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Civil service

Tories fail to stamp out race, gender-based hiring in civil service

By Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

OTTAWA - Two years after the Conservatives promised they'd stop the practice of using employment equity laws to block men or white people from applying for some positions in the civil service, the government is still at the commitment stage.

"Our government believes that members of the public service should be hired based on merit, and we remain adamant on the fundamental principle that no Canadian should be barred from working for the public service based on their ethnicity or gender," said Sean Osmar, spokesman for Treasury Board President Tony Clement.

When QMI Agency first reported the story of a white woman barred from applying to work at Citizenship and Immigration Canada because of her race in 2010, then-Treasury Board president Stockwell Day promised the government would stop trying to meet equity goals without blocking applicants based on sex, race, or other factors.

Documents obtained through Access to Information requests show that two years of paper pushing by bureaucrats resulted in a recommendation back in March that the feds change the Employment Equity Act to stop race or gender-based hiring.

Clement's office denies the minister has ever seen that recommendation, though it came in response to a 2010 ministerial request for "a review of employment equity policies and procedures to determine whether they were discriminatory."

A government source says the Tories are "looking at options" for how to end preferential hiring in the civil service.

Meantime, federal stats show women account for more than half of the federal workforce, 55.2%, while females make up 52% of the available workforce.

 


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