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Alberta Human Rights Commission sees spike in calls during pandemic

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CALGARY -

The Alberta Human Rights Commission says it has been experiencing a significant increase in calls from the public, with many complaining about mandatory vaccination and masking rules.

On average, the commission says it is receiving 80 calls a day. That number is up compared to last year when the average was around 30 calls per day.

Deborah Mebude, policy and communication consultant for the commission, says the commission has received 200 COVID-19-related complaints since the start of the pandemic and more than half of those are related to mask wearing.

The number of calls has fluctuated throughout the pandemic, but the commission has seen a spike again in the last five weeks. It says approximately 60 per cent of recent callers have vaccine-related questions.

The exact number of complaints submitted about vaccines specifically is unknown, as they are still being processed, but the commission says not all complaints are accepted.

The commission confirms 'personal choice' is not a ground covered under the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Grounds covered under the act include race, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, and sexual orientation.

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