Public Policy In Canada

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Public Policy in Canada

Public Policy in Canada


In this paper we are discussed employment equity programs which are designed to address the issue of equal employment for those minorities who had suffered systemic discrimination in the workforce. Further we have discussed the issue of providing specific privileges to people who are victims of discrimination while ignoring the majority.

Introduction Canada has a population of approximately twenty six million people. With the introduction of the federal government's multiculturalism program, the social demographic makeup of Canada is quite vast, bringing together people of many different nations to join those already living here. Taking the population as a whole into account, it is no secret that historically, certain members of this social order have been denied fair access to the employment system. The federal and provincial governments had undertaken steps to address the issue through a wide range of programs such as equal employment and other affirmative action programs to “promote equal opportunity in the public service for segments of the population that have historically been underrepresented there”. Today, those designated groups, underrepresented in the labour force include women, Aboriginal peoples, disabled people, and persons who are, because of their race or colour, is a visible minority in Canada. In October 1984, Judge Rosalie Silberman Abella submitted a Royal Commission Report on equality in employment (the Abella Report) to the federal government. “The Commission was established in recognition of the fact that women, visible minorities, the handicapped and native peoples were being denied the full benefits of employment”. Based on the findings of the Abella Commission, the federal government implemented “The Employment Equity Act” in 1986. This paper will evaluate the success of the “Act” and will argue that although some progress has been made, the Canadian labour force still does not reflect the demographic composition of Canada as the Act had implemented. For the purposes of implementing Employment Equity, certain individuals or groups who are not at an employment disadvantage are designated to benefit from Employment Equity. The Employment Equity Act describes the designated groups as “women, aboriginal peoples; Indians, Inuit or Metis, who so identify themselves to their employer, or agree to be identified by an employer, for the purposes of the Employment Equity Act. Persons with disabilities; are people who, because of any persistent physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory or learning impairment, believe that they are potentially disadvantaged in employment, and who so identify themselves to an employer, or agree to be so identified by an employer, for the purposes of the Act”. Members of visible minorities are persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour, and who so identify themselves to an employer, for the purposes of the Act. The designated groups, in particular women, have essentially been discriminated against for a substantial period of time. A 1977 study of women in federal Crown Corporations conducted by the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, reported that the federal government is the largest ...
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