To: All PIPSC Members at Environment & Climate Change Canada and Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
I hope that you are well, taking care of yourselves and your family, and coping with the new and challenging environment imposed on all of us by COVID-19.
I am copying below a message that was published in ECCC News on July 2, 2020 to express our solidarity with our colleagues of African descent. We are not immune from the pain in acknowledging that not enough has been done since the last time a tragedy of racial injustice had captured the world’s attention – or the time before that, or the time before that…
Every one of us deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of our identities, background and origin. The Canadian Human Rights Act specifically prohibits discrimination on several grounds, including “…race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion,…” which are particularly relevant today.
While I do hope that none of us has, or will endure extreme acts of racism and violence that we have witnessed in the social and news media recently, many visible minorities report harassment (14% per PSES 2019, based on 33,825 responses, and 31% of them said they took no action) and discrimination at work (12% per PSES 2019, based on 33,802 responses, and 53% of them said they took no action). Of the 12% public servants who reported that they experienced discrimination on the job during the previous 12 months, 58% attributed it to “race”, 41% to “national or ethnic origin”, and 36% attributed it to “colour”.
Canadians who identify as Black and/or of African descent, have been leading the struggle for equality and justice, and have made significant contributions over many decades. They have not been alone in this struggle, and we cannot leave them alone, ever. Everyone of us can contribute and should contribute to eliminating racism, discrimination and harassment. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Please feel free to reach out, share your perspective and comments and let me know if you would be interested in a virtual chat.
Stay safe, stay well!
President, National Consultation Team
Think of the environment before you print this email.
How to talk to your kids about racism and discrimination
Recent events have led to an increased focus on more openly discussing issues surrounding racism in society and in workplaces. In this context, you are invited to read an interview with an expert, Dr. Kira Banks, Psychologist and Creator of Raising Equity, conducted by LifeSpeak. Dr. Banks provides advice and suggestions regarding ways to talk to kids about racism and discrimination.
To access the page, click on the Group account, and enter the password canada. You will find this interview in the “Expert Blog” section.
ECCC values inclusion and diversity, and strives to build a workforce that represents the present and evolving face of Canada that we serve as public servants.
To find out more about efforts to support and advance diversity and inclusion in our work environment and the different networks that are available for ECCC employees, visit our intranet page.
Matt Jones, ADM (PCFIO) and Hilary Geller, ADM (SPB)
Champions for Diversity and Inclusion
Chair, Visible Minorities Network