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Right to equality

You have the right to equality. This means that:

  • You cannot be excluded or treated differently from other people because of your personal characteristics - this is discrimination.
  • You do not have to accept any repetitive unwanted words or behaviour directed at your personal characteristics ‑ this is harassment.

The right to equality guaranteed by the Charter

This video (in French only) explains the right to equality guaranteed by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and introduces the prohibited grounds of discrimination. Note: Gender identity or gender expression is the last ground to be added to the Charter on June 10, 2016. It is not mentioned in this video, which was made before that date.
  • The 14 prohibited grounds for discrimination or harassment

    You are protected against discrimination and harassment that is based on these 14 personal characteristics. This is what ensures your right to equality.

    • Race
      It is a way of classifying humans according to physical or cultural criteria, without a scientific basis.

    • Colour
      It's the color of your skin.

    • Sex
      It is for example the fact of being a woman or a man. If you are discriminated against because you are a trans person, it is the reason "gender identity or expression".

    • Gender identity or gender expression
      It's the gender you identify with. For example, being a trans or non-binary person.

    • Pregnancy
      It's the fact of being pregnant and having a baby. This ground also includes everything related to pregnancy, such as health monitoring and maternity leave.

    • Sexual orientation
      It is the emotional or sexual attraction to someone. For example, being heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

    • Civil status
      It's your family status. It includes several situations, including being single, married, divorced or in a common-law relationship and whether or not you have children.

    • Age
      The law may provide for a minimum age for certain rights, without discrimination. For example, you must be at least 18 years old to vote or buy alcohol.

    • Religion
      This may include your religion or beliefs, as well as not having a religion.

    • Political convictions
      These are the political ideas with which you firmly believe and with which you identify.

    • Language
      It may be your mother tongue or another language you speak at home, at work or elsewhere. It may also be your accent.

    • Ethnic or national origin
      These are your cultural characteristics or nationality.

    • Social condition
      These may include your occupation, income (e.g., being registered in a social assistance program), education or homelessness.

    • Disability
      Disability includes a person's physical, mental or psychological limitations. It also includes ways to reduce its effects, such as using a wheelchair or using a guide dog.

    There is no hierarchy between the prohibited grounds of discrimination and harassment. This means that none of them is more important than the others.

Example of discrimination

Refusing to hire or rent a home to a single parent or someone who uses a wheelchair

Learn more

A victim of discrimination speaks out (French only)

Example of harassment

Jokingly insulting a colleague on a daily basis because of his accent or skin colour.

Learn more

A victim of harassment speaks out (French only)