2021 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement

CHRT File No. T2241/6317





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WHEREAS the parties hereto are engaged in litigation before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (Tribunal File No. T2241/6317);

AND WHEREAS the Complainant, Dr. Amir Attaran (“Complainant”) has, by complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”), and referred to the Tribunal, advanced a proceeding against the Respondent Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (“TIPS” or the “Respondent”) seeking personal and systemic remedies in respect of the actions taken by the Respondent in the administration of the Canadian Research Chairs program (the “Program”);

AND WHEREAS the Complainant and the Respondent (collectively “the Parties”), have agreed on terms of settlement whereby the complaint will be ended without any admission of liability or otherwise by the Respondent;

AND WHEREAS this settlement is executed pursuant to s. 48 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and may be interpreted with reference to the 2019 Addendum to the October 24, 2006 Settlement Agreement in Tribunal File No. T11118/9905 (the “2019 Addendum”, attached for convenience);


Consequences tied to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Requirements of the Canada Research Chairs Program

  1. The Program shall use an ‘enforcement by default’ approach when implementing consequences on institutions for not meeting its equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) requirements. The Program may, in extraordinary circumstances and/or events reasonably outside of the control of an institution, provide an extension to an institution for meeting its requirements for a period not to exceed twelve months.
  2. The Program shall monitor and enforce its equity targets at each of the staggered deadlines set by the Program (December 2022, December 2025, and December 2027), within the period leading up to the final deadline (December 2029) for meeting the population level targets as stipulated in the 2019 Addendum.  Where equity targets are not met at each of the staggered deadlines, institutions will be limited to submitting new nominations to the Program only in cases where the candidates self-identify as belonging to one or more of the four designated groups.
  3. Where institutions do not meet the final deadline for meeting their population-based equity targets as stipulated in the 2019 Addendum, the Program will reduce the number of chairs allocated to such institutions. By December 2023 the Program’s governance committees will establish and publish on its website the amount of the reduction and the period of time that the consequence for not meeting the final deadline will be applied.
  4. Where institutions do not meet the EDI Action Plan requirements by the final review stage of the peer review process for action plans to be finalized by May 28, 2021, the peer review decisions (and where applicable their associated funding for chair awards) for all nominations submitted to the Program shall be withheld, until those requirements are met.
  5. Institutions that do not meet public accountability and transparency requirements shall have the peer review decisions (and where applicable their associated funding for chair awards) for all nominations submitted to the Program withheld, until those requirements are met.

Public Accountability and Transparency

  1. The Program will publish on its website the specific consequences for failure to comply with its EDI requirements by July 4, 2021, other than where the deadline for publishing the details is December 2023 per paragraph 3 above.
  2. The Program will dedicate a page on its website to publicly identify institutions which have consequences imposed against them for noncompliance with the EDI requirements in paragraphs 2--5, and for what reason, in a manner that is aligned with the federal Privacy Act. The page will be updated within 60 days as consequences are enforced and/or lifted.
  3. The implementation of consequences will be formally audited as part of the program’s audit which is planned for 2022-2023. The audit of the report will be made public on the program’s website.

Particulars of the Settlement

  1. Upon approval of this settlement by the Commission pursuant to s. 48(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Complainant will agree to discontinue his complaint, and to its dismissal by the Tribunal. The Complainant and the Respondent understand that if the Commission approves this settlement, the Legal Services Division of the Commission will inform the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal of the approval and request that the Tribunal issue a notice of discontinuance of the complaint.  As a result, the Tribunal proceedings, Tribunal File No. T2241/6317, will be discontinued.
  2. The Complainant shall execute a Full and Final Release, in the form attached hereto, and shall deliver the same to the Respondents, through their lawyer, on or by March 30, 2021 or as soon as reasonably possible after the approval of the Commission in paragraph 9. 
  3. In the event of an alleged breach of this settlement, the Commission or the Complainant may enforce it pursuant to s. 48(3) of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Prior to any such effort, the Commission or Complainant must provide the Respondent with 60 days’ written notice to provide an opportunity for dialogue and/or correction, with the Respondent to communicate its follow-up within that interval.
  4. It is understood, agreed and declared that the Respondents, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the federal Government, and their representatives, public servants, employees, assigns, officers, officials, agents, predecessors and successors, do not admit any liability for any matter released by these Minutes of Settlement and the Full and Final Release;

Additional information

In 2021, the Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement outlined above was reached. The terms of the agreement are in line with the Program’s commitment to EDI and its program governance decisions of enforcement measures.

For more information, refer to the frequently asked questions and the 2019 addendum.