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Definitions & Scope



Discrimination is an on-going act of differential treatment directed towards an individual or individuals as a member of a group or towards a group. Discrimination often excludes an individual from a right or privilege to which he/she would otherwise be entitled or creates a disadvantage for that individual. Prohibited grounds of discrimination include: age, race, colour, appearance, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religious beliefs, source of income, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, gender, and sexual orientation.


Harassment includes any unwelcome behaviour or communication directed towards a person or members of an identifiable group that denies them their dignity and which is offensive and humiliating based on a prohibited ground of harassment.

Whether it is colleague to colleague, supervisor to subordinate, subordinate to supervisor, employee to student, student to employee, or student to student, harassment introduces a disruptive element into the College learning, living or working environment that endangers the well being and job performance or educational experience of the individual.

It is unacceptable, in the provision of educational and employment opportunities, related support services, or in any interaction with members of the public to harass an individual, individuals or groups.

Harassment occurs when:

  • the submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or of educational progress, and/or
  • the submission to or rejection of such conduct is used explicitly or implicitly for employment or assessment decisions affecting that individual employee or student and/or
  • such conduct has the effect of interfering with an employee's work performance or a student's educational experience, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational or living environment.

Examples of prohibited conduct include but are not limited to behaviour that is written, verbal, pictorial or electronically-generated such as name-calling, ethnic jokes, and stereotyping and racial slurs, actions which demean or humiliate another person and which deny individuals their dignity and respect.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is one form of discrimination. Sexual harassment is unwanted, non-reciprocal sexual attention, which may include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is threatening, coercive or causes discomfort. Sexual harassment is usually an expression of power or control that causes distress and creates a negative learning or working environment. Further, sexual harassment is behaviour of a sexual or seductive nature that may occur once or be repeatedly imposed on an individual.

Sexual harassment is discrimination on the basis of gender and is a contravention of the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.

Discrimination/sexual harassment may also include the public display of discriminatory or offensive materials including those electronically generated. Discriminatory materials will be considered to include those items, which contravene either: the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act and/or the Criminal Code of Canada, which makes it an offense to display obscene material or pictures.

Poisoned Environment

Poisoned Environment is the result of any on-going behaviour that creates an offensive, embarrassing, humiliating learning, or work environment that causes a person discomfort.

Harassment does not include the legitimate and respectful exercise of supervisory authority.

The behaviour does not need to be intentional to be considered harassment. The test is whether a reasonable person ought to have known that the behaviour was unwelcome.

The following terms included in the policy are defined below:

College community - refers to students, staff, visitors or anyone using college facilities.

Individual - the term individual may refer to an employee, a student or members of the public at large.

Complainant - an individual who alleges their rights as set out in the Individual Rights Policy have been violated.

Respondent - the person alleged to have engaged in discriminatory or harassing behaviour.

Reasonable Person - a person, of the same gender, or race, similarly situated.


This policy applies to all aspects of Keyano College's learning and working environment. It applies to all employees and to all students attending classes under the auspices of the College and to guests present on and/or using College facilities.

Individual Rights Advisory Committee

The role of the Committee will be:

  • to provide advice on policy and procedures for handling incidents of discrimination and/or harassment;
  • to examine educational material and programs and to provide advice and leadership as appropriate;
  • to develop and facilitate information sessions for members of the College community;
  • to compile reports and statistics on advisory services and education programs.

The committee itself shall not hear or consider the details of specific cases of harassment but rather shall deal with issues of policy and procedures.

The structure of the committee is dealt with in Appendix A.