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Human rights

Public Services, Public Transport and Public Places : Area where discrimination is prohibited | CDPDJ

Public services, public transport and public places

Public services, public transport and public places

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Every person has a full and equal right to access public services, public transport and public places. This right is guaranteed under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window..

Therefore, discrimination and harassment are prohibited with respect to public services, public transport and public places. For example, a merchant cannot deny access to his store to a person with a service dog.

Public services, public transport and public places include:

  • Businesses, restaurants and hotels
  • Parks, camp sites and caravan sites
  • Schools and churches

Public services, public transport and public places do not include:

Federal institutions such as:

  • The federal public service
  • Banks
  • Telecommunications companies such as Radio-Canada (CBC) and TVA
  • Air, rail or sea transportation services such as Air Canada and Via Rail

These institutions are governed by the Canadian Human Rights Act This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window. and are under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Commission This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window..

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Please note: These answers are to be used for information purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice.

  1. I am 55 years old, and I enjoy going to bars. Can I be denied access to a bar because I am too old?

    No, denying access to a bar based on age is prohibited, unless the person has not reached the legal drinking age (18). To learn more… about Age as a ground of discrimination

  2. Can a restaurant deny us access because we are a family with young children and it's "a trendy bistro for young professionals"?

    No, that constitutes discrimination based on the parents' civil status and the age of the children, two grounds of discrimination prohibited by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. To learn more… about Civil Status as a ground of discrimination

  3. I am homeless. I sometimes have enough money to eat in a small neighbourhood restaurant. I always have to pay for my meal when I order, but other customers pay after they eat. When I asked the waitress why, she replied that it is because I am homeless. Am I a victim of discrimination?

    Yes, you should not be treated differently because you are homeless; it is contrary to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. To learn more… about Social Condition as a ground of discrimination

  4. I am a high-school student. I have attention deficit with hyperactivity. I could do well in school if I benefited from adaptive measures. Am I allowed to request an accommodation?

    Yes, your school has the obligation to accommodate you in order to provide you with conditions that will support your academic achievement. To learn more… about Disability as a ground of discrimination

  5. The owners of a camp site turned back a gay couple claiming it's geared for families. Are they allowed to do that?

    No. The Charter prohibits discrimination against a person or persons based on sexual orientation. In addition, no one can deny others access to public transport, or public places, including camp and trailer sites. To learn more… about Sexual Orientation as a ground of discrimination

  6. I am a young Black man and I drive my father's car. The police often stop me and ask who the car belongs to. They also ask to see my driver's license, registration certificate, insurance, etc. Yet, I have committed no offence. Is this racial profiling?

    Yes. The police, who are in a position of authority, are stopping without justification since you have not committed any offence. To learn more… about Race as a ground of discrimination

  7. Can a security officer ask me to leave a public place such as a restaurant or a shopping centre because I am breastfeeding my child?

    No, the Human Rights Tribunal has rendered a decision This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window. (in French only) confirming that "breastfeeding is not an act of exhibitionism; it is an act of nature intimately related to a woman's ability to give birth to a child". To learn more… about Sex as a ground of discrimination

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Do you think you are a victim of discrimination or harassment with respect to public services, public transport and public places?

Check whether you can file a complaint before the Commission by learning about:

The ground or grounds relevant to your case:

If your case involves: