welcome to the psaee

The PSAEE is here for citizens of colour to assist them in raising concern over their treatment in the public service hiring process. We conduct research and raise concern about systemic issues in the hiring processes of the public service. The organization assists Canadian citizens in challenging hiring decisions against their candidacies in any internal or external public service competition where there arises reasonable concern over unfairness, discrimination, or administrative error. We say no to hiring discrimination - join us.

Indirect discrimination is unlawful, and this exists when an employer applies a policy to their workplace that affects everyone equally, but it has a disparate impact on a greater proportion of people of one group with a protected characteristic than another, and there is no good business justification for that practice.

For the PSAEE, the persistent lack of citizens of colour in socially significant roles in the public service is not an effect which can be explained by looking at the individual candidate.


The PSAEE is working to identify and eliminate the administrative barriers in the hiring process which prevent citizens of colour from gaining employment in the public sector. It is a key strategic priority for the PSAEE to ensure that greater numbers of citizens of colour gain employment in socially significant roles within the public service in order to facilitate the development of a functionally representative public service for a future Canada - a public service which can faithfully recognize, understand, and serve the interests of all Canadians. Towards this end we are the first non-profit organization in Canada prioritizing focus on citizens of colour and the challenges they encounter in the stages of the public service hiring process. We offer specialized programs designed to remove barriers for citizens of colour so that they are able to secure work in any area of their training and interest in the public sector.


visible minority citizens with university credentials are not able to gain employment in the public service

​There are many visible minority citizens who possess Canadian education credentials who are unable - despite their training, knowledge, and skills - to secure meaningful employment in the Canadian government.

Visible minority citizens - like all other citizens - readily qualify for government-issued student loans to pursue an education. They are more and more so - like other citizens - accepted into and graduate from Canadian universities - but when it comes to readily accepting them in the public sector - barriers become apparent. When it comes to offering employment opportunities in public office - particularly in socially significant roles (roles other than clerical/technical/industrial roles) - there are administrative barriers introduced. 

There are many reasons why graduates would want to work in the public sector. There are, for example, programs which forgive outstanding student loan debt at a rate of one third per year for graduates if they work for the service for three years (read about the Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness program, as an example). Visible minority graduates often do not qualify for those programs because they face barriers to employment in the public service. Systems of debt removal do not work for citizens of colour. Also, in many cases if you work in the public service, your education tuition (i.e. Bachelor's, Master's, PhD's) is paid for in full or in some partial form by the public service. Visible minority citizens tend not to qualify for such settings because they face barriers in the hiring process.


University students whose credentials are not given appropriate weight are encouraged to contact us. We want to hear the barriers you face and we prioritize the concerns of persons of colour.  If the government can readily offer student loans, it should also have processes which readily recognize graduates with the least amount of administrative barriers. These are discussions which must take place.

The PSAEE encourages any student or recent graduate to contact us if they are facing barriers. 

Challenging Hiring processes Of the Public Service which tend to "Screen Out" Rather than "Bring In" citizens of colour

Any Canadian citizen of colour who is rejected in a public service competition and comes to hold a reasonable concern over discrimination, fairness, or error in the hiring process is encouraged to write to us. It would be important for you to maintain detailed notes of everything (dates, times, persons, communications, job poster, reasons provided, etc). Our office is fully aware of the complex challenges that Canadian citizens of colour face in proving discrimination. When you explain the circumstance to us, we will know immediately. We are here to help. We are not a legal clinic. If you find yourself out of options, and have a mind to challenge discriminatory treatment, come to us - this is why we are here.


Who is the rejected candidate and why? The PSAEE examines hiring patterns closely to identify systemic issues in pubic service hiring processes and practices.

The Rejected Candidates (TRC's)

The path to a functionally-representative public service is to be paved by the unduly rejected candidates - that is, by the citizens who are most directly impacted by discriminatory hiring processes in the public service. No other social entity within Canada - whether organization or individual - can more faithfully voice concern over the hiring processes than the rejected candidates.

The PSAEE considers that qualified citizens of colour - particularly those who hold degrees from Canadian universities - must be able to readily secure work roles in the public service in absolutely whichever area their free interest may lie. On this matter, however, the problem has been that citizens of colour in Canada are not being allowed by the public service hiring processes to obtain employment in the areas of their interest. The PSAEE is fully aware and well versed with the challenges which are being faced by citizens of colour.

The presently adopted hiring processes of the public service utilize definitions,  systems of processing, and methods of evaluation which disproportionately affect citizens of colour. Despite the range of initiatives taken by the government, the hiring processes of the public service have persistently yielded patterned hiring outcomes which strongly indicate preference for race, particularly in select departments and offices. To bring change to these processes will require special attention.

Shifting focus from the self (1900-2020) to the Public Service hiring processes (2021-Future)



moving towards reaching Judicial maturity for the advancement of employment equity


(identifiable social group of citizens)





As a person:

The PSAEE helps citizens formalize their concerns for a fee (under $50). This process is very important because until citizens merely "think" that they were discriminated, nothing concrete will happen to alter the dynamics. It is necessary to formalize your concerns and your treatment on paper. The PSAEE gathers information to understanding your relative treatment and we will do all the writing work needed for you where we come to believe that the concerns being brought are reasonable based upon a review of the circumstances. We will help you find the lawyers. We will facilitate the process. Even if you do not want to submit a formal complaint or take the matter before court, it is important to make formal records of everything. This creates a record of your history of attempts and treatment.

As a class:

When numerous persons come forth to formalize their concerns and it starts to become apparent that the same issues affect the concerned persons, considerations of class treatment are necessary to engage. With a larger number of cases sharing likeness, it becomes possible to identify and measure the broader patterns and effects produced by the hiring processes. These effects, because they are measured by the aggregation of individual experience, extend beyond the level of the citizen - becoming relevant for an entire identifiable social class. Such a class, when it has a clear, distinguishing definition and when members of such a class have a common issue of facts, a different kind of an approach becomes required. 

Our organization is willing to make arguments which nobody has been willing or able to do. Any pro-bono lawyers or lawyers willing to offer their services at a reduced fee are welcome to write to our organization. We want lawyers who are willing to make the necessary arguments in superior clarity. 

Featured Case

Systemic Discrimination In Employment

CN v. Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission), 1987 CanLII 109 (SCC), [1987] 1 SCR 1114

Civil rights — Discrimination — Employment — Systemic discrimination against an identifiable group — Human Rights Tribunal imposing employment equity program on employer — Tribunal's order setting employment goal and fixing hiring quota — Whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to make such order — Canadian Human Rights Act, S.C. 1976-77, c. 33, ss. 2, 15(1),41(2)(a).

Read the full case here.


Setting a criteria of merit which does not privilege race in any ministry, department, or office of government 

A country that is in a progressive phase tends to have different rhythms of social progress than a country which is not. Not all countries are able to move towards such periods, because entering a progressive phase requires specific prerequisites to be met  - of which the most critical prerequisite is the calming of a nation's own internal affairs which, in turn, is not possible without the embrace of two virtues: acceptance and adaptability.

If Canada hopes to move expeditiously towards a progressive order, it must accept, first, its full identity without reservation. This it must do at a very minimum if it wishes to touch new horizons of development and progress as a nation. Simultaneously, it must also be able to adapt its institutions and processes to align with this acceptance. Canada, however, has not yet accepted its full identity and the turbulence of its internal affairs has served to disrupt the momentum and stability required for entry into a progressive phase.

So long as the distribution of socially significant posts and seniorities within the Canadian public service remains organized along racial or ethnic lines - whether in actuality, in appearance, or both - Canada's racial turmoil will remain a strongly buoyant internal issue weighing down upon its potential success. Canada must move to remove the domestic constraints placed upon its own citizenry through its administrative mechanisms which presently serve to govern the access and distribution of employment to citizens of colour. The sifting and filtering functions of the hiring processes must work to bring in rather than screen out citizens of colour. Without investing in producing such guarantees, such domestic constraints upon employment in the long run - and especially with a growing population - are likely to foment various socially undesirable resentments which will have the effect of eroding public confidence in the nations institutions. This - it is a matter to emphasize - is because Canada's identity is multi-racial and multi-ethnic. Canada has grown and benefited from the contributions of many ethnic groups, and in turn, it must create the conditions of fair, equal, and just opportunity in employment. The unique territory of Canada and the corresponding economic, political, and social challenges arising cannot be reconciled without removing the barriers to the active participation of citizens of colour in diversified posts within the public service. There must be, first, an acknowledgement that there is a problem with the current hiring processes which have not been successfully addressed by the sum of all efforts to date.  

By design, hiring processes shift all focus on the individual. They encourage job-seekers to look "inward" to understand why they are being rejected. "You did something wrong/the error lies in you/you are deficient". That is what visible minority citizens are often led to believe. The message for citizens of colour is: you talk, look, feel, move, understand, or respond in a way that we cannot accept". Visible minority job seekers must recognize that rather than doubting their own abilities constantly, it is a matter of being informed that this is an issue of identity. The hiring processes filter out identities. Visible minority citizens have looked inwards throughout history.

Shifting focus from looking inwards - to critically look outwards is important. What external factors have resulted in the rejection of the job seeker? What is the organizational culture? Does the organization tend to hire visible minorities? How are you being graded? Who decides what constitutes merit? Who has set the standards and definitions that govern all citizens?

Visible minority citizens have historically looked introspectively. The problem does not lie in the individual, it lies in the hiring processes and practices of the public service. This is a question about systems of functioning. It is a question of control and distribution of identity in select spaces in public office. The PSAEE strongly encourages anyone with questions or concerns on this subject matter to email: connect@psaee.org


April 22, 2021

Read the submission of the PSAEE to the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act under "Public Engagement" tab

April 6, 2021

PSAEE is looking to fill two roles, navigate to the 'Get Involved' tab for details.


March 24, 2021

The PSAEE will be participating in the public consultation of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act appointed by the Legislative Assembly.

Feb 28, 2021

The PSAEE files formal complaint against the City of Nanaimo HR Dept.

meet other citizens being rejected

Relative Treatment program (RTP)

The lack of communication between citizens of colour experiencing similar difficulties in the public service hiring process has been a big barrier to a progressive development. Send us an email expressing interest in being a part of the RTP program and be introduced to others going through the same trouble. By engaging with our organization, you will get the opportunity to meet other people who are experiencing the same issues. It is very important to be a part of the community which can recognize and understand the issues you face.

Needed: Contingent Fee, Reduced Fee and Pro Bono Lawyers


administrative law, privacy law, human rights

Please leave your contact details with us.

Background Issue


What is an Order of Reference

An order of reference is a decision of the Senate of Canada authorizing a committee (a group) to undertake the study of an issue requiring attention. A committee can receive multiple orders of reference. In its efforts to understand an issue, a committee can call witnesses. The end result is often a report detailing the findings.

Which committee has looked at hiring discrimination in the public service?

Since 2004, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights has retained an on-going order of reference to monitor issues of discrimination in the hiring and promotion practices of the federal public service and to study the extent to which targets to achieve employment equity are being met.

What did the committee learn?

The committee learned, ultimately, that there is work to be done to ensure that Canadians have a federal public service that is truly representative of them at all levels. It expressed concern over transparency in how matters are handled to effectively address discrimination.Groups such as PSAC and PIPSC also expressed concerns about discrimination in the workplace.

The report can be found here:


On Employment Equity:


The PSAEE is aimed at proactively addressing the concerns by developing its own information and understanding base to bring positive change in the necessary areas.

Advertise with us.


Have something relevant to advertise? If it complements our organizational objectives, we would love to hear from you.

We will not charge anything. We operate a bit differently in that we function through social capital. We engage on mutual/collective societal interests, and this does not only involve money (as value) - but many other forms. There are other kinds of values we prioritize.

Read more about it here. Examples of what we would like to display:

  1. Relevant News 

  2. Job postings

  3. Research

  4. Law firm contact information for candidates experiencing discrimination in a public service competition


Playing Poker

Display your Art

Theme: Satire, rejection reason given to visible minority candidate in public service hiring process


Poetry | Cartoon | Video | Short Essay | Satire

Submit your work to us. We may decide to post it here with your permission.

Submission Date: Open

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