By world standards, Canada is a country that respects and protects its citizens' human rights. In 1977, Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Commission began its work one year later. The purpose of the Act is to ensure equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination in federal jurisdiction. The idea behind the Act is that people should not be placed at a disadvantage simply because of their age, sex, race or any other ground covered by the Act. That is discrimination and is against the law.

The rights and freedoms contained in the Charter include: freedom of expression: the right to a democratic government: Aboriginal peoples' rights: the right to equality, including the equality of men and women: the right to use either of Canada's official languages: and the protection of Canada's multicultural heritage.