PEI - Filing a Human Rights Complaint

PEI – Filing a Human Rights Complaint

Instructions, Resources and Help lines


If you have been denied service due to not wearing a mask, business owners could be held liable for a fine (up to $75,000 as it varies in each province) if you file a human rights complaint.

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.


Federal Privacy Act: 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.

What is personal information under the Privacy Act?  Click Here Privacy Act

“The Privacy Act offers protections for personal information, which it defines as any recorded information “about an identifiable individual.”


Covid-19 measures must comply with our Constitution, including our Charter, they do not nullify nor supersede them, nor is there any express mention in any such law, statute, regulation, order or Guidance to do so.

The PEI Chief Public Health Office has announced the following:

Who is exempt from wearing a mask?

Some individuals are unable to wear masks for various reasons. In some cases, these reasons may not be visible to others. We are not expecting Islanders to produce proof of exemption. Islanders should always treat each other with kindness, respect and understanding.

Can I wear a face shield, spit guard, or another mask alternative?

No. Alternatives—including face shields, spit guards, gaiters, scarves—are not as effective at preventing the transmission of viruses as non-medical masks. Face shields and spit guards do not effectively contain the spray of respiratory droplets. Neck gaiters and scarves aren’t well secured to the head or ears, and are difficult to remove without contaminating yourself.


Prince Edward Island COVID-19 PREVENTION AND SELF ISOLATION ORDER 20210301084105220 states the following under the Masking Requirements:

Sec 9

Notwithstanding section 8, a person is exempt from the requirement to wear a mask while present in a public place if the person;

a) is less than 2 years of age:

b) is age 2 to 5 years and will not wear a mask;

c) is a person for whom the wearing of the mask is not possible because of the person’s medical condition;

d) cannot remove their mask without assistance;

e) is reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask in accordance with the Human Rights Act, R.S.P.E.I 1988, Cap. H-12

f) is in the public place receiving care or being provided a service or while participating in a physical or other activity requiring the mask to be removed, in which case the person may remove the mask for the duration of the care, service or activity;

g) removes the mask momentarily for identification or ceremonial purposes;

h) is in a courtroom, jury room or secured area in a courthouse, or room where a proceeding or meeting of an administrative tribunal established by legislation is being held;

i) is consuming food or a beverage in a public place

j) is a performer, performs in a small group or an officiant in the course of performing activities requiring the playing of a wind instrument, or vocalization such as talking or singing at the following events or activities;

I) conventions, conferences or speaking engagements;

II) social events;

III) arts and culture events;

IV) sports and physical activity; or

V) weddings, funerals and other faith gatherings


Who Can Help?

PEI Human Rights Commission

There is no cost to file a complaint and you are not required to have a lawyer however, you can hire a lawyer at your own expense, if you wish.

Please ensure you have answered the questions to “Am I in the right place?” or call the Commission to be sure that your complaint is something the Commission has the authority to deal with.

A complaint must:

  1. Be made in writing in a form acceptable to the Commission (PDF).
  2. Be made within one year after the alleged discrimination occurred and indicate when the discrimination occurred.
  3. Indicate both an area and a prohibited ground of discrimination covered under the Act.
  4. Name the Respondent(s). See our guide for more information.

It is helpful if you provide dates, places, full names of any persons involved and how you feel your complaint could best be resolved. Any documents, such as employment records or medical records, that you think are relevant to the complaint should be attached to the complaint form.

Phone: 902-368-4180  Toll-Free: 1-800-237-5031



Free General Legal Advice

Community Legal Information

Community Legal Information is a registered charity that helps residents of Prince Edward Island understand the law and navigate the justice system in the province. If you have questions regarding the legal system or are currently in a situation that involves the law and are unsure how to proceed, we are here to help.

Phone: 902-892-0853  Toll Free: 1-800-240-9798



This Prince Edward Island Lawyer Referral Service is Fast, Confidential and Free of Charge to All

No Obligation. You Choose Your Own Prince Edward Island Lawyer. Most offer free half hour consultations.


Disclaimer:  This information is not intended to be used as legal or health advice. We encourage you to do your own research.