Welcome to the PSAEE
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.
MOVING TOWARDS A REPRESENTATIVE INSTITUTION
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.
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)
FOCUSING ON SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS IN THE HIRING PROCESS
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.
Systemic Discrimination In Employment
CN v. Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission), 1987 CanLII 109 (SCC),  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.
IN DISCUSSION, Jan 2021
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?
Nov. 10, 2021
Read the responses from the 2021 election candidates (Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding) disucssing their committment to employment equity in the public service.
June 21, 2021
Read the letter the PSAEE sent to the Office of the Merit Commissioner (in Public Engagement)
May 17, 2021
Public Engagement section updated: Read what HR say on the hiring processes they oversee.
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.
Latest at the PSAEE:
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.
A LOOK AT COMMITTEE'S
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:
Law firm contact information for candidates experiencing discrimination in a public service competition
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
moving towards reaching Judicial maturity for the advancement of employment equity
(identifiable social group of citizens)
The People who are taking legal action for change in the public service
Read the Statement of Claim submitted by Nicholas Marcus Thompson and many other citizens:
Read more on the plaintiffs here.
The contents of the Statement of Claim points to the issues of discrimination in the public service against black citizens. Unfotunately, this is a reality - a reality which extends to the broader category of "visible minority" citizens. The PSAEE is working to identify the people who have been denied employment opportunites despite being well qualified. If you have been unduly rejected in a hiring process, our organization strongly encourages you to reach out to the PSAEE. Please remember that you are not the only one who is experiencing it, and it is necessary for our organization to learn just how many visible minority citizens hold serious concerns and what the specific details are concerning the job competition(s).
November 10, 2021