Harper govt. attacks employment equity and affirmative action

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Unionist
Harper govt. attacks employment equity and affirmative action

Today's episode of: "The Harper majority government strikes again."

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/07/22/affirmative-action-review.html... affirmative action policy faces review[/url]

Quote:

The federal government has ordered a review of its affirmative action policy one day after a woman complained that she couldn't apply for a public service position because she's Caucasian.

Sara Landriault of Kemptville, Ont., told the media Wednesday that she applied online for an administrative assistant job with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and was asked by the online application if she was white, aboriginal or a visible minority. When she answered white, she said a message informed her she did not meet the criteria and could no longer proceed.

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day said no Canadian should be barred from a federal job because of race or ethnicity.

The gutless unprincipled cowardly opposition parties can't even keep up with their reading about the dismantling of Canada's social gains - let alone joining forces to crush Harper. He rules, unchallenged.

 

skdadl

Not that I'm into gossip or anything like that, but [URL=http://choiceforchildcare.blogspot.com/]Sara Landriault has a website,[/URL] and until quite recently, she was a campaigner for the right of stay-at-home mums to resist serious funding of public childcare. (Please don't ask me to explain the logic of that position, since there isn't one.)

She had a brief career at BnR. We didn't ban her -- she just kind of self-immolated and then went away.

Suddenly, she is not a stay-at-home mum at all. Well, you know, we're all entitled to change our minds, eh?

I'm sure that she is very much Stockwell Day's kind of person.

Unionist

Skdadl, I debated with myself as to which forum to open this thread in. Ostensibly, it's an attack on POC and immigrants and aboriginal people. But it's also an attack on women and people with disabilities. We need a new forum here - about people. Because even if we think we're divided and have varying interests, the neo-cons help us unite despite ourselves.

pogge

skdadl wrote:

Not that I'm into gossip or anything like that, but [URL=http://choiceforchildcare.blogspot.com/]Sara Landriault has a website,[/URL] and until quite recently, she was a campaigner for the right of stay-at-home mums to resist serious funding of public childcare.

I believe this story was originally broken by Brian Lilley in his new role as parliamentary correspondent for Sun Media. His [url=http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/07/20/14772661.html]first story on it[/url] described her as "a sometime family activist." Actually she's president of the National Family Childcare Association and likes to have [url=http://www.careofthechild.com/wp-content/2009/01/harpersara.jpg]her picture[/url] taken with Stephen Harper. I can't prove anything obviously but this story smells like a setup to me. Sun Media has always had a conservative orientation but in the short time since Kory Teneycke joined, it already seems much more ... activist in nature. Fox News North seems like an appropriate nickname.

skdadl

Unionist, from her blog portrait I might have said yes, aspirant at least, but when I click on pogge's second link, I think I'm looking at someone who is a cross between Sarah and Steve, equal parts in that weird smile.

Excuse me while I go to cut my hair.

Lachine Scot

Great. Just when you thought people of colour weren't excluded enough from government jobs..

Unionist

She looks a little like Sarah Palin. Is that on purpose?

 

Lachine Scot

Here is a good summary of the situation of racialized people in the federal workforce on the treasury board website:

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/tb_852/ecfps2-eng.asp

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

pogge wrote:

skdadl wrote:

Not that I'm into gossip or anything like that, but [URL=http://choiceforchildcare.blogspot.com/]Sara Landriault has a website,[/URL] and until quite recently, she was a campaigner for the right of stay-at-home mums to resist serious funding of public childcare.

I believe this story was originally broken by Brian Lilley in his new role as parliamentary correspondent for Sun Media. His [url=http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/07/20/14772661.html]first story on it[/url] described her as "a sometime family activist." Actually she's president of the National Family Childcare Association and likes to have [url=http://www.careofthechild.com/wp-content/2009/01/harpersara.jpg]her picture[/url] taken with Stephen Harper. I can't prove anything obviously but this story smells like a setup to me. Sun Media has always had a conservative orientation but in the short time since Kory Teneycke joined, it already seems much more ... activist in nature. Fox News North seems like an appropriate nickname.

This is the first step of the Fauxization of the already poor Sun Media. Lilley's articles are being printed as news when really they're hardly accurate enough to be categorized as opinion. He and the Canadian Tea Baggers will destroy the standards (already weak) of Canadian news.

milo204

One more example of how out of touch government is from the society.  No wonder the policies don't reflect our interests.

Marianne Flamynia

OMG That Sara looks or wants to look like Sarah Palin! She should go back to school and perhaps she will find a job instead of calling the medias about her misfortune.

mahmud

Milo204,

 

I would think the contrary. On this issue, the government is very in touch with society.

 

"The census issue has dogged the Conservatives over the summer. Groups ranging from business executives to doctors have taken the Tories to task for axing the mandatory long form in favour of a voluntary survey.

But Kenney said he doesn't expect the same blow-back over any changes to federal hiring practices.  

http://tinyurl.com/2bbueew

Kenney IS right. There won't be a "blow-back" over this topic.  We recall the court challenge program, the Status of Women funding: Other than some progressive pockets, business as usual.

junebug

Lachine Scot wrote:

Great. Just when you thought people of colour weren't excluded enough from government jobs..

 

There are all kinds of ethnicities working in government offices...at least here in Toronto anyway.  Perhaps not as much as in the more rural parts of the country - but wouldn't that be indicative of the ethnic make-up of local populations?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Nope.

Marianne Flamynia

@hunebug: Absolutely!

zazzo

Quote fron Unionist's link:

"When she answered white, she said a message informed her she did not meet the criteria and could no longer proceed."

I have never applied anywhere online, but this does not seem plausible. Was this a set up?  Why would anyone have an application posted like this on line?  It is just asking for trouble.

 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

That is because she is lying through her teeth.

Lachine Scot

junebug wrote:

There are all kinds of ethnicities working in government offices...at least here in Toronto anyway.  Perhaps not as much as in the more rural parts of the country - but wouldn't that be indicative of the ethnic make-up of local populations?

There are some, but much less than there should be even according to their proportion of the population.  From the Treasury Board Secretariat website I posted above :

T.B.S. wrote:

1 in 9 in Canada

1 in 17 among all employees in the federal public service

1 in 16 among men in the federal public service

1 in 17 among women in the federal public service

1 in 33 among management in the federal public service

It's not just a matter of walking into an office and saying "Ooh, there're some non-white people..seems like this place is doing OK.."  There is the matter of underrepresentation, barriers to advancement, exclusion from the workplace, being the "last hired, first fired", stuck in underqualified positions, etc.

Even if you happen to see a racialized person working in a management position, you might say "Ah, they are doing well for themselves, the system works.." but in fact mere presence does not tell the whole story.  They may be doing well or they may be facing the kind of systemic racism and barriers that have been well-documented by public service unions.

remind remind's picture

Did anyone else notice her,  Sara, quite clearly the wanna be Sarah Palin, spelling of the word 'colour'?

 

Quote:
What happened..... basically it came down to I was white, I could not get the job because I was white.

My answers were always the same,

The color of your skin or race should not stop you from applying or getting a job no matter what color or race you are.

It does seem that a few bloggers are calling me "little white princess" and "white middleclass" but for the most part people are sending me warm letters and letting me know that it is racism.

 

So did someone American write her stuff, as it is all just a ploy? Or is she just a poor speller?

 

From skdadl's link.....

remind remind's picture

Oh, and I forgot to say; she is not  "Conservative", eh, but yet she has had her picture taken with Harper, in the PMO even, something that would NEVER happen, unless you were part of the CONservative 'family', and a close one at that.

What an obvious liar she is.

Lachine Scot

Here some more good reading about employment equity in the PS, for anyone still harboring doubts...

 

http://www.psac-afpc.org/what/empequity/tb-report-2010-e.shtml

A Critical Analysis of the Annual Report on Employment Equity in the Federal Public Service 2008-09

Sentinel73

Marianne Flamynia wrote:

OMG That Sara looks or wants to look like Sarah Palin! She should go back to school and perhaps she will find a job instead of calling the medias about her misfortune.

 

If the job description said at the bottom..."open to whites...", what would be your reaction then?

When a white person, male or female, has their resume purposely overlooked or disregarded because of their color, it is racism just like it would be for someone else. If one is to say that every Canadian has the right to apply or work within the public service(or any job), then telling a white person they cannot apply because of their color, then every Canadian is not having that right are they?

I do not understand Canadians who do not see it this way.

Sentinel73

Sentinel73 wrote:

Marianne Flamynia wrote:

OMG That Sara looks or wants to look like Sarah Palin! She should go back to school and perhaps she will find a job instead of calling the medias about her misfortune.

 

If the job description said at the bottom..."open to whites...", what would be your reaction then?

When a white person, male or female, has their resume purposely overlooked or disregarded because of their color, it is racism just like it would be for someone else. If one is to say that every Canadian has the right to apply or work within the public service(or any job), then telling a white person they cannot apply because of their color, then every Canadian is not having that right are they?

I do not understand Canadians who do not see it this way.

Do not take me wrong, I believe everyone deserves a fair chance and I believe that there should be equal representation.

But it is also disturbing to be a born white Canadian male and hear or know about people being told "sorry, white anglo unilingual male..." Who would ever think in their own country, and that could be someone of a different race then me, could be told they don't qualify because of their color? Suppose, like I said in an earlier post, it was a job description excluding others?...wouldn't I expect the same reactions like a Sara Landriault or from people in her community?

Social engineering affirmative action quotas are racist. Employ people for their talent and education. I'm sure employers can have some kind of review process for choosing this interviewee over another etc...instead of a mass social racist BS.

mahmud

Sentinel73 wrote:
 

If the job description said at the bottom..."open to whites...", what would be your reaction then?

When a white person, male or female, has their resume purposely overlooked or disregarded because of their color, it is racism just like it would be for someone else. If one is to say that every Canadian has the right to apply or work within the public service(or any job), then telling a white person they cannot apply because of their color, then every Canadian is not having that right are they?

I do not understand Canadians who do not see it this way.

In your first scenario, it is racism.

In your second scenario, no it is not racism and it is not discrimination. It is redress, remedy to an established and proven societal phenomena of racism and discrimination. 

Lachine Scot

Sentinel73 wrote:

But it is also disturbing to be a born white Canadian male and hear or know about people being told "sorry, white anglo unilingual male..."

Has that ever actually happened?  The statistics seem to show quite the opposite.. white anglo men vastly overrepresented, especially in management positions.

I'm sorry if I have little patience for your kind of "what if.." situations.  Look at the statistics.  Read up a little about the exclusion of racialized people from many facets of Canadian life.  Every day in Canada, people of colour are not given an interview, passed up for a job, etc because of racism, plain and simple.

remind remind's picture

Oh poor white men, so hard done by...

...and did anyone else notice the way the most recent supporter of Harper's initiatives spelled 'colour'?

Sineed

The truth:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada wrote:
Job postings exclusively for aboriginals or visible minorities make up about one per cent of all jobs available.

So now that all FN reserves have clean water, everybody in Canada is housed and adequately fed, and there's daycare for anybody who needs it, the government can turn its attention to all the injustices perpetuated against white people.

Oh the humanity!

Croghan27

If one is to say that every Canadian has the right to apply or work within the public service(or any job), then telling a white person they cannot apply because of their color, then every Canadian is not having that right are they?

I cannot say anything about the Provincial Government, the feds, who I work for, will accept applications and seriously consider them from anyone. Being the federal government in a bilingual country there are often language imperatives that have to be satisfied, but still many, many monolingual people are hired.

As for affirmative action ... I fear I do not have a link to back this up, but any affirmative action plan I have seem includes the proviso that 'given that all other qualification are equal' the job, opportunity or whatever will go to the minority candidate, however that is defined .. frequently not by race or colour, but by disabilities.

I may have been overlooked for some jobs in the past .... but if they went to a FN person (for instance) given the social, economic and institutional barriers they have had to overcome to get there - they are welcome to the work.

remind remind's picture

Sentinel73 wrote:
When a white person, male or female, has their resume purposely overlooked or disregarded because of their color,

You have spelled 'colour' wrong, and this is not a spelling flame it is an indication of American post scripting.

Quote:
it is racism just like it would be for someone else.

No actually it is not.

Quote:
If one is to say that every Canadian has the right to apply or work within the public service(or any job), then telling a white person they cannot apply because of their color, then every Canadian is not having that right are they?

This is so mind boggling deficient in analysis, I am not even going to say anything other than; you again spelled colour wrong. Eve

Quote:
I do not understand Canadians who do not see it this way.

 

Again indicative that perhaps you are NOT Canadian.

Quote:
Do not take me wrong, I believe everyone deserves a fair chance and I believe that there should be equal representation.

Racist white Canadians make sure that there is NOT equal representation.

Quote:
 Who would ever think in their own country, and that could be someone of a different race then me, could be told they don't qualify because of their color?

x3 on spelling colour wrong, one would think at least once you would have spelled it correctly if Canadian. Also, that you think Canada belongs to white males is an issue.

Quote:
Social engineering affirmative action quotas are racist. Employ people for their talent and education. I'm sure employers can have some kind...instead of mass social racist BS.

Not they are not racist.

We already have mass social sexist and racist BS, we do not need to encourage it further by not insisting on equity hiring.

Lachine Scot

My partner, who is a person of colour and an immigrant, has been passed over for a white candidate dozens of times even in places with affirmative action policies and mostly white staffs.  I don't think this is a crisis for white people that needs parliamentary review just yet...

As for indicating that Sentinal is not Canadian, that may be, but I'm sure many Canadians share their views :(

remind remind's picture

Oh I am sure too Lachine Scot, that many many so called 'Canadians' share their views, right down to not acknowleging grandchildren because they are NOT white.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

This certainly smells like a set-up and I call bullshit on Sara's claims that she was asked if she was white. Like many federal civil service jobs, recruitment for opportunities with the Immigration and Refugee Board are handled by the Public Service Commission. Here is what they state re: employment equity under their FAQ:

3. I do not belong to an employment equity designated group. Will my chances of being selected for a job be reduced?

Not usually. However, from time to time, certain positions may be limited to applicants from members of employment equity-designated groups.

4. I belong to at least one employment equity-designated group. I am consequently concerned that my chances of being selected for a job may be reduced. Should I self-identify?

Self-identifying as being part of one or more employment equity group(s) is voluntary. However, for the reasons mentioned above, we strongly recommend that you self-identify for all the groups you belong to.

http://jobs-emplois.gc.ca/centres/faq-eng.htm#ee

That was my experience when I worked for the feds. There was always a part on the application form where you where given the option to self-identify as visible minority, Aboriginal, person with disability, women.

The Aboriginal Tax Officer Apprentice position that she refers to is obviously one of those exceptions where a program was created to target a specific minority group. In general, front line positions requiring interaction with certain kinds of clients will give preferential assessment if the applicant is better equipped to relate to the clients they serve. IOW there are more opportunities for Aboriginal applicants in INAC, or women at Status of Women, or PoC in many translator/interpreter positions.

Her link to the original admin assitant job on her website is no longer valid. The closest description I could find was from an employment agency that posted a temporary/contract job for a admin assistant (legal) at the Immigration and Refugee Board. There doesn't seem to be any specific employment equity requirement. And based on Sara's stay at home experience, I doubt she would have qualified or heard back from them:

While enthusiastic candidates are appreciated, only those being considered will be contacted

http://www.allottawajobs.com/jobs/2010-07-06/1094

milo204

i think the idea of affirmative action is usually just rejected by people who don't understand what racism is, the same people who think FN's have the same opportunities as the rest of us if they would just "move to the city and assimilate".  Do i feel discriminated against because the government (which should be democratic--representing all people) decides to include parts of the population who would otherwise be excluded? no!

 Even though AA has been around for awhile, we can see that these groups are still under represented in public institutions.

I think AA is fair as long as the hiring disparities are so out of wack.  If we get to the point where that is not the case and hiring is equal, pay is equal etc. then we can eliminate it and it would be unfair to keep it, but since this is so not the case i think the people who are complaining about it would do well to spend that time instead researching the reasons they were introduced in the first place.

Maysie Maysie's picture

This is such a charming story.

First of all, I don't know why the term "affirmative action" is being bandied about. The US has (had?) Affirmative Action as an official policy for a few miliseconds. Canada's program has always been called Employment Equity.

White folks, especially men, have squawked about EE since before it was put into place. As we can see from the stats listed at the end of the cbc.ca article linked to in the OP, they have nothing to fear. The revolution has yet to come to pass.

From the article:

Quote:
 As of March 2009, women made up 54.7 per cent of the federal workforce, aboriginal people made up 4.5 per cent, people with disabilities made up 5.9 per cent and visible minorities made up 9.8 per cent.

FYI, visible minorities make up approximately 17% of Canada's population.

junebug

Whether it's called "affirmative action" or "employment equity", how about just asking that our government make a conscious effort of hiring the most qualified person for the job; regardless of their ethnic background?

Yes, there will always be racist employers, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to try and legislate behaviour.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Holy crap. I lost a well thought out post that addressed junebug's concerns. What a piss off.

The short form is that nobody is forcing private businesses to hire minorities. We do not have any Affirmative Action policy in place (strict quotas). The civil service does practice Employment Equity but all that means is that if among a group of qualified applicants, should one or more have a minority status as self-identified, they have to be considered. It does not mean an automatic hire. I have never experienced any evidence of that while I worked there for five years. And I was on a hiring commitee.

The overall point is that these policies have nothing to do with legislating behaviours and more to do with redressing the human rights violations that have occured in the past. How anyone could condone a past status-quo that discriminated against PoC, Aboriginals, disabled persons and women is just beyond my comprehension.

writer writer's picture

How was slavery formally ended? How did women finally get the vote? When did status Indians get to vote? How are rules for the road established?

We are constantly legislating behaviour and rights.

As for the "best person" argument - it is truly tiresome, and is not appropriate on this site. Because, uh, funnily enough, the best person has disproportionately ended up being straight white TAB guys for quite a long time. And still to this day! Look at the make up of "our government" sitting in Parliament. Hardly representative, and hardly the most qualified.

Star Spangled C...

They're the "most qualified" in that the qualification to sit in Parliament is to receive the highest number of votes in their riding. If you don't like them, vote against them.

ygtbk

Many people (not all) are uncomfortable with an argument of the form "A discriminated against B. Therefore C should discriminate against D." Much of the discussion on this thread so far is people who accept this form of argument disagreeing with people who don't.

writer writer's picture

This is so much steaming crap. Who is arguing for a new kind of discrimination? And SSC, you seem to have no understanding about how candidates are selected, and which candidates tend to be chosen for "winnable" ridings, and why.

Also, FPTP is a corrupt, undemocratic system. It will always skew what the people actually vote for and against.

ygtbk

writer wrote:

This is so much steaming crap. Who is arguing for a new kind of discrimination? And SSC, you seem to have no understanding about how candidates are selected, and which candidates tend to be chosen for "winnable" ridings, and why.

Also, FPTP is a corrupt, undemocratic system. It will always skew what the people actually vote for and against.

Denying people jobs on the basis of race or sex is clearly discrimination, although some may argue that it's justified for historical reasons.

Lachine Scot

I find your use of the term "historical" inaccurate.  We're talking about workplaces that systematically shut out nonwhite people in the present day. 

To suggest that business as usual is somehow more "fair" is highly dubious, in my experience.  I have to admit that I find it a bit disappointing to have to argue about the merits of basic equity policies even on this progressive forum.

Star Spangled C...

writer wrote:

This is so much steaming crap. Who is arguing for a new kind of discrimination? And SSC, you seem to have no understanding about how candidates are selected, and which candidates tend to be chosen for "winnable" ridings, and why.

Also, FPTP is a corrupt, undemocratic system. It will always skew what the people actually vote for and against.

Well, I don't disagree with you on the problems with the FPTP system but that's what we have now. I wasn't defending every aspect of our electoral system. Merely pointing out that to say that the "most qualified" people don't get elected is disingenuous given that under the existing system "most qualified" is, by definition, the person who got the most votes.

And, your condescension aside, I actually DO know how candidates are selected (though it varies a little by party and circumstance).

And, look, I think the vast majority of people in Parliament today are fairly mediocre. There are a host of reasons why better people don't run. But the people are "qualified" by virtue of having been elected.

And I don't see an inherent value in Parliament (or a lot of other institutions) being more "representative" of the demographic make-up of society as a whole. The New Orleans Saints, Harvard University and Google are not particularly "representative" of society as a whole but each would be worse off if they were...

writer writer's picture

Quote:
Denying people jobs on the basis of race or sex is clearly discrimination, although some may argue that it's justified for historical reasons.

Some might. In fact they have, and still do, even in this thread. Sure, they pretty it up by going on and on about how white TAB men get the jobs all of the time because they are the ones who are most qualified, and any effort to rectify this astonishing privileging is itself discriminatory, blah blah blah blah blah.

What you have described is the status quo. And denying people jobs on the basis of race and sex is clearly discrimination. This is exactly why I support employment equity.

Those who argue against it seem to be arguing for the status quo, justifying the structual bias by using all the old reasons that have been trotted out for decades.

gadar

Minority groups and women face discrimination based on race and sex everyday. Employment equity just tries to remove that discrimination. I guess we should be more worried about the group that historically has always been at an advantage because of their race and sex and cry discrmination when their undue advantage is challenged.

ygtbk

writer wrote:

Some might. In fact they have, and still do, even in this thread. Sure, they pretty it up by going on and on about how white TAB men get the jobs all of the time because they are the ones who are most qualified, and any effort to rectify this astonishing privileging is itself discriminatory, blah blah blah blah blah.

So I'm sure I should know this, but could you please tell me what TAB stands for in that paragraph?

writer writer's picture

temporarily able-bodied

Quote:

What is “ableism?”

Ableism refers to discrimination, devaluation, misconceptions, stereotypes, and prejudice—conscious or unconscious—of and against people with disabilities, the chronically ill, and people with chronic health conditions. As a culturally-based structure that often intersects with other oppressive “isms,” systems of privilege, and “-phobias” (such as racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, white privilege, cisgendered privilege, class/economic privilege, and transphobia) ableism assumes that able-bodied people are the “norm” in society, and as a result, culture, various institutions, attitudes and social mores are formed in accordance with the needs of able-bodied people.

What is meant by the terms AB and TAB?

“AB” is an abbreviation for able-bodied; “TAB” is a slightly more to-the-point abbreviation meaning “Temporarily Able-Bodied.” TAB refers to the inevitable—namely, that most of us will face disability at some point in our lives; whether it comes sooner or later varies depending upon one’s circumstances.

http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/10/07/disability-101-defining-disability/

ygtbk

Thank-you. I hadn't seen that before.

ygtbk

So everyone here (including me) agrees that discrimination is bad. How about the following:

1) Race and sex (and probably some other characteristics) are prohibited, by statute, as grounds for hiring and promotion decisions, and employers and employment agencies are forbidden to even attempt to find these things out.

2) Resumes go through an anonymizer to weed out attempts to signal these things.

3) Enforcement is as tough as you can dream up.

Is this a good state of the world? Why or why not? 

gadar

ygtbk wrote:

So everyone here (including me) agrees that discrimination is bad. How about the following:

1) Race and sex (and probably some other characteristics) are prohibited, by statute, as grounds for hiring and promotion decisions, and employers and employment agencies are forbidden to even attempt to find these things out.

2) Resumes go through an anonymizer to weed out attempts to signal these things.

3) Enforcement is as tough as you can dream up.

Is this a good state of the world? Why or why not? 

Inspite of all that do you honestly believe that racism and sexism does not happen at the time of hiring. According to the stats quoted in this thread it is quite evident. Seems like you sincerely believe that white TABs (thanks writer) are generally better candidates for employment than others.

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