HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Present: Jennie Esnard, Chair
Farzana Merani, Prairies – NWT
Samah Henein, Friend, Prairies – NWT
Stewart Wong, Friend, Prairies – NWT
Din Kamaldin, Ontario Region
Charlotte Young, NCR
Richard Gaboton, Education Officer
Shelby Woodman, Staff Support
Regrets: Dotty Kelland, Atlantic
Sonia Richard, Québec
Sohila Sherbafi, BC/Yukon
1. Call to order/Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. via Zoom videoconference.
2. Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved pending minor adjustments.
3. Approval of the Minutes
The minutes were approved pending minor adjustments.
4. Board of Directors News
Following a lengthy discussion in regards to sharing the membership list to potential candidates for the upcoming PIPSC election, it was decided that the membership list be provided to any candidate upon request in accordance to the policy on Elections.
The AGM requested that the Election voting system be reviewed, however it was decided that PIPSC will proceed with the current system for the upcoming AGM. Once the new Board has been established, the voting system will be reviewed.
The Chair advised that Regional Councils and Group AGMs required to be held prior to Oct 31st, be held virtually.
There was a discussion in regards to salaries for retired Part-time Vice-Presidents, it was concluded that part time retired Vice Presidents will not receive a salary.
As we are currently working remotely, it was decided that all executive meetings (ie Regional Executives, group executives, committees of the board, regional training committee meetings) may be held during any day of the week. We are currently not limited to holding these meeting on Mondays, Fridays or Saturdays.
The Chair informed the committee that Committees of the Board will not be able to submit resolutions at the 2021 AGM.
The BC/Yukon Region has been sponsoring the “National APTN Indigenous Day” event for the last two years. PIPSC will continue to sponsor the event for 2022-2023, with a contribution of $25,000. In order to promote a larger PIPSC presence next year, the Chair recommended that the HRDC, the Board, and possibly a few active indigenous members attend.
As the CLC will be holding elections for Equity Seeking Groups, and Human Rights Caucuses, the Chair put forward all of the HRDC committee members’ names. There will be a selection committee which consists of the four PIPSC Vice Presidents. The selection committee will assist in promoting the nominations for the CLC positions.
5. Update on Caucuses
FBEC - Emancipation Day,
FBEC, in conjunction with EDSC, ACOA and DND will be sponsoring an event to recognize Emancipation Day on August 1st. In recognition of this day, the screening of an award winning film, “Mr Emancipation, the Walter Perry Story” will be held on July 29th, followed by a panel discussion. As this is the first time we are able to celebrate Emancipation Day, everyone was highly encouraged to participate.
D. Kamaldin had a discussion with Mr Greg Fergus in regards to Anti-Black racism. He will be following up with Mr. Fergus in hopes to organize a session for federal employees to inform them of what has been done, the plan moving forward and how to address the anti-black racism within the public service.
An Indigenous speaker’s series started on June 29th, which consisted of Lenard Dick, also known as “Moccasin Joe”, and Senator Kim Pate. There were 630 participants registered for the webinar.
C. Young began the webinar discussing the 140 schools that the Metis First Nation Inuit were forced to attend. She also mentioned the formation of the indigenous caucus, and provided some information on her respective indigenous background.
Both Lenard Dick and Senator Pate worked in penitentiaries for years, and provided examples of how Indigenous people were discriminated against, based solely on their backgrounds. It was noted that 50% of the women in the penitentiary were in fact indigenous women.
There was also discussion in regards to what can be done to fight against the genocide, and to speak up against Bill 64. There is a serious under representation in the workforce. The speakers stressed the importance of finding coming ground with indigenous people, respecting the multi-cultural environment, and continuing to work together to make progress.
6. Public Service Commission Joint Advisory Committee Hiring Practices
PSCJAC is currently reviewing their hiring practices, which is nearly 20 years old. Upon review, it was noted that it still does not include upward progression on mobility. The chair will be sharing the committee members’ comments with the staff liaison, as well as Director Carr who attends the PSCJAC meetings. The loop holes still exist, and we need to close them.
Canada celebrates LGBTQ+2 in August, followed by Orange Shirt Day on Sept 30th. It was suggested that the committee start thinking of ideas for events.
Charlotte provided the committee with an update on the status of the Orange shirts.
The Chair hopes to hold an in person meeting by the end of September. It was suggested that we schedule an additional meeting day, so that the committee can march at Parliament Hill. The Orange shirts will be distributed during the meeting.
It was also requested that some Human Rights training be provided to the committee at the next in person committee meeting.
L’Oreal and PIPSC have partnered to sponsor Julie Lalonde, who will be delivering an online by standard online training later this month. The session will be held over the lunch hour, and will provide training on when you witness a racial event, and how to support a victim. The committee was encouraged to attend and provide comments.
S. Henein attended an event during National Accessibility Event. The speakers emphasized that we still live everyday with discrimination, racism, and exclusions. Harassment rates seem to have dropped for disabled people, however, disability rates continues to grow. It is important to understand that disability can affect all age groups, and that everyone could be affected at some point. We need to educate people, and consider accessibility in everything – from the design to the delivery. We need to focus on people’s talents, and listen to them, not focus on their disability.
8. Next Meeting Date
The committee agreed to hold off scheduling a date, pending the resumption of in person meetings in September. Ideally, the committee would travel on September 29th, which would allow the committee to march at Parliament Hill on Truth & Reconciliation Day, followed by the committee meeting on Oct 1, 2021.
Action: S. Woodman to send a Doodle poll to confirm the next meeting date.
The meeting adjourned at.2:50 p.m.