News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 2, 2021

Manitoba Proclaims Legislation to Promote Timely Resolution of Human Rights Complaints

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New Law Improves Efficiency: Friesen

The Manitoba government is proclaiming legislation to improve the ability of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to provide timely reviews of human rights complaints, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“Human Rights complaints working their way through the process simply took too long historically,” said Friesen. “These changes to the Human Rights Code will ensure that complaints before the Manitoba Human Rights Commission are heard in a more timely way, which will significantly improve access to justice.”

The amendments were made based on Allan Fineblit’s independent review. They empower the commission to make decisions sooner by allowing the commission’s executive director to dismiss complaints, including those outside its jurisdiction, and to decline to investigate complaints that are being adequately addressed in another forum. The process for adjudication will also be improved by giving adjudicators the authority to mediate complaints and setting time limits to ensure the adjudicators’ hearings and decisions are timely.

Currently, it takes approximately on average three to four years for an investigation and an additional one to two years for adjudication of human rights complaints, which compromise access to justice and public confidence in the human rights system.

The Minister noted that Fineblit’s review provided 19 recommendations, 11 of which called for legislative changes. The Human Right Code Amendment Act responds to all 11 of the recommendations and aligns Manitoba with other jurisdictions.

The changes also set the maximum financial award for injury to dignity, feelings or self-respect stemming from a human rights complaint at $25,000. There would continue to be no cap on other compensation dealing with lost wages, income or benefits and existing caps on financial penalties related to malicious or reckless actions remain in place.

The legislative changes set out in the Human Rights Code Amendment Act will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The independent review of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Human Rights Adjudication Panel is available at under Manitoba Justice.

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