2019-20 Departmental Results Report

The Departmental Results Report provides an account of the Commission’s achieved results against planned performance expectations as set out in the Report on Plans and Priorities.

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Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

ISSN: 2561-1240


Table of contents


Chief Commissioner’s message

Photo of Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E.

The 2019–20 fiscal year was pivotal for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Human rights in Canada once again featured prominently on the agenda and in the national conversation.

The Commission continued to be a strong, national and independent voice for the protection, promotion and the progress of human rights in Canada through its public statements, speeches, shadow reports, round table discussions, interviews, social media platforms, and meetings with many stakeholders. Throughout 2019–20, the Commission echoed the voices of our many stakeholders from across the country. We wanted to make sure we heard from and collaborated with as many human rights organizations, stakeholders and human rights advocates as we could, both in Canada and abroad.

With a record 36,000 people contacting the Commission for issues related to human rights in 2019, our work has never been as important. We dedicated time and resources to make improvements to our IT infrastructure and modernize our case management system. These improvement efforts, to be carried out over several years, will ensure better service to Canadians.

The Commission continued to represent the public interest at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and in courts, and provided expert advice to lawmakers on new laws and Parliamentary studies that impact human rights, including those related to hate online and changes to solitary confinement.

We enthusiastically welcomed three new progressive federal laws that will contribute to the advancement of human rights in Canada. With the passage of these laws, Parliament expanded the mandate of the Commission and made us a central player in administering the Pay Equity Act, the Accessible Canada Act and the National Housing Strategy Act.

Pay inequality continues to exist for far too many women in Canada. We welcomed the appointment of the first Federal Pay Equity Commissioner to the Commission. In preparation for the Pay Equity Act coming into force, we engaged with several key stakeholders, pay equity experts, interest groups, and government and international representatives. In addition, the Pay Equity Commissioner participated in March 2019 in a panel discussion on measures taken by different countries to reduce the gender pay gap at the Equal Pay International Coalition forum.

The Accessible Canada Act, which came into force on June 21, 2019, aims to identify and remove barriers that prevent the full participation of persons with disabilities in society. During this fiscal year, the Commission created and implemented an Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement program to be administered under the leadership of the Accessibility Commissioner once appointed. The five organizations responsible for enforcing the Act also established a Council of Federal Accessibility Agencies, to direct federal accessibility complaints to the appropriate authority and to encourage the adoption of complementary policies and practices. Under the leadership of the Commission, this council aims to put people first to ensure that every complaint is sent quickly and easily to the appropriate organization. The Commission was also designated as the body responsible for overseeing the Government of Canada’s efforts to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In June 2019, Parliament also passed the National Housing Strategy Act, which applies a human rights-based approach to Government of Canada housing policies. The COVID 19 pandemic has amplified fundamental inequality issues, particularly in relation to the intersections of the rights to health, housing and life. Access to housing has become a central component of addressing this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. The appointment of a Federal Housing Advocate will provide communities with a much-needed mechanism to identify systemic housing barriers and seek remedies for responsive housing programs and policy innovation.

From the addition of these new mandates, to the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, there were many challenges in 2019–20. The Commission’s corporate services had to be more responsive than ever to ensure the smooth, ongoing operation of the organization.

Finally, in fiscal year 2019–20, the Commission completed its Horizontal Audit on Indigenous employment in the banking and financial sector and identified best practices for the recruitment, the promotion and the retention of Indigenous people in these sectors. This new horizontal audit model has proven to be an effective tool that the Commission will continue to use to promote the inclusion and equal participation of all members of the designated groups across Canada’s workforce.

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E.
Chief Commissioner


Results at a glance and operating context

Engaging the public

The Commission continued to be a national voice for human rights in Canada by using public platforms to promote equality and inclusion, raise awareness, and encourage national discussions of current and emerging human rights issues in Canada. At the same time, the Commission continued to foster policy expertise and provide input on priority human rights issues. Through public statements, speaking engagements, shadow reports, social media channels, panel discussions, media interviews, and various stakeholder meetings and conferences, the Commission reached a large number of audiences, including civil society, Indigenous organizations, Canadian employers, Parliament, national media and engaged citizens.

  • 59 events including training sessions, round table discussions, radio interviews, panel discussions, and conferences.
  • 25 meetings with representatives at different levels of government to discuss pieces of legislation and highlight the most pressing human rights issues.
  • Meetings with 29 different organizations and key stakeholders nationwide and internationally.

Representing the public interest

In 2019–20, the Commission continued to represent the public interest in many discrimination cases before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and courts that addressed priority human rights issues, including: equity of services for Indigenous peoples living in First Nations communities; human rights in the correctional system; the disproportionate impacts of solitary confinement on Indigenous and racialized inmates, women and transgender inmates, and those living with mental and physical disabilities; human rights around gender identity or expression; the issue of sexual harassment, particularly in male dominated work environments; and equitable access to services for people with disabilities.

Helping people find help

Each year, the Commission helps thousands of people find the most efficient way to address their human rights concerns or find information about their rights. In most cases, we are able to help people find the answers or solutions they need without them having to file a formal discrimination complaint with the Commission. This flexible, case-by-case approach requires the Commission to continuously review and improve its complaint process. Among the several enhancements introduced in 2019–20, the Commission finalized the criteria it uses to prioritize accepted complaints. This criteria identifies urgent cases based on the vulnerable circumstances of the complainant, the systemic nature of the complaint or the public policy aspect of the complaint. As a result, the Commission processed priority files 42% faster than non-priority complaints.

  • 32,000 people contacted the Commission to complain in 2019–20. Most were helped without needing to file a complaint.
  • 1,210 complaints were accepted by the Commission – the highest in a decade
  • The number of complaints citing disability, national or ethnic origin, race, colour, religion, and sex were the highest in a decade.

Employment equity gaps - Indigenous employment in the banking sector

In 2019–20, the Commission completed its first audit under the new horizontal audit approach that looks at systemic issues in specific employment sector. This first horizontal audit looked at systemic issues on Indigenous employment in the banking and financial sector. The Commission published a sector-wide report entitled: Horizontal Audit of Indigenous Employment in the Banking and Financial Sector. Building on the success of this first horizontal audit, the Commission continued using this approach and launched a second horizontal audit looking at the employment of persons with disabilities within the communication sector. The Commission also made preparations for the 2020–21 launch of a third horizontal audit, which will focus on the employment of racialized people in executive and management positions in the public service.

  • 28.6% of employers reported addressing none or just a few of the barriers identified in their employment equity plans.
  • 25.7% of employers identified Indigenous men for management or other succession planning positions, and 14.3% identified Indigenous women for similar roles.

New Human Rights Protections in Canada

In 2019–20, the Commission received new responsibilities under three new laws: the Pay Equity Act, the Accessible Canada Act and the National Housing Strategy Act. These laws will advance equality and human rights in Canada by proactively eliminating barriers, preventing discrimination, and identifying and addressing systemic human rights issues. To support these new mandates, the Commission began building the foundation needed to support the implementation of the new legislation.

The Commission laid the groundwork for the development of key tools and resources, such as the Pay Equity Plan Tool Kit, which will facilitate the work of small and medium enterprises in developing their pay equity plans, as they are required to do under the Pay Equity Act. These plans will help employers identify pay gaps between work done by men and work done by women. The legislation will ensure that these gaps are addressed so that work done by women is fairly compensated.

In order to ensure that all the organizations involved in administering the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) work together to support each other’s implementation efforts, the Commission worked with the organizations responsible for enforcing the ACA to establish the Council of Federal Accessibility Agencies. The first initiative of the Council was to ensure that regardless of where a person brings their complaint, they will be able to quickly and easily find their way to the right organization. Although a complaint cannot be filed until regulations are in place, a referral process has been designed in the interim. Consultations with stakeholders and people with lived experience will take place in the coming year.

1 The Canadian Transportation Agency; the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission; the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board; and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Office of the Federal Housing Advocate

Finally, the Commission took concrete action over the course of 2019–20 to establish the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate. Preparations included active recruitment for key internal positions, developing strategic priorities, identifying key stakeholders for consultation, and initiating studies to examine key human rights issues regarding housing in Canada.

For more information on the Commission’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core Responsibilities

Engagement and Advocacy

Description

Provide a national credible voice for equality in Canada – my Canada includes everyone; promote broadly human rights in Canada by raising public awareness of human rights issues; and engage civil society, governments, employers and the public in dialogue and action to affect human rights change.

Results

In 2019–20, the Commission continued to promote equality and inclusion by raising awareness, encouraging dialogue, engaging with civil society, providing advice to Parliamentarians on pressing and emerging issues, and reporting on Canada’s human rights progress. The Commission met with partner organizations and human rights stakeholders, domestically and internationally, to share knowledge and explore avenues of mutual collaboration toward the shared goal of promoting and protecting the rights of people living in vulnerable circumstances in Canada.

Through Parliamentary committee appearances before, and submissions to both the House of Commons and the Senate, the Commission provided advice to Parliament on various legislative initiatives and studies that the Government undertook in 2019–20. The Commission developed its advice in close collaboration with stakeholder groups and those with lived experience, and consistently applied a human rights lens across all legislative initiatives.

Throughout the year, the Commission worked to ensure that the first of our two priority issues — combatting hate and intolerance in Canada — remained on the national agenda. The Commission did this by using its research and policy analysis to inform a number of public statements and speeches. For example, the Commission appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the context of its study on online hate to advocate for a comprehensive strategy to address it. The Commission reiterated this call in its public discourse and speaking engagements, on its social media platforms, and in its 2019 Annual Report to Parliament.

The Commission’s second priority issue — improving access to economic, social and cultural rights for vulnerable people in Canada — was also at the centre of much of its engagement and advocacy work in 2019–20. Violations of economic, social and cultural rights in Canada are often linked to systemic discrimination. In recommending to the Government in 2018 that proactive legislation for women and people with disabilities should be applied with a human rights approach that removes barriers for these two groups to achieve full economic equality, the Commissions implementation of the Pay Equity Act and the Accessible Canada Act in 2019 takes us one step closer to realizing this goal.

In its international engagement and advocacy work, the Commission held the government to account on its record of implementation of its international human rights obligations. The Commission provided submissions in relation to four periodic reviews of Canada by United Nations mechanisms: the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and, the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In 2019–20, the Commission welcomed its official designation as the body responsible for monitoring the Government of Canada’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In the spirit of the driving theme of the CRPD, “nothing about us without us,” the Commission worked to develop a framework for monitoring Canada’s implementation of the CRPD in partnership with disability stakeholders and people with disabilities. In 2019–20, the Commission also provided a submission to and appeared before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in support of the Committee’s development of the List of Issues Prior to Reporting for Canada’s second periodic review. In advance of its appearance before the Committee, the Commission brought together a group of diverse disability advocates and groups to assist the Commission in developing its submissions to the UN Committee in the context of Canada’s upcoming review.

The Commission continued to represent the public interest at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and in courts. In addition, the Commission provided legal advice and training to Commissioners and all Commission staff on case law related to discrimination based on race, in alignment with worldwide and domestic attention on racial issues. Members of the legal team also provided testimony before the House of Commons and Senate Committees, along with the Chief Commissioner and other senior officials, in order to assist lawmakers in their deliberations of human rights bills and studies, including those related to online hate and changes to solitary confinement.

New human rights protections in Canada - In 2019–20, the Commission welcomed the adoption of several pieces of legislation that have the potential to expand protections in areas of economic and social rights, including pay equity, accessibility and the right to adequate housing.

Pay Equity - The Commission engaged with federally-regulated employers and employee representatives, gaining insight into the types of tools and resources that workplace parties will need to develop their pay equity plans. Conversations with pay equity experts and interest groups, in Canada and abroad, further highlighted the importance of pay equity in achieving gender equality in the workplace. These fora provided the Commission with the opportunity to speak about the important role that the new federal Pay Equity Act will play in achieving gender equality by ensuring equal pay for work of equal value.

Accessibility - Over the last year, the Commission focused its efforts primarily on building the foundation of its Accessibility program and engaging with other organizations with responsibilities under the newly passed Accessible Canada Act (ACA). The priority was to ensure that the implementation of this legislation includes the participation of people with disabilities and that it places their needs at the forefront. The Commission consulted on the first set of proposed regulations related to the technical requirements of the ACA and the administrative monetary penalty regime. The Commission contributed to several innovation labs to seek input from stakeholders, regulated entities and rights holders about what kinds of guidance and tools they need to better understand and implement the requirements of the legislation. In addition, the Commission participated in consultations, delivered presentations and provided policy advice on various accessibility issues or requirements, including presentations to the Commission’s staff and provincial human rights commissions.

Right to adequate housing - the Commission identified key stakeholders and established a network of key national and international opinion leaders on the right to housing, including persons with lived experience. In addition, the Commission established a working group with key federal departments to build working relationships, collaborate, mobilize support and ensure accountability. The Commission identified a number of pressing and emerging issues on the right to adequate housing and started working with key external stakeholders and researchers to coordinate this work. These early studies will assist the Federal Housing Advocate, once appointed, to make recommendations and monitor the implementation of the federal government’s housing policies and programs. These early studies will also help solidify the key principles of a human rights-based approach to housing.

Gender-based analysis plus

In all of its activities, the Commission ensured that it fully considered how multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination influence the lived experiences of the individuals the Commission serves.

Experimentation

In 2019–20, the Commission welcomed its expanded responsibilities and new programs. These new responsibilities are in relation to the Accessible Canada Act, the Pay Equity Act and the National Housing Strategy Act. Given this, the Commission did not plan for or conduct any experimentation activities under this core responsibility and focussed on establishing the expanded mandate.

Risk

The Commission identified as a risk that unanticipated and pressing human rights matters throughout the year might divert attention from its priorities. To mitigate this risk, dedicated resources were tasked with meeting project milestones outlined in the critical paths for its two priority issues. The Commission also used environmental scanning to identify proactively emerging issues to allow for more flexibility in its work plans, and to better anticipate and respond to emerging issues. These mitigation strategies served the Commission well in sustaining its attention on priority areas.

Results achieved

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results 2019–20 Actual results
Full compliance with the Paris Principles Maintain A-status accreditation as Canada’s national human rights institution A-status March 31, 2021 Yes Yes Yes
People in Canada are informed of their human rights and responsibilities # of Canadians who have been informed about the CHRA and the EEA 1.2 million March 31, 2020 1.35 million 1.8 million 1.82 million
Human Rights issues are part of public debate and the national agenda # of shadow reports, Statement to UN Bodies and mechanisms, foreign delegation visits 2 March 31, 2020 2 10 11
# of Parliamentary appearances 3 March 31, 2020 5 7 3

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
3,996,979 4,196,250 6,396,034 3,954,622 (241,628)

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
29 25 (4)

Canadian Human Rights Complaints

Description

Provide people in Canada with a mechanism to file human rights complaints and remedies to victims of discrimination; reduce instances of systemic discrimination; and represent the public interest in legal cases to advance human rights in Canada.

Results

Each year, the Commission helps thousands of people find a way to address their human rights concerns or find information about their rights. In 2019–20, the Commission continued to work on providing a simpler, more efficient and user-friendly complaints process that puts people first. We tailor our services to those who need our help, rather than asking them to adapt to the way we work.

In 2019–20, the Commission received a slight increase in the number of inquiries relative to 2018–19, and accepted 1,210 complaints, the most in the last 10 years and 33% higher than average over that time. The Commission refined the way it triaged complaints at the front end to handle the increased volume. It took an average of 65 days for the Commission to process and analyse a complaint from the date of first contact to the notification of an accepted complaint to the respondent.

Of the more than 1,200 complaints accepted, the Commission identified 168 complaints as a priority. Complaints are prioritized where the complainant is living in vulnerable circumstances, or the complaint reflects broader public policy, systemic or legally complex human rights issues. Prioritized complaints were processed 42% faster than non-priority complaints. Almost half of theses complaints were part of a large group of complaints that took more time to process due to the complexity and systemic nature of the complaints.

The Commission rendered 859 final decisions, over 300 of which were the result of a settlement between parties that the Commission mediated. On average, the Commission’s process time for a complaint was 9.5 months, from the moment parties were notified of a complaint to the point at which a report was submitted for a final decision by the Commission.

Despite efforts to improve the complaints process noted hereafter, the Commission was only able to achieve an “in/out ratio” of 1 to 0.81. That means that for every 10 complaints accepted, only 8 were completed in the same fiscal year.

The Commission worked on a number of projects to contribute to an efficient, sustainable and robust process. In 2019–20, the Commission improved its services to the public by:

  • leveraging stakeholder input to identify changes needed to the Commission’s Complaint Rules and to generate ideas on how to enhance the complaint process;
  • developing operational policies to make the complaint process more inclusive, more accessible, more accommodating, and more respectful for the people the Commission serves;
  • improving the clarity and transparency of communicating Commission decisions by implementing a ‘Record of Decision’ for all complaint decisions, which identifies the name(s) of the decision makers who considered the complaint; and
  • transitioning to fully electronic records of complaint files, and to electronic communication of all complaints related correspondence, where possible.

The Commission continued to build its capacity for ongoing performance improvements by developing service commitments and monitoring metrics for complaint processing, including weekly review of overall caseload changes and monthly review of prioritized complaints.

Experimentation

The Commission tested a new approach for race-based complaints. In October 2019, the Commission implemented a pilot project for race-based complaints to strengthen internal capacity to assess complaints of racial discrimination. The objective is to improve the Commission’s capacity to better identify the often subtle nature of race based discrimination to ensure that these kinds of complaints are considered with an increased awareness and mindfulness of the deeply embedded roots that systemic racism and racial bias have in our society.

As part of this pilot project, the Commission:

  • required all complaints services staff to participate in unconscious bias training;
  • developed legal criteria and guidelines to direct the assessment of race-based complaints;
  • engaged the services of an external expert in the field of race investigations to review the project and provide recommendation for further enhancements; and
  • conducted a stakeholder meeting with various experts and groups representing racialized people on what the Commission can do to ensure that human rights complaints filed by racialized complainants remain a viable tool to advance racial equality in Canada.

Risk

The Commission identified as a risk that even with the newly implemented innovation strategy, the Commission’s caseload may still remain high. To mitigate this risk, the Commission monitored trends in current complaints processing and continued to explore opportunities for innovative approaches to accelerate complaints processing.

Results achieved

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results 2019–20 Actual results
People in Canada, including those in vulnerable circumstances, have access to a human rights complaint system % of complaints concluded by the Commission 90% March 31, 2020 94% 94% 96%
Human rights complaints are resolved consistent with private/public interest Mediation settlement rate 55% March 31, 2020 65% 59% 64%
CHRC interventions influence law and support the advancement of human rights # of cases representing public interest before CHRT and the Courts 100 March 31, 2020 139 209 252

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
10,152,200 10,562,497 10,565,798 10,549,682 (12,815)

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
75 86 11

Employment Equity Audits

Description

Ensure employers’ compliance with employment equity statutory requirements; encourage employers to identify barriers to employment and implement best practices to eliminate gaps in the representation of women, visible minority groups, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.

Results

In 2019–20, the Commission implemented a new horizontal audit approach that will allow the Commission to focus on systemic issues in specific employment sector. This first horizontal audit looked at Indigenous employment in the banking and financial sector. Specifically, the audit examined this sector’s compliance with the Employment Equity Act (EEA), identified employment barriers faced by Indigenous people within the banking and financial sector, and gathered best practices to share with employers in the sector to assist them in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous people in their workforces.

A total of 36 institutions participated in the first phase of the audit which consisted of filling out an employment equity-related survey. Of the 36 institutions, the Commission selected 10 to participate in the second stage of the audit. This consisted of a full evaluation of their employment equity program. The audit was a success. The Commission presented the main findings of the audit in a sector-wide report entitled, Horizontal Audit of Indigenous Employment in the Banking and Financial Sector.

  • 34.3% of the employers have an Indigenous representative on their employment equity committee. Even less, 11.4% have an Indigenous representative from a management position on their employment equity committee.

Building on the success of this horizontal audit, the Commission decided to continue with this approach with a focus on the employment of people with disabilities in the communication sector.

According to the Canadian Census data, the availability rate of persons with disabilities has increased from 4.9% in 2011 to 9.1% in 2016. While the overall representation of people with disabilities in the communication sector has improved from 1.7% in 2011 to 3.3% in 2017, it is still well below the availability rate of 9.1%.

Given this context and in light of the national push towards accessibility for all, the Commission launched a second horizontal audit in 2019–20 looking at the employment of persons with disabilities within the communication sector. This audit will help the Commission identify common and systemic employment barriers that contribute to the underrepresentation of persons with disabilities in this sector. The audit will also help the Commission identify best practices to promote better integration and increased representation of persons with disabilities in the communications sector. More than 60 employers are participating in the audit. The Commission anticipates completing the audit by the end of March 2021 and publishing a sector-wide report by fall 2021.

The Commission continued to audit employers under its conventional audit process. In 2019–20, the Commission audited 10 new employers under its conventional approach.

In 2019–20, the Commission also started work on its third horizontal audit that will focus on the employment of racialized people in executive and management position in the public service. This audit will focus on departments and agencies with more than 500 employees.

Gender-based analysis plus

Each employment equity audit done by the Commission, especially horizontal audits, includes a gender-based lens to capture and better understand the experiences of women across designated groups. The employment equity survey, as well as the submission index that employers are obligated to fill out ask specific gender-related questions.

Experimentation

The Commission is still testing the feasibility of introducing scorecards to federally regulated employers across Canada on their workplace performance of ensuring equality across all four designated groups. Scorecards would demonstrate how industries and employers fare in terms of selected employment equity indicators such as workforce and salary distribution, representation rates, hiring rates, promotion rates and termination rates. The Commission is currently working with both Labour Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to obtain the most current employment equity data. Once we receive the data, the Commission will evaluate if such scorecards will be feasible and beneficial.

Risk

The potential risk that some employers would not support the new horizontal audit approach did not materialize. All employers that participated in the pilot audit were on board with the approach. The mitigation strategy of clear communication with employers and clear public messaging about the value of the Commission’s new audit model likely contributed to eliminating the risk.

Results achieved

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results 2019–20 Actual results
Employers meet their employment equity obligations % of recommendations implemented by employers within the negotiated timeframe. 50% March 31, 2020 n/a n/a 74%
Employers foster a work environment that promotes equality of opportunity for members of the four designated groups # of employment barriers identified as a result of an audit 60 March 31, 2020 251 242 217

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
1,284,610 1,328,017 4,294,678 2,180,247 852,230

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
11 16 5

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • Acquisition Management Services
  • Communications Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Legal Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Real Property Management Services

Results

The 2019–20 fiscal year brought about important challenges for the Commission’s internal services. New legislation requiring the implementation of proactive pay equity, accessibility and the right to adequate housing programs resulted in new responsibilities for the Commission and a significant increase in demand for all internal services. The teams responsible for the new mandates solicited assistance from all internal services. These included requests for human resources to support developing new organizational charts, job descriptions and launching various staffing processes. The work also entailed finding accommodation solutions for a growing number of employees while slowly moving to a GC Workplace environment. In addition, the new mandates brought a high demand for external information to the public. This included an entire reconstruction of the Commission’s external website to include the three new mandates, along with the development of other various communication products and strategies to support the new programs.

The Commission legal team also provided advice and expertise in support of the development of the new programs — accessibility, pay equity, and the right to adequate housing — as well as other priority areas such as systemic racism and discrimination, and the constitutional challenge of the Genetic Non Discrimination Act.

In addition, the Commission did a significant amount of work to improve its information management and information technology infrastructure and secured its platform for the development of a new Case Management System. It also initiated the development of phase I (initial triage) of the Pay Equity Tool.

The Commission’s internal services were in particular high demand at year-end, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and urgent measures were required to ensure the health and safety of staff, while maintaining the Commission’s overall operations and service to the public. The Commission took swift action to improve the ability of its employees to work remotely by improving its remote access solution, providing tools and equipment to employees to ensure they could continue to work remotely and supporting teams to move to a digital work environment.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
7,752,482 7,072,383 9,705,414 8,357,262 1,284,879

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
76 80 4

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Departmental Spending Graph - Text Version
Departmental Spending Graph in millions of $
  2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Statutory 2,446 2,412 2,437 2,777 2,777 2,777
Voted 19,235 20,495 20,276 19,382 19,382 19,382
Total 21,681 22,907 22,713 22,159 22,159 22,159

The actual spending of $25 million in 2019–20 increased by $2.3 million compared to actual spending of $22.7 million in 2018–19. The increase is attributable to spending related to additional authorities received throughout the course of 2019–20 to implement three new mandates in support of the Pay Equity Act, the Accessible Canada Act and the National Housing Strategy Act as well as to modernize the Commission’s case management system.

The planned spending for 2020–21 and 2021–22 includes funding received for the three new mandates mentioned above.

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2017–18 Actual spending (authorities used) 2018–19 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used)
Engagement and advocacy 3,996,979 4,196,250 7,032,255 6,753,143 6,396,034 4,710,337 3,891,880 3,954,622
Human Rights Complaints 10,152,200 10,562,497 11,495,921 10,683,454 10,565,798 9,035,218 10,343,569 10,549,682
Employment Equity Audits 1,284,610 1,328,017 - - 4,294,678 1,152,418 1,200,628 2,180,247
Proactive Compliance - - 5,296,249 7,912,368 - - - -
Subtotal 15,433,789 16,086,764 23,824,425 25,348,965 21,256,510 14,897,973 15,436,077 16,684,551
Internal Services 7,752,482 7,072,383 9,779,847 9,392,476 9,705,414 8,009,322 7,276,769 8,357,262
Total 23,186,271 23,159,147 33,604,272 34,741,441 30,961,924 22,907,295 22,712,846 25,041,813

2019–20 Budgetary actual gross spending summary (dollars)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20 Actual gross spending 2019–20 Actual gross spending for specified purpose accounts 2019–20 Actual revenues netted against expenditures 2019–20 Actual net spending (authorities used)
Engagement and advocacy 3,954,622 - - 3,954,622
Human Rights Complaints 10,549,682 - - 10,549,682
Employment Equity Audits 2,180,247 - - 2,180,247
Subtotal 16,684,551 - - 16,684,551
Internal Services 9,845,470 - 1,488,208 8,357,262
Total 26,530,021 - 1,488,208 25,041,813

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 Actual full time equivalents 2018–19 Actual full time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full time equivalents
Engagement and advocacy 30 24 29 25 38 38
Human Rights Complaints 71 86 75 86 85 85
Employment Equity Audits 10 9 11 16 - -
Proactive Compliance - - - - 36 51
Subtotal 111 119 115 127 159 174
Internal Services 69 82 76 80 97 97
Total 180 201 191 207 256 271

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Commission’s, organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–20.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Commission’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Commission’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020, are available on the Commission’s website.

Financial statements highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)

Financial information 2019–20 Planned results 2019–20 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2019–20 Planned results) Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2018–189 Actual results)
Total expenses 29,207,652 31,282,743 28,460,760 2,075,091 2,821,983
Total revenues 1,800,000 1,488,208 1,725,106 (311,792) (236,898)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 27,407,652 29,794,535 26,735,654 2,386,883 3,058,881

The total Commission’s expenses of $31.3 million in 2019–20 consist of program expenses for the Commission as well as expenses for providing internal support services to other small government departments and agencies. The Commission’s revenues of $1.5 million in 2019–20 resulted from respendable revenues for providing these internal support services related to finance, human resources, acquisition, administration and information technology services.

The increase of $3.1 million in the net cost of operations before government funding and transfers in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19 is mainly attributable to an increase of $2.8 million in total expenses as a result of new funding received for the Pay Equity Act, the Accessible Canada Act, and the Housing Strategy Act mandates and to modernize the Commission's Case Management System. This increase is largely explained by an increase in salaries and employee benefits and in professional and special services expenses to deliver these new mandates and develop the Case Management System.

This explanation also accounts for the increase of $2.4 million between the 2019–20 actual and planned net cost of operations before government funding and transfers.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)

Financial Information 2019–20 2018–19 Difference (2019–20 minus 2018–19)
Total net liabilities 5,747,964 5,947,090 (199,126)
Total net financial assets 3,840,000 4,264,754 (424,754)
Departmental net debt 1,907,964 1,682,336 225,628
Total non-financial assets 1,336,225 1,710,898 (374,673)
Departmental net financial position (571,739) 28,562 (600,301)

Total liabilities of $5.7 million consists of accounts payable and accrued liabilities and employee related liabilities. The decrease of $199 thousand is mainly attributable to a decrease in accrued liabilities and accounts payable as a result of COVID-19's impact on government deadlines and payment policies. Due to COVID-19, government departments, including CHRC, adopted an immediate payment policy in lieu of the 30-day payment policy in order to support suppliers during the pandemic resulting in significantly less payables at year end. Extensions in government deadlines at year end due to COVID-19 allowed for less accrued liabilities to be set up. This is offset by an increase in vacation pay and compensatory leaves due to the continuation of carry forward leave policies instated government wide as a result of pay system issues.

The total financial assets of $3.9 million consists of amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which represents amounts that may be disbursed without further charges to the Commission’s authorities, and accounts receivable. The decrease of $386 thousand is mainly attributable to the accrued liabilities and accounts payable impact discussed above.

The total non-financial assets of $1.3 million consists primarily of tangible capital assets. The decrease of $375 thousand is mainly attributable to annual depreciation offset by the acquisition of additional informatics software for the Case Management Software.

Additional information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P.
Institutional head: Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E.
Ministerial portfolio: Justice
Enabling instrument: Canadian Human Rights Act, Employment Equity Act, Accessible Canada Act and Pay Equity Act
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1977

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Commission’s website.

Reporting Framework

The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory

Reporting Framework - Text Version

This diagram represents the Departmental Results Framework. It reflects the Commission's core responsibilities, the expected results for each program and the indicators used to assess progress.

The left column (in blue), depicts the first responsibility of the Commission known as engagement and advocacy. This responsibility includes a number of activities to promote human rights and raise public awareness about human rights across the country. While being a national voice for human rights, and through its promotion program, the Commission engages in partnerships with various stakeholders to bring about human rights change.

The middle column (in green), presents another key responsibility of the Commission which is to provide people with a mechanism to file human rights complaints. To resolve complaints, the Commission can offer mediation services or refer cases before the human rights tribunal. Those services, that fall under the protection program of the Commission can facilitate access to justice for people facing discrimination.

Finally, the right column (in pink) covers the last responsibility of the Commission which is to audit employers to ensure that they meet their employment equity obligations. Through the audit program, and as required by the law, employers are expected to identify employment barriers and take measures to eliminate representation gaps for the designated groups namely, women, visible minority groups, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Commission’s website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Canadian Human Rights Commission
344 Slater Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1
Telephone: 613-995-1151
Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
TTY: 1-888-643-3304
Fax: 613-996-9661
http://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca
Twitter: @CdnHumanRights
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanadianHumanRightsCommission

 


Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3-year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.

departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.

departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full-time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.

result (résultat)
A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.