Citizenship, Rights and Law Enforcement


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
Type: Federal

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is Canada's largest independent administrative tribunal. It is responsible for resolving immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law. The IRB decides who needs refugee protection among the thousands of claimants who come to Canada annually.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the IRB is made up of four tribunals, which are designated as "divisions":

  • Refugee Protection Division: The Refugee Protection Division decides claims for refugee protection made in Canada
  • Refugee Appeal Division: The Refugee Appeal Division considers appeals against certain decisions of the Refugee Protection Division to allow or reject claims for refugee protection
  • Immigration Division: conducts immigration admissibility hearings for certain categories of people believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from, Canada under the law and conducts detention reviews for those being detained by the Canada Border Services Agency under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Immigration Appeal Division: hears appeals of sponsorship applications refused by officials of Citizenship and Immigration Canada; appeals from certain removal orders made against permanent residents, refugees and other protected persons, and holders of permanent resident visas; and appeals by permanent residents who have been found outside of Canada not to have fulfilled their residency obligation; and appeals by the Canada Border Services Agency from decisions of the Immigration Division at admissibility hearings
Address: Minto Place, Canada Building 344 Slater Street, 12th Floor Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0K1
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Type: Federal

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the flow of legitimate travellers and trade. The agency also enforces more than 100 acts and regulations that keep our country and Canadians safe.

The CBSA is responsible for carrying out enforcement functions related to immigration and refugee matters, including: 

  • detention, 
  • removals, 
  • investigations, and 
  • intelligence and immigration control functions overseas.
Telephone: 1-800-461-9999

Rights & Law

BC Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT)
Type: Vancouver Coastal

The CRT is an independent, quasi-judicial online tribunal that is different from the traditional courtroom model. It offers an accessible, affordable way to resolve many types of civil law disputes without needing a lawyer or attending court. It offers an online dispute resolution process and provides detailed legal information and self-help tools.

The CRT can deal with issues like:

  • Vehicle accidents:  Entitlement to benefits, and fault damages and/or minor injury determination if you were in a vehicle accident
  • Small claims: Claims up to $5,000 about things you bought or sold, loans, personal property, contracts, roommates, pets and more.
  • Strata: Strata bylaws, councils, governance, maintenance and damage, nuisance and more. 
  • Societies and cooperatives: BC societies, and housing and community cooperative associations.
Telephone: 1-844-322-2292
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT)
Type: Vancouver Coastal

The BC Human Rights Tribunal is responsible for dealing with human rights complaints made under the BC Human Rights Code. The tribunal is where you can make a complaint that someone has discriminated against you under the Code.

  • Complaints about discrimination on a protected trait in employment, housing, publications and services (like stores or schools)
  • Responsible for accepting, screening, mediating, and adjudicating human rights complaints.
  • The BCHRT’s complaint process allows parties to a complaint the opportunity to try to resolve the complaint through mediation
  • If the parties do not resolve a complaint and the complaint is not dismissed, the Tribunal will hold a hearing
Telephone: 604-775-2000
Fax: 604-775-2020
Address: 1270 - 605 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
Type: Federal

People who come to the Commission are able to file complaints under two acts – the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Accessible Canada Act.

If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment, you may be able to file a human rights complaint with the Commission. 

The Canadian Human Rights Act protects people in Canada from discrimination when they are employed by or receive services from the federal government, First Nations governments or private companies that are regulated by the federal government such as banks, trucking companies, broadcasters and telecommunications companies.

If you have suffered harm because of a >federally regulated organization’s accessibility plans, feedback processes and progress reports, you may be able to file a complaint with the Accessibility Commissioner.

Telephone: 613-995-1151
Fax: 613-996-9661
Address: 344 Slater Street, 8th Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT)
Type: Federal

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decides whether a person or organization has engaged in a discriminatory practice as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Complaints of discrimination referred to the CHRT by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The Tribunal‘s role is much like that of a court. It hears evidence and witnesses about complaints of discrimination; decides whether discrimination has occurred; and, if so, determines an appropriate remedy.

The Tribunal can only hear complaints of discrimination filed against federally regulated employers and service providers.

If a party involved does not agree with the Tribunal’s decision, they may ask the Federal Court to review the decision, set it aside, and refer the case back for redetermination

Telephone: 613-995-1707
Fax: 613-995-3484
Address: 240 Sparks Street, 4th Floor West Ottawa, ON K1A 0X8
Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC)
Type: Federal

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada provides advice and information for individuals about protecting personal information. They also enforce two federal privacy laws that set out the rules for how federal government institutions and certain businesses must handle personal information.

  • Oversees compliance with the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • Helps individuals and organizations identify, address and report concerns related to possible mishandling of personal information
  • investigates complaints, conducts audits, pursues court action, and publicly report on the personal information-handling practices of public and private organizations
Telephone: 819-994-5444
Fax: 819-994-6591
Address: 30, Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)
Type: Federal

The Access to Information Act (the Act)gives Canadians the right to request information from federal institutions. If you submitted a request for information to a federal institution under the Act and you are not satisfied with how it was processed, you may file a complaint with the OIC.

  • assists individuals and organizations who believe that federal institutions have not respected their rights under the Act
  • provides arms-length oversight of the federal government’s access to information practices and encourages them to adopt approaches to information-sharing that meet the objectives of the Act.
  • carries out investigations and dispute-resolution efforts to resolve complaints, represents the commissioner in court cases and provides legal advice
Telephone: 1-800-267-0441
Fax: 819-994-1768
Address: 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, QC K1A 1H3
Elections Canada
Type: Federal

Elections Canada is an independent, non-partisan agency headed by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, who reports directly to Parliament. The agency has to be prepared at all times to conduct a federal general election, by-election or referendum, administer the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act, monitor compliance and enforce electoral legislation.

  • conducts a federal general election, by-election or referendum, administers the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act, monitors compliance and enforces electoral legislation.
  • conducts voter education and information programs
  • handles complaints about how elections are run, an election official or another general matter.
Telephone: 1-800-463-6868
Fax: 1-613-954-8584
Address: 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Elections BC
Type: Vancouver Coastal

Elections BC administers provincial general elections, by-elections, recall petitions, initiative petitions, initiative votes, referenda and plebiscites, and oversees campaign financing and advertising rules at the local level.

Under the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, and Recall and Initiative Act, the Chief Electoral Officer may conduct investigations of any matter that might contravene these Acts or their regulations.

The Election Act establishes administrative monetary penalties for some cases of non-compliance with the Act. The Chief Electoral Officer has the authority to determine the amount of the penalty within ranges established by the Act.

Telephone: 1-800-661-8683
Address: PO Box 9275 Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9J6