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Filing a Complaint

Anyone, except the Commission or an employee of the Commission, who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person has contravened the PEI Human Rights Act, may make a complaint to the Commission. The Act also allows for someone to make a complaint on behalf of another person, if that person consents.

There is no cost to file a complaint and Complainants are not required to have a lawyer. However, Complainants can hire lawyers at their own expense, if they wish.

A complaint must:

  1. Be made in writing in a form acceptable to the Commission.
  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).


If the complaint does not fall under an area or a prohibited ground listed in the Act, the complaint may not fall under the Human Rights Act. The Commission staff cannot offer opinions on what the outcome of a complaint will be, or if the Complainant will be successful. However, staff can advise as to what the law states and how it may apply to a given situation.

The Respondent(s) may be an individual, a business, an organization or an association. In order for the complaint to fall under the Human Rights Act, the Respondent(s) have to be within the provincial jurisdiction. Federal entities (such as a federal government department, a bank or a telephone company) fall within the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. For more information, Complainants should contact the Commission or consult the list of Canadian Commissions.

It is helpful if the Complainant provides dates, places and the full names of any persons involved. Any documents, such as employment records or medical records, that the Complainant thinks are relevant to the complaint should be attached to the complaint form.

The complaint form asks the Complainant to suggest how the complaint could be best resolved. Some examples of what the Complainant may seek are:

  • a letter of apology
  • a letter of reference
  • an education session on the PEI Human Rights Act provided to the Respondent by a Commission staff member
  • an indication that the Respondent will not discriminate in the manner complained of in the future
  • monetary compensation for injury to dignity and hurt feelings, lost wages, and expenses incurred due to the discrimination
  • reinstatement to an employment position
  • provision of the service or accommodation that was denied

The Complainant must sign and date the complaint form. Complaints cannot be made anonymously.
When the complaint is filed, Commission staff may contact the Complainant to clarify any issues raised in the complaint. If the complaint does not fall under the Human Rights Act, Commission staff will notify the Complainant and the complaint will be closed. Otherwise, the complaint moves to the step, "Responding to a Complaint".

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