Last month, PSAC made a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on anti-Black racism, sexism and systemic discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), and more broadly throughout the federal public service.
The Senate hearing was held following the government’s admission that the CHRC discriminated against its own Black and racialized employees.
“Systemic discrimination runs so deep in Canada’s public service that it can be found in the very branch of the government responsible for fighting it,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President.
“There needs to be a transparent and accountable process in how the Commission addresses internal allegations of racism or race-based complaints. Without this, our members and the public have lost faith in the Commission’s leadership and the entire institution is weakened.”
In our presentation, we highlighted PSAC’s work to address, fight, and sustain action against racism in the federal public service. In 2020, we filed a policy grievance and in 2021, we moved forward with concerns to the Auditor General that the CHRC was not adequately addressing race-based complaints, was tokenizing equity-deserving workers, and was not consulting with racialized staff on how to concretely address the systemic issues in their organization.
Aylward acknowledged that all institutions must do more to dismantle systemic racism within their ranks, and PSAC and all unions in Canada are no different.