is prohibited when it involves a ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act, in the areas of services, housing, and employment.
At the same time, the right to be free from discrimination can be limited under the Act, for example, where health and safety risks are serious and would amount to undue hardship, or where actions that appear to be discriminatory can be shown to be reasonable and justifiable. Information about undue hardship is available on the Commission’s website in the Human Rights Guide, Duty to Accommodate.
Who Can Help?
Regarding human rights or help filling out your complaint form contact Alberta Human Rights Commission
Confidential Inquiry Line 780-427-7661
Email [email protected]
Free general legal advice:
Edmonton Community Legal Centre
The Edmonton Community Legal Centre provides free legal information and advice to low to moderate income people in the Edmonton area who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for Legal Aid. It can help with legal issues including family law, landlord and tenant matters, employment, human rights, debt, small claims, immigration and income supports. ECLC does not provide services for criminal matters. The other clinics are located in: Fort McMurray, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie.
EMAIL: [email protected]
Calgary Legal Guidance
Calgary Legal Guidance provides legal information and advice to low-income people who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for Legal Aid. It can help with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, family, criminal and civil issues. Free legal clinics operate Monday through Thursday evenings.
Grande Prairie Legal Guidance
Grande Prairie Legal Guidance provides free legal information and advice to low to moderate income people who have a legal issue but do not qualify for legal aid. It can help with matters including family law, landlord and tenant matters, employment, debt/contract, traffic/bylaw, wills and estates, criminal law and civil law. GPLG does not provide representation in court.
Lethbridge Legal Guidance
Lethbridge Legal Guidance provides free legal assistance, information, and advocacy to individuals experiencing financial difficulties who need legal services and representation and who do not qualify for Legal Aid. Volunteer lawyers provide legal information and advice on a variety of issues including family, civil matters, employment law, criminal law and immigration law. Free clinics operate on Tuesday evenings.
Lethbridge Legal Guidance is one of the six legal clinics in Alberta that are available to provide legal help. The other clinics are located in: Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie.
Medicine Hat Legal Help Centre
The Medicine Hat Legal Help Centre provides free information and advice to low to moderate incoming people who have a legal issue but do not qualify for Legal Aid. It can help with matters including family law, employment issues, debt and foreclosure, estate and administration, estate/life planning, immigration issues, landlord and tenant disputes and civil matters.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be used as legal or health advice. We encourage you to do your own research.
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