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Complaint and Advocacy

When you feel that you have been treated unfairly, there may be a service that can help you to resolve your complaint. Each of the following services deals with a specific type of situation. Read the descriptions and visit the websites to see if the service is appropriate for you.


Suggested Resources

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court. The Service is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. A tenant or a landlord who has concerns related to an eviction, unpaid rent/utilities, security deposit, damages, repairs or other common disagreements can use the service.

Related legal topic(s): Landlord and tenant, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Alberta Resources

The Alberta Human Rights Act establishes the Alberta Human Rights Commission to carry out functions under the act.  The Commission is an independent commission created by the Government of Alberta, which reports to the Minister of Culture and Community Spirit. The Commission has a two-fold mandate: to foster equality and to reduce discrimination. It fulfills this mandate through public education and community initiatives, through the resolution and settlement of complaints of discrimination, and through human rights tribunal and court hearings.

Related legal topic(s): Human rights

The Alberta Mental Health Patient Advocate is an independent, provincial investigative body legislated under the Mental Health Act. The Patient Advocate protects the rights of persons and investigates and resolves complaints related to the detention, treatment, care and rights of individuals subject to admission or renewal certificate/s or a community treatment order under the Act, and those acting on their behalf. The office also serves as a resource to the mental health community through education services and to policy and law makers by bringing a unique perspective

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Disabilities, Health issues, Human rights, Public policy

The Alberta Ombudsman investigates written complaints from individuals who feel they have been treated unfairly by an administrative decision, act, omission or recommendation of an Alberta government department, board, agency or commission and professional organizations. The Office of the Alberta Ombudsman is the recognized leader for independent investigation, promotion and support of administrative fairness.

Related legal topic(s): Administrative law, Advocacy

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is a quasi-judicial independent agency established by the Government of Alberta to regulate investor-owned natural gas, electric, and water utilities and certain municipally owned electric utilities to ensure that customers receive safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates. The AUC’s Utilities Complaints telephone line is for customers who have been unable to resolve a dispute with the natural gas, electricity or water utility provider or Albertan's who have questions or concerns about utility services in general.

Related legal topic(s): Consumer protection and fraud

The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that has been in operation since 2002 providing dispute resolution services for conflicts between complainants and their insurers in the areas of home, auto and business insurance. GIO’s neutral and professional mediators and experienced Information Officers help complainants and insurance companies work toward a solution that is in the best interests of both parties in a fair, independent and impartial environment. (PDF - 2 pages)

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Business, Consumer protection and fraud, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The mission of the Centre is to work with others to empower people to move from poverty to prosperity. They enable people to meet their own basic daily needs, participate in community, have sustainable livelihoods, feel hope for the future and make plans for a prosperous life. The Centre offers a variety of programs which include victims services and advocacy.

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Homelessness, Poverty, Victim support and victim rights

The Calgary Chinese Community Service Association is an ethnocultural community service agency. CCSA offers four core programs: Children and Youth, Integration and Civic Engagement (ICE), Health Program, and Legal Program. Their Law and Advocacy Program is funded by the Alberta Law Foundation and provides a range of services including: basic legal information and referrals, Commissioner for Oaths and Notary, a free legal outreach clinic and will and estate documents drafting services.

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Citizenship and nationality, Legal services, Multiculturalism, Wills and estates

This website section of Alberta Human Services deals with the protection of children from neglect and abuse. Topics include: What is Child Abuse? How Can I Help? What happens when I call? The Law; Special Case Reviews; Publications (child welfare fact sheets).

Related legal topic(s): Child abuse

The legislative mandate of the Child and Youth Advocate is set out in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (Enhancement Act). The Child and Youth Advocate provides advocacy for young people already served under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (Enhancement Act) and the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA)

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Child abuse, Family violence general resources

The Law Society of Alberta provides a process to resolve complaints regarding a lawyer’s ethical conduct. This service is available to clients, judges, lawyers, financial institutions, business creditors, the general public and through internal referrals by the Executive Director of the Law Society of Alberta. The complaints process is initiated when a lawyer’s actions may have breached the Code of Professional Conduct that governs how lawyers are to conduct themselves in their practice. Visit this website to read Complaint and Inquiry Guidelines.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal process

The Better Business Bureau of Central & Northern Alberta offers a dispute resolution service to consumers and businesses that has a two-fold goal: Helping the consumer with a marketplace problem. Helping legitimate businesses correct or remove by voluntary action the source and cause of the complaint.

Related legal topic(s): Business, Consumer protection and fraud

Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and mistakes happen: your BBB’s Dispute Settlement Centre is available to help consumers and businesses resolve marketplace quarrels  when they arise. Your BBB assists companies to resolve disputes by providing mediation and arbitration services.  Unique to this BBB is our ability to provide both in-house resolution services to companies and outsource the management of dispute resolution programs for  a select group of clients, such as acting as the Arbitration Administrator for the Jurisdictional Assignment Plan of the Alberta Construction Industry.

Related legal topic(s): Business, Consumer protection and fraud

Employment Standards staff administer and enforce the Employment Standards Code, which establishes minimum standards of employment for employers and employees in the workplace.This site contains information on the minimum standards of employment for employers and employees, including payment of earnings, minimum wage, hours of work and rest periods, overtime and overtime pay, vacations and vacation pay, general holidays and holiday pay, maternity and parental leave and termination of employment. There is also a section for filing a complaint.

Related legal topic(s): Workers' rights and employment standards

This service is offered by Alberta Environment. If you witness or have information about a potential environmental emergency or a complaint, contact 1-800-222-6514. This is a 24-hour emergency line and your anonymity is guaranteed.

Related legal topic(s): Environmental protection and conservation

The Farmers Advocate Office works to ensure rural Albertans have consumer protection, rural opportunities and fair process. We administer the Farm Implement Act that provides consumer protection through warranty, parts availability and licensing provisions, including inspection to assist in FIB proceedings. Rural opportunity is realized through assisting landowners with managing their land asset, mitigating business risk and maximizing future economic opportunity as it relates to interaction with the energy industry. Fair process is facilitated through the development and implementation of peer oriented appeal processes.

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Farm law

This site contains a variety of information pertaining to the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, the Health Information Act (HIA), the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), the Access to Motor Vehicle Information Regulation (AMVIR) and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). The site also provides access to Commissioner’s Orders, Investigation Reports and other publications from the Office. The "Contact Us" section offers information about how to initiate a review or investigation under any of these Acts.

Related legal topic(s): Freedom of information, Privacy

This online resource from Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security explains the process for making a complaint about police services and the conduct of police officers in the various types of police services operating in Alberta.

Related legal topic(s): Police

The Public Interest Law Clinic (PLIC) at the University of Calgary facilitates access to justice, supports litigation on public interest legal issues, and advocates for law reform. The Public Interest Law Clinic is a legal clinic at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, created to advocate for systemic change that values and advances the well-being of the public and the environment. Second and third year law students who are taking the PILC clinical course (co-taught by the Executive Director and a law professor) provide services to the PILC’s clients. A practicing lawyer, who is licensed and insured by the Law Society of Alberta, supervises the clinic students.

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Environmental protection and conservation

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for the regulation of the real estate industry. The real estate industry consists of several sectors - residential, commercial, property management, business brokerage and mortgage brokerage. RECA is mandated to protect consumers, and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry members. RECA deals with complaints against industry members within its jurisdiction.

Related legal topic(s): Real estate and home ownership

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