Charter of Rights and Freedoms
15(2): Subsection [15(1)] does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Ontario Human Rights Code
14(1). A right under Part I is not infringed by the implementation of a special program designed to relieve hardship or economic disadvantage or to assist disadvantaged persons or groups to achieve or attempt to achieve equal opportunity or that is likely to contribute to the elimination of the infringement of rights under Part I.
2. A person may apply to the Commission for a designation of a program as a special program for the purposes of subsection (1).
3. Upon receipt of an application, the Commission may,
a. designate the program as a special program if, in its opinion, the program meets the requirements of subsection (1); or
b. designate the program as a special program on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection (1).
4. The Commission may, on its own initiative, inquire into one or more programs to determine whether the programs are special programs for the purposes of subsection (1).
5. At the conclusion of an inquiry under subsection (4), the Commission may designate as a special program any of the programs under inquiry if, in its opinion, the programs meet the requirements of subsection (1).
6. A designation under subsection (3) or (5) expires five years after the day it is issued or at such earlier time as may be specified by the Commission.
7. If an application for renewal of a designation of a program as a special program is made to the Commission before its expiry under subsection (6), the Commission may,
renew the designation if, in its opinion, the program continues to meet the requirements of subsection (1); or
renew the designation on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection (1).
8. In a proceeding,
a. evidence that a program has been designated as a special program under this section is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the program is a special program for the purposes of subsection (1); and
b. evidence that the Commission has considered and refused to designate a program as a special program under this section is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the program is not a special program for the purposes of subsection (1).
9. Subsections (2) to (8) do not apply to a program implemented by the Crown or an agency of the Crown.
10. For the purposes of a proceeding before the Tribunal, the Tribunal may make a finding that a program meets the requirements of a special program under subsection (1), even though the program has not been designated as a special program by the Commission under this section, subject to clause (8) (b).
Canadian Human Rights Act
16. (1) It is not a discriminatory practice for a person to adopt or carry out a special program, plan or arrangement designed to prevent disadvantages that are likely to be suffered by, or to eliminate or reduce disadvantages that are suffered by, any group of individuals when those disadvantages would be based on or related to the prohibited grounds of discrimination, by improving opportunities respecting goods, services, facilities, accommodation or employment in relation to that group.
(2) The Canadian Human Rights Commission, may
(a) make general recommendations concerning desirable objectives for special programs, plans or arrangements referred to in subsection (1); and
(b) on application, give such advice and assistance with respect to the adoption or carrying out of a special program, plan or arrangement referred to in subsection (1) as will serve to aid in the achievement of the objectives the program, plan or arrangement was designed to achieve.
(3) It is not a discriminatory practice to collect information relating to a prohibited ground of discrimination if the information is intended to be used in adopting or carrying out a special program, plan or arrangement under subsection (1).
Charte des droits et libertés de la personne du Québéc:
86. The object of an affirmative action program is to remedy the situation of persons belonging to groups discriminated against in employment, or in the sector of education or of health services and other services generally available to the public.
An affirmative action program is deemed non-discriminatory if it is established in conformity with the Charter.
An equal access employment program is deemed not to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, gender or ethnic origin if it is established in accordance with the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies.
An equal access to employment program established for a handicapped person within the meaning of the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (chapter E-20.1) is deemed to be non-discriminatory if it is established in conformity with the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies (chapter A-2.01).
87. Every affirmative action program must be approved by the Commission, unless it is imposed by order of a tribunal. <<NOTE THAT THIS SECTION IS NOT IN FORCE>>
The Commission shall, on request, lend assistance for the devising of an affirmative action program.
88. If, after investigation, the Commission confirms the existence of a situation involving discrimination referred to in section 86, it may propose the implementation of an affirmative action program within such time as it may fix.
Where its proposal has not been followed, the Commission may apply to a tribunal and, on proof of the existence of a situation contemplated in section 86, obtain, within the time fixed by the tribunal, an order to devise and implement a program. The program thus devised is filed with the tribunal which may, in accordance with the Charter, make the modifications it considers appropriate.
89. The Commission shall supervise the administration of the affirmative action programs. It may make investigations and require reports.
90. Where the Commission becomes aware that an affirmative action program has not been implemented within the allotted time or is not being complied with, it may, in the case of a program it has approved, withdraw its approval or, if it proposed implementation of the program, it may apply to a tribunal in accordance with the second paragraph of section 88.
91. A program contemplated in section 88 may be modified, postponed or cancelled if new facts warrant it.
If the Commission and the person required or having consented to implement the affirmative action program agree on its modification, postponement or cancellation, the agreement shall be evidenced in writing.
Failing agreement, either party may request the tribunal to which the commission has applied pursuant to the second paragraph of section 88 to decide whether the new facts warrant the modification,
All modifications must conform to the Charter.
92. The Government must require its departments and agencies whose personnel is appointed in accordance with the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1) to implement affirmative action programs within such time as it may fix.
Sections 87 to 91 do not apply to the programs contemplated in this section. The programs must, however, be the object of a consultation with the Commission before being implemented.
British Columbia Human Rights Code
42 (1) It is not discrimination or a contravention of this Code to plan, advertise, adopt or implement an employment equity program that
(a) has as its objective the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups who are disadvantaged because of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, physical or mental disability, or sex, and
(b) achieves or is reasonably likely to achieve that objective.