- Office of the Director of the CommissionAlberta Human Rights Commission
- Premier Rachel NotleyGovernment of Alberta
- Honourable Kathleen GanleyMinister of Justice and Solicitor General - Government of Alberta
END SIZEISM IN ALBERTA! #SIZEISMSUCKS
My name is Constance Levitsky, and I am an advocate for the Health at Every Size (HAES) Movement. I, along with the Canadian Obesity Network, want to see an end to size and physical appearance discrimination in Alberta today and I need your help. Please sign today so we can get size and physical appearance added as protected grounds in our Alberta Human Rights Code.
In April 2016, I was fired from my job at Addition Elle for using the word “fat” to refer to customers. I was told that, while it was okay to use euphemisms such as “curvy” or “shapely” to refer to the women who shop at the store, “fat” was an unacceptable word and insulting – even if the customer themselves was okay with it. The word “fat” isn’t our enemy. Size and physical appearance discrimination is.
I can’t remember a time in my life when there wasn’t someone who was concerned about the way I look. I grew up watching my female relatives hate their bodies and inherited the perception that fat meant ugly as I grew up. My teen years were spent dieting and loathing the way that I looked. As a young adult, I began to notice how my weight affected the way others saw me. Medical concerns were always blamed on my weight and the assumption was always that weight loss would rid me of depression. Doctors didn’t bother to realize that maybe the weight discrimination I experienced so many times was also a core reason for my depression. Go figure. Jobs were often denied to me for no discernible reason, but probing quickly revealed that my size often had a role.
In Alberta, human rights are protected by the Alberta Human Rights Act. Albertans are protected on thirteen grounds (race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, religious beliefs, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, sexual orientation, family status, and status of income) in five different areas (employment, tenancy, goods and services, publications and notices, and membership in trade unions). Unfortunately, appearance-based discrimination is not a protected ground under the Act. Adding appearance-based discrimination to the Alberta Human Rights Act is not just about protecting those who are fat. Protection against physical appearance discrimination means no one can lose their job or be denied housing because of body modifications, because of alopecia, scars, height, and many other differences that make us unique.
By adding your name to the petition to make size and physical appearance protected grounds in the Alberta Human Rights Act, you are sending a clear message to your community, the Alberta government, and the rest of the country that this type of discrimination should no longer be considered acceptable in our society.
Help us end size and physical appearance-based discrimination today. Sign and share the petition far and wide so we can add size and physical appearance to the Alberta Human Rights Act as a protected ground. Thank you!
This petition will be delivered to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Premier Rachel Notley, and the Honourable Kathleen Ganley, Ministry of Justice and the Solicitor General of Alberta.
- Alberta Human Rights Commission
Office of the Director of the Commission
- Government of Alberta
Premier Rachel Notley
- Minister of Justice and Solicitor General - Government of Alberta
Honourable Kathleen Ganley
We, the undersigned, are urging you to begin the process of adding appearance-based discrimination to the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Appearance-based discrimination is one of the last socially accepted forms of bullying and harassment in our society, and it needs to stop. This form of targeting affects everyone in all realms, including employment, housing, and healthcare, creating an inequality in our society that simply cannot be ignored.
It is the right of every individual to be apply to flourish and thrive in Alberta, regardless of their appearance.
We look forward to speaking with you on this urgent manner.
Constance Levitsky started this petition with a single signature, and now has 706 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.