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Summary of the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act Explained in more Detail

In New Brunswick, as in the rest of Canada, people are protected by law from many types of discrimination. This law is the New Brunswick Human Rights Act. The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission enforces that law.

The Human Rights Commission is a provincial government agency. It promotes equality and investigates and tries to settle complaints of discrimination and harassment. If a complaint cannot be settled, a human rights tribunal can hear the evidence. If it decides that there was discrimination, it can issue orders to correct it.

The Commission also works to prevent discrimination by promoting human rights and offering educational opportunities to employers, service providers and the general public.

The Human Rights Act is a provincial law that prohibits discrimination and harassment in:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Public services for example schools, stores, motels, hospitals, police and most government services
  • Publicity, and
  • Certain associations

The grounds of prohibited discrimination are:

  • Race
  • Colour
  • National origin
  • Place of origin
  • Ancestry
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Sex (including pregnancy and gender identity)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Social condition, which includes source of income, level of education and occupation, and
  • Political belief or activity
  • Sexual harassment
  • Reprisal


If you think you are being discriminated against or harassed based on the prohibited grounds listed above you can file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. You do not need to be a citizen or landed immigrant. It does not cost anything, and it is illegal for someone to penalize you because you file a complaint.