International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
of Canada
du Canada
International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Fifteenth and Sixteenth Report of Canada
covering the period
June 1997 - May 2001
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 21, 1965. Canada ratified the
Convention on October 14, 1970.
State Parties are required to report to the United Nations on measures they have taken to give
effect to the Convention. The combined Fifteenth and Sixteenth Report was submitted to the
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on September 22, 2003, and covers the
period of June 1997 to May 2001. It was prepared in close collaboration by the federal,
provincial and territorial governments and describes measures and initiatives taken by these
governments with respect to the Convention.
Through publication of this report, it is hoped that Canadians will be encouraged to become
familiar with the measures adopted in Canada to ensure the implementation of the Convention
and to broaden their understanding of the obligations contracted by Canada through ratification
of this important international treaty.
Copies of the report are available in both official languages and may be obtained free of charge
from the Human Rights Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This report is also
available on the Human Rights Program Web site at: .
Human Rights Program
Department of Canadian Heritage
25, Eddy Street (15-11-B)
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 0M5
Tel: 819-994-3458
Fax: 819-994-5252
E-mail: r[email protected]
© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2003
Catalogue. No. Ci96-69/2001E-PDF
ISBN 0-662-34857-5
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
PART I — General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
PART II — Jurisprudence of National Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
PART III — Measures Adopted by the
Government of Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
PART IV — Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the Provinces* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
British Columbia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Saskatchewan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Manitoba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Ontario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Québec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
New Brunswick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Nova Scotia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Prince Edward Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Newfoundland and Labrador . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
PART V — Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the Territories* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Yukon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Northwest Territories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Nunavut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
In geographical order, from west to east.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
This document constitutes the combined Fifteenth and Sixteenth Report of Canada on the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
(hereinafter the Convention). The information in these reports covers the period from
June 1997 to May 2001. Any information not falling within that period is indicated in the
report. Information provided in previous reports is not repeated in this document, but
updates are included where significant change has occurred.
This report contains information on legislation, policies and programmes adopted by the
federal, provincial and territorial governments to combat racial discrimination in their
respective areas of jurisdiction during the period under review. It updates previous
reports under this Convention. These reports may be obtained through the Human Rights
Program of Canadian Heritage Web site address at: .
In preparing this document, consideration was given to the Concluding Observations
issued by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination after the review of
Canada’s 11th and 12th reports. The Committee reviewed Canada’s 13th/14th report in
August 2002 and issued further observations on August 23 of the same year. However,
as many jurisdictions had already completed their submissions for the combined 15th/16th
report, and as the period under review for this report concludes with May 2001, Canada
will consider and respond to the Committee’s latter observations in its next report, which
will cover the period of June 2001 through May 2004.
Information in the report is divided into four parts. The first part includes general
information on the demographic and linguistic characteristics of the Canadian population
in order to illustrate Canada’s multiethnic, multiracial and multilingual diversity. The
second part includes an analysis of case law and national laws that aim to combat racial
discrimination in the country. The third part comprises of an examination of measures
adopted by the Government of Canada to combat racism in all sectors of society. Finally,
the fourth part indicates measures adopted by each province in Canada to combat racial
discrimination in their respective jurisdictions.
While the Convention does not specifically refer to indigenous people, this report
continues the practice of covering aspects of the situation of the Aboriginal peoples of
Canada that are relevant to the Convention. It must be emphasized, however, that
Aboriginal peoples are not considered to be an “ethnic group” by either Aboriginal
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
peoples themselves or the federal government. Emphasis is accorded the unique situation
of Aboriginal peoples as Canada’s original inhabitants and affirms their special
relationship with the State, based on unique entitlements.
Descriptions of the Employment Equity Act and associated implementation policies and
programmes refer to the term “visible minorities”, which is defined as "persons, other
than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”.
Statistics Canada also uses this term in the collection of census data. However, it should
be emphasized that in general, policies, programmes and laws implementing measures
against racial discrimination are not restricted to those groups covered by the
Employment Equity Act definition. For example, as indicated under article 4 of this
report, Criminal Code provisions prohibiting hate propaganda use the term “identifiable
group”, that is, any section of the public distinguished by color, race, religion or ethnic
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
General Information
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Canada is a federal state comprised of ten provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Prince
Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan
and Newfoundland) and three territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut).
While the ratification of international treaties falls under federal jurisdiction, their
implementation includes the participation of all levels of government in Canada, as issues
covered by the Convention are under joint federal, provincial and territorial jurisdiction.
The federal government has adopted an array of laws that aim to eliminate social
inequalities while combatting all forms of discrimination in the country. These include
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other provisions of the Constitution
Act, 1982, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Canadian
Multiculturalism Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Canada Labour Code, the Public
Service Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Employment Act and the Criminal Code of
Canada. Apart from these acts, a wide range of policies and programmes are
implemented by the governments in order to combat exclusion and social marginalization
resulting from all forms of discrimination.
Provincial and territorial governments have also adopted extensive legislation,
programmes and policies which ensure the implementation of the Convention in their
jurisdictions. These are detailed in Part IV of this report.
Demographic analysis of Canadian diversity
Canada continues to be recognized internationally as a multicultural, multiethnic and
multiracial society, whose diversity is both demographic and social. In the 1996 census1,
approximately 42 percent of Canadians reported being from at least one background
other than French, British or Aboriginal. Visible minorities account for 11 percent
(3,197,480 individuals) of the total population in Canada. Of this number, 17.9 percent
reported being Black (or 573,860 persons), 21 percent reported being South Asian (or
670,585 persons), 26 percent reported being of Chinese origin (or 860,150 persons),
2 percent reported being of Korean descent (or 64,835 persons), 2 percent reported being
Japanese (or 68,130), 5.4 percent reported being from South-East Asia (or 172,765
persons), 7.3 percent reported being from the Philippines (or 234,195 individuals),
7.7 percent reported being Arabic / West Asian (or 244,660 persons), 5.5 percent
reported being Latin-American (or 176,975 individuals), and approximately 2 percent
reported being from multiple visible minority backgrounds.
Data from the 2000 Census was not available at time of writing and will be
included in the next report.
General Information
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
An examination of the demographic profile of Canadian provinces indicates that visible
minorities represent approximately 1 percent of the populations of Newfoundland (or
3,815 inhabitants), Prince Edward Island (1,520 persons) and of New Brunswick
(3,840 persons), 3 percent of the population of Nova Scotia (31,320 persons), 6 percent
of the population of Quebec (433,985 persons), 15 percent of the population of Ontario
(1,682,045 persons), 7 percent of the population of Manitoba (77,355 persons), 17.9
percent of the population of British Columbia (660,545 persons), 3 percent of the
population of the Yukon (1,000 persons), 2 percent of the population of the Northwest
Territories (1,670 persons), approximately 3 percent of the population of Saskatchewan
(26,950 persons) and 10 percent of the population of Alberta (269,280 persons).
In large urban cities in Canada, 1996 census data indicates that 401,425 members of
visible minorities live in Montreal (12 percent of the city’s total population), 115,460 in
the Ottawa-Hull region (11.5 percent of the population), 1,338,095 in Toronto
(approximately 31 percent of the city’s total population), 73,315 in Winnipeg
(approximately 11 percent of the city’s total population), 10,355 in Regina
(approximately 5 percent of the city’s total population), 127,555 in Calgary
(approximately 15 percent of the city’s total population), 115,435 in Edmonton
(13 percent of the city’s total population) and 564,595 members of visible minorities in
Vancouver (31 percent of the city’s total population).
Women make up a significant portion of visible minorities in Canada. In fact, 1996
census data shows that 51 percent of the total visible minority population in Canada are
women (i.e., 1,631,925 women out of 3,197,480 members of visible minorities). In
addition, at the provincial level, Statistics Canada data indicates that women represent
approximately 47 percent of visible minorities in Newfoundland (1,785 persons),
52 percent of visible minorities in Prince Edward Island (785 persons), 51 percent of
visible minorities in Nova Scotia (16,005 persons), 48 percent of visible minorities in
New Brunswick (3,840 persons), 50 percent of visible minorities in Quebec
(217,600 persons), 51 percent of visible minorities in Ontario (862,425 persons),
50 percent of minorities in Manitoba (38,925 persons), 49 percent of visible minorities in
Saskatchewan (13,225 persons), 50 percent of visible minorities in Alberta
(136,390 persons), 51 percent of visible minorities in British Columbia
(339,600 persons), 49 percent of visible minorities in the Yukon (490 persons) and
51 percent of visible minorities in the Northwest Territories (855 persons).
An overview of the country’s demography indicates that there are 608 First Nations in
Canada, comprising 52 different peoples. Census data from 1996 also reveals that
General Information
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Canadians of Aboriginal descent2 make up 2.8 percent of the country’s population, a total
of 799,010 individuals3. Of this number, 69 percent reported being North American
Aboriginal (554,290 individuals), 26 percent reported being of Métis descent
(203,640 persons) and 5 percent identified themselves as Inuit (41,080 people). Also,
1996 census results show that 4.4 percent of the total population in Canada have
Aboriginal ancestors.
Of the 799,010 Aboriginal people, a total of 488,040 individuals reported being
Registered Indians as defined by the Indian Act. Of these 488,040 people, 46.6 percent
(227,285 individuals) live on reserves, while 53.4 percent (260,755 individuals) live off
At the provincial level in Canada, the Aboriginal population represents 2.6 percent of
Newfoundland’s population (14,200 persons), approximately 1 percent of Prince Edward
Island’s population (950 persons), 1.4 percent of the population of Nova Scotia
(12,380 individuals) and New Brunswick (10,250 individuals), 1 percent of Quebec’s
(71,415 persons) and Ontario’s (141,520 persons) populations, 11.7 percent of the
population of Manitoba (128,680 individuals), 11.4 percent of the population of
Saskatchewan (111,245 persons), 4.6 percent of Alberta’s population (122,835 people),
3.8 percent of British Columbia’s population (139,655 individuals), 20 percent of
Yukon’s population (6,175 persons), 62 percent of the population of the Northwest
Territories (39,690 individuals) and 85 percent of Nunavut’s population (20,690
persons). Census data from 1996 also indicates that Ontario has more North American
Indians than any other province in Canada. Alberta, however, has the largest Métis
population in the country, while the Northwest Territories have the largest Inuit
According to Statistics Canada’s forecasts, the country’s proportion of adult members of
visible minorities is expected to double by 2016. Consequently, federal policies and
programmes designed to promote multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial diversity are
particularly important for their development and Canada’s evolution on a national and
international scale.
According to Statistics Canada, the word “Aboriginal” is defined as follows:
“...those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, i.e. North
American Indian, Métis or Inuit and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a
Registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada and/or who were members of an
Indian Band or First Nation.”
Data from Statistics Canada indicates that the total number of North American
Aboriginal people, Inuits and Métis is greater than the total number of Aboriginal people in
Canada because 6,415 individuals reported being part of more than one group. In addition,
single and multiple responses were calculated together.
General Information
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Jurisprudence of National
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
As described in the Core Document, Canada's Constitution includes the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 15 of the Charter prohibits discrimination
based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical
disability. While Section 15 lists a limited number of grounds under which discrimination
is prohibited, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the list is not exhaustive and
that other distinctions based on analogous grounds are subject to review.
Section 15 also contains a feature which enhances the capacity of governments to enact
special measures in favor of disadvantaged individuals or groups. It reads:
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, programme or activity that has as
its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups
including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin,
colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Article 2: Equality Rights and Non-Discrimination
Although neither of the following two cases deal with racial discrimination, they set out
important tests for equality jurisprudence in Canada. In Law v. Canada (Minister of
Employment and Immigration), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 497, the Supreme Court of Canada
synthesized previous equality Charter jurisprudence to set out a general test for s. 15 of
the Charter. Law dealt with the issue of whether age requirements for survivor benefits
constituted discrimination. The Court stated that the purpose of s. 15 (1) was to "prevent
the violation of essential human dignity and freedom through the imposition of
disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice, and to promote a society in
which all persons enjoy equal recognition at law as human beings or as members of
Canadian society, equally capable and equally deserving of concern, respect and
In British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. British
Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGSEU), [1999] 3 S.C.R. 3, a
woman challenged the validity of the employment fitness test for firefighters on the basis
of sex discrimination under the British Columbia Human Rights Code. In holding that
the fitness test was discriminatory, the Supreme Court unified an approach under human
rights legislation so that the same test is used in both direct and adverse effect
discrimination. The unified approach is intended to develop standards to accommodate
the potential contributions of all employees in so far as this can be done without undue
hardship to the employer. There have also been a number of developments in aboriginal
law over the relevant period.
Jurisprudence of National Application
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Charter Challenges
In Corbière v. The Queen, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 203, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that
the Indian Act voting restriction to only on-reserve residents violated the section 15
equality guarantee under the Charter and that it was not justified under section one of the
Charter. The Court found that the voting restriction constituted discrimination by
denying off-reserve members the right to participate fully in Band governance matters
which affect their interests. According to the Court, what is required is a mechanism that
would respect non-residents’ rights to meaningful and effective participation in the
voting regime of the community but would also recognize the somewhat different
interests of residents and non-residents. In order to permit the Crown to consult with
appropriate stakeholders, the Court granted an 18-month suspension of the striking out of
the restriction on voting to only on-reserve Band members.
The federal Crown intervened in Lovelace v. Attorney General of Ontario, [2000] 1
S.C.R. 950, which involved a claim by various off-reserve Aboriginal groups that the
province’s scheme to share the revenues from a casino located on a reserve with only onreserve Indians violates the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ontario is not violating the
Charter’s equality guarantee by sharing those particular casino profits with Indian Bands
only and not including the off-reserve, non-status and Métis groups.
Treaty Issues
In R. v. Badger, [1996] 1 S.C.R. 771, members of the Sturgeon Lake Band in Alberta
were charged under Alberta's Wildlife Act for hunting for food on unoccupied private
lands without a licence. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Treaty 8 grants a right
to Indians to hunt on private lands that are not being put to a visible use incompatible
with hunting. The Court upheld the Crown’s power to unilaterally extinguish Aboriginal
and treaty rights, at least in the pre-1982 context. Where the Natural Resources Transfer
Agreement (NRTA) evinces a clear intention to do so, the NRTA modified, altered or
extinguished treaty rights. However, in this instance, the NRTA does not affect the treaty
right to hunt on unoccupied private lands, which are not being put to a use incompatible
with hunting.
Of further interest, the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated principles of treaty
interpretation established in prior decisions i.e. ambiguities in historical treaties are
resolved in favour of the Aboriginals peoples, the onus on establishing extinguishment of
treaty rights falls on the Crown, treaties represent exchanges of solemn promises between
the Crown and First nations and their nature is sacred. Additionally, the Court clarified
Jurisprudence of National Application
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
that the Sparrow justification test applies not only to infringement of Aboriginal rights,
but infringements of treaty rights. In this regard, the Court held that reasonable safety
regulations do not infringe Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt for food.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Marshall, [1999] 3 S.C.R. 456, that there is
an implied term in the Treaties of 1760-61 granting to the Mi’kmaq signatories a right to
engage in traditional resource harvesting activities, including for the purposes of sale, to
the extent required to provide them a moderate livelihood. In the course of the judgment,
the Court clarified some important principles of evidence relating to the interpretation of
Aboriginal peoples historical treaties. In particular, the Court expressly rejected its
earlier pronouncement in the Horse case that treaties are to be interpreted without resort
to intrinsic evidence where the treaty terms are unambiguous.
One month after the Marshall decision, the Supreme Court of Canada, in the course of
dismissing an application for a rehearing of the case, R. v. Marshall [1999] 3. S.C.R. 533,
clarified several important aspects relating to its prior decision. The Court stressed that
the treaty right does not belong to the individual but is exercised by the local community.
The Court also emphasized that, in its earlier judgment, the only treaty right which had
been established was in relation to fishing, hunting and traditional gathering activities
such as wild berries and fruit. With respect to what resources are covered by the treaty,
the Court stated that any extended interpretation of the term “gathering” so as to include
logging and minerals, would have to be established by the Aboriginal claimant in another
case. The exercise of the treaty harvesting right is limited to the area traditionally used
by the local community. With respect to the justified infringement of the treaty
harvesting right, the Court stressed that the Crown can accommodate the historical
involvement by non-Aboriginal persons in the resource industry in regulating the treaty
Aboriginal Rights and Fiduciary Obligation Issues
R. v. Van der Peet, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 507, involved the question of whether section 35 of
the Constitution Act, 1982 includes, as an aboriginal right, a right to fish commercially.
The Court outlined the test for identifying aboriginal rights protected under section 35.
Essentially, an aboriginal group must establish that, at time of contact with Europeans,
the particular activity claimed as an aboriginal right was a practice, tradition or custom
that was integral to the society’s distinctive culture.
Applying the above test to the facts of the cases, the Court ruled that the accused in R v.
Gladstone, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 723 had established an aboriginal commercial fishing right.
Other considerations, apart from conservation goals, are to be taken into account in
determining whether governmental restrictions were justified. Objectives such as the
pursuit of economic and regional fairness, as well as, the historic non-native participation
Jurisprudence of National Application
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
in the fishery are relevant objectives in the context of the justification analysis.
Aboriginal rights have to be given priority but they also have to be reconciled with other
rights and interests.
Delgamuukw v. Attorney General of British Columbia, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010, involved a
claim by the Gitskan and Wet'suwet'en hereditary Chiefs for Aboriginal title and an
inherent right to self-government over 22,000 square miles of British Columbia. The
Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, due to evidentiary problems with the case, a new
trial is required to determine whether the plaintiffs enjoy the claimed Aboriginal title and
self-government rights. While not providing any guidance on the issue of rights of selfgovernment, the Court made general pronouncements on the scope and content of
Aboriginal title. In essence, if an Aboriginal group can establish that, at time of
sovereignty, it exclusively occupied a territory to which a substantial connection has been
maintained, then it has the communal right to exclusive use and occupation of such lands.
The Aboriginal group can use the lands for far ranging purposes including economic
exploitation. The only limitations are that the lands cannot be disposed of without
surrender to the Crown nor can they be used in such a fashion that would destroy the
Aboriginal group’s special bond with the land. The Court also ruled that both the federal
and provincial Crown can justifiably interfere with an Aboriginal group’s Aboriginal
title. However, the Court rejected the province’s counterclaim regarding provincial
power to extinguish Aboriginal rights in finding that, since Confederation, only the
federal Crown has such a power. The Court stressed that consultation is always required
when Aboriginal title might be infringed.
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
In R. v. Harding (2001), 52 O.R. (3d) 714, aff'd Dec. 17, 2001, the Ontario Court of
Appeal upheld the accused's conviction of wilful promotion of hatred under s. 319(2) of
the Criminal Code. The accused had distributed pamphlets and a telephone message
which expressed the views that Muslims, as a group, are dangerous people, capable of
acts of violent terrorism and cruelty, that they pose a threat to other faiths and that it is
the objective of Canadian Muslims to overtake the country. The trial judge found that the
accused was wilfully blind to the fact that the promotion of hatred was a substantially
certain consequence of his acts. The Court of Appeal held that wilful blindness meets the
mens rea requirement for the offence of wilful promotion of hatred that justifies the
violation of freedom of expression under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and
In R. v. Upson, [2001] N.S.J. No. 189 (Q.L.) (N.S.C.A.), the dismissal of the accused's
appeal on her conviction of uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death to members of
the black community contrary to s. 264.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. Proceedings
Jurisprudence of National Application
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
against the accused with respect to the charge of threatening bodily harm or death to a
minister were conditionally stayed because of the rule against multiple convictions for
the same delict.
Two companion cases, Canadian Jewish Congress v. North Shore Free Press Ltd.
(1998), 30 C.H.R.R. D/5 (B.C. Tribunal) and Abrams v. North Shore Free Press Ltd.
[2001] B.C.H.R.T. No. 43, dealt with the publication of articles alleged to expose Jewish
persons to hatred and contempt under the Human Rights Code of British Columbia. In
CJC v. North Shore, the BC Tribunal held that s. 7(1)(b) of the British Columbia Human
Rights Code is valid under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the
Tribunal held that the publication of one article by North Shore Free Press did not violate
s. 7(1)(b) since the content was not so extreme as to be hateful. In Abrams, the Tribunal
held that there was a violation by Doug Collins and North Shore News of s. 7(1)(b) of the
B.C. by the publication of four articles similar in content. Mr. Collins and North Shore
News were ordered to cease publication of the articles, pay $2000 in compensation to Mr.
Abrams and publish a summary of the decision.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
In R. v. Miloszewski, [1999] B.C.J. No. 2710, the British Columbia Provincial Court
convicted five accused of manslaughter. In the sentencing decision, the judge took into
consideration the racist motivations for the manslaughter of a Sikh man on the grounds of
his temple, "What can be achieved by what I am doing today is to send a loud, clear and
unequivocal message, not only to these five accused but to others that share their views,
that if they commit acts of violence against any persons or property out of hatred they
will be condemned and punished severely."
Jurisprudence of National Application
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Measures Adopted by
the Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Aboriginal Issues
In 1998, Canada responded to the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
with Gathering Strength - Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan, a fully integrated, long term
government-wide strategy designed to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people
and promote self-sufficiency. The strategy envisions a new partnership between
Aboriginal people and other Canadians; the long term goal is to work together to ensure
that Aboriginal people enjoy a quality of life comparable to that of other Canadians.
The Government of Canada also offered the Statement of Reconciliation as an element of
Gathering Strength, which acknowledged its role in the development and administration
of the residential school system. To the victims who suffered physical and sexual abuse
at residential schools, the Government said that it is deeply sorry. In December 2000, an
apology was also delivered to the Nuu-chah-nulth people of British Columbia to
demonstrate Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and healing.
As part of Gathering Strength, the government committed $350 million in support of a
community-based healing strategy to address the healing needs of individuals, families
and communities arising from the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at residential
schools. In May 1998, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation was formally launched. The
Foundation was created to design, implement and manage the healing strategy, including
providing financial support to eligible community-based healing initiatives that
complement existing Aboriginal and government programmes. It is an Aboriginal-run,
non-profit corporation which operates at arm’s length from the Government, and funds
proposals from First Nations, Inuit and Métis affected by the legacy of physical and
sexual abuse in the residential school system. As of May 2001, 2008 applications had
been received by the Foundation. Of these, 463 have been approved and funded, 161 are
conditionally approved, awaiting signed agreements, and over 300 more are currently
being processed.
The priorities outlined in Gathering Strength were refined with the January 2001 Speech
From the Throne, which outlined a commitment to strengthening Aboriginal
entrepreneurship and business expertise to bring about strong, self-sufficient Aboriginal
communities. The Government pledged support for Aboriginal communities in
strengthening governance, and promised to work to ensure that basic needs are met for
jobs, health, education, housing and infrastructure.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) offers a range of national programmes
which support greater Aboriginal participation in the Canadian economy. In May 2000,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
INAC made available an additional $75 million for strategic investments in economic
development for the fiscal year 2000-01 and pledged a further $25 million for the fiscal
year 2001-02; increasing total funding for economic development to $100 million and
approximately $120 million respectively. INAC’s main approach is to work in
partnership with Aboriginal people, as well as the private sector, provincial/territorial and
municipal governments, and other partners to enhance First Nations and Inuit access to
capital and natural resources, provide skills training and workforce experience, and assist
Aboriginal businesses take advantage of economic development opportunities.
Since 1989, Aboriginal Business Canada, part of Industry Canada, has been dedicated to
working with Aboriginal entrepreneurs to promote the development, competitiveness and
success of Aboriginal business in Canadian and world markets. There are over 20,000
Aboriginal businesses in Canada, active in every sector of the economy. Aboriginal
Business Canada has worked with over 5,000 firms, providing financial and non-funded
support. Programme investments of over $300 million have led to an infusion of almost a
billion dollars into the Aboriginal private sector. A 1996 study found that in the 1,341
firms studied, including start-ups, expansions, modernizations, and acquisitions (each
with at least two full years of operation), the equivalent of 5,875 full-time jobs were
provided for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
Canada also has numerous programmes designed to promote and protect Aboriginal
culture. These are detailed in Canada’s report under the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Treaty Issues and Comprehensive Claims
The Government of Canada notes the concern expressed by the Committee regarding the
length of time it is taking to further define aboriginal rights to land and resources across
Canada. The modern treaties negotiation process often involves the resolution of
fundamentally different conceptions of the nature of Aboriginal rights held by Aboriginal
groups and governments. Negotiating modern treaties includes building trust between
the parties, a process which cannot occur through a hurried process. Court decisions
often result in all parties re-examining mandates and changing approaches to
negotiations. The items negotiated are complex and cannot be concluded in a hasty or
arbitrary fashion. Third party consultations and negotiations are time-consuming and
necessary. Changes in government at the federal, provincial and First Nations levels
occur with regularity during the negotiation process and generally slow the pace of
negotiations. Finally, litigation brought on by Aboriginal groups can, under certain
circumstances, result in the suspension of negotiations.
There are several strategies currently being used to expedite the claims settlement
process, including interim arrangements and treaty related measures (tools which allow
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
interim access to resources or deal with critical issues that may be reflected in future
treaty arrangements), and holding federal surplus crown lands for eventual inclusion in a
final settlement. INAC has also initiated and supported the Negotiations Preparedness
Initiative, which enhances the capacity and expertise of Aboriginal groups who have
asserted a land claim to prepare for negotiations on the land and resource components of
their comprehensive claim settlements.
In 1999, the creation of Nunavut transformed the map of Canada. One fifth the nation’s
land mass, Nunavut is formed from 2 million square kilometres carved out of the eastern
and central sections of the vast Northwest Territories. The population of the new
territory is 85 percent Inuit. The 1993 Nunavut Land Claim Agreement was a pivotal
step leading to the creation of the territory. Training and development of public servants
started following the implementation of the Land Claim Agreement, and such
programmes continue to be a driving force in Nunavut’s evolution to self-sufficiency.
The Government of Canada committed about $40 million for the recruitment and skills
upgrading of Nunavut public service employees.
In February 2001, the Government of Canada announced a long-term process to address
issues raised by the decision in the Marshall case; a decision which potentially affects 34
Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations in the Atlantic region. The Government of Canada,
the provinces and Aboriginal peoples have met on different occasions to discuss the
effects of this ruling. The proposed long-term processes would give the parties the
opportunity to explore issues fundamental to their relationship, and would hopefully lead
to agreements setting out the scope and nature of Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations'
potential rights to land, resources and self-government. The federal government
continues to be open to discuss and design processes for negotiations leading to final
agreements and implementation plans which would address the circumstances, needs and
interests of all involved parties. A complementary initiative is being carried out by
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to facilitate the immediate participation of First
Nations affected by the Marshall decision in the commercial fishery.
The British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC) - an impartial, arms-length
organization responsible for co-ordinating treaty negotiations - continues to operate and
provide dispute resolution assistance when requested. The treaty negotiation process is
open to all First Nations in British Columbia, and there is no requirement for a First
Nation to demonstrate continuing use of resources in order to begin negotiations.
To date, 53 First Nations (127 Aboriginals groups), representing over 70 percent of BC’s
Aboriginal population, are negotiating treaties. Of these, four are in early stages of
negotiations, four are negotiating a framework agreement, 43 are negotiating an
agreement-in-principle, and one is in negotiations to finalize a treaty. In March 2001,
two First Nations, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and the Sliammon First Nation,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
initialled agreements-in-principle with Canada and British Columbia, but community
votes held after initialling did not support ratification.
The BCTC’s most recent annual report indicates that while there is a solid foundation for
treaty making in British Columbia, urgent action is necessary if treaty making is to
survive growing public skepticism, First Nation’s disapproval and a province-wide
referendum on the British Columbia government’s guiding principles for treaty
negotiations. The BCTC has called for an “incremental approach” to treaty-making in
British Columbia in which all parties would negotiate more interim protection measures,
intensify high level talks on major issues common to all tables, negotiate “slim”
agreements in principle, give priority to governance initiatives, and allow First Nations
“time-outs” to develop their governance and vision. All parties to the BC treaty process
announced that these recommendations would form the starting point for discussions on
how to reinvigorate the process.
Progress on comprehensive claims is also being made elsewhere. Fourteen
comprehensive claim agreements have been signed since the announcement of the federal
government's claims policy in 1973. In 2000, Royal Assent was given to the Nisga'a
Final Agreement. This agreement sets aside 2,019 square kilometres of the Nass River
Valley in British Columbia as Nisga'a Lands and establishes a Nisga'a Central
Government with jurisdiction similar to that of other local governments. The Nisga'a will
own and have rights to natural resources, and will receive $253 million over 15 years.
The land and resource components of the Agreement, combined with enhanced local
decision-making powers, will allow the Nisga’a to be more self-reliant and participate
more fully in the economy.
Specific Claims
A specific claim exists when a First Nation establishes that its grievance gives rise to a
lawful obligation through: the non-fulfilment of a treaty or another agreement between
First Nations and the Crown; the breach of an Indian Act or other statutory responsibility;
the breach of an obligation arising out of government administration of First Nation funds
or other assets; or, an illegal sale or other disposition of First Nation land by government.
Settling specific claims brings long-term benefits to both First Nation members and their
neighbours. The cash and sometimes land and cash settlements enable First Nations to
strengthen the social and economic well-being of their communities, encouraging
investment and promoting development both on First Nation lands and in surrounding
communities. Between June 1997 and May 2001, there were 55 specific claims settled at
a value of $394.5 million. Within that group of 55 claims, there were settlements
involving 332,000 hectares of land.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Government of Canada continues to act on the premise that the inherent right of
self-government is an existing Aboriginal right within section 35 of the Constitution Act,
1982, and continues to negotiate self-government arrangements with Aboriginal groups
across the country, either as part of the comprehensive claims process or as a distinct
negotiation process. As examples, self-government agreements-in-principle have been
signed between Canada and: Manitoba and the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation;
Saskatchewan and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and the Meadow Lake First Nations;
and a self-government agreement has been completed with the Westbank First Nation in
British Columbia. Progress has also been made with the Federation of Saskatchewan
Indian Nations and the Nunavik Commission (Nunavik is Quebec's arctic region, and its
inhabitants include Inuit, Naskapi and Cree).
Aboriginal Peoples and the Justice System
The Diversity and Gender Equality Office of the Department of Justice collaborated with
the Métis National Council of Women, Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association, and the
Native Women's Association of Canada to convene the first Aboriginal Women's Justice
Consultation. It was funded by the federal Voluntary Sector Initiative and was held in
September 2001. The Consultation focused on five areas: a gender analysis update from
key federal departments in terms of the impact on Aboriginal women; restorative justice;
treatment of Aboriginal peoples by the justice system; family law; and a model of
Strategic Planning based on Aboriginal values.
The Government of Canada is working in partnership with Aboriginal communities, the
provinces and territories, to help ensure a fundamental long term change in the
relationship between Aboriginal people and the criminal justice system. To that end, the
federal government has enacted sentencing principles that recognize the disproportionate
impact of the criminal justice system on Aboriginal people. The need for this reform has
been acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Gladue [1999] 1 S.C.R.
688 and R. v.Wells [1998], 125.c.c.c, which call on courts to consider alternatives to
imprisonment with particular attention to be given to Aboriginal offenders. A continuum
of federal responses has been developed to address the disproportionate rates of crime,
incarceration and victimization experienced by Aboriginal people in Canada. The
Aboriginal Justice Initiative (AJI) (approx. $22 million), followed by the Aboriginal
Justice Strategy (AJS), and the Native Courtworkers Program (NCW) (approx.
$38 million) are key elements of the federal response.
Through strong federal-provincial-territorial partnerships, the AJS currently supports
90 cost-shared, community-based justice programmes that serve over 280 communities.
These programmes fall into the categories outlined below.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Diversion/Alternative Measures Programs: allows people to take responsibility and
accept consequences for their wrongful behaviour, while at the same time removing them
totally or partially from the aspects of the criminal justice system which can have longterm stigmatizing and marginalizing effects. Police and/or Crown decide whether to
divert a case. Diverting Aboriginal offenders into a community process allows for more
culturally appropriate remedies or sanctions for the offences.
Family Group Conference: has emerged in Canada as a credible, reparative justice
process for communities affected by crime. Primarily used to date for youth, family
group conferences bring together in a circle the victim, offender and as many members of
their family and supporters as possible, along with relevant professional or community
workers. Conferences provide a forum to deal with people’s unanswered questions,
painful emotions, the issue of accountability and the question of restitution or reparation.
Generally speaking, satisfaction on the part of justice professionals and communities is
much higher compared to their experience in the courts.
Community Sentencing Programs: Circle Sentencing usually provides for a communitybased, pre-sentence advisory process with strong reparative and restorative focus. Once
there has been a finding or admission of guilt, community members sit in a circle with the
judge, prosecutor, defence counsel, police and other service providers to discuss
sentencing options and plans to reintegrate the offender back into the community.
Community members usually include the accused, victim, their families, Elders and other
interested citizens. So far Sentencing Circles in Aboriginal communities have been used
with adults more than with young offenders. They can deal with quite serious criminal
offences such as manslaughter or armed robbery where a jail term may or may not be
imposed. The objectives of Sentencing Circles include restitution to the victim,
reparation to the community, responsibility being accepted by the offender, reintegration
of the offender into the community and prevention of recidivism.
Mediation: Victim/offender mediation programmes provide a unique opportunity for
offenders to meet their victims face-to-face in the presence of a trained mediator. The
parties have an opportunity to talk about the crime, to express their feelings and concerns,
to get answers to their questions, and to negotiate a resolution. Mediators do not impose
settlements. The process is meant to empower communication between both parties. In
many situations, mediation can be an alternative to the courts and to custody, used as a
means of resolving the issues that arise from criminal behaviour. Frequently, it is
experienced as more satisfying, more inclusive and more relevant than imprisonment.
However, mediation is also used in addition to, during or following incarceration in order
to address the needs of those affected by the crime which are not addressed by
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
First Nations Courts: A First Nations Magistrates Court is designed to redress problems
that have been identified in the administration of justice in First Nations communities.
These problems include language and cultural barriers, and delay. The court is presided
over by an Aboriginal magistrate. Accused persons who appear in court are addressed in
their own language. The atmosphere of the court is less formal and community
participation is encouraged. In some communities, the court is opened with an Elder
reciting a traditional prayer. The Magistrates Court has jurisdiction to hear guilty pleas
on certain offences including to take guilty pleas and make dispositions on provincial,
by-law, Indian Act and Band by-law offences; hear applications pursuant to s515 of the
Criminal Code (judicial interim release); hear applications pursuant to s.499(3) and
s.503(2.2) of the Criminal Code (application to a justice to replace an undertaking before
a peace officer or officer in charge); make consent orders pursuant to s.810 of the
Criminal Code. The First Nations Magistrates Court has been well received and has
helped streamline and complement the provincial court system. Delays on the previous
circuit court for some cases took up to a year and a half to resolve, now most charges are
dealt with within 2 – 6 months. There are two such community-based models in Canada:
one on the Tsuu T’ina reserve in Alberta, and the other as part of a tripartite initiative of
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak, and the governments of Manitoba and Canada.
The Gladue (Aboriginal Persons) Court in Toronto, Ontario was created after a group of
judges, academics, and community agencies met to discuss how to meaningfully develop
a response to the Gladue decision at the Old City Hall Courts in Toronto, the busiest
court in Canada. This Court performs the same activities as any other court at Old City
Hall, although it offers all of them in one court: bail hearings/variations, remands, trials
and sentencing. What distinguishes the court is that those working in it have a particular
understanding and expertise of the range of programmes and services available to
Aboriginal people in Toronto. This expertise will allow the court to craft decisions in
keeping with the directive of the Supreme Court in Gladue.
The Aboriginal Justice Learning Network (AJLN) is a bridge between the mainstream
justice system and Aboriginal communities. It provides forums for Aboriginal
communities to share ideas and stay informed about developments that contribute to the
creative solutions relating to their issues. It also provides the training and cross-cultural
awareness which is essential for police, judges and other key players in the mainstream
justice system.
The Native Court Workers Program (NCW) assists Aboriginal people involved in the
criminal justice system by helping them to understand the law, the nature of the charges
against them, and to seek required services. The programme also responds to
communication barriers between Aboriginal people and those who are involved in the
administration of the criminal justice system. Under the NCW, 11 of 13 jurisdictions
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
cost-share non-legal advice and assistance to Aboriginal accused in the criminal justice
Diversity, Equality and Justice.
In May 1996, ministers responsible for justice requested that all justice proposals brought
before them routinely incorporate considerations of the potential impact of justice
initiatives on diverse communities in Canada. Consequently, the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Working Group on Diversity, Equality and Justice was created. Its mandate
encompasses that of its predecessor, the Working Group on Multicultural and Race
Relations. The scope of the work was expanded to consider, as well, the concerns of
individuals who belong to one or more groups that frequently experience disadvantage in
their dealings with the justice system. Consequently, in addition to ethnocultural, racial
and religious minorities, the Working Group is concerned with the needs of women,
Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, children and youth, seniors, refugees,
recent immigrants, persons living in poverty, homosexual and bisexual persons,
transgendered persons, and persons with low levels of literacy. During the reporting
period, the Working Group provided diversity group analysis for initiatives and issues
considered at the federal-provincial-territorial meetings of senior Justice officials. A
number of policy documents and research reports were also produced on a variety of
topics, including the legal needs of ethnocultural women, and hate-motivated crimes.
Between 1997-1998 and 2000-2001 the Department of Justice funded 11 projects that
address issues of racial discrimination as they relate to the justice system. These
included projects that: supported the continuing education of judges on issues arising
from the diversity of Canadian society; addressed a variety of issues of importance to
visible minorities entering the legal profession; increased awareness in the legal
profession of the existence and effects of racial inequality in the justice system;
developed a resource kit for intermediaries and police; and developed plain language
employment equity materials to address barriers to employment based on race and
remedies for discrimination.
In February 2000, the Department of Justice created the Diversity and Gender Equality
Office. An essential part of the mandate of the Office is to facilitate the integration of
diversity and gender equality analysis in all the work of the Department. In addition to
carrying out the analysis for the Department, the Office developed a training programme,
based on the National Judicial Institute model, to institutionalize such practices
throughout the Department.
Issues pertaining to Aboriginal Women
The federal government recognizes there is a legislative gap in the Indian Act with regard
to the issue of matrimonial property, and acknowledges the Committee’s concerns. The
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Indian Act is silent on the use, occupation and possession of land - including the
matrimonial home - and does not speak to the division of interests in land on reserve in
case of a marital breakdown. In addition, the provinces, which normally have
jurisdiction over such marital issues, may not validly legislate concerning land within the
federal competence, such as Indian reserves.
The Government of Canada remains committed to finding a practical solution to this
issue. Consultative processes and research on this issue are currently underway. It is
hoped that the results of this research will identify concrete options to resolve this issue
through legislation or policy development.
One such option is contained in the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA),
passed in June 1999. This legislation provides the framework to enable the 14 signatory
First Nations to establish their own land management regime and take over the
administration and management of their reserve lands. The FNLMA includes provisions
to address the issue of matrimonial real property. The signatory First Nations have
agreed to establish community processes to develop rules and procedures to deal with
matrimonial property within 12 months from the date the land code takes effect. In
essence, the First Nations community itself will develop the land codes and procedures.
Theses codes must address the issue of division of matrimonial real property and they
cannot discriminate on the basis of sex.
While the FNLMA is intended at this time to apply only to the 14 participating First
Nations, Canada is open to considering its application to other interested First Nations.
The objective of the Aboriginal Women’s Program of the Department of Canadian
Heritage is to enable Aboriginal women to influence policies, programmes, legislation
and decision making that affect their social, cultural, economic and political well-being
within their own communities and Canadian society while maintaining their cultural
distinctiveness and preserving cultural identity. There are two components to the
Aboriginal Women’s Program:
The Family Violence Initiative enables Aboriginal women to address violencerelated issues within the nuclear as well as extended family within Aboriginal
The self-government initiative enables Aboriginal women to participate fully and
equitably in the consultations and decision-making process.
Status of Women Canada
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Status of Women Canada’s Policy Research Fund, whose primary objective is to support
independent, nationally-relevant, forward-thinking policy research on gender equality
issues, has produced a number of research documents addressing the issue of gender and
race in Canada. Topics cover such issues as aboriginal and immigrant women. The
research published under the Policy Research Fund is distributed free of charge to
interested constituents, public and university libraries and other locations, in both official
languages. As well, documents are available on the Internet throughout Status of Women
Canada’s website and in alternate
formats upon request.
In the reporting period, the Women's Program of Status of women Canada has provided
an average of $775,000 annually, in support of some 30 initiatives in each of these years,
to address the particular concerns of immigrant, refugee and visible minority women.
For example, funding was provided to the Philippine Women Centre of British Columbia
for an initiative to examine the policies and practices of the provincial nurses'
association, nurses' union, public and private nursing educational institutions and
recruitment and service agencies and to bring about internal change to correct identified
discrimination. Also, funding was provided to the Caribbean Association of Peel to
undertake a participatory research initiative to assess the social, health and economic
issues of disadvantaged Caribbean and other visible minority women in the Peel region.
Funding was also provided to the Canadian Council of Muslim Women for the
production of a resource kit to explore critical issues facing young Muslim women in
Canada, including racism within and outside the Canadian Muslim community.
Employment Equity
The new Employment Equity Act (EEA), which came into force on October 24, 1996,
applies to the federal Public Service as well as private-sector employers under federal
jurisdiction and Crown corporations with 100 employees or more. Detailed information
on this Act is provided in the 13th/14th Report.
As employer of the federal Public Service, the Treasury Board has obligations under the
Employment Equity Act. Through its Secretariat, it works closely with departments to
effectively implement employment equity in the Public Service of Canada by removing
barriers to the participation of persons from the designated groups - Aboriginal persons,
members of visible minority groups, persons with disabilities and women. This includes
providing support for initiatives aimed at improving representation and creating an
inclusive work environment.
Between 1997 and 2001, the representation of Aboriginal Peoples and Persons in a
visible minority group in the Public Service evolved as follows:
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Persons in a
Visible Minority
The Special Measures Initiatives Program (SMIP) mentioned in Canada previous reports
ended on March 31, 1998. However, there was still a need for support programmes for
employment equity within the federal Public Service to ensure that it would be
successfully implemented across departments and agencies. As a result, Treasury Board
Ministers approved the Employment Equity Positive Measures Program (EEPMP) on
October 8th, 1998, as a four year programme, to assist departments and agencies in
meeting their obligations under the Employment Equity Act. The EEPMP, like the SMIP,
was a temporary programme which provided project funding from a $10 million annual
budget as a catalyst for eliminating employment barriers and for building institutional
capacity to support employment equity in the federal Public Service. This programme
built on the successes and lessons learned from the SMIP but with a stronger regional
focus, emphasis on cost-shared departmental projects and a new governance structure
under Treasury Board Secretariat. The EEPMP came to an end on March 31, 2002.
A Task Force on an Inclusive Public Service was announced on December 14, 1998 by
the President of the Treasury Board and concluded on May 31, 2000. Its mandate was to
provide advice on the way to create a federal Public Service representative of the
population it serves and of the Canadian labour force and it has been credited with
starting a dialogue about the federal Public Service’s corporate culture.
In 1999, the Task Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public
Service was established to take stock of the situation and formulate a government wide
action plan with benchmarks and follow-up mechanisms. During 1999-2000, it consulted
extensively with key stakeholders inside and outside the federal public service and
developed an action plan. In June 2000, the Government of Canada endorsed the action
plan, entitled Embracing Change in the Federal Public Service, and began implementing
the plan within a results-based framework. The goal was to transform the public service
into an institution that reflects the diversity of Canada’s citizens and attracts them to its
service. The action plan outlined six broad categories in which representation and
Between 1999 and 2000, the total number of federal public employees decreased by 39,625, mostly as a
result of Revenue Canada becoming a separate employer, i.e. the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
participation of visible minorities will be addressed, including external recruitment,
career development and advancement, and changing corporate culture.
Financial support of up to $10 million annually for three fiscal years concluding in March
2003 has been provided to help in implementing the Embracing Change action plan. The
Employment Equity - Embracing Change Support Fund is administered by the Treasury
Board Secretariat and supports initiatives that will improve the representation and
retention of members of a visible minority group in the federal Public Service. Federal
departments and agencies have been undertaking special initiatives to implement the
Employment Equity Act and Embracing Change.
As the official recruiter for the federal public service, the Public Service Commission
(PSC) has assisted federal departments and agencies in integrating employment equity,
Embracing Change, and diversity as part of good human resources management and
business planning. For example, the PSC has helped 21 federal departments and agencies
develop special employment equity programmes to facilitate recruitment from diverse
populations. In addition, the PSC, working with departments, has created several
diversity development programmes. For example, a national competition to appoint
members of visible minorities to the Career Assignment Program (CAP) was launched,
the Accelerated Aboriginal Program was developed as a pilot programme of CAP, and
the Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXDP) will develop visible minority
candidates for entry into senior ranks of Government. The PSC is also ensuring its
assessment instruments do not contribute to adverse impact in selection when used to
assess members of Employment Equity groups.
The Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative (AWPI) continues to promote and
support initiatives for the recruitment of Aboriginal employees by the private and public
sectors. AWPI is responsible for making more than 10,000 employers aware of the
advantages of hiring Aboriginal people. A thorough consultation process with employers
and Aboriginal groups was undertaken and resulted in the Aboriginal Workforce
Participation Initiative Employer Toolkit (national version), which comprehensively
addresses Aboriginal employment issues. It enables employers to build their own
approach to Aboriginal employment based on proven practices and sound business
The Employment Equity Act provides for a statutory review five years after coming into
force. This review started in late 2001 and will assess the effectiveness of the Act and
whether there is a need for any legislative or regulatory amendments to facilitate reaching
employment equity goals.
The Act confers on the Canadian Human Rights Commission the mandate of verifying
that it is being applied by employers. To that end, the Commission conducts audits. If
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
employers are not in compliance, the Commission negotiates with them so that they will
undertake to rectify the deficiencies within a reasonable time. If they fail to comply
within the established time frame, the Commission may issue a direction and, if the
direction is not complied with, may refer the matter to a hearing before an administrative
tribunal. The decisions of that tribunal may then be made enforceable by the Federal
The Canadian Human Rights Commission began its compliance audit work in October
1997. A total of 354 compliance audits were initiated at 215 employers. Of these 215,
73 are now known to be in full compliance. Audits now extend to more than 80 percent
of employees covered by the Act. The remaining 261 employers left to be audited
account for only about 20 percent of the workforce covered by the Act. In the public
sector, nearly all employees (97 percent) are covered by compliance audits.
In general, the Commission has noted that most employers are not in compliance with the
Act at the time of the audit; however, more than 80 percent of them willingly cooperate
when the Commission conducts an audit and requires that they take measures to become
compliant. The Commission needs to take measures in enforcing the Act in only a
minority of cases.
Industry Canada underwent an audit by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the
summer of 2000. As a result, the department was required to conduct a workforce
analysis to determine representation of its designated groups at all levels within the
organization, and to conduct an employment systems review, to determine if there are
any systemic or attitudinal barriers for the equitable representation, development and
advancement of its designated groups. These two activities have recently been
completed and the findings will be analyzed and appropriate follow-up activities will be
incorporated into the department’s three-year action plan currently being developed.
In February 2001, Privy Council Office (PCO) Senior Managers agreed that executives
with hiring responsibilities should incorporate employment equity related objectives in
their 2001-2002 performance agreement. This decision came about as a result of the onsite visit by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in October 2000 which produced a
report requiring PCO to enhance the Employment Equity Action Plan. In March 2001,
PCO launched three new corporate policies on : employment equity and diversity;
workplace accommodation; and prevention and resolution of conflict and harassment in
the workplace. PCO completed all undertakings established by the Canadian Human
Rights Commission and was recently found compliant with the Act.
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was found to be in full compliance
with the Employment Equity Act in the December 2000 audit by the Canadian Human
Rights Commission. The number of visible minority and Aboriginal employees at CIDA
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
surpasses the labour market availability levels required by Canada’s employment equity
In 1995, the Employment Equity Act was amended to include the Canadian Forces (CF).
Regulations making the Act applicable to the unique conditions of the CF have been
written and are expected to receive an Order In Council shortly. In the meantime, the CF
conducts itself as if already subject to the provisions of the Act. A Canadian Forces
Employment Equity Plan was released in December 1999 and a Self-Identification
Census has been administered to the entire Canadian Forces, both Regular and Reserve.
A detailed workforce analysis will be completed in 2002 that will identify where
members of designated groups (women, aboriginal persons, visible minorities and
persons with disabilities) are facing employment barriers. The current census not only
includes military but will continue to collect data for new personnel who are enrolled into
the CF. In this way, the CF will be able to identify and respond more rapidly to changing
In preparation for the formal inclusion of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police under the
Employment Equity Act, an Employment System Review on Regular Members has been
conducted. Barriers to both the numbers of members of the designated groups (women,
Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities) and their distribution within the rank structure
have been determined. Subsequent action in the form of an Employment Equity
Implementation Plan is under-way.
Canada supports the accommodation of newcomers, their diverse backgrounds and
cultures by encouraging a process of mutual adjustment by both newcomers and society.
Integration of newcomers into Canadian society is a two-way process; newcomers are
expected to understand and respect basic Canadian values, and society is expected to
understand and respect the cultural differences newcomers bring to Canada. Rather than
expecting newcomers to abandon their own cultural heritage, the emphasis is on finding
ways to integrate differences in a pluralistic society.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada's settlement programmes and services assist
immigrants in becoming participating and contributing members of Canadian society and
promote an acceptance of immigrants by Canadians. While helping newcomers adapt and
learn about their rights, freedoms and responsibilities and the laws that protect them from
racial discrimination, settlement programmes also sensitize Canadians to different
cultures and how diversity strengthens community life.
The Host Program matches newcomers with volunteers who help them learn about
available services and how to use them, practice their language skills, develop contacts in
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
their employment field, and participate in community activities. In return, Host
volunteers learn about other cultures and develop an appreciation of diversity.
The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programme provides basic
training to adult immigrants in one of Canada's official languages. Curricula, which are
developed and used by the organisations delivering the language training, include
specific modules on newcomers' rights, freedoms and responsibilities and the laws that
protect them from discrimination.
The Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP) provides funds for the
delivery of services to newcomers, including reception, referral to community resources,
community information/orientation, interpretation and translation, paraprofessional and
employment-related services. ISAP-supported agencies are also provided with funding
for staff training to develop cultural competence and sensitivity.
Citizenship and Immigration’s approach to policy and programme development is
grounded in engagement of stakeholders (government, NGOs and researchers). The
Department has, over the reporting period, undergone an extensive consultative process
in the development of its revised legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act. The new Act came into force in June 2002, with objectives including articles:
3(b) to enrich and strengthen the social and cultural fabric of Canadian society,
while respecting the federal, bilingual and multi-cultural character of Canada;
3(e) to promote the successful integration of permanent residents into Canada,
while recognizing that integration involves mutual obligations for new
immigrants and Canadian society.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conducts and supports ongoing multidisciplinary research via initiatives such as Metropolis, and, at the officials and analyst
level, incorporates consideration of national and international past practices into its
policy and programme formation. The Department participates in or cooperates with
various multi-lateral agencies with migration and human rights concerns, including the
International Organization for Migration, the International Committee for Migration
Policy Development, the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee, and
Migration Policy, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. In
all consultations, Canada takes a progressive position on eliminating racial discrimination
from policies and programmes.
CIC has also worked to advance horizontal policy research on immigration and diversity
issues through the Government of Canada's Policy Research Initiative (PRI). In
particular, CIC has been a key member of the PRI's Social Cohesion Network, which is
currently led by the Department of Justice and the Department of Canadian Heritage. In
November 2000, as part of the Network's workshop series on the theme of "What Will
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Hold Us Together?", CIC hosted a workshop entitled "Immigration, Ethnic Diversity, and
Social Cohesion". The workshop featured the results of research on barriers to the
economic and social integration of immigrants and refugees to Canada, and examined the
question of whether increasing ethnic diversity was a potential "fault line" for social
cohesion. In October 2001, CIC co-sponsored a workshop with the Department of
Canadian Heritage on "Social Cohesion and Citizenship: How Diversity is Changing the
Parameters of Belonging", which examined factors of community belonging, changing
conceptions of identity, and the idea of social citizenship. Both workshops were well
attended and provoked a vigorous discussion within the federal policy research
community on emerging issues.
Integrative Programmes for Women Refugees and Immigrants
The Gender Based Analysis Unit was established in 2000 as the department's focal point
for formalizing the integration of gender analysis into CIC's legislative and regulatory
processes, policies and programmes. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and
regulations underwent a preliminary assessment for their potential differential impacts on
men and women, and different groups of men and women based on race, ethnicity and
country of origin, that will be monitored over time. In addition, the GBA Unit provides
gender analysis training to policy and programme officers within CIC, which includes
sensitivity to the intersection of gender, race and diversity.
Good official language skills are essential for effective and rapid integration. About
$204 million is devoted to language instruction for adult newcomers to Canada, which
includes free quality child care services and transportation costs to help parents for whom
language training would otherwise be inaccessible. Service providers are encouraged to
offer a whole range of full-time/part-time, evening, weekend classes, home study and
other innovative initiatives in order to serve the needs of all immigrants. This is of
particular importance to women who often carry the greater share of responsibility of
care for children and may therefore have additional challenges accessing language
Training of federal law enforcement officials in the protection of human rights
At the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the issues of training law enforcement
officials in the area of diversity and human rights are very important. The dorm
environment of the Cadet Training Program (CTP) itself is a lesson in living cultural
diversity. Cadets live and work with a diverse group of people including many from
different ethnic backgrounds. For example in one troup of 24 cadets an informal survey
had revealed that half of the cadets were of different ethnic backgrounds (non-European)
and in combination spoke over 14 different languages other than English and French.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The entire training programme is based on community-based policing principles and the
CAPRA (Clients - Acquiring & Analyzing Info - Partnerships - Response - Assessment)
problem solving model. The core of the CAPRA problem solving is the recognition of
the unique and diverse expectations of different communities and the need to adapt to
meet their specific needs. All training given during the 22 weeks of the CTP
encompasses these principles.
Some modules of the CTP emphasize cultural diversity more than others. This emphasis
is found in the following modules:
Module I session 9 - Simulation exercise called Ecotonos, which emphasizes
effectively participating in a problem solving session in a culturally diverse
Module I sessions 12 and 13 - Emphasizes the Canadian human rights legislation
and is currently taught by a professor from the University of Regina who, among
other qualifications, was once the Ombudsman for the Saskatchewan
Module 7 sessions 13 and 14 - These two sessions address issues in providing
policing services to people with physical and mental disabilities. The sessions are
complemented by guest speakers who are subject matter experts.
Module 12 sessions 1, 2 and 3 - These sessions focus on Hate Crime Legislation
as per the Criminal Code. These sessions are also complemented by guest
speakers who are subject matter expert.
Module 13 sessions 2 and 3 - Focus on issues unique to Aboriginal communities
and normally are taught in partnership with representatives from the Aboriginal
Module 13 sessions 4, 5 and 6 - Focus on area of civil disobedience and
appropriate policing responses to this area.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is covered thoroughly throughout
the CTP.
As part of a general effort to provide effective policing to Aboriginal communities and to
reduce tensions, the National Aboriginal Police Services of the RCMP has developed a
comprehensive training programme for law enforcement officers. The purpose of the
programme is to help officers to understand better the Aboriginal way of viewing the
world. The emphasis is on knowledge acquisition, on the evaluation of evidence, the
drawing of warranted conclusions, and the cultivation of a reasonable and just outlook.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Aboriginal Perceptions Program contains six modules. The first, Aboriginal People
and the Canadian Justice System, deals with Aboriginal concepts of law and justice; the
current realities/impact of Canadian justice on First Nations; current aboriginal justice
initiatives; and the role of healing. The second module, The Unique Position of
Aboriginal People in the Canadian Law, examines Aboriginal titles, legislative authority
of the Federal Parliament, and treaty rights. The third identifies the central issues in First
Nations treaty and land entitlement claims. The fourth explores the consequences of the
Canadian school system on Aboriginal perceptions. Module five deals with Cultural
Factors Influencing Our Perceptions and module six with an Aboriginal Order
Government. Since January 2000, this five day programme has been offered to sixteen
groups of members of the RCMP and officials of the Department of Justice.
Implementation is on-going depending on the availability of resources.
Canada Custom and Revenue Agency provides training to their inspectors on diversity
and human rights, which includes multiculturalism, diversity, cultural awareness of the
various groups in Canada and anti-racism.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act are
fully applicable to the Canadian Forces (CF). Through the auspices of the CF Human
Rights Plan, regulations and policy are continuously monitored for compliance. Several
programmes target racism, either solely or as a component of other anti-discrimination
The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Forces promulgated a
harmonized Harassment Prevention and Resolution Policy in December 2000, which was
developed over the course of several years. The aim of this initiative was to promulgate
a policy and implementation procedures relating to harassment, which is defined as
improper behavior by military members and civilian employees that is directed at, or is
offensive to another person in the DND/CF workplace. Harassment within the meaning
of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which covers discrimination on the basis of race, is
also dealt with under this policy. The emphasis of the policy is on harassment prevention
and the responsibility of all individuals to maintain a harassment-free work environment.
Also emphasized are the early resolution of harassment situations when they occur and
the use of Alternate Dispute Resolution techniques over administrative investigations
Additionally, the CF has initiated a review of the current Policy on Racist Conduct,
which dates from 1996. The aim of this review is to ensure that the policy fully meets
present legal requirements and societal expectations in an attempt to eradicate racist
conduct from the CF. The review will also examine the reporting procedures for
incidents of racist conduct to ensure that the chain of command is in receipt of the
appropriate information in a timely fashion.
The Defence Diversity Council was established in 1996. This senior management group
establishes the strategic framework for the management of diversity across the Canadian
Forces and the Department of National Defence. Under the auspices of the Defence
Diversity Council, four Defence Advisory Groups (one for each designated group)
continue to expand across the country, creating linkages with various groups and
organizations in order to increase awareness of the CF and its commitment to the creation
of an open, barrier-free workplace.
Article 3 : Action against apartheid and racial segregation
Canada has always denounced racial segregation and apartheid throughout the world. On
November 19, 2001, the Canadian Parliament bestowed the title of Honourary Canadian
Citizen on Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, to honour his fight against
apartheid and segregation in his country.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
The Criminal Code of Canada continues to prohibit hate propaganda including:
advocating or promoting genocide against an "identifiable group", that is, any
section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin
(section 318);
inciting hatred against an "identifiable group" by communicating in a public place
statements which are likely to lead to a breach of the peace (subsection 319(1));
communicating statements, other than in private conversation, to wilfully promote
hatred against an "identifiable group" (subsection 319(2)).
Advocating or promoting genocide is an indictable offence punishable by a maximum of
five years imprisonment. The offences under section 319 of the Criminal Code of inciting
or wilfully promoting hatred are dual procedure offences, punishable by two years
imprisonment on indictment and up to six months imprisonment and/or up to a $2,000
fine when proceeded by way of summary conviction. In addition, the Criminal Code
provides for the seizure and forfeiture of hate propaganda kept on premises for
distribution or sale (subsection 320(1) and (4)). Except for the offence provision of
publicly inciting hatred, the consent of the relevant Attorney General is required to obtain
a seizure warrant or to initiate a prosecution under the hate propaganda provisions of the
Criminal Code.
Paragraph 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code provides that if there is evidence that an
assault, damage to property, threatening, harassment or any other criminal offence was
motivated by hate, bias or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, language,
color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other
similar factor, it is an aggravating factor for the purposes of sentencing (i.e., it should
result in a more severe sanction). Paragraph 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code contains a
broader definition of grounds than the definition of "identifiable group" contained in
subsection 318(4) of the Criminal Code for the purposes of the hate propaganda offences.
With regard to the Internet, existing statutory provisions are considered applicable where
the hatred is communicated through that medium (subject to jurisdictional/territorial
concepts relevant to the application of Canada's criminal law).
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In December 2001, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation that included three
relevant measures:
An amendment to the Criminal Code to authorize a judge to order deletion of hate
propaganda from the Internet, when the hate propaganda is stored on and made
available to the public through a computer system that is within the jurisdiction of
the court;
An amendment to the Criminal Code to create an offence of mischief in relation
to religious property or an object associated with religious worship, if the
commission of the mischief is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on
religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin. This offence is punishable with
a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment; and
An amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act to clarify that the prohibition
against spreading repeated hate messages by telephonic communications includes
all telecommunications technologies.
Amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act came into force on June 30, 1998, to
allow victims specifically identified in hate messages to receive compensation. The
individuals responsible for disseminating hate propaganda may also be ordered to pay a
penalty of up to ten thousand dollars.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has been looking into allegations that material
posted on the Internet by Ernst Zündel could expose Jews to hatred or contempt on the
basis of their race, religion and ethnic origin. Procedures began, but have been delayed
by various legal challenges by the respondent. In January 2002, the Human Rights
Tribunal concluded that hate has no place in Canada. In its decision, the Tribunal ordered
that the hate messages be removed from the site and concluded that the site created
conditions that allow hatred to flourish. In its view, the “tone and expression of these
messages is so malevolent in its depiction of Jews, that we find them to be hate messages
within the meaning of the Act.” (Citron v. Zündel, D.T. 1/02 2002/01/18).
In February 1998, the Commission asked the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to look
into a case dealing with alleged hate messages against Muslims. The Islamic Information
and Da'wah Centre International of Toronto filed a complaint against Mark Harding and
his organization, Christian Stands. It alleged that the respondent transmitted telephone
messages that expose Muslims to hatred and contempt, contrary to section 13 of the
Canadian Human Rights Act. The Da'wah case was settled on March 30, 1999. The
respondent agreed to cease and desist the site now and in the future.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Data on hate propaganda offences, ss. 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code, are to some
extent available from the Revised Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) Survey and the
Adult Criminal Court Survey (ACCS). The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics
(CCJS), of Statistics Canada, maintains both of these surveys. The data are limited and
do not provide a good measure of the actual level of activity. However, when it comes to
statistics on hate crime in Canada, there is not much beyond what CCJS can provide.
The Revised Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) survey reports only according to the
most serious offence in the case. Offences under ss. 318 and 319 would not be reflected
in the statistics if there were a more serious offence associated with that case.
The Adult Criminal Court Survey (ACCS) collects and reports information on the
number of charges and cases appearing before Adult Courts on sec.318 and 319:
1) A "charge" is a formal accusation against an accused involving a federal statute
2) A "case" is one or more charges against an accused person or corporation
where the charges received a final disposition in the same court and level on the
same date. (Source: Adult Criminal Court Survey, Canadian Centre for Justice
Statistics, Statistics Canada.)
In 1999/2000, most of the cases under section 319 had the charges stayed or withdrawn.
In just 2 of the 10 cases under section 319 was the case resolved with a finding or plea of
guilt. In both cases, the sentence received was a period of probation and not prison.
The Homicide Survey, maintained by the CCJS, collects a number of incident, victim and
offender characteristics in relation to homicides. Hate crime is listed as one possible
motive, though, in general, the specific motivation for a homicide is difficult to
determine. Since 1991, police have flagged 15 homicides as hate-related in Canada. In
2000, two hate-related homicides were reported.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act came into force on October 23,
2000. This Act serves two purposes: to implement the Rome Statute5 through the
establishment of a domestic criminal and administrative regime to complement the
International Criminal Court, and to strengthen Canada’s legislative foundation for the
prosecution of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Act empowers
Canadian courts to exercise jurisdiction over individuals accused of involvement in the
commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as the crime of
breach of command responsibility. It also enables the prosecution of individuals for
offences against the administration of justice of the International Criminal Court and
proceeds of crime offences.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), first proclaimed in 1977 and amended
in 1996, it is against the law for any employer or provider of service that falls within
federal jurisdiction to make unlawful distinctions based on the following prohibited
grounds: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy
and childbirth), marital status, mental or physical disability (including previous or present
drug or alcohol dependence), pardoned conviction, or sexual orientation.
As part of its commitment to strengthen the Canadian Human Rights Act to ensure that it
is effective in protecting and promoting human rights in a timely and efficient manner, on
April 8 1999, the Minister of Justice announced the establishment of an independent
panel, chaired by Justice La Forest, to conduct an in-depth review of the Canadian
Human Rights Act, the first comprehensive review since 1977. The report entitled
Promoting Equality: a New Vision, contains 165 recommendations covering various
issues from adding new grounds to updating the CHRA to create an efficient, transparent
and accessible complaint system. Additionally, the recommendations suggest changes
for the role of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, its processes and procedures,
such as its ability to deal pro-actively and cost-effectively with systemic discrimination,
direct access of individuals to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and use of dispute
resolution mechanisms such as mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Health Issues
Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court, as adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of
Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, July 17, 1998, and as corrected by the
Procés-verbaux of 10 November 1998 and 12 July 1999, UN Doc. A/Conf. 183/9, 1998 (hereinafter Rome Statute).
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In the area of health, the Government of Canada recognizes that factors such as culture,
gender, income, education, social support networks, the environment, and employment
and working conditions determine health and well-being. Health Canada focuses on this
wide range of personal and collective circumstances when developing strategies to
promote health, prevent disease and reduce barriers when accessing health programmes
and services. Such a comprehensive population health approach recognizes that people
and groups are not affected in the same way by polices, programmes and services. The
federal government works with provincial and territorial governments and other health
partners to expand knowledge of factors affecting the health of the general population
and specific groups such as ethnic groups, immigrants, children, seniors, women and
Aboriginal peoples.
Health Canada’s Women's Health Strategy (launched March 8, 1999) conforms with the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (1979) and with the principles of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and
Canada’s Federal Plan for Gender Equality (1995). The Strategy works to promote an
understanding of gender as a critical variable in health, and to analyse and assess the
impact of policies, programmes and practices in the health system broadly defined, on
women and women’s health. The Strategy emphasizes that women are not a
homogeneous group and is sensitive to issues of diversity. Disability, race, ethnocultural
background and sexual orientation have varying influences on women's health and on
their interactions with the health system.
Health Canada's Gender-based Analysis Policy (2000) recognizes that policies may have
a differential impact on women and men, and the need to build a gender perspective into
health policy at all levels. Done properly, Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) should intersect
with a diversity analysis: a process of examining ideas, policies, programmes and
research for their potentially different impacts on specific groups of women and men,
girls and boys. GBA explores the relationship of gender to other determinants of health.
The 12 determinants of health are: income and social status; employment; education;
social environments; physical environments; healthy child development; personal health
practices and coping skills; health services; social support networks; biology and genetic
endowment; gender; and culture. GBA helps ensure access to, and benefits from the
health system for all people of Canada.
Health Canada’s Women's Health Contribution Program continues to provide support to
four Centres of Excellence for Women's Health, the Canadian Women's Health Network
and other organizations to conduct policy-oriented research on women's health with a
view to making the health system more responsive to women's health needs. The
Programme supports initiatives that are multifaceted, multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral
and include partnerships among academics, community-based organizations and policy
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
makers. The Centres of Excellence have built a firm foundation of evidence concerning
immigrant and refugee women and Aboriginal women’s health and their experiences with
the health care system.
Health Canada currently spends over $1.3 billion per year in health programmes and
services for First Nations and Inuit people to ensure that these populations have access to
the health care services needed to attain health levels comparable to other Canadians.
This amount is in addition to the health services provided to all Canadians, including
Aboriginal peoples, by provinces and territories as part of Canada’s overall health care
These health services include public health and primary care services provided in nursing
stations and by nurse practitioners in 600 First Nations communities, including
198 communities in rural and remote parts of Canada. Supplemental health benefits to
cover costs of prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and transportation to medical
facilities are also provided. Interpreter programmes have been instituted in many
hospitals to provide assistance when necessary.
The federal government also works with provincial and territorial governments to support
programmes and services to address the specific health risks and needs of Canada’s
Aboriginal peoples. Investment in front-end programmes such as diabetes, fetal alcohol
syndrome/effects, and early childhood development continue to be supported by the
Government of Canada. New programmes that began in 1997 and later are: First Nations
and Inuit Health Information System (1997), Dental/Oral Health Strategy (1997),
Tobacco Control Initiative (1998), Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve Program (1999),
Expansion of Aboriginal Head Start urban and northern communities programme (1999),
Expansion of Prenatal Nutrition Program (1999), First Nations and Inuit Home and
Community Care Program (1999), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects
Initiative (1999), Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (1999 -2004), National Tobacco Control
Program (2001).
The Government of Canada, through its Aboriginal Health Careers programme, promotes
and provides bursaries and scholarships for Aboriginal people interested in pursuing
health careers. The bursaries and scholarships were started in 1985. In 1998-99, the
Community Health Programs Directorate transferred the management of this very
successful Aboriginal scholarship and bursary programme to the National Aboriginal
Achievement Foundation; the Directorate continues to offer the programme funding
The Government of Canada has recognized the need for Aboriginal specific research on
health through the creation of the Institute for Aboriginal Peoples Health (IAPH) within
the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). The IAPH is one of thirteen
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Canadian Institutes for Health Research created in 2000. In addition, the Government of
Canada also supports the National Aboriginal Health Organization, which provides a
specific Aboriginal focus for information dissemination on traditional medicine, health
human resource development and health delivery.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
A complaint that has preoccupied the Human Rights Commission since 1992 is the case
of Chopra v. Health Canada (1998, 146 F.T.R. 106 (F.C.T.D.); D.T. 10/01 2001/08/13).
Dr. Chopra joined Health Canada in 1969. In 1992, after being denied a promotion to a
director-level position, he filed a complaint with the Commission alleging discrimination
on the ground of race. The complaint was investigated by the Commission and referred to
the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, where it was subsequently dismissed. In 1998,
however, the Federal Court’s Trial Division found that the tribunal had erred by refusing
to admit statistical evidence that visible minorities were under-represented in
management positions within Health Canada. In a decision subsequently upheld by the
Federal Court of Appeal in January 1999, the complaint was sent back to the tribunal for
a new hearing. The Human Rights Tribunal ruled in August 2001 that Dr. Chopra's rights
under the Canadian Human Rights Act have been contravened by the respondent. This
decision is now under judicial review.
In March 1997, a review tribunal ordered Health Canada to put in place new food and
drug policies that would not discriminate against merchants on the basis of their race or
ethnic origins. The verdict in Bader v. Department of National Health and Welfare
(1998, 31 C.H.R.R. D/268 (Human Rights Review Tribunal)) reversed a Human Rights
Tribunal decision that had dismissed allegations that the Department of National Health
and Welfare had discriminated against non-Chinese merchants who sold Chinese herbal
products. David Bader claimed that the Department enforced Food and Drug Act
regulations governing the importation and sale of certain health foods and herbal
products more vigorously against Caucasian health food merchants than against
merchants of Chinese origin. The review tribunal agreed that Mr. Bader had produced a
prima facie case of discrimination in the enforcement of regulations, based on race and
ethnic origin. The review tribunal found that the Department had not met the
requirements of a bona fide justification, advancing unsubstantiated subjective
information to meet an objective test. The review tribunal ordered the Department to
cease the unequal enforcement of the Food and Drug Act based on the “ethnicity” of the
product or the ethnic origin of the consumer of the product. It also ordered the Minister to
carry out a national review of enforcement policies, practices and compliance strategies
concerning herbs and botanicals, in order to eliminate unsound distinctions based on the
ethnic origin of the dealer, product or consumer.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In 1998, two complaints initiated by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) were
settled with agreements to provide more work opportunities for Aboriginal people. In
July and October 1998, Canadian Airlines International and the AMC signed two
agreements to implement a comprehensive, five-year employment equity action plan to
improve the workforce representation of Aboriginal people in all occupational groups at
the airline. This agreement resolved a complaint filed by the AMC in 1990, alleging that
Canadian Airlines International’s employment policies and practices deprived Aboriginal
people of employment opportunities on the grounds of race, colour and ethnic or national
In Nkwazi v. Correctional Service Canada (T.D. 1/01; 2001/02/05), allegations of race
and colour discrimination in the workplace were upheld, in part, by the Canadian Human
Rights Tribunal. The complainant was a woman of colour born in Zimbabwe who
immigrated to Canada in 1983. She was a qualified nurse working as a casual employee
at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC) operated by Correctional Service Canada in
Saskatoon. The alleged discrimination against the complainant occurred in and around
the time when a competition for a term staff nurse position took place. The evidence
established that a member of management attempted to exclude the complainant from
consideration by unjustifiably insisting she take a one week rest period, which coincided
with the competition for the nursing position. No one else but the complainant was
subjected to this rest period. The complainant nevertheless did compete for the term staff
nurse position, but failed to make the eligibility list after a poor performance before the
interview panel where the very same person who attempted to exclude her from
consideration sat. The tribunal concluded, on a balance of probabilities, that the
complainant’s race and colour were motivating factors in the actions taken by
management at RPC. The tribunal also concluded that the complainant had not been
given a fair opportunity to compete on a level playing field. The tribunal characterized
the events surrounding the non-renewal of her contract as shocking and humiliating to the
complainant, and so insensitive as to border on intentional cruelty. The tribunal ordered
that Correctional Service Canada reinstate the complainant as a casual employee at RPC
for a three-month term at the first reasonable opportunity, and to renew the contract
thereafter as function of the needs of the institution. It further ordered payment for lost
wages, and the order to took into consideration an inappropriate job reference that had
been given to another prospective employer of the complainant.
In the Selwyn Pieters case, (Selwyn Pieters v. R. 2001 FCT 496, May 2001), the plaintiff
had accepted a term position as a registry officer with the Registry of the Federal Court
for the period from June 14, 1999 to December 14, 1999. His contract was not renewed.
The plaintiff filed a grievance, alleging that the employer's decision not to renew his
employment contract was inequitable, vindictive and resulted in wrongful (constructive)
dismissal. The plaintiff stated that there were serious issues affecting both his important
constitutional rights as an African Canadian male to equality in employment with the
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Government of Canada and to protection from discriminatory and bad faith discharge by
the Registry of the Federal Court. In its ruling, the court agreed that the plaintiff's claim
raised very important Charter issues, but the plaintiff could have presented his labour
dispute before an adjudicator. If the adjudicator had refused to hear such issues, the
plaintiff would have been entitled to present them to the Federal Court on an application
for judicial review of the adjudicator's decision. The Court could have then dealt with the
Charter issues. However, the plaintiff did not raise the Charter in the process of the
grievance procedure.
Another Federal Court of Canada decision in December 2001 affirmed that the Canadian
Human Rights Act applies to employees of the House of Commons (House of Commons
and the Honourable Gilbert Parent v. Satnam Vaid, 2001 FCT 1332). The case involved
a racial discrimination complaint by one such employee against the then Speaker of the
House, Mr. Gilbert Parent. Before the tribunal could hear evidence on the case’s merits,
lawyers for the House of Commons challenged its jurisdiction, arguing that parliamentary
privilege shielded the Speaker from scrutiny by the tribunal. The Federal Court dismissed
that argument, holding that the scope of the privilege does not extend to human rights
violations. This clarifies the broad scope of the Commission’s amendments to the Act.
This decision has been now been brought before the Federal Court of Appeal.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Canada's approach to diversity has evolved over the years and is embedded within a
broad framework of civil, political, social, language and minority rights both nationally
and internationally. Canada’s approach includes ensuring a wide dissemination of the
United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,
Canada’s reports and the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination. These documents are available free of charge from the
Canadian Heritage Human Rights Program at the following website: .
Part of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Multiculturalism Program’s approach
to fighting racism is multifaceted including elements of public education, institutional
change, community action and research. Key partners include youth organizations,
schools, non-governmental organizations and all levels of government as well as the
private sector. Through the Multiculturalism Program, community initiatives on a
national and regional level are supported in their efforts to dismantle systemic
discrimination and eliminate racism.
Canada continues to fight racism and to promote a more inclusive and diverse society
through the March 21 Anti-Racism Campaign, the Mathieu Da Costa Award Program,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
the Metropolis Project, the Citizenship Education Research Network and the Canadian
Race Relations Foundation, all of which are described in the Canada’s combined 13th and
14th reports.
Full participation in the societal processes which set the rules by which we agree to live
together is the most salient measure of inclusion. Researchers, NGOs and policymakers
from around the world have come together in the Political Participation Research
Network (PPRN) to design and conduct research in this vital area. The results have been
impressive. Since the initial seminar held in November 1997 in conjunction with the
Second National Metropolis Conference, studies have been conducted in over twenty
cities around the world. The results of the studies have played key roles in policy
development in Canada, especially at the municipal level, but have also revitalized a
critical examination at the federal level.
The Racism. Stop It ! “Action 2000" special millennium youth project realized in
collaboration with the Canadian Human Rights Commission brought together youth
from 24 different countries and from across Canada to travel across the country to discuss
issues dealing with racism. The project culminated in a concert in Ottawa featuring
internationally renowned recording artists from Canada and the United States and a twoday international youth forum. “Action 2000" sought to mobilize youth, artists and
leaders around the world in the struggle against racism.
The Multiculturalism Program, along with a number of other federal departments,
supported the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) work on the challenges and the barriers
that people from racialized communities face in law schools, in the legal market and
within the court system across Canada. The 1999 CBA report, Racial Equality in the
Legal Profession, looks at some of the systemic barriers and notes ways that people and
the institutions in which they work have found to eliminate these barriers or reduce their
impact on people from racialized communities. Support was also provided in 2000 to the
National Association of Japanese Canadians for a major national conference Era 21 End
Racism! Activism for the 21st Century.
Many of the Multiculturalism Program’s actions to address racism are coordinated at the
regional level. The Program works in partnership with various levels of government,
institutions, schools and community groups to combat racism and to build a stronger
sense of common citizenship among all Canadians. This ensures a direct focus on
policies at the community and regional level. Some examples of the Program’s
community and regional activity are:
in the Atlantic region, the Multicultural Association of Fredericton received
support for an intercultural and race relations programme in the schools;
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
in Quebec, the Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales received
support for a project on racial equality in the arts in Quebec;
in Toronto, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations for a multi-media education
campaign to improve public understanding of multiculturalism, cultural diversity,
racism and intolerance;
in British Columbia, a project by the Puente Theatre Society on anti-racism action
through stories from around the world;
in the Kelowna area of British Columbia, in 1998 the Multicultural Society of
Kelowna received support for a conference on Dealing with Hate Crimes - an
Okanagan Valley Experience;
in Ontario, the Guelph and District Multicultural Centre received support to
undertake a project on youth involvement in Canadian neo-Nazi hate groups to
find ways to counter youth recruitment by hate groups.
The Human Rights Commission has continued its work with community organizations
across the country to promote human rights values through education. For example, the
Commission’s Ontario Regional Office and the Ethno-Racial People with Disabilities
Coalition of Ontario produced a brochure on human rights. The Commission also
participated in a range of activities related to the celebration of Black History Month
across Canada. Similarly, the Quebec regional office held in February 2001 a symposium
on visible minorities and the Public Service of Canada. The Prairie regional office held a
“Stop the Hatred” poster campaign. Similar events and campaigns were held in other
In 1997, the Commission published a study entitled Visible Minorities and the Public
Service of Canada. The report noted that the federal government’s record in hiring and
retaining members of visible minority groups was inferior to that of private sector. The
report also suggested that visible minority employees often viewed the public service as
unresponsive and hostile.
The Commission also delivered human rights messages by participating in and cosponsoring various seminars and conferences addressing racism in Canada. In
preparation for the World Conference Against Racism and to mark the United Nations
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Commission
sponsored, in 2000, a public education seminar in Ottawa on racism, anti-racism and their
effects. Also as a contribution to the World Conference, the Commission published in
2001 a casebook on race-related complaints, which provides examples of discriminatory
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
behaviour, what employers should do to fulfill their responsibilities under the Canadian
Human Rights Act, and the types of remedies that are used to address discrimination.
Fighting Hate-Motivated Activity
In 2001, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics released a report Hate Crime in
Canada: An Overview of Issues and Data Sources that for the first time, gives a national
picture of the extent of hate-motivated crime in Canada and identifies research and data
gathering needs (
The government is taking action against hate-motivated activity in four primary ways:
through public education; through the legal system; through supporting community
initiatives to combat hate; and through supporting research.
In 1999, the federal government passed legislation that enhances the protection and
participation of victims in the criminal justice system. Victims of hate-motivated crimes
have increased opportunities to provide victim impact statements that convey to the court
the impact of the accused’s conduct upon them and their broader community. In March
2000, Minister of Justice and Attorney General announced that $20 million would be
provided over the next four years for federal victim-related initiatives and programmes
through the Policy Centre for Victims Issues.
Collective community initiatives and responses to hate-motivated activity in Canada are
key to combatting hate motivated activity. In 1998, the Minister of Justice and Attorney
General announced the second phase of the National Strategy on Community Safety and
Crime Prevention. The National Strategy aims to increase individual and community
safety by equipping Canadians with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to
advance crime prevention efforts in their communities. The National Strategy adopts a
social development approach, placing a particular emphasis on children, youth, women
and Aboriginal peoples. With an investment of $32 million annually, the National
Strategy enables the Government of Canada to help communities develop programmes
and partnerships that will prevent crime in the first place. The National Strategy is
investing in projects that address risk factors in people's lives, such as abuse, violence,
poor parenting and drug and alcohol abuse.
The Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) held roundtable meetings in
April 1997, February 2000 and June 2000 with victims, civil society organizations,
government and technical experts to coordinate efforts to combat hate-motivated activity.
National policy and research initiatives have been undertaken including, a 1998
international comparative review of policy approaches to combatting hate on the Internet,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
a 1999 research overview of hate/bias-motivated acts perpetrated by and against youth, a
2000 research project and publication Promoting Equality in the Information Age Dealing with Internet Hate by the Canadian Jewish Congress Pacific Region and a
comprehensive resource on hate on the Internet by Media Awareness Network (MNet)
Challenging Online Hate (
The Internet has become an attractive channel for pornography and hate because of its
ability to transcend geographical boundaries, its speed and easy accessibility and the
great deal of anonymity enjoyed by its users. As part of the federal strategy to combat
hate and bias activity, Canadian Heritage worked with other federal departments, nongovernmental organizations, police, Internet service providers and international
organizations to address on-line hate activity in Canada.
In February 2001, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Justice, announced the
launch of the Canadian Strategy to Promote Safe, Wise and Responsible Internet Use, a
new initiative that will equip Canadian teachers and parents with tools and resources to
help them protect children against the dangers of illegal and offensive Internet content
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CCRRF)
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act (CRRF) was officially launched by the
government in November 1997. The Foundation operates at arm’s length from the
government and its directors and employees are not part of the federal Public Service.
The principal office of the CRRF is in Toronto and its activities are national in scope.
The Foundation received a one-time endowment of $24 million from the Government of
Canada and operates on income derived from investments, donations and fundraising
efforts. It has registered charitable status. For more information see the following website:
The CRRF seeks to shed light on the causes and manifestations of racism; provide
independent, outspoken national leadership; and act as a resource and facilitator in the
pursuit of equity, fairness and social justice. In 1997-98, the Foundation undertook
consultations with key stakeholders across Canada to identify what aspects of racism in
Canada today require the greatest attention. Priority areas, consistent with the
Foundation’s legislated mandate, were established: public education; action-oriented
research; and, information, resource development and networking for policy and
The Foundation emphasizes research that is practical, strategic and with constructive
options for change. In November 1997, the Foundation issued its first annual call for
research proposals on systemic racism in employment; systemic racism in education;
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
public attitudes; and, race relations training and the development of standards. Such
reports as Racist Discourse in Canada’s English Print Media and Educating Against
Racism: An Annotated Bibliographic Tool of Anti-Racist Resources for Activists and
Educators are examples of the commissioned research sponsored by the Foundation.
The CRRF speaks out against both overt and systemic racism. During 1998-99, the
Foundation launched an “Initiatives Against Racism” Sponsorship Program to support
non-governmental organizations across Canada to combat racism and reinforce the
positive contributions of racial minorities and Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian society.
The CRRF also launched an annual Award of Excellence Program to recognize positive
initiatives in the elimination of racism.
1999 was a key year for the development of stronger working relationships with various
Aboriginal communities through the Aboriginal Issues Task Force. The Foundation also
took to the airwaves with the “Unite Against Racism” public education campaign, aimed
at raising awareness and action on anti-racism issues. In its first year of operation, the
campaign reached over 22 million television viewers.
In 2000-2001, the Foundation recognized that organizations located in rural regions may
have less access to resources for conducting anti-racism work and may require more
funds to facilitate their research, outreach and communication plans. The CRRF adjusted
its Initiatives Against Racism Sponsorship Program to assist organizations located in
more isolated areas in addressing these challenges.
In January 2001, the CRRF sponsored study UNEQUAL ACCESS: A Canadian Profile of
Racial Differences in Education, Employment and Income found that “hidden
discrimination” and “polite racism” prevents Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities
from gaining equal access to jobs. Conducted by the Canadian Council on Social
Development (CCSD) the study was based on quantitative statistics and focus group
discussions with visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples in cities across Canada.
In preparation for the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa,
the CRRF developed a comprehensive position paper for the NGO Forum, which
preceded the WCAR and advocated that the Canadian government set out a programme
of action to address issues affecting racial minority groups and Aboriginal peoples in
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and
Related Intolerance
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Government of Canada actively participated in the World Conference Against
Racism and facilitated broad based consultation with other levels of government, civil
society and the private sector in preparing for this important global event. As one of the
co-sponsors of the UN resolution that led to the convocation of the World Conference,
the Government of Canada established a national secretariat at the Department of
Canadian Heritage as a national focal point for preparations for the Conference. The
Secretariat organized seven regional consultations with civil society that took place
across Canada. A national consultation took place in Ottawa on February 23-24, 2001, a
National Aboriginal Consultation on April 6-7, 2001 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and a Youth
Consultation took place in Ottawa on July14 - 15, 2001. The Secretary of State
(Multiculturalism)(Status of Women) also convened an Advisory Committee of
20 eminent persons to help guide Canada’s preparations for the Conference.
The international preparatory process for the World Conference was also an opportunity
to build capacity among Canadian civil society. Non-governmental organizations were
sponsored to participate in all of the Preparatory Committee meetings for the World
Conference. Canada also participated in two international regional conferences in
Strasbourg, France and Santiago, Chile, and participated in the final conference in
Durban. The delegation, headed by the Honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State
(Multiculturalism)(Status of Women), included senior representatives of the federal
government, representatives of provincial governments, municipalities,
non-governmental organizations, academics, Aboriginal peoples and a broad cross
section of Canada’s diverse population.
Efforts to eradicate racism in Canada were given added impetus through preparations for
the World Conference Against Racism. The Government of Canada will seek to improve
and build upon a number of programmes currently being administered; as well as the
creation of new initiatives to fill the gaps in programming that have been identified.
These efforts will result in a re-invigorated Canadian effort to combat racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
As a result of preparatory consultation for the World Conference Against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Canada developed a 12-point list of
priorities which included: acknowledgement of the past action of racism; recognition of
victims and groups vulnerable to racism and the multiple faces of discrimination in
society; redress and remedies for the victims of discrimination; the effect of globalization
in the fight against racism; the importance of a holistic and forward-looking approach to
racism; the importance of fighting against hate propaganda and racial bias; the role of
the media in the civil society in fighting racism; the importance of educating youth
against racism and intolerance; the importance of international cooperation; and the
importance of education and other concrete preventative measures and strategies to fight
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Citizenship and Belonging Campaigns
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) works with not-for-profit and private sector
organisations in partnerships to promote the integration of newcomers into Canadian
society. The Department develops and distributes products that promote a better
understanding of diverse cultures, encourage a sense of belonging and respect of all
Canadians for our laws and values. CIC’s main focus has been on school children,
newcomer communities and new citizens. The Department reaches out to the public
through national distribution of posters, activity guides and over three thousand
citizenship ceremonies annually.
To promote the two-way concept of integration, CIC launched the “Canada: We All
Belong” campaign and supporting products in 2000. The Welcome Home component of
the campaign asked the children of Canada to send messages of welcome to immigrants
and refugees on whom Canadian citizenship was conferred. The children responded with
thousands of messages, drawings, poems and haikus. Approximately a quarter of a
million Welcome Home posters have been distributed to schools, settlement
organisations, Members of Parliament, boys and girls associations and other
The “Canada: We All Belong” campaign helps immigrants and refugees to feel more
welcome, and also gently reminds Canadians to be more welcoming of newcomers. The
Activity Guides, with their cross-curricular, multi-grade approach, fit well into
provincial/territorial school curricula. For Canada’s Citizenship Week 2001, which was
October 14-20 2001, the Government of Canada conducted a national television and
newspaper campaign using the “Canada: We All Belong” theme promoting the values of
respect, peace and togetherness. This media campaign was initiated to combat the
negative perception of some immigrant communities in response to the attacks of
September 11th.
Promotion of Arts and Culture to Combat Racism
The work of the Arts and Policy Branch of Canadian Heritage supports culture initiatives
that combat prejudices that lead to racial discrimination, and more particularly, that
promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial and ethnic
groups. The principle of equity and inclusion are entrenched in the policy directions
developed over the last year in national consultation with stakeholders in the community.
Initiatives announced by the Prime Minister on May 2, 2001 in support of the arts are
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
informed by these principles. The three key directions of this policy work are excellence
and diversity in creativity, connecting people and the arts, and sustaining the sector.
In the policy directions, special emphasis is placed on the contribution of Aboriginal
cultures and peoples to the identity and spirit of Canada. Fundamental to a vision for the
arts is an awareness that Canada has a talent pool in the arts that is increasingly culturally
diverse, and the government intends to encourage and sustain cultural diversity through
the arts.
Aboriginal youth, the fastest-growing segment of the Canada’s youth population, are the
least likely to acquire the educational and life skills needed to lead stable and rewarding
lives, due to economic, cultural and personal hardship. Since 1998, Canadian Heritage
has invested in the improvement of the economic, social and personal prospects of urban
Aboriginal youth: the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centres Initiative supports
the development of a network of culturally-relevant, supportive and accessible projects
and activities that are directed at addressing a wide range of issues and needs, which have
been identified by Aboriginal youth. These projects are managed by Aboriginal
organizations with the guidance and participation of Aboriginal youth.
At the conclusion of the United Nations International Year of the World’s Indigenous
People, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards were established to recognize and
promote the outstanding achievements of Aboriginal people in diverse fields throughout
Canada. These awards are continuing with the International Decade of the World’s
Indigenous People. Celebration of National Aboriginal Day, established in 1996 as June
21, continues to recognize the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal peoples in
Canada. These initiatives promote and engender a deeper understanding of Aboriginal
peoples and their continuing valuable contributions to Canadian society.
Issues relating to racial discrimination are addressed through targeted efforts by the
Canadian Studies Program to ensure the representation of Canada’s diversity in publicity
and educational material, and through the support of projects addressing this diversity in
the context of Canadian Studies. The many projects supported include a national
conference on the Teaching, Learning and Communicating the History of Canada,
featuring dialogue on the place of aboriginal history and involving First Peoples scholars,
students and teachers on a significant basis and the successful Scattering of Seeds project,
a multi-episode series on the history of Canada through the lives of immigrants.
In the year 2000, the theme of the Annual Canada Day Poster Challenge was
“Celebrating Canada’s Diversity”. The activities encouraged students to gain an
understanding of the people, places and events that helped to establish our diverse
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Exchanges Canada initiative aims at providing Canadian youth with opportunities to
experience Canada and connect to other Canadians. Through exchanges, youth develop a
greater understanding and appreciation for Canada’s rich cultural diversity. In addition,
Exchanges Canada is undergoing consultations to develop a new programme component
on racial discrimination awareness, which would be integrated into Youth Forums
Canada programme Encounters with Canada.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a public agency that produces and
distributes films and other audiovisual works which reflect Canada to Canadians and the
rest of the world. The NFB has implemented a number of initiatives to achieve
objectives with regard to diversity, including a Special Mandate Team for cultural
diversity that promotes the participation of filmmakers from as many diverse cultural
communities as possible.
Both the English and French programmes of the NFB have programmes and competitions
designed to encourage the realization and development of filmmakers from diverse
cultural communities. Special programmes also exist to promote aboriginal participation.
The NFB has also produced or co-produced at least 15 films (English and French)
featuring counter-racism themes.
In the areas of broadcasting, issues relating to racial discrimination are addressed in the
Broadcasting Act of 1991, which largely promotes equal rights by requiring, among other
things, that the Canadian broadcasting system serve and reflect Canadians through its
programming and employment opportunities, by taking into account equal rights, the
linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the
special place of Aboriginal peoples. In addition, the Broadcasting Act directs the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster, to provide
programming that reflects the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada. The
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulates the
issues of portrayal, employment equity, multicultural and ethnic and Native (Aboriginal)
broadcasting. Neither the issues nor the Government’s position on such issues have
changed in the period under review.
In 1996, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Telefilm Canada partnered with
private industry to create the Canadian Television Fund (formerly named the Canada
Television and Cable Production Fund) to maintain and increase the amount of high
quality, distinctively Canadian programming for Canadian audiences. The Fund
effectively promotes Canadian culture, intra-national and intra-cultural understanding by
encouraging productions in the essential areas of drama, variety, children's shows,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
documentaries and performing arts in English, French and Aboriginal languages. In
1997/98, the Fund’s budget included support for 11 Aboriginal television projects.
The Canadian Television Policy Framework, released in June 1999, is a key document by
the CRTC which outlines the obligations of broadcasters. It includes rules for various
issues including social issues and cultural diversity. All television broadcasters, as a
condition of their licence, are required to report on their commitment to accurately reflect
the presence of cultural and ethnic minorities and Aboriginal peoples in the communities
they serve. Furthermore, licensees are expected to ensure that the on-screen portrayal of
all minority groups is accurate, fair and non-stereotypical.
The Nothern Native Broadcast Access Program (NNBAP) was established under the
Northern Broadcasting Policy in 1983. The mandate is to contribute to the protection and
enhancement of Aboriginal languages and cultures through funding and assistance to
thirteen Native Communications societies for the production and distribution of radio and
television programming that meet the cultural, and information needs of Aboriginal
peoples. These societies directly service half a million Aboriginal people. Radio
programming produced by the societies reaches over 400 communities, predominantly
via independent satellite networks. All the television programming produced by the
societies is broadcast on the National Cable Television network - The Aboriginal Peoples
Television Network. All the societies are located in the three territories and the northern
regions of seven provinces.
International Aid, Cooperation and Development
Canada’s foreign policy, including its international assistance, is guided by overarching
objectives, one of which is the expression of Canadian values and culture, which includes
respect for human rights and multiculturalism; both of which contribute to the
elimination of racial discrimination. The Canadian International Development Agency's
(CIDA) mandate is to promote sustainable development in developing countries in order
to reduce poverty. CIDA aims to reach the poorest of the poor, many of whom are
marginalized as a result of racism and discrimination.
CIDA has provided $341,355 to the Roma Community Development Project in the
Slovak Republic. This project’s long-term goal is to prevent discrimination against
Slovakia’s Roma minority, through building the community’s capacity to meet its basic
needs, facilitating Roma participation in democratic governance, and by building the
capacity of Slovak government officials to design and deliver programmes which are
responsive to the needs of the Roma minority.
CIDA has contributed $45,000 to the Vietnam Centre on Population, Labour and Social
Affairs to increase the understanding of the legal needs of the Kho Mu ethnic minority,
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
one of the poorest communities in Vietnam. The project surveyed important legal issues
for the target group, produced relevant information, and developed training programmes.
It allowed the Kho Mu communities to exercise their rights within the framework of
Vietnamese law.
CIDA has supported the Government of South Africa through a $7 million grant to assist
in its redesign of the educational system in an effort to improve accessibility, quality and
equity, especially for non-whites and women of the country’s education and training
CIDA’s Action Plan on Child Protection identifies ‘children facing discrimination
because of their ethnic or religious identity’ as a key group of children who need special
protection from violence, marginalization, targeting during conflict and unfair treatment
by authorities. The Action Plan commits CIDA to working to identify these children in
specific situations and ensuring that they receive the assistance to which they are entitled.
CIDA has also taken a number of initiatives that specifically address the needs of
indigenous peoples: for example, in recognition of the fact that indigenous peoples
around the world often face extreme poverty, social and political marginalization, the
Minister for International Cooperation announced in March 2001 the Indigenous Peoples
Partnership Program, which provides $10 million over a four-year period to support
inter-Indigenous development.
CIDA has provided over $12 million in support to a programme that promotes respect for
human rights and democratic practices as well as peace building, including respect for the
identity and rights of the indigenous community in Guatemala. These funds supported
activities such as anti-discrimination training for members of the Guatemalan media,
encouraged the participation of indigenous Guatemalans in electoral politics, and
supported the involvement of indigenous organizations in United Nations-sponsored
peace negotiations.
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Measures Adopted by
the Governments of the
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
British Columbia
This report contains information on developments regarding the elimination of racial
discrimination in British Columbia during the period of June 1997 to May 2001.
Legislative Framework
There are three legislative regimes aimed at eliminating racial discrimination in British
Columbia: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“the Charter”), the Human
Rights Code, and the Multiculturalism Act. Each will be explained briefly in turn in the
following paragraphs.
The Charter governs all state action. Although Canada is a federal state, as a
constitutional document, the Charter applies to all provinces and territories. In addition,
as a result of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Singh v. Canada (Minister of
Employment and Immigration), [1985] 1 S.C.R. 177, the Charter applies equally to
citizens and non-citizens. In keeping with the International Convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, section 15(1) of the Charter
specifically prohibits discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, and colour.
The provincial Human Rights Code also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,
ancestry, place of origin, and colour across four broad areas of provincial jurisdiction:
employment, publications, sale and rental of real property, and lastly, public services,
accommodations, and facilities.
British Columbia’s Multiculturalism Act aims to:
recognize that the diversity of British Columbians as regards race, cultural
heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry and place of origin is a fundamental
characteristic of the society of British Columbia that enriches the lives of all
British Columbians;
encourage respect for the multicultural heritage of British Columbia;
promote racial harmony, cross cultural understanding and respect, and the
development of a community that is united and at peace with itself; and
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
foster the creation of a society in British Columbia in which there are no
impediments to the full and free participation of all British Columbians in the
economic, social, cultural and political life of British Columbia.
Demographic Information
Between 1997 and 2000, British Columbia’s population grew from 3,923,564 to
4,063,760. The most recent demographic information that details population by ethnicity
dates from the 1996 Canada census. According to that document, people who selfidentified as “visible minorities” accounted for 17.9 percent of the province’s total
population. The three largest ethnic groups were the Chinese, South Asians, and
Filipinos who represented 8.1 percent, 4.3 percent and 1.3 percent of the total population
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Legislative Measures
There have been no changes to the anti racism provisions of human rights or equality
legislation during the reporting period.
Judicial Decisions
In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on a landmark human rights case in British
Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU (British
Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union), [1999] 3 S.C.R. 3. Prior to this
judgement, a distinction had been drawn between “direct” discrimination, which involved
a distinction drawn obviously on prohibited grounds and “adverse effect” discrimination,
which arose when seemingly neutral requirements have a discriminatory consequence. In
this decision, the Supreme Court of Canada eliminated the distinction, thereby
rationalizing the legal analysis to be applied in discrimination cases, including those
involving racial discrimination. As such, the case marked a significant evolution in
human rights jurisprudence in Canada.
Another important development in the fight against hate speech was the decision of the
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in the Canadian Jewish Congress v. North
Shore Free Press Ltd. and Doug Collins in 1997. The Human Rights Commission
successfully argued through the Deputy Chief Commissioner that the Human Rights
Code’s provision prohibiting discriminatory publications met constitutional muster. In a
decision that balanced the right to be free of discrimination against the right to free
speech, the Tribunal held that a newspaper columnist’s articles had the cumulative effect
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
of exposing Jewish people to hatred and contempt. The decision is particularly important
in that it upheld section 7(1)(b) of the Code which prohibits the publication of unusually
strong or offensive statements that are likely to expose a person or a group of persons to
hatred or contempt because of race, religion, ancestry or certain other grounds. A full
copy of the Code may be viewed at:
Other Measures
Statutory Created Advisory Organizations
Other facets of British Columbia’s commitment to eradicating racism include the work of
the Human Rights Advisory Council and the Advisory Council on Multiculturalism.
The BC Human Rights Advisory Council was established in 1998 under the new BC
Human Rights Code that came into effect on January 1, 1997. It began its work in July
1998. The role of the council is to be the “eyes and ears” of the community by :
informing the public about the BC Human Rights Commission;
bringing human rights concerns to the attention of the Minister and the
Commission; and
advising the Minister Responsible for Human Rights on matters relevant to the
administration of the human rights process in British Columbia.
It accomplishes this task by holding public meetings and consultations throughout the
province each year and by producing an annual report.
Similarly, the Advisory Council on Multiculturalism is established pursuant to section 4
of the Multiculturalism Act. Its role is to advise the Minister Responsible for
Multiculturalism on emerging diversity and anti racism issues. Like the Human Rights
Advisory Council, members serve on a voluntary basis. The council holds meetings
throughout the province and produces an annual report outlining yearly activities and
recommendations. Annual reports can be found at : .
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
British Columbia Human Rights Commission
During the period under review, the British Columbia Human Rights Commission served
as the principal human rights agency in the province6. On March 21, 1998, the
Commission launched its website thereby increasing access to information about human
rights within the province, including information regarding racism, the role of the
Commission, the complaint process, and news releases.
In 1999, in response to concerns that complaints of racial discrimination were being
dismissed in greater proportion than other human rights complaints, the Commission
created an internal “Race Complaints Committee” to review the complaint handling
process as it related to race complaints. The committee includes Commission staff, a
representative from Multiculturalism BC, as well as members from the community.
In 1999-2000, the Committee commissioned a researcher to review selected complaint
files in order to identify reasons for the lower success rate for race complaints. The
Commission also developed training on the investigation of race discrimination
The Human Rights Commission developed a number of new resources during the
reporting period.
a video entitled Human Rights, My Rights: A Video for Aboriginal People;
a “Racism Fact Sheet” designed to raise awareness of a person’s right to live free
from racial discrimination. This education resource defines racism, provides
examples of racism in the workplace, tenancy, and public services as well as
providing information about how to file a formal human rights complaint;
an Aboriginal outreach project in recognition of the low number of human rights
complaints filed by Aboriginal people;
support of the Justice Theatre which dramatizes human rights processes at a
community fair, the Pacific National Exhibition. In 1999, the focus was racial
Effective April 1, 2003, the British Columbia Human Rights Commission was
replaced by a new system. This will be covered in Canada’s next report. For more
information please visit the following website:
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
an anti-racism online conference on February 18-19, 2000, which brought
together students, activists, teachers, and other professionals to develop a better
understanding of information technologies and how they affect human rights;
a harassment guide, which is meant to help employers of all sizes and types to
include human rights policy and procedures in their businesses and to model the
values of respect and dignity inherent in the Human Rights Code. The guide
covers all types of discriminatory harassment including that based on race, colour,
and place of origin ; and
a series of public fora in 1999-2000 on the topic of reducing racial barriers to
hiring, promotion, and retention in the British Columbia public sector. The goal
was to attract a workforce which reflects the diversity of the province’s
Other Activities
Each year, British Columbia hosts many activities in honour of the International Day for
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in March.
in 1998, activities included a forum called, “Challenging Systemic Racism”
which brought together 120 participants from government, business, labour,
community groups, and the public to discuss issues and challenges of systemic
discrimination and to increase cross cultural understanding in order to eliminate
another event was held in Victoria a day later called “Challenging Racial
Discrimination: A Celebration and a Discussion.” In 1999, the theme of the
forum was “Strategies to End Racism”;
since 1997, the province has also celebrated End Racism Awards in March each
year. The awards recognize the collaborative efforts of individuals, community
organizations, and institutions to increase cross-cultural understanding and to
eliminate racism.
In addition, each year, the government through Multiculturalism BC provides funding to
anti-racism and multicultural groups. For example, in 1997-1998, $1,201,000 was
awarded to 84 projects throughout the province. In 1998-1999, funding dropped slightly
to $1,083,312 for 86 projects, and in 1999-2000, $851,372 went to 75 projects.
Annual anti-racism marches have been held in the Vancouver area. The marches in
March 1999 attracted several hundred participants. In addition to the walk, human rights
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
workshops were set up in order to explore the roots and appropriate responses to racism,
and a public video room showed anti-racism and multicultural films. In March 2000, the
walk was entitled “Celebrating Our Differences: Walk for Unity and Educating Against
Racism Conference.” As the title suggests, a conference was added onto the event and
featured free workshops designed to eliminate racism in the local community.
In partnership with three major provincial anti-racism community organizations, the
government conducted six regional consultations with concerned citizens in preparation
for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa on
August 31-September 7, 2001. These consultations informed British Columbia’s
contribution to the Canadian government’s submission to the World Conference.
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
Activities to eliminate hate crimes increased dramatically during the reporting period.
Examples include the organization of fora in Aboriginal communities. In 1998, such
forums were held in Vancouver (March 23, 1998), Prince George (April 20, 1998), and
Prince Rupert (April 24, 1998), Penticton (September 22, 1998), Nanaimo
(October 5, 1998), and Cranbrook (May 6, 1999). The forums provided the opportunity
for communities to relate their experiences with hate crimes and discuss potential
In 1998, the Hate Crime Team played an instrumental role in the provincial telephone
company’s investigation of the dissemination of hate on the Internet. The mandate of the
Hate Crime Team is to ensure the effective identification, investigation, and prosecution
of crimes motivated by hate. In March 1999, the Ministry of Attorney General produced
its first Hate Crime Team Status Report covering the period from its creation in April
1997 to December 1998. Reported incidents of racially motivated behaviour to police
increased from 131 in 1997 to 168 in 1998. Criminal charges increased from 25 to 46
over the same period.
In 1999, the province helped to fund a two day conference at the University of Victoria
called, “Hatred in Canada: Perspectives, Action, and Prevention.” The topic was a
discussion of issues relating to hate and possible responses. Furthermore, in November
1999, British Columbia hosted Canada’s justice ministers for a conference and hate crime
was one of the key agenda items. That same month, the British Columbia Human Rights
Commission released a report called “A Call for Action: Combating Hate in BC.” The
report illustrates how youths are targeted by hate groups and asks citizens to put fighting
hate at the top of their community and individual priorities.
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 5 : Equality before the law
British Columbian’s equality rights continue to be guaranteed by the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms. Additional information is provided in previous reports.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
The remedies described under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as
those under the Human Rights Code continue to be available for all British Columbians.
Additional information is provided in previous reports.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
British Columbians recognize the importance of education in preventing and eradicating
racial discrimination. A list of some of the highlights of government activity during the
reporting period follows:
May 1997: Youth anti racism group TROO (Total Respect of Others) presented
and facilitated interactive workshops for schools and community groups
throughout British Columbia. The group uses theatre games, role playing, and
audience participation to discuss racism and hate bias issues with young people.
November 14, 1997: Multiculturalism BC sponsored a day long youth forum
called Reaching Across Differences in Vernon BC. Approximately 275 youth
attended and discussed issues relating to multiculturalism and elimination of
racism. The session began with speeches, then theatre performances, and
ultimately workshops which created recommendations. The recommendations
have led to school initiatives and have been incorporated into Multiculturalism
BC’s strategic planning process.
December 1997: a Safe School Centre opened in Burnaby. Its purpose is to serve
as a resource centre for schools across the province providing information,
resource materials and examples of best practices to address a range of safe school
issues, including preventing crime and violence and celebrating diversity. The
centre profiles successful ongoing programmes such as STAAR (Students Taking
Action Against Racism).
August 1998: The British Columbia Human Rights Commission provided
funding to allow the People’s Law School to stage dramatizations of human rights
complaints at the Pacific National Exhibition (a large fair in Vancouver). The
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
topic in 1998 was racial discrimination, specifically hate publications. The plays
provided a forum for the public to view a human rights hearing, to discuss the
balance between the right to live free from discrimination and the right to freedom
of expression, and to learn about the social impact of hate literature.
Fall 1998: The Ministry of Education published Shared Learnings: Integrating
BC Aboriginal Content K-10. The resource is designed to provide guidance in
integrating Aboriginal topics in all subject areas at an introductory level. The aim
is to provide a guide for educators that will assist in creating greater sensitivity to
and respect for the richness and diversity of the Aboriginal peoples of British
1998-1999: Multiculturalism BC entered into a partnership with Central
Okanagan School District. Funding supported Racism Free Schools and School
District Action plans designed to create a racism free school district.
1998-1999: The government provided funding to the Department of Counselling
Psychology, the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in
Vancouver. The purpose of the financial support was to permit the Faculty of
Education to develop, implement and evaluate the Anti Racism Response training
module in its Teacher Education Program.
1998-1999: In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration
on Human Rights, a human rights video series, Not in Our Back Yard, was held, a
resource bibliography on human rights was developed with the Vancouver Public
Library, and a special event to honour a new documentary on the life of the late
Chief Dan George, Burrard First Nation, was held at the Vancouver International
Film Festival.
October 1999: The government released a series of resource guides created for
the provincial education system to help identify and combat racism. The five
guides are directed at students, parents, elementary and secondary school teachers,
and administrators. Each booklet uses workshops to present real life scenarios of
inadvertent or intended racism coupled with strategies for resolving conflicts.
Strategies focus on non-confrontational, positive ways to address racism and
arrive at a better understanding of other cultures. The guides have been widely
distributed to schools, educators, and community organizations throughout British
December 10, 1999: In partnership with the BC Federation of Teachers,
government launched the BC Human Rights Champions Award Program designed
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
to encourage school-age children to carry out activities aimed at promoting
respect for human rights. Many of the student activities recognized by the
programme were aimed at preventing or responding to racism.
June 1, 1997 – May 31, 2001: The government provided funding to the People’s
Law School to stage a total of 319 Justice Theatre dramatizations in schools
throughout British Columbia on themes of racism and hate crime. These
performances educated youth on a number of subtopics such as racial
discrimination in the workplace, race-based criminal assaults, and homophobic
discrimination and violence.
British Columbia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Alberta’s submission to Canada’s fifteenth and sixteenth reports updates to May 2001,
the information contained in Canada’s thirteenth and fourteenth reports.
The Government of Alberta is committed to equality and full participation for all
Albertans. Dealing with racism and discrimination is a shared responsibility –
government, business, community organizations and public institutions.
The government responds to issues of racism in a variety of ways:
ensuring that Alberta Government policies, programmes and legislation comply
with United Nations human rights treaties that are ratified by Canada;
passing legislation such as the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism
Act or the Holocaust Memorial Day and Genocide Remembrance Act;
developing business plans, strategic directions and policies that reflect
government values and goals of creating an environment free from discrimination;
implementing specific programmes within ministries to address these issues;
providing funding to community organizations to assist them to develop and carry
out initiatives; and
providing advice and assistance to individuals and organizations wishing to
respond to equity or inclusion concerns.
Alberta’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act
The Alberta Government, through the Department of Community Development,
continues to promote the understanding and acceptance of diversity with the Human
Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act and to protect human rights to ensure that all
Albertans can participate and contribute equally to the cultural, social and economic life
of Alberta.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development develops government-wide policy and
strategic recommendations to guide the province’s relationship with Aboriginal people in
a manner that balances the interests of all Albertans. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development provides advice to the Premier, Ministers, government departments and
agencies, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations and the business sector.
In 2000, the Government of Alberta adopted a cross-ministry priority Aboriginal Policy
Initiative (API) whose purpose is to work with Aboriginal people, federal and municipal
governments, industry and other interested parties to improve the well-being and selfreliance of Aboriginal people and clarify federal, provincial and Aboriginal roles and
responsibilities. This purpose relates to the Government of Alberta Business Plan
Goal 6: “The well-being and self-reliance of Aboriginal people will be comparable with
that of other Albertans”. Three Ministries champion the API: Aboriginal Affairs and
Northern Development, Children’s Services, and Justice. Each government ministry is
committed to working with these co-champions to achieve this government goal, with
performance being measured annually by an external panel.
Work towards achieving Business Plan Goal 6 is focused on improving the health status
and well-being of Aboriginal people, supporting life-long learning opportunities for
Aboriginal people, promoting appreciation of Aboriginal cultures, increasing the
participation of Aboriginal people in the Alberta economy, and clarifying federal/
provincial/ Aboriginal roles and responsibilities.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In each fiscal year from 1997-1998 to 2000-2001, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development provided approximately $2.3 million in funding to the province’s 20 Native
Friendship Centres and the Metis Nation of Alberta Association. The Friendship Centres
aim to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people in urban environments. They
support self-determined activities that encourage equal access and participation of
Aboriginal people in Canadian society while emphasizing Aboriginal cultural
distinctiveness. During this reporting period, the centres used the funding for numerous
projects to improve cultural and cross-cultural awareness, including powwows,
workshops, community liaison activities and Aboriginal dance, crafts and language
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Metis Nation of Alberta Association works towards enhancing the socio-economic
well-being of the Metis of Alberta who are not members of Alberta’s eight Metis
Settlements. Under the Alberta/Metis Framework, the Association uses the core funding
provided by the province to engage in joint planning and action with the province to
ensure effective participation in the design, development and delivery of provincial
policies, programmes and services.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development was involved in three Treaty Land
Entitlement settlements with First Nations in Alberta during the reporting period for a
total of approximately 71,000 acres of land and $12.5 million. Treaty Land Entitlements
settlements are important steps to establishing an economic base and developing the
infrastructure to improve the standard of living for the Indian population. Treaty Land
Entitlements principally involve the federal government, which has the primary
responsibility under the Canadian Constitution. Claims also may involve the province
because the province is obligated to transfer to the federal government unoccupied lands
it requires to fulfil its treaty responsibilities.
Alberta Justice, Alberta Solicitor General
Alberta Justice and Alberta Solicitor General have established the Aboriginal Justice
Initiatives unit, which serves both ministries and whose director is a member of both
executive committees. This unit liaises with each division in both departments, with
other ministries, and with Aboriginal people and communities on justice and issues
related to the achievement of the government’s goal that “The well-being and selfreliance of Aboriginal people will be comparable with that of other Albertans”.
Examples of Aboriginal justice initiatives include the provision of Aboriginal cultural
awareness training to over 450 Alberta Justice and Solicitor General staff (10 percent of
total staff) in 2001 – 2002. The ministries funded 60 community justice initiatives in 48
Aboriginal communities, an increase of 36 percent in the number of projects and 30
percent in the number of communities served over 2000- 2001. These include Youth
Justice committees, crime prevention initiatives, victims’ services, community
corrections programmes, and First Nations policing services. It is noted that the
Provincial Court of Alberta sits at three First Nations communities and is supported by
community-based services provided by the community, Alberta Justice and Solicitor
General. Alberta Justice has established Aboriginal liaison prosecutors to liaise with
Aboriginal communities on justice-related issues.
Alberta Solicitor General is working with representatives of Treaty 8 First Nations of
Alberta, the federal government and Royal Canadian Mounted Police to consult with First
Nations authorities at Treaty and Tribal Councils on how to provide effective policing
services to First Nations. Alberta Solicitor General has entered into a number of
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
partnerships with Aboriginal communities for the provision of correctional services. At
Correctional Centres it provides Aboriginal spiritual and cultural programmes through the
services of Native Programme Co-ordinators. These include sweet grass ceremonies,
sweat lodges, round dances, and pow wows.
International and Intergovernmental Relations
International and Intergovernmental Relations oversees Alberta’s nine twinning
relationships, often referred to as sister-province relationships with provinces/states in
China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and the United
States. These relationships support activities undertaken by local citizens, municipalities,
and the province, which help increase understanding of other peoples, cultures, and
economies; in this way contributing to the elimination of barriers, which often lead to
racial discrimination.
Alberta Health and Wellness
Alberta Health and Wellness initiated the Aboriginal Health Strategy to address a marked
disparity in health status between Aboriginal Albertans and the general population. Part
of this disparity may stem from racism and systemic discrimination in the health care
system that this Aboriginal Health Strategy is intended to address. The Aboriginal Health
Strategy was developed after extensive consultations with Aboriginal communities and
organizations and was intended to evolve over time to meet the changing health needs of
Aboriginal Albertans.
The Strategy has five major objectives: (1) to improve primary health care services in
remote Aboriginal communities; (2) to improve access by Aboriginal peoples to
provincial health services; (3) to establish partnerships with provincial Aboriginal
associations and communities to design appropriate health services; (4) to improve the
level of knowledge of Aboriginal people about their health and the health care system;
and (5) to improve Aboriginal participation in the health workforce through health
careers bursaries.
Since its inception, the Strategy has spent or committed over $10 million to support
community-based partnership initiatives to improve the health and well being of
Aboriginal Albertans and has provided over 216 bursaries to assist Aboriginal students to
pursue careers in a health field. Some examples of the types of community-based
partnership initiatives include: community actions to prevent suicide and other injuries;
programmes to blend traditional healing practices with western healing methods; and inservice training programmes for health care professionals to improve their knowledge of
Aboriginal culture and healing ways. In addition, many of Alberta's 17 health regions
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
have initiated their own programmes to improve access to health services for Aboriginal
Albertans within their region.
Alberta Children’s Services
Alberta Children’s Services has agreements with sixteen First Nation or Tribal Council
Child Welfare Agencies whereby these Agencies deliver provincial child welfare services
to all persons residing on the reserves of thirty-eight of the forty-six First Nations in
Alberta. The Ministry’s Child and Family Services Authorities provide child welfare
services on the reserves of the remaining eight First Nations.
Community Development
The Wild Rose Foundation Quarterly Grants Program provides grants to non-profit
organizations in Alberta working principally in the area of human services to assist with
projects that benefit the greater community. Aboriginal groups are often recipients of
these grants.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
In the fiscal year of 2000-2001, complaints to the Human Rights and Citizenship
Commission based upon the grounds of race/colour and ancestry/origin represented
10 percent and 8 percent respectively of the total grounds cited. By way of comparison,
complaints based on gender and physical disability each represented 28 percent.
On June 2, 1997, the Alberta government enacted the Child and Family Services
Authorities Act, which affirms the government’s commitment to develop and provide
programmes and services to First Nations, Metis and other aboriginal peoples that reflect
their values, beliefs and customs in a respectful and collaborative manner. The Act
creates a community-based system of regional Authorities, allowing child and family
services and programmes to be planned on the basis of local needs. When appointing
board members to a regional Authority, the Minister of Children’s Services must have
regard to the aboriginal population of the region administered by the Authority. In 1999,
the Minister established a Metis Settlements Child and Family Services Authority.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Alberta Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development distributed approximately
$900,000 in grants for cultural awareness, education and development projects during the
reporting period. The majority of these projects were conferences, powwows, and Native
awareness events. The largest projects revolved around the Treaty 8 centennial
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
commemorative events during 1999. A series of events at three locations were held
during the year with historical projects occurring in conjunction with the celebrations.
Aboriginal Education
In 1999, Alberta Learning initiated a review of the Native Education Policy in Alberta.
The policy statement indicates that the Ministry “supports education programmes and
services which provide enhanced opportunities for all Alberta students to develop an
understanding and appreciation of Native histories, cultures and lifestyles. These
programmes and services also provide opportunities for Native people to help guide and
shape the education their children receive.” The purpose of the policy review was to (1)
determine and define the role, responsibilities and jurisdiction of Alberta Learning in the
education of First Nation, Métis, Inuit and other Aboriginal learners, and (2) establish
directions in legislation, policy and regulation in the delivery of programmes and services
to First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners. Alberta Learning is currently moving forward
on policy matters related to the policy review.
Alberta Learning continues to support the Native Education Policy objectives through a
number of initiatives.
In 1999/2000 funding for Native Education Projects was over $4 million. The
Native Education Project has established initiatives in four main areas: Aboriginal
personnel, Aboriginal learning resources, Aboriginal language development, and
cultural awareness.
The Aboriginal Studies 10, 20, and 30 programme is intended to provide a
conceptual framework for all learners as a means to better understanding and
respect for the similarities and differences among different Aboriginal cultures.
These programmes are being provincially implemented in 2002.
Provincial programmes in Aboriginal languages include Blackfoot and Cree
language and culture at the 10, 11 and 12 levels. Locally developed programmes
include Blackfoot and Stoney language at the 10 and 11 levels.
Participation continues in the Western Canadian Protocol Social Studies
Kindergarten to Grade 12 Project to include Francophone and Aboriginal culture
and history.
The development of the Alberta Social Studies Programmes of Study,
Kindergarten to Grade 12 is underway. This development includes Aboriginal
and Francophone writers and teacher members. The core elements are
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
citizenship, identity and diverse perspectives, and anticipated topics include
racism, stereotyping, and safe and caring learning environments.
Immigrants and Refugees
Alberta Learning continues to provide operating grants to immigrant-serving agencies to
assist the integration of immigrants and refugees to the province. Immigrant-serving
agencies are supported to deliver services such as counseling and English as a second
language (ESL) assessment and referral. Adult English as a second language curriculum,
innovative projects and learning opportunities are also supported through ESL providers,
Community Adult Learning Councils and volunteer tutor adult literacy services. In
1999/2000 a province-wide assessment was undertaken of the needs of immigrants for
settlement and employment services. In 1999/2000, the funding cap for English as a
Second Language was removed for Grades 1 to 12.
Alberta Learning develops and distributes several publications for immigrants free of
charge to schools, careers development centers and the public. New resources to support
ESL programming in senior high schools were developed, as well as a guide to ESL for
elementary schools. Alberta Learning publishes and distributes free of charge Welcome
to Alberta, a booklet for new immigrants and English Express, a newspaper for adults
learning to read.
Community Development
One of the core businesses contained in the Community Development Business Plan is
protecting human rights and promoting fairness and access. The ministry accomplishes
these through :
resolution of complaints made under the Human Rights, Citizenship and
Multiculturalism Act;
public education, information and consultation services; and
financial assistance to community human rights and diversity projects through the
Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund.
The Human Rights and Citizenship Branch is involved in educational initiatives which
relate to a broad definition of human rights, including diversity and multiculturalism.
Some examples of the anti-racism education, information and consultation services that
the Human Rights and Citizenship Branch provides or develops include:
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
development of resources such as the annotated bibliography of human rights
materials for children and youth;
participation in the City of Calgary Listening Circle process which responds to
barriers to full participation identified by the Aboriginal community;
consultation with community members produced a strategic direction for human
rights and diversity work in the province. The report, Promoting Equity and
Fairness for all Albertans, will help the community and the ministry respond to
community needs in this area;
work with the Calgary Cultural and Racial Diversity Task Force to assist private,
not for profit and public sector organizations to create and maintain environments
that affirm, respect, reflect and celebrate the racial and cultural diversity of our
The Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund supports
community organizations in undertaking human rights and diversity initiatives that lead
to change. Some examples of community initiatives supported by the Education Fund
that deal with racism include:
Calgary Jewish Centre: Holocaust Education Symposia: Three half-day
workshops involving 1800 grade 12 students who receive an historical overview
of the Holocaust within the context of World War II and then relate this
information to examples of racism, genocide and hatred today.
Committee on Race Relations and Cross Cultural Understanding: A Rock
Against Racism Concert for youth to acknowledge the Day to Eliminate Racial
Discrimination, March 21.
East Prairie Metis Settlement: Workshops were developed to deal with
discrimination. In addition, information packages and resources and contacts
were provided to support the workshops among youth, adults and elders.
Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women: The Rights Path – Alberta
booklet was updated and reprinted. The booklet will be used in workshops,
seminars and educational settings to provide information to the Aboriginal
population on their rights and responsibilities as individuals.
Northern Alliance on Race Relations: Anti-Racism In-service Education will be
offered to Alberta teachers. These workshops will assist them to practice
inclusiveness in their classrooms. Participants will examine school policies to
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
detect bias and racism. They will develop strategies to work effectively with
parents to improve race-relations, and will leave the workshop with hands on tools
and an action plan for their individual use on race-relations.
The Cultural Diversity Institute (CDI) was established in 1998 through an agreement
between the University of Calgary and the Government of Alberta, Ministry of
Community Development. The CDI has a provincial mandate “to create and disseminate
knowledge and information regarding cultural diversity and its effects on human
interaction, and to look at ways of developing a greater understanding and appreciation
for the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to fully realize the benefits of cultural
The Alberta Youth Leadership Program was developed as a result of concerns expressed
by the Native Justice Initiatives Unit of the Department of Justice regarding the high
percentage of Aboriginal youth in conflict with the law. Alberta’s Future Leaders’
Programme is designed to use sport, recreation, arts, drama, and leadership development
as both prevention and intervention to address the needs of Alberta’s Aboriginal youth.
Programmes include wilderness/adventure camps, a touring arts programme,
mentor/leadership activities and sport and recreation programmes.
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts supports the arts in Alberta and provides funding to
events and activities such as the National Aboriginal Day Festival, Fort Whoop-Up
Interpretive Society in Lethbridge and heritage festivals organized by Alberta’s ethnic
communities which promote interracial understanding and harmony and encourage
awareness of Aboriginal and other cultures.
The Sport and Recreation Branch provides annual funding to the Indigenous Sport
Council (Alberta) (ISC(A)). The ISC(A) is committed to Indigenous Youth and has
tirelessly worked to bridge the relationships between non-indigenous education, sport and
recreation systems and ISC(A) programming.
Alberta Community Development is responsible for the First Nations Development Fund,
arising out of the First Nations Gaming Policy. The Department commenced ongoing
discussions with the First Nations of Alberta about the administrative and management
parameters for the First Nations Development Fund.
Community Development Volunteer Services Branch worked with Alberta First Nations
and Metis in facilitating and training through various projects involving strategic and
long range planning, and board development topics. The branch has worked with First
Nations Bands, with the Metis Nation of Alberta, with Metis Settlements and Metis
locals, with aboriginal non-profit/volunteer organizations, and with other individuals or
projects involving the aboriginal population. The branch also worked with other
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
government departments on Aboriginal initiatives such as the Native Education Review
conducted by Alberta Learning.
The First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act, the first legislation of its
kind in Canada, received Royal Assent in May 2000. This legislation allows for the
return of ceremonial objects to First Nation communities of origin, upon request. This
initiative is now in its second phase, involving extensive consultations leading to the
development of First Nation community-sanctioned regulations through which the
repatriation process will continue.
The Ethnology Programme at the Provincial Museum is directly involved in managing
16,000 artifacts, a number of which are Aboriginal sacred ceremonial objects. Ethnology
Programme staff provide direct and essentially daily service to Aboriginal communities,
in managing these collections and ensuring that they are accessible to Aboriginal people.
Much of the Ethnology Programme is currently devoted to loan and repatriation issues
directly affecting First Nations People and connected with First Nations Sacred
Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act.
The Siksika Nation received funding under the Centennial Legacies Grant Programme to
construct a new museum and cultural centre to house and display their significant
collection of historic Blackfoot materials. The Centennial Legacies Grant Programme
provides funding for communities to construct new facilities or renovate existing
facilities which will leave a lasting legacy in commemoration of Alberta’s 100th
The Ministry played a lead role in directing Cabinet’s attention to problems related to
abandoned human burials and gravesites in Alberta, many of which contain remains of
Aboriginal people. The Ministry will continue to play a lead role on the
interdepartmental working committee to provide resolutions to these issues.
The Provincial Museum of Alberta, Syncrude Canada Ltd. and the National Aboriginal
Achievement Foundation continue to jointly fund a summer internship programme for
Aboriginal people interested in pursuing a career in Museum or Historical Resource
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Saskatchewan’s submission to Canada’s fifteenth and sixteenth reports updates to May
2001, the information contained in Canada’s previous reports.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission continues to be the agency responsible for
administering and promoting the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.
Amendments to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code were proclaimed in November
2001. The amendments replace the ad hoc board of inquiry system with an independent
human rights tribunal panel consisting of at least three members, serving five year terms.
The amendments streamline the complaint process. The Saskatchewan Human Rights
Commission can tailor procedure to different types of complaints and adapt procedures as
appropriate. The Chief Commissioner, rather than the full Commission, can approve
settlements, dismiss complaints, grant exemptions and refer complaints to the human
rights tribunal. The Commission can defer investigation of a complaint if the substance of
the complaint could be dealt with more appropriately under another statute or proceeding.
The Chief Commissioner can dismiss a complaint if the complaint raises no significant
issue of discrimination, is made in bad faith, is made for improper motives, or where the
substance of the complaint has been dealt with more appropriately under another statute
or proceeding. A complainant who disagrees with a decision to dismiss a complaint can
apply to the human rights tribunal for a hearing; if the tribunal agrees to a hearing, the
complainant then assumes carriage of the complaint either in person or through a lawyer.
The amendments also enhance the enforcement and remedy provisions of the Code. They
increase the maximum award for compensation for injury to feelings or self-respect from
$5,000 to $10,000. The Chief Commissioner can monitor compliance with an order
where the tribunal includes this as part of an order.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Employment Equity
Employment equity is a plan of action for the public service workplace to ensure all
members of society have fair and equal access to employment opportunities. It involves
developing special measures and removing barriers to employment for groups currently
under-represented in the workforce.
The Government of Saskatchewan has an employment equity plan with three primary
to eliminate employment barriers caused by discrimination and disadvantage;
to remedy the effects of, and prevent future, discrimination and disadvantage; and
to create a workplace that reflects the equitable distribution of designated groups
in the labour market.
The four designated groups addressed by the Employment Equity Program are women in
management and non-traditional jobs, persons of Aboriginal ancestry, persons with
physical or mental disabilities, and members of visible minority groups.
Government departments, supported by senior management, employment equity
committees, and the unions, implement actions to improve the recruitment, promotion
and retention of the designated groups. These actions include:
Recruitment strategies:
broad outreach initiatives with the designated group communities such as
educational institutions, multi-cultural organizations, and support
maintenance of an inventory of resumes to support hiring managers in
their recruitment efforts;
an Aboriginal Internship Program, to enhance access to careers in the
public service, with planned job rotation and learning and development
opportunities; and
elimination of systemic barriers in job descriptions, the recognition of
foreign credentials, and the acceptance of transferable skills and
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Retention strategies:
implementation of an Anti-Harassment Policy. Training sessions are
provided and a process is in place to handle complaints fairly and
establishment of policies which recognize the need to balance work and
family responsibilities;
development of an education and awareness programme, ‘The Road to
Equity’, which is used for departmental training; and
tuition and book reimbursement, developmental job rotations, and special
work assignments.
The Aboriginal Government Employees’ Network (AGEN), established in 1992, is an
organization that is working to increase the employment and retention of Aboriginal
people in government. AGEN encourages the goal of achieving a representative work
force in communities throughout Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Visible Minority Employees’ Association (SVMEA) was established
in 1997 to assist visible minority employees in the provincial executive government and
provincial Crown corporations who are encountering barriers within their work places,
such as hostility, stress through harassment, isolation and exclusion, and stereotyping of
their abilities based on group membership.
Women’s Secretariat7
In November 1999, the Women’s Secretariat published a Profile of Aboriginal Women in
Saskatchewan. This document compares the situation of Aboriginal women and men,
and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. It provides information concerning First
Nations women living on and off reserves, and Métis women. Issues covered include:
demographics, education, employment, income, housing, families, violence and health.
The document has been distributed to Aboriginal organizations, Aboriginal women’s
groups, government and research institutes. It is available online at: .
1996 Census data, and some more recent data from other sources, was used to prepare
statistical updates on the status of Aboriginal, visible minority and immigrant women.
The Women’s Secretariat was merged with the Department of Labour on April 1,
2002, and is now the Status of Women Office, Saskatchewan Labour.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Statistical updates can be found at: .
While some Aboriginal women are achieving success in education and employment, the
socio-economic status of Aboriginal women remains low, and major problems continue
to be experienced in housing, family situations, family violence and health. The current
self-revitalization of the Aboriginal community and traditional values, coupled with
initiatives in self-government, hold promise for the future. Aboriginal women still face
challenges in having their voices heard within Aboriginal organizations and in society in
general. Aboriginal women, men, girls and boys, continue to experience racism in
Some visible minority women are from families that have been Canadians for several
generations. Others are more recent immigrants to Canada. Recent immigrants to
Canada are more likely to be from visible minority groups, compared to the earlier waves
of immigration from Western and Eastern Europe. Racial discrimination and harassment
continue to be experienced by both long-time and new Canadians.
Statistically, visible minority people are polarized economically at the higher end of the
pay scale spectrum and at the lower end. For visible minority group members that are
immigrants, this reflects the type of immigrants allowed into Canada - professionals who
fill a labour force need in the province, or those who immigrate based on humanitarian
Despite their higher levels of education, Saskatchewan women who are members of a
visible minority group are concentrated in low paying service sector industries. More
than half of visible minority women over the age of 15 have annual gross incomes of less
than $10,000. Lack of recognition of foreign credentials is an important factor in lower
The Department of Labour does not collect statistics respecting the race, ethnicity, or
primary language of Saskatchewan workers, but there is strong anecdotal evidence to
support the contention that visible minority workers and workers of Aboriginal ancestry
are underrepresented in Saskatchewan’s labour force. Migrant labour is not a significant
issue in the province.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Saskatchewan Public Service Commission maintains statistics respecting the
proportional representation of provincial government workers who self-declare as
members of the following “designated groups”: visible minorities, persons of Aboriginal
(Indian, Métis and Inuit) ancestry, people with disabilities, and women in management or
non-traditional occupations.
The Labour Standards Act, 1978
The Labour Standards Act (LSA) mandates workplace standards. It protects individuals
from employer retaliation for reporting victimization due to race.
Section 74(1) of the LSA provides:
74(1) No employer shall discharge or threaten to discharge or in any manner
discriminate against an employee because the employee:
has reported or proposed to report to a lawful authority any activity that is
or is likely to result in an offence pursuant to an Act or an Act of the
Parliament of Canada; or
has testified or may be called on to testify in an investigation or
proceeding pursuant to an Act or an Act of the Parliament of Canada.
The penalties for breaches of the LSA are: a fine of not more than $2,000 for a first
offence; and, in the case of an offence committed within six years after conviction for an
offence, a fine of not more than $5,000 for a second offence and a fine of not more than
$10,000 for a third or subsequent offence.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993
Under The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHSA), employers have a general
duty to protect their workers from harassment. Section 3(c) of the OHSA reads:
Every employer shall:
ensure, insofar as is reasonably practicable, that the employer’s workers
are not exposed to harassment at the place of employment;
The OHSA also prohibits workers from engaging in harassment. Section 4(b) of the
OHSA states:
Every worker while at work shall:
refrain from causing or participating in the harassment of another worker;
Assuming that an incident of harassment did not result in death or “serious injury”, under
section 58(4) the penalty assessed would be:
for a first offence:
that is a single, isolated offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000;
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
that is a continuing offence:
to a fine not exceeding $10,000;
to a further fine not exceeding $1,000 for each day or portion of a
day during which the offence continues;
for a second or subsequent offence:
that is a single, isolated offence, to a fine not exceeding $20,000;
that is a continuing offence:
to a fine not exceeding $20,000;
to a further fine not exceeding $2,000 for each day or portion of a
day during which the offence continues.
Saskatchewan Labour’s Prevention Services Branch has worked with Saskatchewan
Education8 to have information pertaining to workers’ rights and responsibilities included
in the Practical and Applied Arts component of the province’s high school curriculum.
To ensure that youth of Aboriginal ancestry are apprised of their rights and
responsibilities under provincial labour legislation, Saskatchewan Labour delivers
education and awareness activities through its Ready for Work – Aboriginal School Pilot
Project. This has included presentations at on-reserve schools. (The Department also
will deliver this training package, which focuses largely on the provisions contained in
the LSA and OHSA, to any client group upon request).
Saskatchewan Labour’s Employment Equity Committee hosts an annual internal
awareness event to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination. This is one of four annual in-house events the committee holds to
encourage the hiring, retention and promotion of equity-seeking group members,
including Aboriginal and visible minority workers.
Aboriginal Affairs
In 1992, the former Indian and Métis Affairs Secretariat9 developed the Aboriginal
Employment Development Program (AEDP) as a response to the changing needs of the
Aboriginal population. The AEDP is designed to take a bilateral, pro-active integrated
and focussed approach to promote Aboriginal training and employment in Saskatchewan.
The AEDP initiated the Representative Workforce Strategy that is based on the principles
of developing partnerships with employers, integrating Aboriginal people into the
workforce, and creating an equal playing field.
The Departments of Education and Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training
were merged into one Department, Saskatchewan Learning, in 2002.
Now Saskatchewan Government Relations and Aboriginal Affairs
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
An important aspect of the partnership process is the creation of “fair workplaces” which
are ready to hire and retain Aboriginal employees in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Through the use of cultural awareness training, delivered by Aboriginal persons,
misconceptions and stereotypes can be reduced in workplaces. Close to one thousand
senior managers and supervisors have received cultural awareness training and the
demand for training at all employee levels in both the private and public sector continues
to grow.
The partnership process is beneficial for all involved. It creates meaningful employment
opportunities for Aboriginal people leading to less reliance on provincial support services
while meeting many of the current and future staffing needs of employers. The
partnerships help create diverse workplaces built on co-operation and mutual respect
while improving human resource management in organizations. Finally, the partnerships
are good for business as they help organizations become better equipped to respond to a
growing Aboriginal clientele.
Aboriginal Affairs is involved in 40 partnerships with public and private sector
employers, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educational institutions, organized labour,
Aboriginal organizations and government.
Environment and Natural Resources
Strategic Plan for Workplace Diversity: This policy initiative provides the guidance and
direction within Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management (SERM)10 as the
Department strives to create a more representative, diverse workforce. Activity
highlights have included: partnership projects with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated
College (SIFC); establishing a corporate recruitment goal of 50 per cent of all levels and
types of staff vacancies to be designated first to employment equity groups in 1999 and in
2000; advancing the Aboriginal Affairs Policy Framework which aims at engaging
Aboriginal people in developing consultation processes, relationships and partnerships
that will meet everyone’s interests; providing the Aboriginal Cultural Awareness
Program to more than 300 employees; and engaging a Workplace Diversity Consultant to
work directly with managers to build capacity to recruit and retain people who offer
diversity to SERM’s workforce.
The Aboriginal Advisory Committee (AAC) has been established as a new and influential
standing committee of SERM Aboriginal employees with the purpose of providing
SERM Executive Committee, the Public Involvement and Aboriginal Affairs Unit and the
Now Saskatchewan Environment
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Corporate Development Unit with advice on corporate issues and policies that impact on
Aboriginal communities and employees; addressing issues that may be identified by the
Employment Equity Committee that are specific to Aboriginal employment; liaising with
the Aboriginal Government Employees Network (AGEN); providing support and acting
as advisors and models to other Aboriginal employees; and monitoring progress of
SERM’s Aboriginal programme.
In 1999 SERM expanded its existing partnerships with the Federation of Saskatchewan
Indian Nations (FSIN) and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan (MNS) which has had the
effect of adding 13 positions to the environment and resource management personnel in
the province who work alongside SERM staff.
SERM, in consultation with communities, Tribal Councils and First Nation Police
Management Boards, has developed a programme which uses alternative methods and a
restorative approach in dealing with individuals charged with renewable resource
offences. It focuses on problem-solving, community needs and reintegrating the offender.
A similar programme is currently under development between SERM and the Métis
With respect to the aboriginal business development, SERM has been actively promoting
models of partnership among industries, government and Aboriginal peoples and northern
communities. Some examples of the sectors that have experienced positive impact from
these partnerships include: forestry, provincial parks, northern fisheries, and outfitting.
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food11 has established a cross-branch team on Aboriginal
Economic Development to enhance the Department’s ability to partner with, provide
services to, and encourage and support the participation of the Aboriginal community in
the province’s agricultural sector. Every Branch is represented on the team, facilitating
the integration of this strategic objective in all aspects of the Department’s programming
and delivery.
The Strategic Plan of the Department of Justice includes an Aboriginal core strategy:
"The justice system responds to the needs and values of Aboriginal people and
contributes to a more inclusive society". To accomplish this goal, Saskatchewan Justice
Now Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
works cooperatively with Aboriginal governments and organizations to provide
Aboriginal justice programmes, such as:
Community justice programmes involve crime prevention, public education,
resolving community conflict, and alternative measures. 67 of the 72 First
Nations in the province are involved in these programmes. The Aboriginal Justice
Directorate of Justice Canada supports these programmes as well as adult
alternative measures programmes offered by Aboriginal organizations in some
urban areas.
The Saskatchewan Aboriginal Courtworker Program helps accused people who
are going through the criminal justice system by providing support to the accused,
accompanying them to court dates, and explaining court proceedings to them.
Currently, services are offered in 76 percent of court locations across the province
by 27 courtworkers employed by 14 Aboriginal carrier agencies.
First Nations Policing Programs involve Aboriginal communities in making
decisions about the type of policing they would like in their communities.
Currently there are 30 Community Tripartite Agreements with 45 First Nations
that cover about 75 percent of the on-reserve population of the province. Pursuant
to these agreements, police management boards provide community input to the
police, and Elders work with the RCMP for culturally sensitive policing. Work is
also occurring to develop community police boards in northern Saskatchewan,
and to develop the File Hills Police Service, which is in the process of becoming a
self-administered First Nations police service.
Eight Aboriginal Family Violence initiatives help Aboriginal families deal with
violence and abuse. The Department also supports eight Aboriginal Resource
Officer Programs that help Aboriginal victims of crime and their families by
providing information, support and referrals to other programmes.
Six crime prevention initiatives focus on the needs of Aboriginal people in urban
Adult Corrections12 entered into an agreement with the Prince Albert Grand Council in
January 1997 to operate a Spiritual Healing Lodge for 25 provincial, low security
offenders on the Wahpeton Reserve land, immediately adjacent to the City of Prince
Albert. Corrections also maintained an agreement with the File Hills Tribal Council of
In April 2002, a new Department of Corrections and Public Safety was created,
bringing Adult and Youth Corrections into one Department.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Fort Qu’Appelle to provide Probation Services for four First Nations Communities.
Further, Corrections developed a Cultural Diversity Model as part of the Induction
Training for all new institutional Corrections staff.
The Aboriginal and Northern Justice Initiatives Branch was created in 2000. It is
involved in a variety of projects related to justice issues in northern Saskatchewan and
involving Aboriginal peoples throughout the province. The Branch's work includes
building community trust and confidence in the justice system and establishing positive
working relationships between Saskatchewan Justice, Aboriginal communities and other
stakeholders, as well as providing policy advice and helping other Branches develop
Aboriginal justice initiatives.
Cree Court -- On October 1, 2001, a Cree-speaking Circuit Court Party was established in
four Provincial Court locations in northern Saskatchewan. The court party travels out of
Prince Albert and includes a Cree-speaking judge, prosecutor, a Cree Legal Aid counsel,
two Cree-speaking court clerks, one of which serves as an interpreter, and a Creespeaking probation officer. This Cree Circuit Court Party attends court eight days a
month at Sandy Bay, Pelican Narrows, Big River First Nation and Montreal Lake.
Circle Court -- In September, 2001, a "circle court" was set up in the Saskatoon
Provincial Court. This circle courtroom is used regularly as a therapeutic court for the
victims and families of youth involved in crime. One of the purposes of this youth circle
court is to respond to the rising level of youth recidivism and incarceration in Saskatoon.
Many of the youth who accept responsibility or are convicted after trial have complex
backgrounds. The youth circle court provides a more informal and relaxed environment
for examination of background factors such as family life, educational status, community
and professional supports. The Prince Albert Provincial Court facility in Prince Albert
also has a circle court for carrying out sentencing circles and other forms of court
processes that are therapeutic in nature.
Court on Reserve -- The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court and Court Services have
developed a protocol for the establishment of Court on Reserve. Court is presently held
on Reserve at nine locations.
On November 15, 2001, the Saskatchewan Minister of Justice announced the
establishment of a Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.
The goal of the Commission is to identify efficient, effective and financially responsible
reforms to the justice system. The objectives of these reforms are to reduce offending
and victimization, leading to reduced incarceration and safer communities for First
Nations and Métis peoples. The Commission has been holding public hearings and
accepting submissions about reforms to the justice system. It can consider all
components of the justice system including policing, courts, prosecutions, alternative
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
measures, legal aid, corrections, community corrections, youth justice, community justice
and victims services.
Social Services
The Department of Social Services has had general responsibilities in the areas of income
security, child welfare, young offenders, and services to people with intellectual
disabilities13. Analysis of movement through department programs shows a clear path
from child welfare, to young offenders involvements, to social assistance dependency as
adults. In child welfare caseloads, Aboriginal people are strongly over-represented. The
Department of Social Services is engaging in child welfare redesign to address these
issues. This is in its early stages and progress will be reported under the submission of
Canada’s report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Criminal law in Canada is governed by federal legislation, but administered by provincial
courts. This is true of youth as well as adult justice, although youth justice is governed
by separate legislation. Young offender programme caseloads are predominantly
Aboriginal, reflecting a high degree of marginalization and dysfunction in both onreserve and urban Aboriginal communities. The federal government will be
implementing a new Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) April 1, 2003, to replace the
Young Offenders Act. The Department of Social Services14 has advocated changes to
make the legislation more responsive to the rehabilitation and reintegration of offending
youth, particularly Aboriginal youth, as well as communities and crime victims.
Saskatchewan Health is involved with First Nation partners in the delivery of health
services in targeted areas of the province. Over the past year, leaders from the two
northern health districts, the Athabasca Health Authority, Northern Inter-Tribal Health
Authority (which is made up of Saskatchewan’s northern First Nations) together with
Saskatchewan Health have begun the development of a Northern Health Strategy. The
strategy will be based on a holistic approach to health, emphasizing prevention, and will
strive to respect the complex jurisdictional issues in the North (i.e. First Nations, Métis,
health districts, provincial and federal governments).
In April 2002, a new Department of Corrections and Public Safety was created,
bringing Adult and Youth Corrections into one Department. When responsibility for young
offenders was transferred from Social Services to Corrections and Public Safety, Social
Services assumed responsibility for government housing programs and career and
employment services.
Now the Department of Community Resources and Employment.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Saskatchewan Health has also been working to develop a more representative workforce
within the provincial health sector. Since 1999, twenty health employers and the
Department have signed Representative Work Agreements. For the first time a major
union representing health workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE),
included in their contract a commitment to train and recruit Aboriginal workers
throughout the health system. It has also initiated workplace readiness training as one
strategy for preparing the workplace for the growing number of Aboriginal employees.
Approximately 1,000 Aboriginal people have been hired in the health sector as part of the
partnerships, with another three hundred people being trained.
During 1999-2000, Saskatchewan Health began work with the Athabasca Health
Authority and Northern First Nations communities to plan and develop a new health
facility in Stony Rapids, to serve residents of the Athabasca Basin.
In 2000, the Province of Saskatchewan developed a provincial action plan designed to
address issues for Métis and off-reserve First Nations people living in Saskatchewan.
This strategy has as one of its broad goals, the enhancement of individual and community
well-being. Saskatchewan Health has undertaken several initiatives to pursue this goal,
including hiring a diabetes coordinator to work with health districts, with some priority
given to the high incidence of this disease among the province’s Aboriginal population.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
During the 1999-2000 school year there were 188,594 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students
in Saskatchewan’s provincially funded education system. About 45,000 Saskatchewan
Aboriginal persons are school-aged, representing about 20 percent of the province’s
entire school-aged population. Estimates show that by 2015, close to one-half of the
children entering school in Saskatchewan will be of Aboriginal descent. A significant
number of these children will be attending provincial schools.
Education in Saskatchewan is based on a commitment to address the needs of individual
learners and to provide equitable opportunity and benefit for all students. The Goals of
Education for Saskatchewan include affirmation of the worth of every individual and a
respect for the diversity in values, behaviours, culture and lifestyle. The diversity of
Saskatchewan’s population means that the needs of the children and youth in the province
are many and varied. It is recognized that some students require additional supports and
specialized services in order to achieve full benefit from programmes. Planning and
systemic approaches must be taken to address the needs and ensure equity of opportunity
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
and benefit for all students. Listed below are key examples to illustrate the scope of these
Equity in Education Forum
In 1997, the Equity in Education Forum, consisting of representatives from the
Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, the League of Educational Administrators
and Directors, the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation, Saskatchewan Education15 and the
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission released Our Children, Our Communities, Our
Future: Equity in Education, A Policy Framework. Following the release of the
framework, three additional representatives joined the Forum: the University of Regina
Faculty of Education, the University of Saskatchewan College of Education and Gabriel
Dumont Institute. The framework provides a comprehensive equity policy for the K-12
education system in the province. In 2001, the Forum released an implementation
handbook Planning for Action, which provides educators with ideas and suggestions for
working within classrooms, schools, and school divisions to discuss, plan and take
concrete steps toward ensuring that all youth have equitable opportunity. The Forum
sponsors an annual equity seminar for administrators and teachers in the provincial
education system.
Special Education
The Special Education Unit has worked on a policy framework, Supporting Student
Diversity Policy Framework16 that is a foundational publication for a renewed and
strengthened focus on nurturing student diversity. This document uses the language of
diversity to acknowledge that differences are to be expected, respected and planned for.
The diversity in environment, cultures, heritage, language, abilities and needs is a driving
force for the development and implementation of relevant and personalized curriculum,
instruction and supports.
The Caring and Respectful Schools Initiative was launched in Fall 2000. In collaboration
with the educational partners, a provincial framework is being developed to assist schools
in providing a caring and respectful learning environment for all children. Key elements
strategies to promote school culture and climate affirming the philosophy of
inclusion, respect of diversity and strengthening student voice;
The Departments of Education and Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training
were merged into one Department, Saskatchewan Learning, in 2002.
Renamed The Children’s Services Policy Framework, and released in Fall, 2002.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Saskatchewan Education Core Curriculum to promote the acceptance of diversity
and the development of personal and social values and skills necessary for
positive relationships, dealing with discrimination, resolving conflict and the
handling of emotions;
prevention and intervention resources and strategies to deal with issues related to
discrimination, harassment, bullying and school violence; and
framework for developing positive expectations for behaviour that is accepted and
modeled by all members of the school community.
In 2001, provincial funding recognition was allocated to school boards through Diversity
Recognition to support all aspects of student diversity. In recognition of the Caring and
Respectful Schools Initiative, Saskatchewan Education was invited to join the League of
Peaceful Schools at a ceremony in June 2001.
The Indian and Métis Education Development Programme (IMED)
The Indian and Métis Education Development Programme (IMED) was established in
1984 to encourage school divisions to provide innovative, responsive and culturallyaffirming initiatives to help Aboriginal students to succeed in school. Within the IMED
Programme, the Aboriginal Elder/Outreach Program encourages relationship building
between school divisions and the Aboriginal community and encourages school divisions
to bring Aboriginal resource people, such as Elders and outreach workers, into schools.
Community Schools Program
The Community Schools Program was first established in 1980 when 11 schools were
designated in urban areas. Community Schools are characterized by a broad array of
parent and community partnerships that support the learning programme and include a
strong cultural component. In 2001-02, the Community Schools programme was
expanded to include high need secondary schools, rural elementary and additional urban
elementary schools for a total of 83 funded Community Schools.
The Northern Community Schools Program was developed in 1996 to respond to the
unique needs of students in the North. Within this programme, 10 schools have been
designated and five smaller schools have enhanced programming to reach the 80 percent
Aboriginal population and provide culturally appropriate programming, increased
parental involvement, community development and integrated services.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Integrated Services
The Integrated Services Program provides funding to school divisions for holistic,
coordinated human services to support at-risk students and their families. The
programme supports over 45 initiatives including programmes and services at Battlefords
School Retrieval Program and West Flat Wraparound Project in Prince Albert,
English as a Second Language
The Foundation Operating Grant provides funding through the English as a Second
Language Programme for students not speaking English as their first language.
Curriculum and Evaluation
Since the 1980s, specific efforts have been undertaken to ensure that curriculum and
evaluation initiatives accurately reflect and respond to the needs of Aboriginal peoples.
Initiatives include Aboriginal content and perspectives in all curricula; Native Studies
classes 10, 20, and 30; and collaboration with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian
Nations to ensure that the scope and sequence of curricula adequately reflect Aboriginal
culture, values and history. An Indian languages partnership is in place with Prince
Albert Grand Council. Holistic assessment techniques have been developed and
information related to education equity is reported annually in the Saskatchewan
Education Indicators Report; accurate and appropriate curriculum materials are identified
and resources are evaluated from the Aboriginal perspective; appropriate Saskatchewan
Communications Network programming is selected; and Indian languages partnerships
are in place.
The Aboriginal Education Staff Development Program provides inservice to teachers on
the incorporation of Aboriginal content and perspectives and the use of effective
instructional strategies.
The Aboriginal Education Provincial Advisory Committee (AEPAC)
The Aboriginal Education Provincial Advisory Committee (AEPAC) plays a strong and
positive role in making recommendations for improving the Core Curriculum, educational
programmes, partnership initiatives, equity issues and policy. In 2000 the document
Aboriginal Education Provincial Advisory Committee Action Plan 2000-2005 was
released and provided a blueprint for a renewed commitment to Aboriginal education in
light of urgent Aboriginal education needs.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Saskatchewan Education actively promotes and encourages educational partnerships with
Aboriginal organizations and educational authorities at the provincial, regional and local
level. Such partnerships involve shared planning, shared decision making, shared
management and shared governance. The Department also plays a consultative role in
teacher education programmes and accreditation has been extended to teachers in First
Nations schools.
The Role of the School Task Force
The Role of the School Task Force, appointed by the Minister of Education, was
established in May 1999. Following an extensive consultation and information-gathering
process, the final report of the Task Force made 97 recommendations. Those that speak
specifically to racism include:
Aboriginal Education: That the Saskatchewan education community continue to
provide cross-cultural education and anti-racist programmes for both students and
educators and that Saskatchewan Education continue to support its Aboriginal
Unit, as well as Native Studies, language and cross-cultural courses across the
province. Further, that the universities support their Colleges of Education to
create specialist Aboriginal Units and increased hiring of faculty of Indian and
Métis ancestry.
Character Education: That notwithstanding the complexities associated with
character education, the Saskatchewan education community reaffirm the role of
the school in this area and re-examine and update the Common Essential
Learning: Personal and Social Values and Skills, encouraging students to think
critically about their environment, the importance of world views, differences of
tradition and belief and strongly nurture values of respect and tolerance. Further,
that Saskatchewan Education and the other educational partner organizations
launch a major curricular issue focusing on character formation and education.
Post-secondary Education and Skills Training
The vision of Saskatchewan’s post-secondary education and skills training sector is that,
through continuous learning, all Saskatchewan people will have the knowledge, skills and
abilities to benefit from, and contribute to, society and the economic prosperity of the
province. The draft Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Education, Training and Employment
Services Sector Strategic Plan highlights the importance of increasing the participation of
under-represented groups such as Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, visible
minorities, and the unemployed to enhance their employability and contribute to a
representative workforce.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
One of the most important demographic shifts in Saskatchewan’s labour market will
occur in the Aboriginal proportion of our population. The Department of Post-Secondary
Education and Skills Training is working with First Nations and Métis governments,
community organizations, the federal government and other sector partners to develop
and implement an Aboriginal Education and Training Action Plan. The Action Plan will
begin to address the current gap in, and growing demand for Aboriginal education and
training in the province. Three goals of the Plan are to:
enhance the successful entrance and completion of primary, secondary and postsecondary education for Métis and First Nations people;
prepare Métis and First Nations people to participate in a representative provincial
workforce; and
ensure representative workforce participation by Métis and First Nations people in
the provincial economy.
Post-secondary institutions and the department have developed a five-year Technology
Enhanced Learning (TEL) Action Plan to increase the use of technology for learning, and
enhance the access of education and training in rural and northern communities. The
TEL framework includes as one of its priorities enhancing Métis and First Nations
peoples’ education and training.
The Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), the Northern
Teacher Education Program (NORTEP), and the Northern Professional Access College
(NORPAC) all promote access to post-secondary education and training for Aboriginal
people in a culturally sensitive environment. NORTEP provides teacher training in
Northern Saskatchewan. NORPAC, which is offered along with NORTEP, provides the
first two years of an Arts and Science University degree program. Both programs are
offered to Northern residents of Saskatchewan who are primarily Aboriginal. SUNTEP
provides teacher training for Aboriginal residents in three locations: Regina, Saskatoon
and Prince Albert.
The Saskatchewan Student Assistance Program provides repayable and non-repayable
needs-based financial assistance to supplement the Canada Student Loan for full-time
post-secondary students. This program features a Special Incentive Plan, which provides
additional loan assistance, supplementary bursary assistance and loan remission to
eligible students from disadvantaged groups, including non-Status Indian or Métis.
Further information on income support to students will be included in the report on the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training has partnered with other agencies in two
long-term training initiatives to improve the employment opportunities for people in the
northern half of the province, most of whom are Aboriginal people:
The Multi-Party Training Plan (MPTP) is an agreement between partners and
stakeholders involved in the mining industry, and includes government, mining
companies, training institutions, and Aboriginal organizations
The Forestry Training Agreement is new and is being modeled after the MPTP
approach. Industry, training institutions, government, and Aboriginal
organizations will identify training priorities and contribute funding for training
leading to employment in the forestry sector.
The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission is an industry-led
agency which works to improve the inclusion of under-represented groups by ensuring
representative work-force objectives and performance measures are included in its multiyear strategic plan and reporting systems. The Commission also works to increase its
partnerships with industry, equity groups, Aboriginal post-secondary institutions and
organizations, students, and communities to increase access to apprenticeship training
and certification programmes. A Northern Apprenticeship Committee was established to
promote and co-ordinate an apprenticeship training programme flexible enough to meet
the unique challenges of the northern labour market.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
This report updates the information contained in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Reports of
Canada under this Convention, with respect to developments in Manitoba between June
1997, and May 2001.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
The Manitoba Government has had an employment equity policy for many years aimed at
increasing the numbers of traditionally under-represented groups in the civil service. The
Civil Service Commission publishes a manual, Putting Equity to Work, to assist managers
to understand the legal and social reasons for the policy and to provide practical
assistance for the implementation of the policy. As of March, 2002, 9.65 percent of
Manitoba Government employees are Aboriginal (up from 6.82 percent in March, 1998
and approaching the long-range target of 10 percent referenced in the last report), 3.56
percent are members of visible minority groups and 2.96 percent are persons with
The Manitoba Civil Service Commission manages two programmes directed at enhancing
opportunities for Aboriginal people in government. The Aboriginal Management
Development Program identifies Aboriginal people with high potential who are already in
government and offers them an in-depth orientation to government, rotational work
assignments, specific training opportunities, support from mentors and other development
to enable them to compete for senior positions. The Aboriginal Public Administration
Program recruits recent Aboriginal university or college graduates to a career in
government by providing a programme of orientation, training and rotational work
assignments. Two programme coordinators in the Civil Service Commission dedicate
most of their time to working on Aboriginal programming.
Through training, outreach and annual conferences dedicated to discussion of
Employment Equity, the Manitoba Civil Service Commission promotes recruitment of
Aboriginal people and members of visible minority groups. Approaches like direct
outreach to communities, examination of job advertisements for barriers, culturally
sensitive interview processes, career development and mentoring programmes are
The Commission also offers ongoing education and training in employment equity and in
managing diversity in the workplace. Some of the course offerings are “Walk a Mile in
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
my Moccasins”, “Interviewing Aboriginal People”, “Cultural Diversity”,
“Communicating with Aboriginal People”, and “Building a Respectful Workplace”.
In October, 2001, the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Aboriginal and
Northern Affairs co-sponsored a conference on Aboriginal employees to encourage
networking among Aboriginal civil servants and to hear their suggestions about
recruitment and retention of Aboriginal people in government.
The Commission works with other departments to develop and maintain policies to
support a respectful workplace in the Manitoba Government. Policies dealing with
harassment and reasonable accommodation are in place and are widely circulated within
the government. Individual departments have issued their own respectful workplace
policies in the communications.
An example of such departmental initiatives is the Department of Culture, Heritage and
Tourism’s “Respectful Workplace Policy and Guidelines”. That department also
promotes understanding of harassment and discrimination through Harassment is Against
the Law, a six-page fact sheet that explains the policy and guidelines. This fact sheet is
given to each new employee hired by the department. It is also available to all employees
on the Internet and each year managers are asked to make all their staff aware of the
information. Hard copies of the information are provided to those staff not on the
managed environment or without access to the Internet.
Manitoba Education Training and Youth and Manitoba Advanced Education through the
Aboriginal Education Directorate and Amalgamated Human Resources Services Branch
are in the process of developing an Aboriginal Human Resources Strategy to reflect
employment and retainment of Aboriginal staff and training in Aboriginal awareness for
all staff to increase sensitivity to Aboriginal issues and concerns.
The Corrections Division of Manitoba Justice has introduced a Statement of Vision,
Mandate and Core Values which addresses racial discrimination. The first core value
states, “We accept diversity, the unconditional worth and rights of all people”.
Corrections has taken a number of initiatives to support opportunities for Aboriginal
people in this province to obtain employment in this division and to gain promotion from
within the service. Twenty percent of all probation officers in Manitoba are Aboriginal.
The Division has two Aboriginal staff participating in the Aboriginal Management
Development Program. An advisory council of Correction’s Aboriginal staff, PITAMA,
provides consultation to Correction’s management.
The Corrections Division has taken initiatives to address the disproportional number of
Aboriginal offenders, including:
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Establishment of Community Corrections offices in Aboriginal communities;
Partnership with Aboriginal organizations to deliver community correctional
Aboriginal Youth Justice committees;
Aboriginal Elders providing spiritual care in custody facilities;
Aboriginal cultural programming for offenders;
Devolution of community correctional services to five Aboriginal communities in
the Dakota-Ojibway Tribal Council; and
Fine Option/Community Service Order resource centres in over fifty Aboriginal
The Division also includes in its staffing repertoire Respectful Workplace training which
addresses an appreciation of cultural differences.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission continues to operate a proactive educational
programme with respect to human rights and in the year 2000, the staff made 110
presentations in schools, businesses, labour organizations and community groups
throughout the province. Because “children are the first defence against racism”, the
Commission, in partnership with the Manitoba Metis Federation, hired a person to teach
human rights to elementary school students as a pilot project. The lessons, We are
Different But Equal, were taught at Margaret Park School in Winnipeg to students in
grades three to six.
As well, in 2000, the Commission initiated the Manitoba Human Rights Commitment
Award in partnership with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Community
Legal Education Association.
That same year, the Human Rights Officer in The Pas (a northern community) worked
with a large employer in establishing an Aboriginal Employment Review Committee, to
inform Aboriginal workers of their rights and provide them with an avenue of redress
should they face discrimination in the workplace.
The Commission also assisted the Thompson Citizenship Council Inc./Multi Culture
Centre with their book, Discovering the Many Faces of Discrimination in Northern
Manitoba. This book, based on over two hundred interviews, contains a series of stories
chronicling the various forms and scope of discrimination on a day-to-day basis in
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Northern Manitoba. The Commission’s contribution consisted of commentaries and
opinions following each story. The Commission staff in The Pas also assisted with
subsequent video and radio segments based on the book.
In 1988, Manitoba established the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, which conducted a lengthy
review of the administration of justice, as it impacted upon Aboriginal peoples. There
were subsequent, but piecemeal, attempts by government to implement recommendations
of that Inquiry. In September 1999, Manitoba set up the Aboriginal Justice
Implementation Commission (AJIC), to develop an action plan with respect to those
recommendations which had not been addressed. The AJIC issued its final report on
June 29, 2001. It can be found at The
Government of Manitoba subsequently accepted in principle all of the recommendations
of the AJIC report, and as of June 21, 2002, 87 percent of the 54 recommendations
directed at the province had been completed or were underway. In the criminal justice
area, this has included a significant and new proposal to develop regional Aboriginal
probation agencies (to which there has been previous mention). As well, on June 10,
2002, the Government announced its intention to introduce legislation to restructure
Child and Family Services in Manitoba through the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry – Child
Welfare Initiative. This Initiative establishes four Child and Family Services authorities
in Manitoba: the Metis Child and Family Services authority, the First Nations of
Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services authority, the First Nations of Northern
Manitoba Child and Family Services authority and the general Child and Family Services
authority. Each has responsibility to administer and provide for the delivery of child and
family services to families who identify with the respective authority. Further
information on this Initiative can be located at
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
Section 18 of the Manitoba Human Rights Code contains a prohibition against
discriminatory signs and statements which can be used, in some contexts, as a tool in the
fight against hate messages. In addition, s. 19 of The Defamation Act provides a means
to combat the publication of group defamation based upon, amongst other things, race or
religious creed.
The primary vehicle for dealing with hate messages remains, however, the Criminal Code
of Canada. Local law enforcement agencies enforce the law with respect to hate crimes.
While Manitoba’s experience has been that there is an insufficient volume of such crimes
in places with relatively small populations to justify discrete hate-crimes units,
nonetheless successful prosecution of such offences requires utilization of experienced
investigators and prosecutors. As a result, allegations of this nature are dealt with by the
Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) of the Winnipeg Police Service. More specifically, two
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Sergeants are in charge of any hate-crime investigations, and have at their disposal twelve
senior investigators from the SCU. Several years ago investigators were provided with
hate-crime specific training. A third Sergeant is designated the “cultural liaison officer”
for the Unit, and keeps in close contact with those groups most likely to be targeted. Two
of the provinces most senior criminal prosecutors have been assigned to provide advice to
this Unit, including in situations that may involve hate crimes.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
As previously reported, Legal Aid Manitoba has operated an Aboriginal Centre Law
Office in Winnipeg for a number of years. This office works together with the Aboriginal
community to seek alternatives to judicial court processes and to respond to legal issues
unique to Aboriginals in the urban context. It has a number of such legal cases running at
this time, some of considerable significance (although they tend to deal less with
individual rights than with the amelioration of economic conditions through treaty rights
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
The Manitoba Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of ancestry,
perceived race, color, nationality, ethnic or national origin, and other grounds. It also
protects persons from harassment based on all protected group characteristics in those
activities to which the Code applies (principally employment, housing and services
available to the public or a section of the public).
In its 2000 Annual Report, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission reported that of its
261 formal complaints that year, approximately 50 (or 18.5 percent) were made on the
basis of ancestry or national origin. Of the 58 potential complaints that were resolved
through a new pre-complaint resolution process, 31 or approximately 53 percent, were
based on ancestry/national origin. In 2001, the Commission disposed of a total of 315
complaints, up from the previous year. It appears that this is largely due to a new preinvestigation mediation process which has been established to compliment the precomplaint resolution process. In all, in 2001 approximately 49 percent of all complaints
disposed of were resolved by agreement between the parties.
The Commission has also been attempting to decrease the number of complaints which
are “withdrawn/abandoned”, on the theory that in some cases complainants have grown
disenchanted with the process, and have therefore chosen not to pursue their complaint.
In 2001, the number of complaints falling in this category had been reduced to
14 percent.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Manitoba Education, Training and Youth continues to pursue its Aboriginal education
and training framework, as previously reported. The Summer Institute on Aboriginal
Education is now co-sponsored with the University of Manitoba and Winnipeg School
Division No. 1.
The Aboriginal Teacher’s Circle (now Aboriginal Circle of Educators), Manitoba
Association of Multi Cultural Education and Manitoba Education, Training and
Youth co-sponsored a national Aboriginal Education Conference in Winnipeg, in
October, 2000.
Manitoba Education, Training and Youth has outlined its strategic priorities for education
in the K-S4 Education Agenda. Initiatives include:
the development of an action plan based on equity and diversity. A draft plan was
prepared for feedback in the Fall of 2002;
a review of policies and programming for English as a Second Language learners
to help increase the academic achievement of immigrant and refugee students and
enhance their opportunities for full participation in Manitoba society; and
the dissemination of information about strategies effective in improving the
success of Aboriginal students in Manitoba schools.
Manitoba Education, Training and Youth curricula for Kindergarten to Senior 4 schools
include a focus on multi-cultural/anti-racism education, gender fairness, Aboriginal
perspectives, and appropriate age portrayals. Reflecting these elements in school learning
outcomes, instructional and assessments strategies and learning resources for all subject
areas promotes an inclusive education system in the province.
The department’s teacher support documents also contribute to tolerance and
understanding of diversity. “Aboriginal Perspectives” framework is being developed to
assist curriculum and course developers with the integration of a variety of prospectives
of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.
Manitoba Education, Training and Youth has participated with partner jurisdictions under
the Western/Northern Canadian Protocol (WNCP) to develop a common curriculum
framework for social studies. A cultural advisory committee assisted in the preparation
of this framework, and the development team included Francophone and Aboriginal
representatives. The framework emphasizes the critical role that the social studies play in
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
helping students to develop and act of out a sense of social compassion, fairness and
justice, and to value the diversity, respect the dignity and support the equality of all
human beings. Manitoba’s new social studies curriculum will reflect the inclusive focus
of the WNCP framework. In addition, WNCP common curriculum frameworks for
Aboriginal language and cultural programmes and international languages help to
strengthen multi-cultural and anti-racism in education in Manitoba.
The department’s Program Development Branch consultant for multi-cultural education
works within the Department and with educational stakeholders in the field to support
implementation of multi-cultural and anti-racism education initiatives.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Pursuant to
Article 9 of
this Report
sets out the
judicial or
and activities
of the
of Ontario in
with the
objectives of
on the
Elimination of
All Forms of
n for the
period of June
1997 to May
Ontario is committed to strong enforcement of the Human Rights Code, which provides
every person the right to equal treatment with respect to goods, services and facilities,
without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin,
citizenship, creed, and other grounds. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is the
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
agency under the authority of the Human Rights Code to enforce the right to freedom
from racial discrimination.
The Commission redesigned its web site ( in March 2001. The new site
is more user-friendly and accessible and offers information on the complaint process,
Commission policies and publications and case summaries. The site features information
on racial harassment and provides the complete Policy on Racial Slurs and Harassment
and Racial Jokes, and the plain language guide, Racial Slurs and Harassment and Racial
Government ministries and agencies have taken steps to comply with the Ontario Public
Service Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy (WDHP). The
Ministry of Natural Resources has continued to actively support this policy by:
developing an updated training module for managers and supervisors;
situating 55 trained WDHP Advisors throughout the province. They have been
specially trained to provide confidential service to their workers in relation to
human rights issues.
delivering training to all employees by these trained Advisors.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Prohibition Against Discrimination
In 1997-98, the Ontario Human Rights Commission received a total of 2,193 complaints.
Discrimination based on race and related grounds (race, colour, ancestry, and place of
origin) accounted for 22 percent of these complaints.17 For subsequent years, the
percentage of race-based complaints (race, colour and ancestry) were as follows: 199899: 30 percent of 1,850 complaints; 1999-2000: 29 percent 1,861 complaints; and 20002001: 38 percent of 1,775 complaints.
The Commission has taken steps internally, to develop research and policy work on the
grounds of race, ethnicity and place of origin. Two research papers in particular have
been written to explore the area of multiple and intersecting grounds of discrimination
and the concept of ‘social condition’ as a prohibitive ground of discrimination.
Preliminary indications show that persons who experience discrimination on more than
one ground of discrimination experience the impact in a way that is significantly greater
than the sum of the individual parts. The Commission’s interest in this initiative is to
explore ways of capturing the subtle, multi-layered, systemic and institutionalized forms
of discrimination in its day-to-day work and in its policy development process.
In February 2000, the Commission also held a Policy Dialogue with other human rights
bodies to explore the subject of Social and Economic Rights. A discussion paper was
developed to encourage broader discussion on the issue and to identify specific measures
that can be undertaken by the Commission within its existing mandate.
The Board of Inquiry continues to adjudicate complaints of discrimination referred to it
by the Commission.
Ministries and government agencies continued to support the corporate principles
outlined in the Aboriginal Policy Framework (1996). These include Ontario's
constitutional and other legal obligations in respect of Aboriginal people, recognition of
the special relationship between the federal government and Aboriginal people, costeffective service delivery, openness and accountability, and promotion of Aboriginal selfreliance through economic and community development.
The government is actively negotiating 20 Aboriginal land claims and other land related
matters in Ontario. Since 1995, 11 land claim agreements have been reached.
The figures for 1997-98 complaints received include place of origin.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat, through the Building Aboriginal Economies
strategy and Working Partnerships programme, worked with other provincial ministries,
Aboriginal communities and organizations, and the private sector to remove barriers to
Aboriginal economic development. Work was also done to promote Aboriginal
partnerships with the corporate sector, improve access to government programmes and
services, and create economic development opportunities and jobs for Aboriginal peoples.
The Ministry of the Solicitor General has been involved in the following antidiscrimination initiatives and programmes:
Filing of the Police Adequacy and Effectiveness Standards Regulation, made
under the Police Services Act, on January 8, 1999, which required compliance
with several requirements by January 1, 2001, including:
The adoption by police services boards of policies on investigations into
hate propaganda and hate/bias motivated crimes; and
The development and maintenance by chiefs of police of procedures and
processes for undertaking and managing investigations into such
Issuance of the first release of the new Policing Standards Manual (2000) in
February 2000, containing 58 sample policies and guidelines for police services
boards, which includes policies and guidelines on:
Investigations into hate propaganda and hate/bias motivated crimes; and
The promotion of partnerships between police, community organizations,
school boards, victims organizations, and social service agencies, for
detecting and addressing hate/bias activities in the community.
Issuance of the second release of the Policing Standards Manual (2000) in
November 2000, which includes:
Guidelines and sample policies for police services boards on equal
opportunity and workplace harassment, in support of the Police Services
Act requirement for police services boards to have such policies and
procedures, and the Act’s prohibition against discriminatory and racist
behaviour by police officers.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has been involved in the following antidiscrimination initiatives and programmes:
Establishment of the Select native Liaison Council, to provide strategic guidance
and support on aboriginal issues to the OPP commissioner;
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Development of an Aboriginal Youth Leadership initiative to foster and improve
leadership skills in Aboriginal youths;
Participation in ethno-racial and Aboriginal community events to establish longterm partnerships with those communities, and to increase the communities’
awareness about OPP recruitment and programmes;
Participation in the Hate Bias Activity Round Table under the auspices of the
Federal government’s Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women);
Provision of access to language interpretation services through OPP
communications centres to facilitate communications and to eliminate
communications barriers with non-Anglophone members of the public, including
many members of ethno-racial communities;
Provision, in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, of Community
Justice Training to Aboriginal community groups, to facilitate control by these
groups over many justice decisions in their communities;
Provision of refresher in-service training to all OPP members in a variety of antiracism and anti-discrimination areas, including the prevention of discrimination
and harassment, anti-racism, and the enforcement of hate crimes; and
Provision of Native Awareness Training courses to OPP members and municipal
police services.
The AIDS bureau, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, currently provides $1.19
million in funding to address the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Aboriginal Communities. An
HIV/AIDS strategy for Aboriginal people off-reserve is in its sixth year of
The Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, with an annual operating allocation of
$34 million dollars, is currently in its second five-year phase of implementation. It was
developed after extensive consultation with all major Aboriginal and First Nations
organizations and approximately 200 communities in Ontario. The Strategy, which has
been cited as a model for other jurisdictions in the Report of the Royal Commission on
Aboriginal Peoples, is inclusive of all Ontario’s Aboriginal peoples--First Nation, Metis
and Inuit. Four ministries and fifteen Aboriginal organizations are jointly implementing
the Strategy. The programme received renewed funding from its four responsible
ministries (Health and Long Term Care, Community and Social Services, the Ontario
Women’s Directorate and the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat) to cover April 1, 1999
to March 31, 2004.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In the spring of 2001, the Joint Management Committee also assumed responsibility for
the management of an Aboriginal Healthy Babies/Healthy Children programme with a
2001 - 2002 allocation of $6.7 million.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services has developed a comprehensive training
curriculum for all new child protection workers. The Association for Native Child and
Family Services is revising and expanding the curriculum to ensure that all new
protection workers in the province have culturally appropriate knowledge and
demonstrated skills to work more effectively with Aboriginal children, families and
communities. Curricula will be responsive to and respectful of Aboriginal culture and
practice. Between September 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 the Ministry also provided a total
of 22 two-day sessions, with 540 staff receiving training on all aspects of diversity
relating to working with a client population that is increasingly multicultural, multiracial
and multi-faith. The curriculum also covered workplace harassment and discrimination
and individual rights and entitlements under Canada’s Human Rights Act and the Ontario
Human Rights Code.
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
Hate Activities
In the 2001-2002 fiscal year, Ontario committed $400,000 a year, and additional staff, to
expand the Ontario Provincial Police Hate Crimes/Extremism Unit.
The OPP's Hate Crime/Extremism Unit conducts multi-jurisdictional, strategic, and
tactical intelligence operations targeting individuals or organized groups involved in hate
crime activity and/or criminal extremism.
Intelligence information is collected on persons or groups involved in such activity in an
effort to anticipate, prevent and monitor possible criminal activity. The unit has dedicated
investigators who perform an intelligence function to combat hate crimes and criminal
extremism, including the distribution and promotion of hate literature. It also provides
investigative support to OPP detachments and municipal police services that require
resources or the expertise to conduct hate crime/extremism investigations.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 5 : Equality before the law
The Right to Housing
The ownership and administration of public housing formerly owned and operated by the
Ontario Housing Corporation were transferred to the municipal level on January 1, 2001,
under the authority of the Social Housing Reform Act, 2000. Effective May 1, 2002, the
devolution of the administration of all social housing to the municipal level, including
non-profit and co-operative housing, will have been completed. The administration of all
of these units will also be governed by the Social Housing Reform Act, 2000. The rules
outlined in the Act and associated regulations do not specifically address racial
discrimination. However municipal service managers are governed by the provisions of
the Ontario Human Rights Code and are able to establish policies that address racial
discrimination in both public housing and non-profit and co-operative housing.
The Right to Education and Training
The Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) collaborates with
occupational regulatory bodies, employers, community agencies and educators to
promote improved access to professions and trades for individuals working in Ontario but
trained outside of Ontario.
In Budget 2000, the Ontario government invested $3.5 million to support two projects to
help foreign-trained nurses and pharmacists attain licensing standards in Ontario so they
can become certified to work in their fields. The projects include refresher/ upgrading
courses, profession-specific workplace language, and Canadian work experience options.
In Budget 2001, the Ontario government committed $12 million over three years to
launch innovative training projects to help foreign-trained Ontarians gain speedier access
to their professions in Ontario.
In fall 2000, Ontario established an Academic Credential Assessment Service, which is
delivered by World Education Services-Canada (WES-Canada), a non-profit
organization. The service provides assessments of foreign degrees and diplomas, to
improve immigrants’ opportunities to enter the job market.
MTCU, with its partners, has developed Sector Specific Terminology Information and
Counselling (STIC) training manuals and self-assessment tools that can be used by
community agencies and occupational regulatory bodies to deliver workshops to assist
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
skilled newcomers enter their occupations. Individuals can also access a computerized
self-assessment tool to compare their skills to those required for their occupations.
MTCU has worked with occupational regulatory bodies to develop comprehensive and
current occupational fact sheets, available in print and on the Internet, for prospective and
landed immigrants on entry-to-practice requirements and labour market conditions for
specific occupations.
Ontario continues to recognize and support the Aboriginal community through the
Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy, which allows for Aboriginal students to
pursue higher education, ensuring that appropriate programmes and services are in place.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
The following are key initiatives undertaken by the Commission on issues related to
discrimination based on race, colour and place of origin between 1997 - 2001:
Aboriginal Human Rights Initiative: The Commission has initiated a special
programme to protect the rights of Aboriginal people. Two Aboriginal
organizations, Grand River Employment and Training and the Ontario Federation
of Indian Friendships Centres, are responsible for the development and delivery
of the programme. The goals of the initiative are to create and enhance awareness
among Aboriginal communities of the Ontario Human Rights and to develop
appropriate and culturally sensitive ways to enable members of the communities
to access the Commissions service.
In the first phase of the initiative, 37 Aboriginal organizations across the province
were consulted. Through its consultation, the Commission learned that many
organizations had little or no knowledge of the Commission and its work. Over
80 percent of those who were consulted also cited significant discrimination in the
areas of housing, policing, health, social services and legal services. Racism,
levels of literacy and a general mistrust of non-Aboriginal institutions were
identified as key barriers that prevent Aboriginal persons form using the
Commission services. In addition, lack of visibility and accessibility of the
Commission was noted as a barrier.
The second phase of this project is underway. It will involve training workshops,
public education programmes and a pilot community-based awareness campaign
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Partnership on racism: In 1999, the Commission entered into a partnership with
the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to develop a video and study-guide on
racism. The campaign, involving partners from the private, broadcast and nonprofit sector organizations, aimed at making a significant statement on racism and
the future of Canada. A thirty-minute video was recently released by the
Foundation. The video captures the experiences of five video artists from across
Canada who produced public service announcements asking Canadians to
examine their biases and to value diversity. A study guide to accompany the video
is currently being developed.
Human Rights at Work: In 1999-2000, the Commission developed a publication
entitled, Human Rights at Work. It addresses workplace issues including antidiscrimination and harassment policies. The guide provides employees with
practical information, including a list of prohibited interview questions referring
to race, colour and place of origin, and a sample job application. The publication
is also accompanied with a guide entitled, Hiring? A Human Rights Guide.
Female Genital Mutilation Policy: The Commission partnered with local women’s
non-governmental organizations to raise awareness of the practice of female
genital mutilation. The Commission recognizes the need for public sensitivity,
awareness and understanding in dealing with culturally rooted practices, which
may conflict with the principles and provisions of the Code. A plain language
brochure was developed and translated in several languages including, Arabic,
Somalian, Swahili and Amharic.
Translation of Complainant’s Guide: The Commission also partnered with the
Council of Agencies Serving South Asians to produce a plain-language version of
the Commission’s Complainants Guide in six South Asian languages: Hindi,
Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil and Bengali. This initiative is an effort to make the
Commission’s service more accessible to groups who may experience languagebased discrimination. The Commission has developed policy on Discrimination
and Language which recognizes that language can be an element of complaint
based on ancestry, place of origin and in some circumstances, race, in the areas of
employment, accommodation, services, contracts, and membership in unions.
Anti-Racism Initiative Survey: In May 2001, as member of the Canadian
Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA), the Commission
took a lead role in developing and disseminating a survey intended to gather
information about anti-racism initiatives undertaken by CASHRA member
agencies. The initiative was to gauge community feedback with respects to the
work commissions are doing in the area of racism and racial discrimination and to
identify the potential for future CASHRA initiatives in this area. The results of
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
this Survey will form the basis for work by CASHRA’s Research and Policy
Group Anti-Racism Subcommittee and will be used to prepare a report
summarizing existing work that may be useful to all CASHRA members in
identifying areas where future joint initiatives will have the most impact.
Age Discrimination: In June 2001, the Commission released a consultation paper
on entitled, Time for Action: Advancing Human Rights for Older Ontarians. The
Paper identifies trends and critical issues related to age and makes
recommendations to promote the human rights of older persons. The paper
includes a section on Age and Intersectionality and notes the need to recognize the
barriers faced by older persons on the basis of the intersection between age and
race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, and language.
In June 2002, the Commission released its Policy on Discrimination against Older
Persons because of Age. The Policy is a continuation of the Commission’s work
in the area of age discrimination. It was developed to help the public and
Commission staff to gain a better understanding of how the Ontario Human
Rights Code protects older Ontarians, sensitize them to the issues that older
persons face and support compliance.
In 1998, the Ministry of Education released the elementary curriculum for Social Studies,
History, and Geography. It incorporates expectations relating to the broad area of civics
education, human rights and anti-discrimination:
Students begin to learn about rights and responsibilities as early as Grade 1. By
the end of Grade 1, they are expected to demonstrate an understanding of rights
and responsibilities in a way that shows respect for the rights and property of
others. In Grade 5, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the
rights of Canadians, including those specified in the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms.
Each of Drama, Music, Visual Arts and Dance at the elementary and secondary
levels contains expectations relating to the art of non-Western countries and
cultures. Similar horizon-broadening expectations are found in the curricula for
Social Studies, Grades 1 to 6 and History and Geography, grades 7 and 8.
A Native Studies component was developed in the elementary Social Studies
programme. In grades 3 and 6, students compare Native cultures found within
Canada and study the accomplishments of important individuals in Canada. The
grade 7 and 8 history and geography programme emphasizes the partnerships and
alliances between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada before 1867,
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
as well as the experiences of Aboriginal peoples within the Canadian nation
during the final decades of the nineteenth century.
At the secondary school level, the most explicit policy statement relating to antidiscrimination education is contained in Ontario Secondary Schools: Program and
Diploma Requirements Grades 9-12(OSS), 1999. Violence prevention, contributions of
various groups, examination of diverse viewpoints, human rights, and Native education
have been incorporated into the curriculum where appropriate.
Further advancement in human rights study is ensured in Grades 9 and 10: Canadian and
World Studies. The human rights movement, and related documents are discussed in
various courses offered within this programme. The Grade 10 history course has
expectations relating to the contributions of immigrants to Canada, the women’s
movement, and Aboriginal groups working toward recognition of Native rights for their
peoples. The grade 9 course provides an overview of the various art forms used by
Aboriginal peoples. The grade 10 course highlights twentieth-century history and
contemporary issues from an Aboriginal perspective. As well, there are six courses in
grade 11and two courses in grade 12 in the Native Studies discipline.
In February 2002 the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of
Citizenship, developed a video, in French and in English, about the Lincoln M. Alexander
annual Award. This award recognises two young Ontarians who have demonstrated
exemplary leadership in helping eliminate racial discrimination in their school and local
community. This video sketches a portrait of a number of the past recipients of the
award, and gives the information about the award itself. Teachers can use it as a resource
for the Grade 10 Civics and Secondary History courses.
The Ministry of Education has also provided targeted funding ($224 million committed
for 1998-2003) to support the purchase of appropriate learning resources for the new
curriculum. Under the targeted funding initiative, learning resources (textbooks, software
etc) are evaluated by the Ontario Curriculum Centre which uses evaluation tools
including a “bias evaluator” to ensure inclusivity and freedom from race and
ethnocultural bias and other forms of discrimination.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Québec in application of the
Convention. It updates, to May 2001, the information contained in the previous reports.
The broad framework under which racial discrimination is prohibited in Québec is set out
by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (R.S.Q., c. C-12). It prohibits any act of
discrimination, manifestation of racism or hate propaganda. The details were described
in previous reports.
Quebec society displays significant ethnic and cultural diversity. The Aboriginal
population accounts for 1 percent of Quebec’s population, or approximately 71,415
people. The Aboriginal population is made up of 10 First Nations and one Inuit nation
distributed in 54 communities. Quebec Aboriginal peoples account for 10 percent of
Canada’s aboriginal population .
According to data from the 1996 Statistics Canada census, immigrants account for 9.4
percent of Québec’s population, whereas the number of people declaring origins other
than French, British, Aboriginal or Canadian stands at 16 percent of Québec’s population.
The population of the Montreal area is the most diversified in terms of ethnicity, with 30
percent of the population with origins other than French or British.
With respect to immigration, the data in the next table updates the data provided in
previous reports. From 1997 to 2001, Quebec received 27,684 immigrants in 1997;
26,509 in 1998; 29,214 in 1999; 32,440 in 2000 and 37,498 in 2001. These people came
from the following main geographic regions:
Region of origin
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
According to the 1996 census, people that claim to belong to a visible minority group
account for 6 percent of Québec’s population (434,000 people) from diverse origins. In
2001, over 60 percent of the immigrant population was from Africa or Asia.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Affirmative Action Programs (AAP), set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and
Freedoms and in place since 1985, include facilitating access of members of certain
targeted groups to available jobs. AAPs can be voluntary. They can also be
recommended by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
(the Commission) after an inquiry if it feels that discrimination has taken place. The
Commission can, if its proposal is not followed-up, apply to a court and be granted,
within the deadline determined by the court, the development and implementation of a
programme. The Charter also sets out the government’s AAPs. Under the provisions of
section 92, the government must require its departments and organizations where the staff
is appointed according to the Public Service Act (R.S.Q., c. F-3.1.1) to implement AAPs
within the deadline that it sets out. The Commission must be consulted about the AAPs
before they are implemented. Finally, the contract compliance programme (Programme
d’obligation contractuelle), implemented in April 1989 by a decision of the Conseil des
ministres, requires businesses which employ more than 100 people to implement an
access to equality programme when they are awarded a government contract or grant in
the amount of $100,000 or more.
An assessment conducted in December 1998 by the Commission concluded that there
was a need to consolidate the AAPs. As a follow-up to certain recommendations made in
this document, the Quebec Act Respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies
and Amending the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (S.Q. 2000, c. 45) came into
effect on April 1, 2001. The goal of this act is to expand AAPs to government
organizations that are not subject to the Public Service Act. It establishes a framework
for equal access to employment for four groups: women, Aboriginal people, visible
minorities and linguistic minorities (non-French, non-English). It affects approximately
700 organizations with 100 employees or more belonging to municipal bodies, education,
health and social services bodies, Crown Corporations and the Sûreté du Québec. The
Commission is responsible for ensuring the implementation of this act. In 2001, the
department of citizen relations and immigration (ministère des Relations avec les citoyens
et de l'Immigration [MRCI]) implemented an extensive promotional campaign for the
AAPs with employers, targeted groups and the general public. Generally speaking, the
MRCI supports the implementation of AAPs.
In April 1999, the Government of Quebec also took administrative measures for
Aboriginal, allophone and Anglophone students, in order to grant them 25 percent of
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
summer jobs in the public service. The objective has been reached each year since the
programme started. Since May 1999, the same objective has also been set for public
service recruitment for permanent and casual positions, and for university graduates
through the internship programme for recent graduates. The Public Administration Act,
R.S.Q., c. A-6.01, adopted in May 2000, increases the accountability of deputy ministers
and leaders of public organizations to reach this objective.
In order to address the specific challenges facing young visible minorities for access to
the job market, the MRCI in partnership with employment Québec (Emploi-Québec) and
the department of municipal and metropolitan affairs (ministère des Affaires municipales
et de la Métropole), implemented in 1997, and for a three-year period, the fund for visible
minorty youth (Fonds pour les jeunes des minorités visibles). The goal of this fund was to
finance structuring and sustainable projects that allow young people to promote their
abilities with employers. This programme’s activities ended in March 2000. Nearly 30
organizations were subsidized and 1,300 young people benefited from the services
offered. At the Quebec City and Youth Summit in February 2000, the fund for Quebec
youth (Fonds jeunesse Québec) was created to improve access to jobs for youth,
particularly those from cultural communities and visible minorities.
Further, one of the priorities of the fund to combat poverty and promote labour market reentry, implemented in 1997 in connection with the Summit on the Economy and
Employment, is to foster the development of jobs and insertion of young visible
minorities in the workforce. This fund supports job creation initiatives for people that are
the most affected by poverty and exclusion. At the Quebec and Youth Summit, which
took place in February 2000, the government committed to extend this fund for three
years, giving it an annual budget of $160 million.
For its part, employment Québec, in February 2001, implemented an intervention
approach aimed at facilitating recruitment and retention of young visible minorities in the
workforce. More specifically, the employment Quebec regional office in Montreal
invested several million dollars in 2000-2001 to support initiatives fostering the
employment of immigrants and unemployed people from visible minority groups.
The MRCI continues to support the Mathieu Da Costa Business Development
Corporation. This association strives to support the start-up and expansion of businesses
from black communities and to stimulate the development of economic leadership. Since
it was created, the Corporation has contributed to the creation of 53 businesses and 100
jobs. In addition to MRCI, the Corporation’s other partners are Canada Economic
Development, the department of municipal and metropolitan affairs and the solidarity
fund for Québec workers (Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec).
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The MRCI proceeded with the implementation of a series of measures for integrating
immigrants, civil and intercultural relations and the fight against racism and racial
discrimination. The objectives of these measures are to foster the economic, social and
cultural integration of immigrants, to promote understanding, the exercise and respect of
rights and responsibilities of all citizens and to foster equality between people. The
actions of the MRCI also foster dialogue between Quebeckers from all backgrounds.
Services offered by MRCI to receive and integrate immigrants into Québec society are
geared towards Québec residents, immigrants and businesses :
information on immigration and integration services given in various forms at
diverse locations abroad;
services related to integrating immigrants into Québec society, more specifically:
Services related to the settlement process (individual and group
information sessions, integration based on the immigrant’s needs, referral
to partnership organizations for appropriate services);
francization services (full and part-time training in integration hubs,
francization in the workplace, referral to higher education institutions for
clients with more education, referral to non-government organizations);
support for social and economic integration (housing search, job search
preparation, evaluation of foreign credentials equivalence, advice for
business projects);
assistance services for settling in the region;
notices and information with Quebec institutional partners regarding immigration
and receiving immigrants (training sessions).
These activities are carried out by nine reception and integration hubs across Québec.
Furthermore, MRCI is working in partnership with over 100 community organizations to
offer services to newcomers.
Since 1998, over 15,000 people have been met each year as part of an immigrant
reception programme and 7,000 have benefited from support for integration into the
workplace. As part of the activities for learning French, approximately 15,000 people
following training in this area each year, in higher education institutions, community
organizations or an integration hub.
The MRCI is also organizing a number of activities to promote intercultural relations. As
regards the fight against racism and the promotion of democratic rights, the MRCI
coordinates actions, such as the Action Week Against Racism, Québec Citizenship Week,
and the Quebec Citizenship Award. The MRCI also coordinates interdepartmental
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
activities through which the Government of Québec ensures a better representation of
cultural diversity in all areas of community life.
As part of the support for civic participation programme, the MRCI annually supports
approximately 100 community organizations in carrying out activities fostering the
development of a sense of belonging to Québec society. The programme has two
components: promoting citizenship and combating racism. The latter component was
actually the priority for 2001-2002.
In the field of research, the MRCI has undertaken a number of studies on integrating
immigrants, visible minorities and young people. In January 2001, it published the
results of a major study which, for 10 years, followed the activities of a cohort
representative of immigrants received in Quebec in 1989. This study made it possible to
determine that the majority of immigrants had found their first job after a few weeks and
that after three years in Quebec, their job situation had stabilized. Both their salary and
socioprofessional status had improved over the years. The positive effects of integration
in their job also allowed approximately 35 percent of immigrants to own their homes after
ten years. Studies were also conducted regarding employment equity and representation
of ethnic and visible minorities in various areas of public life. In 2001, the MRCI
conducted a public opinion survey on immigration and intercultural relations in Québec,
with a large part dedicated to racism and racial discrimination.
With respect to the administration of justice among the Inuit, the minister of public
security (ministre de la Sécurité publique) announced, in July 1996, a series of measures
in order to more adequately respond to the needs of Inuit communities. For example, the
Kativik Regional Government hired three Inuit community reintegration officers, who,
under the guidance of parole officers from Public Security, participate in supervision of
offenders in their community. Furthermore, the Minister inaugurated, in March 2000, in
the town of Kangirsuk, a centre administered by the community and housing people from
the region who are referred by parole services, lock-ups and the Québec commission for
paroles (Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles) to assist with their
reintegration. In 2001, a working group made up of representatives of the Inuit and the
departments of justice and public security was asked to propose solutions to the problem
of incarceration north of the 55th parallel and measures to foster the implementation of
social reintegration programmes adapted to the Inuit culture.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
In 1995, the National Assembly adopted amendments to the Police Act (R.S.Q., c, P-13)
in order to add a new section dealing with the establishment or maintenance, under an
agreement, of an Aboriginal police force. These provisions were continued in the new
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Police Act (R.S.Q., c. P-13.1), adopted in 2000. In 2001, the minister of public security
had signed nearly 30 agreements creating Aboriginal police forces in some 50 Aboriginal
communities in Québec. These agreements will allow the Aboriginal communities to
take responsibility for these services.
In June 2001, amendments were made to the Youth Protection Act (R.S.Q., c. P-34.1) to
adapt it to an Aboriginal setting. The Act makes it possible to sign agreements with
Aboriginal communities, which can then establish a specific protection regime for youth
that is better adapted to their environment and this by the transfer, in full or in part, of the
responsibilities of director of youth protection to local offices. This new act follows up
on a pilot project carried out in an Attikamek Aboriginal community in order to allow the
community to take over responsibility for youth protection activities, and the conclusions
of a study conducted by the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Health and Social
Services Commission.
The department of health and social services (ministère de la Santé et des Services
sociaux [MSSS]) initiated talks with a number of Aboriginal communities regarding the
provision of health and social services to Aboriginal people living on reserves. The
discussions are aimed at signing sectoral agreements allowing the linking of the heath
network with Aboriginal structures and organizations providing health and social
In regard to services offered to Aboriginal women that are victims of domestic violence,
an amount of $500,000, from an overall annual budget of $4 million allocated to fund
homes for women that are victims of domestic violence, will be used to improve the
services offered to this clientele.
The MSSS is continuing to offer financial support to various Aboriginal organizations,
particularly the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Health and Social Services
The Act Modifying the Act Respecting Health and Social Services for the Naskapi Nation
of Kawawachikamach was adopted in June 2000. The purpose of this act is to create a
Naskapi local community service centre (CLSC) in Kawawachikamach, the site for which
was completed in 2001.
In the action plan of the police department of the urban community of Montreal (Service
de police de la communauté urbaine de Montréal), training and awareness-building
activities for police officers regarding ethnic communities continue to be provided in
district stations in partnership with the immigrant training and orientation centre.
Furthermore, in each of the district stations, an advisory committee made up of partners
representative of the community’s cultural diversity in the field, was established.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
In the execution of its mandate, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de
la jeunesse investigated, over the course of the period in question, allegations of
discrimination based on race, colour or ethnic or national origin. Between 1997 and 2000
inclusively, 533 investigation files were opened in this regard by the Commission. The
labor sector accounts for more than half of the investigation files opened, the
infringement of rights generally dealing with dismissal, work conditions and hiring. The
housing sector represented approximately 20 percent of files.
At the end of an investigation, the Commission can suggest the admission of the violation
of a right, the cessation of the act complained of, the performance of an act (such as
reintegration into a job), the payment of compensation or the payment of punitive
damages where the discrimination is intentional.
From 1997 to 2000 inclusively, the Commission referred 17 complaints to the Human
Rights Tribunal of Québec alleging discrimination based on race, colour or ethnic or
national origin, or harassment based on these reasons. Ten files were settled out of court
before the trial.
The Québec Superior Court ordered the College of Physicians in Bandi v. Bernier, [1998]
R.J.Q. 1590, to assess the professional ability of the claimant without using prohibited
grounds of discrimination such as citizenship.
In a number of decisions, the Human Rights Tribunal of Québec ordered payment of
damages to compensate the victims for infringement on their right to equality and dignity.
Then in Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. Cyr, J.E. 971562 and in Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v.
Bouffard, J.E. 99-1060, the complainants, who were black, secured a conviction against a
shopkeeper and a neighbour, who made racist remarks.
The same happened in Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
v. Dan-My Inc., J.E. 98-2278, where a businessman, dissatisfied with the services
provided by the business that the black complainant worked for, wrote a letter with racist
remarks about the complainant and sent it to a few people. In Commission des droits de
la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. 3160017 Canada Inc., J.E. 98-742, the
complainant, of Romanian origin, also secured a conviction against the business that she
contracted with and whose representative made racist remarks when she wanted to cancel
her contract.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Also in Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. Caci, J.E.
98-2279, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. Sinatra,
J.E. 99-2197, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v.
Quévillon, J.E. 99-909, and Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la
jeunesse v. Gestion S.I.B. inc., J.E. 2000-343, the complainants, who were refused the
rental of housing because of their race or ethnic origin were compensated.
Finally, in Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. 29555158 Québec inc. (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v.
Restaurant Pub O'Toole), J.E. 2000-1871, a businesses was forced to pay compensation
to the complainants who were refused entry into the restaurant because of their colour,
race or ethnic origin.
Article 7 : Education, Information and Culture
The department of Education (ministère de l'Éducation) and the MRCI jointly adopted, in
1998, a policy on educational integration and intercultural education, with an action plan
for 2000-2002. This policy presents the broad focuses of the education system for
integrating recently arrived immigrant students into Québec society. The policy is based
on education for democratic citizenship in a multicultural society and on promoting
equality of opportunity through access for all to educational services. The policy
recognized that openness to ethnocultural diversity must translate into the teaching
content, the educational material and the various aspects of school life to foster
harmonious relationships between citizens thus preventing discrimination. Schools must
establish and respect rules of life which condemn racism and exclusions in all of its
forms. Ethnocultural diversity must also be reflected in school staff.
Moreover, training for stakeholders in the field of education outlines a number of
activities aimed at fostering, in school staff, openness to diversity, detecting and
combating all types of racism and forming the intercultural character of the schools by
developing teaching skills that are required in a multiethnic setting.
In terms of newly arrived immigrant students who lag significantly behind in school, the
department of education is pursuing efforts to foster their success using diagnostic tools
and access to a programme for teaching their mother tongue as well as support for the
In order to prepare the students to exercise active citizenship based on shared values,
common responsibilities and rights and awareness-building of the international
challenges that have repercussions on our society, the department of education
introduced, at the primary and secondary level, a citizenship education programme
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
focused on the culture of peace, equal rights and the negative consequences of
stereotypes, discrimination and exclusion.
In order for schools to be a place to learn rights and freedoms, the Commission des droits
de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse for the past 20 years has been offering an
outreach campaign of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in the school
system. In 2000, the Commission published a brochure on the sessions offered in the
schools relating to education about human rights and freedoms.
The Commission is also working on, in association with Aboriginal partners, an activity
programme which takes place in an Aboriginal camp called “Quebeckers and Aboriginals
coming together: a major challenge” (Rencontres Québécois-Autochtones, un beau défi).
This initiative brings secondary students together with Aboriginal people. Furthermore,
the Commission began, in 2001, producing booklets on the theme of “Quebeckers and
Aboriginals coming together: myths and realities” (La Rencontre QuébécoisAutochtones: mythes et réalités) with the objective of demystifying the prejudices and
discrimination which affects the Aboriginal peoples.
The department of education produced a series of information documents on the
Aboriginal nations, including some which are used as teaching tools. In cooperation with
the museum of civilization (Musée de la civilisation) and the Aboriginal nations
concerned, the Ministry recently updated documents on the Aboriginal and Inuit nations
of Québec. These documents, accompanied by an activity guide, are intended for primary
students and teachers and the general public.
In order to reach young people from different regions of Québec and foster the
development of harmonious intercultural relationships among all citizens, the MRCI,
implemented an exchange programme in 2000 between young people from metropolitan
areas, where 88 percent of the immigrants live, and young people from other regions in
the school system. The objective is to provide young people with an opportunity to be in
contact with members of other cultures or people that speak other languages.
As regards information on exercising citizenship in a democratic society, various
initiatives made it possible to produce educational documents dealing with political
institutions, civic values and human rights and freedoms. The chief electoral officer of
Quebec (directeur général des éléctions du Québec) participated with the MRCI in
developing an educational document for new arrivals to make them aware of the
importance of exercising their right to vote.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
New Brunswick
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of New Brunswick in
application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. It updates, to May 2001, the information contained in the previous
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Since 1986, New Brunswick has maintained its Policy on Multiculturalism with the
purpose of advancing the equal treatment of citizens of all cultures. The Policy represents
a commitment to equality in matters of human rights, cultural expression and access to
and participation in New Brunswick society. A Ministerial Advisory Committee guides
implementation of the Policy on Multiculturalism, comprising representatives of cultural
communities, as recommended by non-governmental organizations having a stated
interest in the multicultural nature of New Brunswick society.
During the period from 1997 to 2002, grants totaling $29,400 were awarded annually to
various multicultural organizations providing programmes and service across the
province. Projects included anti-racism education; initiatives fostering cross-cultural
appreciation; community development and multicultural fair; building skills for adapting
to cultural diversity; cross-cultural youth programmes and activities to counter racism and
In carrying out its mandate to make recommendations to government on current issues,
the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Multiculturalism released four reports:
Implementing New Brunswick's Immigration Policy and Strategy, Implementation of the
Policy on Multiculturalism, Report on Education and A Business Case for Ethnocultural
Diversity in New Brunswick. The Advisory Committee also initiated the development of a
Dare to Ask guide to cultural sensitivities of New Brunswickers of diverse origins.
The Department of Health and Wellness has an Employment Equity Coordinator who
works closely with the Equal Employment Opportunity office to promote hiring and
retention of members of the three designated groups including Natives and visible
minorities. The Employment Equity Coordinator conducts an on-going review of job ads
to ensure that our recruiting practices honour the Convention.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Harassment in the Workplace in New Brunswick Public Service, is a government policy
and "applies to all personnel including casuals employed in Parts I, II and III of the New
Brunswick Public Service. Where applicable, this policy also applies to volunteers, staff
members, contractors, fee for service individuals, those governed under medical staff
bylaws, and clients." Therefore, the action stated by the Department of Health Wellness
applies equally to Education, and likely to all other departments.
The Equal Employment Opportunity programme (EEO) was established in 1982, and has
provided Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and visible minority persons with
equal access to employment, training and promotional opportunities in the New
Brunswick Public Service (Part 1).
A component of the Office of Human Resources' Official Language & Workplace Equity
Branch, the EEO programme's primary objective is to provide a more balanced
representation of qualified target group persons in the Civil Service by helping
individuals find meaningful employment with opportunities for advancement. Over the
years, the programme has expanded into providing Job Exposures and Student Summer
Employment. The Programme is open to both on and off-reserve Aboriginal peoples and
serves as a liaison with First Nations and Aboriginal Organizations.
The EEO programme facilitates job placements and career-related work experience for
target group persons through a summer employment initiative for students, a job exposure
initiative, both administrated in cooperation with the Department of Training &
Employment Development through term placements of 12 to 24 months, which focus on
long-term skills enhancement. As of March 2002, 50 Aboriginal civil servants selfidentified in Part 1 of the Provincial Public Service, of which 38 utilized the EEO
Funds are allocated to hire persons who are considered eligible within the EEO
programme, with the understanding that participating departments make every effort to
place successful participants in regular positions within the term period.
The Job Exposure initiative provides participants with up to 12 weeks of work
experience, a salary above the minimum wage, and further consideration towards an EEO
funded term position, 12 to 24 months, if placed within the Civil Service - Part 1.
The EEO programme is actively involved in the selection and job placement of postsecondary students. The objective of the summer employment programme is to provide
target group students with career-related work experience. This initiative trains and
prepares students for potential Civil Service employment at the end of their school days.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Department of Education Ministerial Statement on Multiculturalism/Human Rights
Education articulates the values which continues to guide new policy development. The
Department of Education implemented Policy 701 – Policy for the Protection of Pupils
in the Public School System from Misconduct by Adults in September 1996, and revised it
in September 1998. Abusive behaviour, as defined in this policy, refers to behaviour of
adults in the school system that is directed towards a pupil or pupils. Discrimination is
classified as an abusive behaviour and a complaint regarding discrimination will
automatically trigger the complaint process defined in this policy.
The Department of Education implemented Policy 703 – Positive Learning Environment
in April 1991, and revised it in September 2001. The policy makes provision for
sanctions against any person who engages in discrimination based on gender, race,
colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, culture, language group, sexual orientation,
disability, age or grade level, or who disseminates hate propaganda in the public
education system.
The Report Of The Task Force On Aboriginal Issues (March 1999) describes positive
initiatives in New Brunswick through the aegis of the Department of Education. A
number of these include a summer camp programme that focuses on cultural enrichment
for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students as well as a number of committees that
include Aboriginal people who advise the department in areas such as departmental
policy, language programmes and curriculum development.
The Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat prepared for, attended, and followed-up on various
meetings between the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and his federal and
provincial counterparts and Aboriginal leaders, as part of the Federal Provincial
Territorial Ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and National Aboriginal Leaders
The role of the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat is to provide information and advice to the
Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and to departments on planning, policy
development, programme delivery and communications; to provide interdepartmental coordination; to assist with intergovernmental relations on aboriginal matters; and to serve
as a liaison with Mi’kmaq and Maliseet communities and aboriginal organizations.
Accordingly, the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat works horizontally across government
and with many stakeholders. In addition, an important part of the Secretariat’s mandate is
to promote awareness and understanding of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet culture within the
public service and with the general public. The Secretariat is, for administrative purposes,
part of the Executive Council Office and reports to the Minister responsible for
Aboriginal Affairs.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The activities of the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat are only a small part of the
involvement of the provincial government in aboriginal affairs. Many provincial
departments are working in partnership with First Nations’ communities and aboriginal
organization on issues involving education, child and family services, forestry, economic
development and sport and culture.
One of the most significant developments in aboriginal affairs during 1999-2000 was the
Marshall decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in September 1999. The impact of
this decision was mostly felt in the fisheries sector, which is an area of federal
jurisdiction. However it had implications provincially as well.
Accordingly, the Secretariat monitored developments, provided interdepartmental coordination, and participated in developing advice to Ministers. The Secretariat also
prepared for, attended, and followed-up on various meetings between the Minister
responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and his federal and Maritime counterparts.
At the Department of Justice, the pilot sentencing project has gone beyond the “proposed
stage” as identified in the last report and has been active for three years. It involves the
Big Cove First Nations’ Community and deals with alternative measures with regards to
pre-charge and post-charge offences. Over 40 people have participated so far in the
programme. Because of its success, two additional projects are in the works involving the
communities of Tobique and St-Mary’s. These will be very similar to the first one and
will also incorporate cultural values when looking at the issue of sentencing.
In addition to these projects, an elder programme, involving correctional facilities is
currently being proposed.
Other departments have been working on a policy document on Restorative Justice,
which will deal with the issue of sentencing within first nations’ communities. It has not
been released yet.
The Department of Justice is continuing its work in collaboration with the Department of
Public Safety, to undertake restorative justice initiatives that are meaningful to Aboriginal
communities of our province.
Since June 1993, the Department of Public Safety has participated with federal and
Aboriginal authorities in a policing analysis of four first Nations Tribal Council
Communities. The Department has been successful, to date, in implementing three First
Nations Community Policing Programs (FNCP), which will provide policing services by
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the First Nations Mi'kmaq Community of
Bouctouche, the First Nations Mi'kmaq Community of Indian Island and the First Nations
Maliseet Community of Tobique. A fourth FNCP agreement will result in policing
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
services being provided by the Fredericton Police Force to the First Nations Maliseet
Community of Saint Mary's.
Aboriginal persons comprise approximately five percent of the incarcerated offender
population in New Brunswick - a significantly disproportionate number given that
Aboriginal persons represent only one percent of the provincial population. With
responsibility for operating 5 adult and 1 young offender centres, the Department of
Public Safety has introduced a number of Correctional services initiatives to better serve
Aboriginal persons incarcerated in its correctional centres.
For example, the Aboriginal Staffing Initiative has led to the employment of four
Aboriginal persons as regular correctional staff: two Youth Counsellors at the New
Brunswick Youth Centre and two Correctional Officers at other correctional institutions.
Their participation contributes cultural sensitivity to Aboriginal inmates and encourages
greater understanding of, and Aboriginal involvement in, the administration of the
criminal justice system.
The Department of Public Safety to further address the need for sensitivity to the culture
and needs of Aboriginal offenders now employs four individuals of Aboriginal ancestry
as Probation and Parole Officers. Aboriginal participation in sentence supervision is
intended to create stronger contact between Community and Correctional Services and
the Aboriginal community. The presence of Aboriginal Probation Officers also serves a
valuable educational function, encouraging greater Aboriginal involvement in the
administration of criminal justice.
All four officers provide conventional probation services and have further assumed a
variety of non-conventional functions related to community education, deterrence,
offender rehabilitation and culturally specific programming.
The principal goal of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is to assist
First Nations communities to develop the necessary expertise, plans and arrangements for
effective local emergency management. The project had been implemented by
employing an Aboriginal person as a Native Community Advisor on Emergency
This project is the Aboriginal component of the Umbrella Agreement on Cooperation in
Emergencies has been in effect since February 1991. The project is a cooperative effort
to improve our collective preparedness to deal with the effects of disaster. It fosters
mutual aid agreements between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Responsibility for emergency preparedness in First Nations communities resides with the
federal government; nevertheless the provincial government has a moral obligation to
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
provide assistance, advice and support to governing bodies involved in the delivery of the
programmes of the Department of Public Safety and the Band Councils.
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
Human Rights Commission
Subsection 6(1) of the New Brunswick Human Rights Act states that “no person shall (a)
publish, display, or cause to be published or displayed, or (b) permit to be published or
displayed on lands or premises, in a newspaper, through a television or radio broadcasting
station, or by means of any other medium that he owns or controls, any notice, sign,
symbol, emblem or other representation indicating discrimination or an intention to
discriminate against any person or class of persons for any purpose because of race,
colour, religion, national origin, ancestry, place of origin, age, physical disability, mental
disability, marital status, sexual orientation or sex.”
Department of Justice
Changes have not been made to the Criminal Code (hate literature provision). The
possibilities of allowing defamation as a possible vehicle for pursuing an effective civil
remedy has had several discussions, but these files are no longer pursued and are
considered inactive. When appropriate, the Attorney General is vigorously pursuing
prosecutions for hate crimes that occur in New Brunswick.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
At the Department of Health and Wellness, Aboriginal reserves are included in the
distribution list for notification of suicide prevention activities. Local Suicide Prevention
Committees ensure Aboriginal people are aware of any activities occurring within their
First Nations were involved in the planning of the 13th National Conference on Suicide
Prevention held in New-Brunswick. October 2002. First Nation communities have been
participating in the Dream Catcher Tour mainly to provide awareness on suicide
A survey has been completed with youth between 14-18 years of age in rural New
Brunswick regarding distress levels. Aboriginal youth were involved and Big Cove band
members participated on the steering committee. Grief counselling will be made
available to members of the Big Cove First Nation. The Department of Health and
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Wellness is a partner in a tripartite committee in place to review health issues that are
faced by Big Cove band members.
Big Cove staff have been trained to conduct psychological autopsies for the
Psychological Autopsies Research Project being carried out in New Brunswick.
The Department of Training and Employment Development (TED) administers five (5)
employment programmes. Although responsibility for employment programming within
the First Nation communities rests with the federal government. All Aboriginal people
have access to all programmes and services delivered by TED, including access to
employment counselling.
The Summer Employment and Experience Development (SEED) programme provides
students with employment experience through summer jobs, co-operative placements and
entrepreneurship opportunities. Every year, funding is provided to the Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEO) programme in order to provide summer employment to Aboriginal
and visible minority students.
The Work Ability programme provides workplace opportunities in support of
employment action plans that will develop the skills necessary for permanent
employment. A strong partnership has been developed between TED and EEO to provide
Aboriginal and visible minority clients with job exposure in an effort to assist them in
finding full-time employment.
The Workforce Expansion programme provides wage subsidies to eligible employers that
intend to create permanent employment, or annually recurring seasonal jobs, in New
Brunswick and assist eligible individuals to start their own business or become selfemployed. In order to encourage employers to hire Aboriginal Persons, an enhanced wage
subsidy is provided.
The Training and Skills Development programme assists case-managed individuals,
whose employment action plan identifies skill development as being necessary, in
accessing appropriate training and education programmes so that they can achieve their
goal of becoming self-reliant. Under this programme, several Strategic Initiatives have
been organized in order to provide training to Aboriginal Persons in the following areas –
Gas and Oil, Fisheries, Information Technology, Heavy Equipment, and Health Care.
The Employment Services programme provides the financial and professional supports
needed to ensure that labour force needs of New Brunswick employers and workers are
met. Under this programme, a number of projects targeting Aboriginal Persons and
visible minorities have been funded by the Research and Innovation (R&I) component,
including - Aboriginal Forest Ranger Training (1997 - 2000), Tobique IT Microsoft
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Certified Training – Tobique First Nation (2000 - 2001), Diversity and Equity in
Employment -N.B. Visible Minority Steering Committee (2001-2002), Building Stronger
Diverse Communities -N.B. Multicultural Council (2002).
Interim agreements on primary/secondary education between the Province of New
Brunswick and First Nations ensure that children who live on reserves and attend public
schools have access to culturally relevant, quality educational programmes and services,
consistent with the Policy Statement on Maliseet/Mi'kmaq Education in New Brunswick.
The governing bodies involved in these arrangements are First Nations, the Department
of Education and local school districts. Individual agreements exist between 9 of the 15
First Nations of New Brunswick.
Since the Federal-Provincial Master Tuition Agreement terminated in 1993, several First
Nations have engaged in direct discussions with the Department of Education with the
aim of concluding a long-term tuition agreement for educational programmes and
services between all First Nations and the Department of Education. Long-term
agreements exist between the Department and three of the First Nations.
The Department of Education has adopted a number of initiatives consistent with the
Policy Statement on Maliseet/Mi'kmaq Education in New Brunswick, including an
Aboriginal teacher recruitment initiative, the appointment of a number of Aboriginal
representatives to District Education Councils, and intervention strategies to address the
educational needs of at-risk Aboriginal students. Other measures, which address
curriculum development activities and Aboriginal awareness training for teachers, are
reported under Article 7
The Department of Education implemented the Department of Education Working
Guidelines on Integration (March 1988) and Best Practices for Inclusion (1994). These
guidelines provide parameters to ensure adequate provision of support services for all
students. The guidelines recognize a continuum of need, ranging from being able to deal
effectively with the regular programme, to requiring extensive and varied support.
On April 24, 1995, the minister of Health and Community Services issued a memo to all
regional hospital facilities, Family and Community Social Service Offices, and the
Mental Health Commission. The memo contains sections from the Human Rights Act
concerning racism. The Minister stated that there would be zero tolerance with respect to
racism within the Health and Community Services system.
Gignoo Transition House was opened in January 1993 to aid abused Aboriginal women
and their children. In 1992-93, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided
funds for capital costs to establish the transition house for victims of spousal violence.
The Department of Health and Community Services now provides an operating grant
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
based on usage of the Transition House by off-reserve Aboriginal women and nonAboriginal clients. The Department of Indian Affairs provides financial assistance based
on usage by on-reserve Aboriginal women.
A number of the New Brunswick Aboriginals who belong to the Union of New
Brunswick Indians are members of the Provincial Suicide Prevention Coordinating
Committee. There are also Aboriginal representatives on various community suicide
prevention committees.
four people who are certified trainers in suicide prevention are part of the Mental
Health Commission's provincial pool of certified trainers;
training sessions have been provided to various Aboriginal communities in the
area of suicide prevention and awareness, including formal training in Critical
Incident Stress Management;
aboriginal representatives of Big Cove are part of the Critical Incident Stress
Management programme of the Richibucto community Mental Health Centre;
cultural awareness training has been provided to Community Mental Health
Services staff; and
community mental health centres staff continues to provide consultation services
to Aboriginal communities as needed.
Aboriginal clients are accessing the services at the 13 Community Mental Health Centres
throughout the province on a continuous basis. In addition, the Department will, on an asneeded basis, deliver specific services or training to Aboriginal communities in a crisis.
The Province is responsible for providing child protection services to all residents of New
Brunswick, including those living on Indian reserves. The Department of Family and
Community Services does, however, delegate the responsibility for the delivery of these
services to all First Nations. The delegation occurs under a tripartite agreement between
the First Nations, the Department of Family and Community Services and the Department
of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
A Canada-New Brunswick-Indian Child and Family Services Agreement was first signed
in 1983 and is in place in all 15 First Nations communities. A Tripartite Agreement on
Indian Child Welfare Agencies also exists and, in 1988, was extended until such time as
new arrangements are negotiated.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The long-term objective of the Department of Family and Community Services is to
devolve responsibility for delivery of child and family services to First Nations. Those
services that may be provided under the Tripartite Agreement are: childcare, child
protection, homemaker, headstart, family and adoption services.
The 15 First Nations communities in New Brunswick have child and family services
agreements in place.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission is responsible for the administration of
the New Brunswick Human Rights Act. The Commission encourages a climate of
tolerance and understanding, which prevents persons from being subject to indignity or
from being placed at a social disadvantage because of their race, colour, national origin,
place of origin or ancestry.
Section 13 of the Act authorizes the Commission to approve special programmes, such as
Affirmative Action and Employment Equity, to enhance the welfare of specific
populations, including women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and visible
minorities. The programmes are generally intended to identify and remove systemic
barriers in employment, housing or education that discriminate against members of
designated groups. They may also involve the implementation of special measures to
accommodate differences and to achieve and maintain a representative workforce. The
Commission is further authorized by the Act to review, alter or impose conditions in
respect of such special programmes.
The Commission carries out its principal functions by promoting human rights education
and by investigating complaints regarding alleged violations of the Act. The ratio of
racial discrimination complaints to the Commission’s total formal complaint caseload, as
represented by complaints based on race, colour and place of origin, is as follows:
1997-98: 8 race related complaints out of 140
1998-99: 6 race related complaints out of 141
1999-2000: 15 race related complaints out of 119
2000-2001: 17 race related complaints out of 115
The Commission explains the increase in complaints in this area as being, in part, the
result of its promotion and education efforts, and those of other Canadian Human Rights
Commissions, in combating racism.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Under section 20 of the Human Rights Act, the Human Rights Commission is authorized
to recommend the appointment of an impartial Board of Inquiry to resolve a complaint of
discrimination that cannot be settled through the process of conciliation.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Education and Teaching
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission provides information and referral
services on a variety of issues including racism, prejudice and discrimination. It also
makes print materials and videos available, and serves as a liaison with community
The promotion of racial harmony continues to be an important focus of the Commission’s
education programme. In this respect, the Commission has been involved with the New
Brunswick Minority Policing Committee in its work to address such issues as recruitment
and training of minorities and police practices, and with Pride of Race, Unity Dignity
Through Education, an organization that develops awareness and programmes dealing
with racial harmony.
During the review period, the Commission continued its promotion and education
initiatives aimed at combating racism by marking each year the International Day for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination, through its press releases, workshops and
conferences. In 1997 it launched the Vision for Equality Television series, hosted with the
Public Legal Education and Information Service-New-Brunswick, a conference on racism
and hate crimes on the internet and one on Understanding and Building on Diversity,
with the Fredericton Multicultural Association, and organized an Executive Round table
on diversity for government, NGO and Corporate leaders. In 1998, it presented its paper
Hate Incidents in the Atlantic Provinces to the Annual Atlantic Crime Prevention
Conference. It developed a study guide to accompany its Vision for Equality video series,
held workshops and conferences on Diversity and the promotion of harmonious race
relations to government departments, university campuses, broadcasters, industry leaders
culminating in its nomination for the first ever Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s
Award of Excellence in Race Relations. More recently, the Commission has produced
and piloted a workshop, Examining Hate aimed at educators and community workers and
acted as a resource support to the development of public school curriculum on Global
Perspectives to Citizenship.
Multiculturalism Office programmes for the period 1997-2002 included partnerships with
other government offices and community organizations to foster cross-cultural education
opportunities and the development of immigrant integration materials titled "Welcome to
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
New Brunswick: Make Yourself at Home" and a NB Immigration Website. The Office
was involved with a number of government departments in the organization of the annual
New Brunswick Heritage Week that celebrates different aspects of the province's cultural
mosaic. That week ends with the celebration of the National Heritage Day.
In 1999, the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) received approval from the
New-Brunswick Human Rights Commission for a special programme that allocates
training placed in all regular programmes for Aboriginal persons. Aboriginal applicants
who wish to apply for admission to regular College programmes using this process, selfidentify by completing an application form signifying their Aboriginal status before
March 1 of the year preceding the commencement of training programme. The number of
seats reserved in any one programme is based on the total seat capacity of that
programme; for example, in a programme with a capacity of 20 or fewer seats, one seat
will be reserved for Aboriginal applicants. The approval expires in August 2004, at which
time the College can apply for renewal.
NBCC has also delivered training programmes specifically for the Aboriginal community
in the areas of Aboriginal Plant Interpretation, Natural Gas Technician, and Vocational
Forestry. Aboriginal communities in New Brunswick are developing human resources
and the social and economic infrastructures required to progress toward self-sufficiency
and self-government. To assist in this process, one of NBCC’s strategic initiatives is to
provide education and training opportunities leading to employment for the Aboriginal
population of NB. This will enable Aboriginal people to pursue individual career goals
and provides for a collaborative approach that ensures the aspirations of Aboriginal
students and the particular needs of Aboriginal communities are met through the
provision of quality education.
The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design has a one-year Native Arts Program as
part of its foundation Arts Diploma Program. A Native instructor directs the Programme
and the College has developed informal contacts with many elders and Native artists.
As well, the College is an interdisciplinary cultural education facility that maintains a
policy of credit transference with the University of New Brunswick, whereby credit from
one educational institution can contribute to a diploma or degree of the other.
The Department of Health and Wellness promotes understanding and combats prejudice
by promoting special days including Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination,
National Aboriginal Day, and National Access Awareness Week. Messages go out to all
staff, literature is available to staff and the public, and contests are held to raise
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
School districts have been directed to develop a policy consistent with the thrust of the
Ministerial Statement on Multiculturalism/Human Rights Education, and to feature a
progress report as part of the Annual Report of each district.
The document Human Rights in the Curriculum, prepared in 1988, is being updated. A
document entitled Checklists for Detecting bias and Stereotyping in Instructional
Materials was prepared in 1990. Further, a Policy Statement on Maliseet and Mi’kmaq
Education in New Brunswick has been adopted by the Department of Education.
A number of initiatives are in place in the area of Aboriginal education:
A consultant on Aboriginal education has been hired by the Department of
Native Studies 120 Programmes are being offered in a number of schools.
"Maliseet and Mi'kmaq: First Nations of the Maritimes" is the approved text for
this course. The department has approved a curriculum guide.
Aboriginal Language programmes and materials have been and continue to be
In-service instruction is being held for teachers and administrators in various
districts for the Aboriginal Education Orientation Program. These Circle of
Understanding sessions are designed to introduce Maliseet and Mi’kmaq cultures,
histories and contemporary conditions to the teaching staff. Sessions may also
include learning styles of Aboriginal students, effective teaching strategies, and
introducing Aboriginal content into curriculum subjects. A Native Studies Model
(Grades K-12) is currently being developed for implementation in the public
Workshops are being conducted concerning the heritage and culture of First
A Provincial Aboriginal Education Curriculum Development Advisory
Committee is in place. This committee reviews the direction and support for the
study of First Peoples in the curriculum. All committee members are either
Maliseet or Mi’kmaq educators. A Maliseet Language Committee as well as a
Mi’kmaq Language committee are also in place. They are responsible for the
development of language materials that are required for the teaching of
Maliseet/Mi’kmaq languages. Committee members include Maliseet and
Mi’kmaq language teachers.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In response to the Report on Excellence in Education, two initiatives are going
forward: one will see an increase in the number of Native teachers, and the other
will support Native leaders.
The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF) is a programme created to support
Aboriginal projects and initiatives in the area of economic development. The aim of the
programme is to help Aboriginal entrepreneurs to start or expand their business and
contribute to the enhancement of the economy of Aboriginal communities in New
Brunswick. Studies, as well as government departments and agencies, non-profit
organizations, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, can receive financial
assistance. The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) administrates this
programme. Fifteen percent of the funding is provided by the province through RDC, 35
percent by the federal government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency and
50 percent by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
The goal of the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP) is to provide young
Aboriginals with the opportunity to work with the Community Economic Development
Agencies (CEDAs), the Community Business Development Corporations, the
Canada/New Brunswick Business Service Centre and various federal and provincial
departments in the field of economic development to help them gain meaningful
experience. The programme provides for the hiring of a total of 32 unemployed or underemployed interns with post-secondary education over a period of three years. Funding is
provided through the AEDF. The programme provides a one-year term placement with
possibility of extension for an additional year for a maximum of two years.
The Department of Environment and Local Government continues to hire qualified
people regardless of cultural heritage or race. It participates as fully as possible in the
Equal Employment Opportunity Programs and regularly hires short-term staff and
summer students through these programmes. In addition to these short-term programmes,
it has recently hired two permanent staff registered with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Program.
The Department recognizes and promotes events such as Heritage Week, the International
Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Aboriginal Day, and Disability
Awareness Week in order to ensure that all staff are fully aware of human rights issues
and to promote better understanding and tolerance
The Culture and Sport Secretariat of the Department of Education, in partnership with the
Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, provided consultant services and financial support to the
New-Brunswick Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Sport and Recreation Circle.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In terms of First Nations, the Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch has provided
assistance with community development plans for several First Nations communities,
made contact and distributed information to all First Nations communities on services
available from Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch, and informed Aboriginal
leaders of the benefits of recreation, especially for youth at risk.
In 2001-2002, the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat developed a new cross-cultural
awareness strategy. The strategy is intended to provide public servants with the
opportunity to learn more about Maliseet and Mi'kmaq culture.
The Services Branch of the Department of Public Safety has endeavoured to ensure equal
access of Aboriginal inmates to culturally sensitive spiritual services through
programmes of visits by elders and participation in sweet grass ceremonies. The Branch
has taken part in informal discussions with Aboriginal leaders regarding the development
of institutional policy and procedures.
In terms of First Nations, the Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch has provided
assistance with community development plans for several First Nations communities,
made contact and distributed information to all First Nations communities on services
available from Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch, and informed Aboriginal
leaders of the benefits of recreation, especially for youth at risk.
Also, an Elder Program was initiated in 1999 at the Moncton detention centre. The New
Brunswick Youth Centre has an Elder Program and a Native Awareness Room for
increasing awareness, education and for cultural activities.
The Department of Public Safety has undertaken measures to promote cross-cultural
understanding among its employees by organizing lunchtime awareness activities along
with a multicultural exhibit, and by incorporating the government's Policy on
Multiculturalism into an employee's handbook and into training programmes for
executive directors. The Department of Public Safety is also represented on the
Interdepartmental Committee on Multiculturalism.
With respect to correctional employees, the Department of Public Safety offers
Aboriginal awareness training, including a Native Spirituality course led by Aboriginal
elders as trainers. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure correctional staff is more
culturally sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal offenders.
New Brunswick
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Nova Scotia
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Nova Scotia in application
of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. It updates, to May 2001, the information contained in the previous
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
The Race Relations and Affirmative Action Division within the Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission continues to develop, both in the public and private sectors,
programmes and policies that promote cross-cultural understanding and eliminate barriers
to the full participation of racial minorities in society. The Affirmative Action
Programme assists organizations and agencies from the public, private, and communitybased sectors, who wish to enter into affirmative action agreements. These groups take
active, responsibility for eliminating discrimination and harassment in the provision of
services, in the workplace, and in all areas covered by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.
Sections 6, 9 and 25 of the Human Rights Act allow for employers and service providers
to enter into special programmes and activities whose purpose is to promote the welfare
of any class of individuals. Such programmes are deemed not to be a violation of the
Human Rights Act. Organizations, such as universities, service organizations and
associations, continue to sign Affirmative Action agreements.
The Race Relations Division offers workshops and training to institutions and
organizations in the area of diversity, which covers race relations as a topic and
provisions under the Human Rights Act. The number of training sessions requested has
increased since the last reporting period. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
also conducts a number of information sessions on a per request basis to various
organizations in the community. The Commission continues to develop training modules
to specifically address racism and discrimination has developed a Train-the-Trainer
module to address systemic discrimination in organizations. The Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission staff participate in ongoing training to develop increased
understanding of racism and systemic discrimination.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has been working to strengthen its
relationship with Aboriginal communities. An Aboriginal Human Rights Officer has been
designated to create and implement a plan to work proactively with members of the
Aboriginal community to make them aware of the services of the Commission. This
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
includes working with a committee that advises on ways to address issues in a culturally
sensitive manner.
In addition, the Race Relations and Affirmative Action Division has worked with the
Nova Scotia Department of Aboriginal Affairs to develop a training module on
Aboriginal issues for government employees. This programme was tested in 1999 and
the first employees were trained in 2000.
Throughout the period covered by this report, the Department of Human Resources and
the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union have cooperated in gathering statistical
information and developing a mandatory affirmative action policy for provincial civil
servants at all levels. In March 1996, the Department and the Union made a specific
commitment to overcome systemic discrimination; progress statistics are tabled annually
in the Legislature.
The Senior Citizen's Secretariat, the provincial government agency that deals with aging
issues encourages the independence, dignity and participation of all older adults. The
Secretariat engages seniors in consultations, special events and projects. It also projects
the diversity of the senior population through publications and other educational material.
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has as its mission to advance
equality, fairness, and dignity for all women. The Advisory Council has also made
consistent efforts to ensure that events, consultations, and initiatives undertaken by the
Council are inclusive of women’s diversity. In 1994, the Nova Scotia Advisory Council
on the Status of Women consulted women's organizations in the province on establishing
diversity within the Council board and staff. As a result, five of the seven new
appointments to the Council were from racially visible groups. Since these 1994
appointments, the Council has been working to ensure that all projects of the Council are
more inclusive. The Advisory Council has continued to strive to ensure the diversity of
its Council members. The Chair of the Advisory Council, Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, a
Mi’kmaq woman, was elected as Chair in 1996, and re-elected in 1997 and 1998. As of
the beginning of 1999, four of the Council’s thirteen members were from racially visible
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women staff have been involved
with the Black Women’s Health Network from its inception and partnered with a number
of other organizations, including the United African Canadian Women’s Association, the
Black Business Initiative, and the Maritime Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health in
the planning and funding for the Black Women’s Health Network Workshop held in East
Preston in March of 2001.
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Council’s primary strategic goal is to increase inclusion and participation of women
in all their diversity in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities, with
particular emphasis on those who face discrimination because of race, age, language,
class, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or various forms of family status.
Equity reference groups will play an integral role in a large, federally funded, 5-year
programme of collaborative health research that the Advisory Council has undertaken in
partnership with the Maritime Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. The
programme of research aims to understand the links between women’s unpaid caregiving
work and health in diverse groups of caregivers. Equity reference groups, which have
already begun to be established, will be essential in understanding the caregiving roles of
women from diverse groups.
The Advisory Council makes efforts to collect any statistics pertaining to Black women,
Aboriginal women, immigrant women, and women with disabilities. In the five-part
statistical series on women in Nova Scotia that the Advisory Council is currently putting
together, Council staff included statistics on diverse groups of women whenever such
statistics were available.
In association with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Council assisted in
the development of Community Advocates for Rights with Responsibility (CARR), to
raise awareness about media representations promoting sexist and racist representations
of girls, women, African Canadians and other people of colour. In this connexion, the
Council referred sexist/racist literature to the Advertising Standards Council of Canada
and also participated in planning the March 2000 conference entitled Hate: Poisoning
Youth. The Council’s Chair was a panelist at this conference. Council staff remain active
participants in the CARR committee.
In 1996, the Black Women's Health Project was initiated as a community outreach and
information programme; funding assistance was provided by the Department of Health.
The new Children and Family Services Act, R.S. 1990, c.5, came into force in September
1991. This legislation states that wherever possible family units are to remain together,
assisted by a wide range of supports. Several sections of the Act require that the best
interests of the child be the paramount consideration in any placement or intervention; the
preservation of the child's cultural, racial, religious and linguistic background is
considered relevant to his or her best interests.
The policies of the Department of Community Services recognize the importance of a
child’s cultural, racial and linguistic heritage and require their consideration of all stages
of child protection procedures during adoption proceedings and for foster care placement,
including verification/validation of evidence, opening a case for ongoing service,
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
development of a case plan, making a court application and removing or returning a child
to a caretaker. Additionally, a child’s cultural, racial and linguistic heritage are to be
considered in adoption proceedings in the assessment of the family when a child is placed
for adoption and in interprovincial adoptions.
Cultural, racial and linguistic heritage are also to be considered for foster care policies
and procedures where special efforts shall be made to recruit culturally-diverse homes,
including outreach activities within communities utilizing key community people in
accessing these communities to gain their support and in stressing cultural sensitivity
during information sessions and orientation sessions.
The Children and Family Services Advisory Committee established under the Act
requires that “two persons be drawn from the cultural, racial or linguistic minority
communities”. Where a child of Aboriginal origin is the subject of a child protection
proceeding, the Act states that the Mi'kmaq Family and Children's Services of Nova
Scotia shall receive notice as a party to the proceedings and may be substituted for the
agency that commenced the proceeding. The Act also provides for notice to Mi'kmaq
Family and Children's Services before an adoption agreement is entered into concerning a
child who is or may be an Aboriginal child. Pursuant to section 88 of the Act, an
Advisory Committee conducts an annual review of the Act; a senior staff member from
Mi'kmaq Family and Children's Services sits on this advisory committee and also on
related policy committees.
The Department of Community Services seeks African Nova Scotian applicants when
hiring staff and service providers, because it recognizes the appropriateness of African
Nova Scotians being able to receive services from African Nova Scotians. As well, all
agencies, shelters, and group homes for which the department is responsible are required
to implement human resources policies that reflect employment equity principles.
In addition, the department, in collaboration with the Department of Education’s African
Canadian Services Division, has focussed on employment support services for African
Nova Scotians who are preparing to enter the labour force. They have also collaborated
on identifying African Nova Scotian communities in need of preschool and early
intervention initiatives. The department has been a partner with the community of
Lucasville/Upper Hammonds Plains in providing a customer service training programme
for youth. The department has also allocated a summer employment position to the Black
Educators’ Association to strengthen the link between the department and African Nova
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
Although the legislation concerning hate groups and hate propaganda falls under federal
jurisdiction, the provincial Human Rights Act provides additional protection to groups
vulnerable to such propaganda. Section 7 of the Act prohibits publication, displays or
broadcasts that indicate discrimination or intent to discriminate against individuals or
classes of individuals. The Human Rights Commission works with Community
Advocates With Rights for Responsibilities (CARR) to address issues of racism and hate.
In March 2000, the group organized a conference called Hate: Poisoning Youth. The
goal of the conference was to bring adults together to discuss their responsibility in
activities, literature, and marketing to youth. Discussion at the conference included hate
literature and activities, hate in culture and marketing, and the history of hate. Panels
examined the legal implications of hate, freedom of expression issues, ideas for
curriculum and the classroom, and steps to address hate in communities. CARR was
nominated for a Canadian Race Relations Foundation Award of Excellence for their work
around the conference.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act R.S. 1989 c. 214, provides protection against
discrimination on the basis of the following grounds: race, colour; creed, religion;
national, ethnic or Aboriginal origin; sex (includes pregnancy); age; marital or family
status; physical or mental disability; sexual orientation; political activity, affiliation or
association; source of income; fear of contracting an illness or disease; sexual
harassment; association with members of groups protected under the Act. The Nova
Scotia Human Rights Commission’s policy is such that complaints of racial harassment
are considered to be complaints of racial discrimination.
The Multiculturalism Act, R.S. 1989, c.10, s.1, remains in force. Its purpose includes the
establishment of a climate for harmonious relations among people of diverse cultural and
ethnic backgrounds.
There are currently two Black judges serving in Nova Scotia. The Family Court
appointment was made in 1986, and the Provincial Court appointment in 1996.
The Review Board of the Nova Scotia Police Commission is comprised of a Chairperson,
Alternate Chairperson, Member and four Alternate Members. Since 1993, a
representative from the Black community and a representative from the Aboriginal
community have been serving on the Review Board as Alternate Members.
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Department of Justice, Police Services Division, has designed an introductory
Multicultural Training Course for criminal justice workers in the province of Nova
Scotia. The intent of the course is to assist Police and Correctional personnel in Nova
Scotia to develop a basic understanding of other cultures and values, and to assist them in
the normal discharge of their duties in a multicultural environment.
In 1994, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, with provincial and federal support,
developed the Mi'kmaq Young Offender Project. This ongoing initiative combines
existing alternative sentencing measures with a restorative justice model that incorporates
the Mi'kmaq legal traditions of healing and community resolution.
The published reports of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia have included
summaries in the Mi'kmaq language since 1992.
The Unama'Ki Tribal Police, an Aboriginal police force serving Unama'Ki communities,
commenced operations in October 1994.
Previous reports have referred to the establishment by the Province of Nova Scotia of the
1986 Royal Commission to inquire into the circumstances that led to the wrongful murder
conviction of Donald Marshall, Jr., a Mi'kmaq Indian. The federal and provincial
governments continue to address the Royal Commission's 82 recommendations.
The Government of Nova Scotia has recently adopted an Employment Equity for Crown
Law Agents Policy which provides that firms doing business with the Province, where the
total fees per year for legal work are $5,000.00 or more, are required to sign a
commitment to employment equity and the programme initiatives, and file the
commitment with the Department of Justice. Without this commitment, firms will not be
engaged in future to perform legal work for the government.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission continues to investigate complaints of racial
discrimination. In the fiscal year 2000-2001, approximately 18 percent of complaints of
discrimination that were in the area of employment, were allegations of racial
discrimination (race, colour, national, ethnic or Aboriginal origin). Approximately
51 percent of complaints in the areas of services were allegations of racial discrimination.
This is an increase in both areas from the last reporting period.
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
In 1990, the provincial government appointed the Black Learners Advisory Committee
(BLAC). The three-volume BLAC Report on Education was published in 1994. This
report laid the groundwork for significant structural changes to the Education Act and the
Department of Education, including the establishment in 1996 of an African-Canadian
Services Division within the Department. In 2000, the Nova Scotia Education Act was
amended to guarantee African Canadians in Nova Scotia a seat on each of the
Anglophone school boards.
A similar process is taking place between the Department of Education and the Mi'kmaq
community; the intended result is much greater Mi'kmaq control over the education of
Aboriginal children. The new Education Act legislated the creation of a Council on
Mi'kmaq Education and allows for the appointment of a Mi'kmaq representative to each
regional school board. Two of the six anglophone school boards have Mi'kmaq
representatives; in the other four regions, the bands are currently choosing their
representatives to the boards.
A Mi'kmaq Education Consultant position was created by the department in 1995. The
consultant is overseeing changes to the curriculum, including a Mi'kmaq Social Studies
course to be piloted in five high schools and a Mi'kmaq language course to be offered to
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children as the second-language course option.
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia's largest university has, since 1989, provided a
programme the goal of which is to increase the representation of indigenous Nova
Scotian Blacks and Mi’kmaq in the legal profession by making Dalhousie Law School
more accessible to applicants from these communities. A Black Student Advisory Centre
was established in 1992. In 1996, the James Robinson Chair in Black Canadian Studies
was established.
The Department of Education established the Office of Race Relations and
Cross-Cultural Understanding in 1992. This office is working with school boards,
multicultural groups and other education partners in developing anti-racist principles and
a provincial education race relations policy. As well, the Office is working with school
boards to develop race relations policies at the board level. The anti-racist principles will
reinforce the individual's right to an education free from bias, prejudice and intolerance.
The race relations policy includes school programmes and practices promoting
self-esteem and pride in individual cultures and heritages. The Department is also
finalizing its provincial student discipline policy, which includes sections prohibiting
racial harassment. Under the new Education Act, R.S. 1995-96, c.1, school boards have a
duty to establish policies that protect students from harassment and abuse.
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In 1996, the Joint Human Rights and Education Committee was reactivated with the
Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission and the Deputy Minister of
Education serving as co-chairs. The Joint Committee acts as a forum for discussion and
sharing information; it also has a mandate to recommend ways that human rights concepts
and issues can be integrated into policies and curriculum development.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has developed numerous public education
materials and an identity system to elevate its profile in the community. These include
posters, bookmarks, fact sheets on racism and discrimination, and a web site. The
Commission also developed a new logo depicting a wave and a rainbow as symbols of
human rights and diversity in the province of Nova Scotia.
In March 1997, the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission launched a Fair Play
programme that emphasizes zero tolerance for violence, racism and verbal abuse in sports
facilities. The programme will also promote the right to increased access to sports
regardless of racial origin. The City of Halifax has provided a programme to immigrant
children since 1995 that is designed to increase the children's awareness of recreational
opportunities and to help them feel more comfortable participating.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission works with Partners Against Racism and
with Community Advocates for Rights With Responsibilities on the commemorations for
Human Rights Day (December 10) and the International Day for the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination (March 21).
The Commission has organized events for the public that promote human rights issues. In
2000, the Commission held a public forum called “Human Rights: Reflections, Realities
and Reasons” where the present and former executive directors of the Commission
discussed the evolution of human rights in Nova Scotia over the last 30 years. In 2001,
the Commission held a public forum titled: “What is the Future for Human Rights in
Nova Scotia?” that consisted of three panel discussions each examining different areas
and issues of human rights locally, nationally and internationally. The Commission has
organized other events, including a luncheon in July 2001 for business, government and
community organizations that featured international diversity consultant Trevor Wilson.
In 1999, an interfaith breakfast with leaders and members of various faith communities
was also organized in order to enter into dialogue with religious organizations in the
Nova Scotia
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Prince Edward Island
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Prince Edward Island in
application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. It updates, until May 2001, the information contained in the previous
Population Demographics
In the 1996 population census, 92 percent of the population identified English as their
mother language, whereas four percent identified French as their first language. French
is the predominant language spoken in the province’s Evangeline region. Education,
health services and other government services in this region are available primarily in
French. There are also communities along the north shore of the Island and in the
province’s extreme western and eastern regions that have a strong Acadian heritage but
the use of French language is limited. Many Acadians in P.E.I. no longer consider French
as their first language.
Three percent of the province’s population identified themselves as having an origin
other than Aboriginal, French, British or Canadian, and 1.1 percent (1520 people)
identified themselves as visible minorities. Other ethnic cultural groups include German,
Dutch, Lebanese and Asian. The Lebanese community is well established having arrived
in the province in the 1860's.
In the census, 950 people identified themselves as aboriginal although there are only 650
registered Status Indians as defined in the Indian Act. Approximately half of Status
Indians live on one of 4 Indian reserves in the province.
Lennox Island
Rocky Point
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Government Sponsored Refugees
Many new immigrants to the province come as a result of the federal-government
sponsored Refugee Settlement Program. During the reporting period, 262 government
sponsored refugees arrived in P.E.I. from the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Croatia,
Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, Guatemala and
El Salvador. An estimated 75 percent of the refugees leave P.E.I. before their second
year. Reasons cited for the departures include failure to become gainfully employed, a
greater range of services elsewhere and, in particular, availability of more extensive
language training, and a desire to live in larger urban centres with the possibility of
meeting others who share similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds.18
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Holocaust Memorial Day Act
In 1999, the P.E.I. government introduced the Holocaust Memorial Day Act, R.S.P.E.I.,
1998, Cap. H-7. The purpose of the Act is to honour those whose lives were lost and to
learn from this horrific event in world history. The Act states:
Such a day will provide an opportunity:
(a) to reflect upon and educate about the enduring lessons Humanity must
learn from the Holocaust;
(b) to recognize the necessity for perpetual vigilance to avoid such
atrocities in the future; and
(c) to consider other instances of systemic destruction of peoples, human
rights issues, and the multicultural reality of modern society.
Hate on the Internet
In 2000, the P.E.I. Multicultural Council, in partnership with both the federal and
provincial governments, undertook to develop an awareness campaign for students on
hate material on the Internet. This campaign involved producing a 13 minute video that
was distributed to all schools. The project was not completed at the end of the reporting
Opportunities for Collaboration: Immigrant Settlement on P.E.I., the P.E.I. Association of Newcomers to
Canada, July 3, 2001.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Child Protection Act
In December 2000, the government introduced the Child Protection Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988,
Cap C. The Act defines child abuse, the circumstances in which child protection
measures are needed and the procedures to be followed. The statute, not yet proclaimed,
includes special provisions for aboriginal children who are in need of protection. The
provisions are intended to provide protection for the child within the context of their
community by fostering collaboration and support from within the aboriginal community.
Section 1 (a): “aboriginal child” means a child who
(i) is registered in accordance with the Indian Act (Canada)
(ii) has a biological parent who is registered in accordance with the Indian Act
(iii) is under 12 years old and has a biological parent who
(A) is a descendant from an aboriginal person, and
(B) considers himself or herself to be aboriginal, or
(iv) is 12 years old or more, a descendant of an aboriginal person and considers
himself or herself to be aboriginal.
Article 4 : Prohibition against promotion of racism
As noted in Part I of Canada’s report, Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada,
prohibits the incitement of hatred and dissemination of hate literature that is targeted
toward any identifiable group. The Provincial Prosecution Service prosecuted two
charges under this section in April 2000.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
The P.E.I. Human Rights Act is deemed to prevail over all other laws of the province. In
accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Act recognizes as a
fundamental principle that all persons are equal in dignity and human rights. Section 1
(d) of the Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, colour, creed, ethnic or
national origin, family status, marital status, physical or mental handicap, political belief,
race, sex, sexual orientation or source of income.
The Human Rights Act allows all persons, not employed by the Commission, to file a
complaint. Any act of discrimination before a tribunal would be dealt with on appeal or
by a complaint under the Human Rights Act.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Diversity and Equity in the Civil Service
In 1998, the P.E.I. government amended the Civil Service Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, c-8, with
the purpose of promoting diversity within the Public Service Commission. Section 2 (b)
states that a goal of the Public Service Commission is: foster the development of a public service that is representative of the
province’s diversity.
The provincial government undertook an extensive consultation process with the public
and private sector, unions and non-government organizations to develop an equity and
diversity policy for the Public Service Commission.
French Language Services
In 1999, in response to the francophone population’s need for services in French, the
P.E.I. government enacted the French Language Services Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1999, Cap. F15.1. Section 2 of the Act gives purpose and scope to:
define the parameters of use of French in the Legislative Assembly;
specify the extent of French language services to be provided by
government institutions;
specify the extent of French in the administration of justice; and
contribute to the development and enhancement of the Acadian and
Francophone communities.
In Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 3, the Supreme Court of
Canada overturned a P.E.I. Court of Appeal decision and ruled that there were sufficient
numbers of francophone children in Summerside to warrant the opening of a French
language school in that community. The court ruled that under s. 23 of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms the Province has a duty to provide official minority
language instruction where numbers warrant it: A purposive interpretation of s. 23 rights
is based on the true purpose of redressing past injustices and providing the official
language minority with equal access to high quality education in its own language in
circumstances where community development will be enhanced.
Aboriginal Treaty Rights on Fishing and Hunting
In R. v. Marshall, [1999] 3 S.C.R. 533, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the
Mi’kmaq peoples’ right to hunt and fish for commercial purposes as valid as a result of
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
treaties signed in 1760-61. Section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982 states: [T]he existing
aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized
and affirmed.
As a result of this ruling, the Federal Government undertook a programme to buy back
some of the commercial fishing licences already issued in the province and redistribute
them among the province’s Indian bands.
The move towards equity in the sharing of resources has given rise to conflict. In one
instance, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans transferred fishing licences from one
port authority to another as a way of remedying tensions between the aboriginal and nonaboriginal fishers.
The Marshall decision has led to further claims by P.E.I. Mi’kmaq regarding access to
other natural resources for the purpose of economic development. The decision also
raises the question of the rights of non-treaty Indians to have access to natural resources.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
Racial Discrimination Cases
The P.E.I. Human Rights Commission is responsible for the administration and
enforcement of the P.E.I. Human Rights Act. In 1998, the role of the Commission was
expanded to provide it with the authority to resolve complaints through a formal process.
Under these provisions, the Commission’s executive director has the authority to dismiss
a complaint or discontinue action on a complaint. If grounds for the complaint are
established and no settlement can be reached between the parties, the Chairperson must
refer the complaint to a panel comprised of commissioners appointed by the provincial
legislature and the Lieutenant Governor in Council. In addition to handling complaints
and investigations, section 18 (b) mandates that the Commission provide public
information and education on human rights.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Complaint Statistics on Racial Discrimination for January 1997 to March 2001
Time Period
Total Filed
Apr. 2000 to
Mar 2001
Jan 1999 to
Mar 2000*
Services, Facilities,
* The P.E.I. Human Rights Commission switched from reporting on the basis of a calendar year
to the fiscal year in 1999.
The activity in litigation of discrimination has been dominated by one person:
Ayangma v. Eastern School Board (2000), 187 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 154
(P.E.S.C.C.A.) Motion judge’s order dismissing civil actions based on violations
of the Human Rights Act upheld. Actions based on Charter reinstated.
Ayangma v. P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, et al (2000), 189 Nfld. & P.E.I.R
286 (P.E.S.C.C.A.) Appeal of dismissal of appeal of costs.
Dismissed Ayangma v. Government of P.E.I., et al. (2000) 195 Nfld & P.E.I.R.
130 (P.E.S.C.T.D.) Appeal of costs dismissed. Cost of appeal to Respondents.
Ayangma v. Government of P.E.I., et al. (2000), 194 Nfld & P.E.I.R. 254
(P.E.S.C.T.D.) Refusal to allow a visible minority interviewer on the Race
Relations Board interview panel was discriminatory and violated section 15 (1) of
the Charter. Committee’s preference for candidate with extensive experience in
P.E.I. school system discriminated against visible minorities and therefore
violated section 15 of the Charter. Plaintiff awarded $7500 general damages, plus
Ayangma v Wyatt (2001), 198 Nfld & P.E.I.R. 126 (P.E.S.C.T.D.) Plaintiff’s
statement of claim struck. No cause of action against Human Rights Commission
Executive Director personally as he was acting within the scope of his
employment as Executive Director of the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Statement of Claim does not support claims of section 7 and 15 Charter
violations, nor can an individual be sued in private capacity for violations of the
Charter. No civil cause of action for a breach of a statute such as the P.E.I.
Human Rights Act. Whole statement of claim struck as pleadings disclose no
reasonable cause of action.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Education and Teaching
Much of the effort to combat racial discrimination has occurred within the Province’s
education system. While the Department of Education has no specific policies and
regulations in regards to the elimination of racial discrimination, there is a race relations
consultant who addresses curriculum issues, is a resource to the school boards and
schools throughout the province, and provides ongoing training for educators in the area
of multiculturalism, racism, diversity and equity.
In 1998, the Department of Education introduced the Foundation for the Atlantic Canada
Social Studies Curriculum and a new social studies programme for grade 9 students,
entitled Atlantic Canada in the Global Community. Both the foundation document and
the grade 9 curriculum are a joint effort between the Departments of Education in all four
of the Atlantic provinces that began in 1993. The foundation document provides
objectives for teaching social studies from grade 1 to grade 12 within a framework that
citizenship, power and governance;
individuals, societies and economic decisions;
people, place and environment;
culture and diversity;
interdependence; and
time, continuity and change.
The new grade 9 curriculum is supported by a text book that includes chapters on culture
with an emphasis on cultural diversity. The text presents a number of case studies
including one on the Lebanese community in Prince Edward Island and another on
Acadian culture. There is a section on racism that defines racism and racist behaviour
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
and offers some responses to racism at a personal level, within the community and in the
institutional context.
In November 1997, the Aboriginal Education Committee was formed. The committee,
compromised of representatives from Aboriginal communities, non-government
organizations, educators and the province’s race relations consultant, work together to
develop curricula that reflect aboriginal history, culture and language and to improve the
success rate of aboriginal students in the educational system.
In December 1997, the Diversity Education Committee was formed. This committee,
comprising educators, school board representatives, Department of Education staff and
representatives from various non-government organizations has the objective of
promoting diversity and eliminating discrimination in the schools.
All three school boards in the province have adopted policies to promote safe schools and
diversity. The policies are broad in scope in that they address discrimination and
harassment in its various forms. Contained within the policies are regulations regarding
reporting, investigation and guidelines for intervention in cases of harassment or
discrimination. The processes involved are aimed at protecting the victim, resolving the
conflict and fostering respect, understanding and inclusion.
Similarly, a number of schools on their own have made the commitment to the
elimination of discrimination. Six schools have joined the League of Peaceful Schools,
others have introduced inclusion policies or codes for responsible behaviour into the
school, and others have organized peace walks. Some schools have produced 30-second
video clips on the theme of the elimination of racial discrimination and five schools have
created peace gardens.
The PEI Teachers Federation, at its 1999 annual conference, focused on the theme of
diversity. Educators were offered workshops and presentations on how to foster
appreciation and acceptance of the diversity in school populations and how to deal with
some of the effects of discrimination found in the schools, i.e bullying and harassment.
The P.E.I. Multicultural Council (P.E.I.M.C.) is the umbrella organization that represents
various ethno-cultural associations in the province. Its mandate is to promote the
concerns of the multicultural community and to facilitate the participation of ethnic,
racial, religious and cultural communities in the larger community of Prince Edward
In 1998, the P.E.I.M.C. conducted a survey regarding the future of multiculturalism in
P.E.I. and the role of the Council. Three-hundred and ninety-four surveys were sent out
to the multicultural community, government representatives who interact with the
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
multicultural community, newcomers to P.E.I. and friends of P.E.I.M.C. Seventy-eight
surveys were completed, representing a 21.1percent rate of return. The survey consisted
of four parts: focus of multiculturalism; programmes and organizations; the role of the
P.E.I.M.C.; and statistical data regarding the respondents (age, gender, country of origin,
length of time residing in P.E.I.).
The results indicated that employment equity was the highest ranking concern (33.4
percent), followed by racism (30.8 percent), systemic discrimination (21.8 percent),
discrimination (19.2 percent) and human rights (9 percent).
The five most important programmes serving the multicultural community were ranked
by respondents as follows: English as a second language (152 respondents); crosscultural awareness programmes (117); employment assistance programmes (117); antiracism programmes (113); and school race relations programmes (108).
Since 1997, the P.E.I.M.C. has partnered with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission and
Scotia Bank in recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination, March 21, with an event entitled “Harmony Evening.” In addition to this
event, the Council, in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, sponsors
an anti-racism contest in schools.
The P.E.I. Association of Newcomers to Canada (P.E.I.A.N.C.) is the agency that
contracts with the federal government to provide settlement services for government
sponsored refugees. P.E.I.A.N.C. provides services through both staff and volunteer
resources (Host Program). As previously reported, 262 government sponsored refugees
came to P.E.I. during the reporting period. In the spring of 1999, an additional 100
refugees from Kosovo came to P.E.I. under the Joint Sponsorship Agreement. Under this
programme all refugees were sponsored by volunteer groups (more than five individuals).
In 1997, in collaboration with P.E.I. Department of Education and the Cross-cultural
Resource Committee, the P.E.I.A.N.C. revised and distributed a publication entitled,
“Understanding Others, A Community Handbook for P.E.I.” The guide provides
information on multiculturalism, immigration, racism and responding to racism. The
guide has been published in both French and English and has been distributed to all
schools in the province.
In 1998-99, with funding from the Maritime Centre for Excellence in Women’s Health,
the P.E.I.A.N.C. conducted research in collaboration with the University of Prince
Edward Island School of Nursing and the Intercultural Health Assembly with the purpose
of increasing cultural awareness among health care providers.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In the spring of 2001, Canadian Heritage provided funding to P.E.I.A.N.C. to conduct a
series of public education sessions entitled “The World Among Us.” Each presentation
featured a different country. Presentations, made by newcomers to Canada, contained
information about the geography, history, culture, people, nature and the present
political/social and economic conditions in their countries of origin. Countries profiled
included Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Japan, Dominican Republic, Croatia and Liberia.
In January 2001, in response to growing tensions between the aboriginal and nonaboriginal communities after the Marshall decision, the Cooper Institute19, with
assistance from members of the Abegweit Band, organized and hosted a public forum
entitled “After Marshall...Learnings About Racism? Challenges for the Future?” Donald
Marshall Jr., the respondent in the case, as well as representatives from other aboriginal
organizations, discussed native treaties, the Supreme Court ruling in Marshall and its
implications for aboriginal and non-aboriginal native communities.
In 1998, The P.E.I. Women’s Network produced a publication entitled Regarding
Diversity: Women Share their Experiences of Life in P.E.I. The publication is a
collection of stories and poetry that documents the experiences of women who have
immigrated to P.E.I. Each story is followed by a number of questions for the reader to
consider. Copies of the publication have been distributed to all grade nine students in the
In 1998, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, 50 people representing 25 community organizations spent two days at a forum
with the purpose of creating the P.E.I. Community Promise of Inclusion. The Promise is
a commitment to promote, preserve and nurture the spirit of community.
Six women, representing the P.E.I. Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and the
P.E.I. A.N.C. and/or as individual citizens, participated in the World March of Women in
New York City in October 2000.
The Adventure Group provides programmes for youth that foster self esteem, trust and
leadership. Since 2000, the group has partnered with a Francophone association, the
Carrefour de L’Isle St. Jean, and the Native Council of P.E.I. to provide a multicultural
summer day camp. The programme brings together youths of different cultural
backgrounds with the purpose of sharing and learning in a multicultural context.
The Cooper Institute is a local community development and social justice non profit organization.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The province is served by numerous media outlets. There are three television channels
that broadcast local issues and events. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has two radio
stations that broadcast on the Island; one which provides five hours of local programming
Monday to Friday, the other is an arts and culture station that is produced nationally and
regionally. There are two local shows a day that feature local news, current events,
entertainment and other local information. There are two daily newspapers that publish
six days a week, three weeklies (including a French language publication) and one biweekly.
All of the major media outlets were surveyed and report that they feature news stories
that deal with issues related to multiculturalism, racism, the elimination of racism and
promotion of multicultural events through public service announcements. A survey of
the local media indicated that most of these outlets cannot easily track the number of
stories or features they have presented on a particular subject matter within a particular
time frame. The CBC, however, has an extensive data base. CBC Radio Charlottetown
agreed to a search of their data bases to determine how many items on the theme of racial
discrimination were produced locally or were aired as part of a local newscast during the
reporting period. Using the key words “race”, “racial”, “racist”, “discrimination”,
“human” rights”, “inclusion”, “equity”, “diversity”, “equality” and “multicultural”, 56
news items and current affairs documentaries were identified. Of these items, the topics
covered include events, public education campaigns, native issues, acts of racism, legal
cases, language issues, racism in the education system, historical accounts, and
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
and Labrador
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Newfoundland and
Labrador in application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination. It updates, until May 2001, the information contained in the
previous reports.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
The Public Service Commission has initiated a Respectful Workplace Program based on
the principle that all employees have a right to a respectful workplace. This is a work
environment that is: respectful and tolerant of diversity and difference; supportive of the
dignity, self esteem and productivity of every individual; free of harassment. Under the
direction of a labour management committee, this initiative has sought to clarify how the
Public Service manages conflict and diversity, to clarify expectations for respectful
behavior in the workplace, and develop resolution mechanisms for conflict. It also seeks
to provide support and set out options for employees who feel they have been harassed.
In conjunction with Treasury Board Secretariat, awareness sessions and training are
being developed that focus on the government’s newly revised Personal Harassment
Policy. This strategy will highlight expectations that all employees will be treated with
respect, that complaints of harassment are dealt with appropriately and that due diligence
is to be observed by taking every effort to ensure that harassment does not occur in the
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) members have received training in “Race
Relations”. As well, the RNC continues a positive relationship with the Association of
New Canadians which often assists police officers in translation and has participated in
joint training initiatives.
Cross-cultural sensitivity training is provided to all new correctional officer recruits as
part of the induction training programme. As well, cross-cultural sensitivity training
continues to be provided to all correctional officers assigned to the Labrador Correction
Centre as well as youth care counselors employed at the Newfoundland & Labrador
Youth Centre with a focus on aboriginal culture, belief systems and lifestyle.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act came into force on January 2000 and in the
general principles it states that the Act shall be interpreted and administered recognizing
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
the principle, among others, that the cultural heritage of a child shall be respected and
encouraged and connections with a child’s cultural heritage shall be preserved. As well,
in determining the best interests of the child the child’s cultural heritage is a factor that
must be considered.
Article 6 : Effective protection and remedies
The Human Rights Commission received complaints on the basis of race in a number of
areas; 8 in the area of employment, 1 for rental accommodations, 1 in the provision of
services and 9 on the basis of national origin. Of these, 2 were settled, 1 withdrawn,
6 dismissed and 1 sent to a Board of Inquiry. As well, the 9 complaints on the basis of
national origin (which were from dentists who were educated outside Canada and issued
provisional licenses permitting them to perform all dental practices in restricted
locations), were sent to a Board of Inquiry.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Public education efforts by the Human Rights Commission include the launch of a
website, distribution of biennial reports as well as preparation of an annotated Human
Rights Code and related pamphlets. In 1999 the Commission contributed to a publication
by the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Association “Into a New Light:
Respect & Dignity for All”, which included a section on filing human rights complaints.
The Human Rights Commission conducts presentations for educational institutions and
community groups that deal with, among other things, discrimination and harassment on
the basis of race.
The Department of Education has implemented a “Multicultural Education Policy:
Responding to Societal Needs” based on the principles outlined in the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
and the Human Rights Code. Implementation guidelines outlined specific actions in the
area of promoting respect for all cultural groups.
Race Relations Day is marked annually with a Proclamation signed by the Minister
responsible for Human Rights and published in the local newspaper proclaiming the
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Measures Adopted by
the Governments of the
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Yukon in application of the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It
updates, until May 2001, the information contained in previous reports.
Please refer to the Yukon’s contribution to Canada’s reports on the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights for relevant information not repeated in this report.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
The Employment Equity Policy put into place in 1990 continues to be implemented. The
target groups identified in the policy are women, Aboriginal peoples and people with
disabilities. Data on visible minorities are regularly collected and monitored. The 1996
census indicates an increase in the visible minority population in the Yukon. Visible
minority employees are statistically under-represented in the workforce, along with
Aboriginal peoples and people with disabilities. The objectives of the policy are: to
achieve an equitable, representative workforce; to identify and remove barriers to
employment and advancement; to implement special measures and support programmes
to remedy a previous disadvantage; and to contribute to fair and equitable access to
employment opportunities and benefits of the Yukon government. Employees are
surveyed and data are maintained on target group representation. The data are used for
planning and supporting employment equity programmes that are established to eliminate
employment disadvantages. Annual employment equity plans are developed and
progress is reported in annual corporate reports for the Yukon government.
In 1999, the Public Service Commission began a new initiative to strengthen public
sector management. A key component of this initiative is the Yukon Government
Leadership Forum. This forum focuses on preparing employees to assume senior
management positions within the Yukon government. The representation of women,
Aboriginal people, visible minorities and people with disabilities was built into the
selection process. Twenty three participants completed the programme and graduated in
June 2001, with a new intake planned for 2002.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Workplace Harassment Policy, established in 1992, remains in effect. The policy
now also provides information to employees about laying complaints under the Human
Rights Act. The purpose of the policy is to establish a workplace that does not tolerate
harassment and to maintain a work environment that is free from harassment. The policy
applies to all individuals, including casual and contract personnel employed with the
Yukon government. Definitions are provided for the types of harassment covered under
this policy, which include workplace harassment, personal harassment, sexual harassment
and abuse of authority.
In 1998, a new clause on workplace harassment was negotiated in the Public Service
Alliance of Canada and Yukon government collective agreement. Under Article 6 B of
the Letter of Understanding “employees do not use the normal grievance procedure on a
harassment-related issue”. Instead the union refers employees to a harassment
investigator in the Public Service Commission. A similar letter of understanding was
recently negotiated between the Yukon Teacher’s Association and the Yukon
In 1998, the Public Service Commission created the position Workplace Harassment
Prevention Coordinator. This position manages the investigation and complaint
resolution process for all workplace harassment complaints under the Workplace
Harassment Policy and the Article 6 Letter of Understanding under the Public Service
Alliance of Canada and Yukon government collective agreement and under the new letter
of understanding with the Yukon Teacher’s Association. The position also provides
work unit consultation and organization training or workplace harassment prevention and
resolution processes.
In March 1998, the Yukon government began a training programme for all its employees
on Yukon Land Claims. The training consists of three modules that focus on Yukon First
Nations culture, intercultural communications and the history and process of First
Nations land claims. The training programme was developed jointly with representatives
from First Nations governments and the Land Claims Secretariat. The purpose of the
training is to foster strong relationships between First Nations and Yukon governments.
Chapter 22 of the Umbrella Final Agreement and First Nation Final Agreements require
the Yukon government to develop, consult on, implement and review a plan to create a
representative public service, both Yukon-wide and in fourteen First Nation traditional
territories. In 1996, a joint planning process began with the Public Service Commission,
departments and First Nations with Final Agreements to develop the Yukon-wide plan.
As of September 1999, the Yukon-wide representative public service plan has been
approved in principle along with three traditional territory plans. Departments are
implementing activities under the Plan and traditional territory planning with First
Nations continues.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
In 1997, " An Accord to Implement the Understandings and Commitments of the
Government of the Yukon and the Council for Yukon First Nations in Relation to the
Transfer of Universal Health Programs " was signed. Among the provisions contained in
the Accord were commitments to:
work together to establish common health plans and priorities;
be involved in community health planning processes;
consultations on legislation etc.;
identify increased employment opportunities for First Nations in health areas;
establishment of a Health Partnership Committee; and
establishment of a Director of First Nation Health Partnerships position within
Health and Social Services.
In 1997, Legislature passed "An Act to Implement the Hague Convention on
International Adoptions to ensure that the Hague Convention protocols etc. on
international adoptions are implemented in law in the Yukon.
The Yukon government also passed Adoption Information Disclosure Regulations in
1998 regarding access to and release of adoption information.
In 2000, the government amended its social assistance regulations to enable effective
implementation of First Nation Self Government Agreements.
A number of child welfare protocol agreements with First Nations have been signed that
relate to processes, notification and involvement of First Nations in child protection
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
During the reporting period a review of the Education Act was begun. Final
recommendations are expected to be implemented in 2002.
The Public Schools Branch continued projects and approaches to include First Nation
culture in the curriculum content for all Yukon students. Ongoing work was done in the
development and implementation of First Nation language.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
The Yukon Native Teacher Education Programme has been continued. This Program is
designed to assist First Nation people to be teachers in the elementary schools.
The Advanced Education Branch produced a booklet and a website to assist newcomers
to the territory. The information is of particular benefits to immigrants. It is called the
Newcomers Guide to the Yukon Territory-December 1999. The New Yukon Literacy
Strategy 2001 is being implemented. The goal of the strategy is to provide maximum
opportunity for all Yukon people to acquire the necessary literacy skills to be successful
in their community, work and personal life.
In 1997, the Womens Directorate sponsored the Yukon Educational Theatre to tour rural
Yukon communities to conduct conflict resolution workshops for elementary students
throughout the Yukon
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Northwest Territories
This report
reviews measures adopted by the Government of the Northwest Territories in application
of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. It updates until May 2001, the information contained in previous reports.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives; and
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
The Government of the Northwest Territories has been working on the development of a
new Human Rights Act to replace the Fair Practices Act. In November 2000, a Proposed
Human Rights Act was tabled in the Legislative Assembly and the government conducted
a broad consultation on the tabled document. The result of the consultation demonstrated
considerable support for the project and has lead to broader protections in the proposed
legislation. The Human Rights Act is in the process to become law.
When passed, the legislation will establish a full Human Rights Commission for the
Northwest Territories. In addition to other responsibilities, the Commission will have a
mandate to:
promote a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal in
dignity and rights;
promote the policy that the dignity and worth of every individual must be
recognized and that equal rights and opportunities must be provided without
discrimination; and
develop and conduct programmes of public information and education designed
to eliminate discriminatory practices.
The proposed Act also expands the scope of protection on the basis of race and enhances
the complaints and investigation processes for people who have complaints of
Northwest Territories
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
This report reviews measures adopted by the Government of Nunavut in application of
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
It updates, until May 2001, the information contained in previous reports.
On April 1, 1999 the new territory of Nunavut was created out of the Northwest
Territories pursuant to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and section 3 of the Nunavut
Act, S.C. 1993, c.28. Modeled on the Northwest Territories Act and the Yukon Act, the
Nunavut Act bestows on the Government of Nunavut powers equivalent to those
possessed by the other two territories. Under section 29 of the Nunavut Act, all territorial
laws in force in the Northwest Territories immediately before division were duplicated in
Nunavut on April 1, 1999. All other laws in force in the Northwest Territories on April 1,
1999 (e.g. federal laws, common law) were continued in Nunavut, to the extent that they
could apply to Nunavut.
Under the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), the Inuit received a
settlement of $1.1 billion from the federal government. Under this agreement control of
about 356, 000 square kilometers of land (about 18 percent of Nunavut) now rests with
Inuit. It also established the Inuit right to self-government and self-determination. The
Nunavut public government system includes an elected Legislative Assembly, consisting
of a Speaker, Premier, cabinet and regular members. There is also a public service and
trial court. Although Nunavut operates in a similar fashion to the other two territories it
has some unique approaches to governance. The Nunavut government incorporates Inuit
values and beliefs into a contemporary system of government. Inuit culture is promoted
through the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth, which plays a key role
in helping all departments develop and implement policy reflective of Inuit values.
Article 2 : Policy and programme initiatives
Article 23 of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement relates to Inuit Employment in
government. Its objective is to increase Inuit participation in government employment to
a representative level (NLCA Art. 23.2.1). It encourages knowledge of Inuit culture,
language, society and the economy. The article outlines requirements for the analysis of
personnel systems, policies, practices and procedures in the government to identify those
that may hinder the recruitment, promotion or other employment opportunities of Inuit. It
also seeks to remove systemic discrimination, i.e. barriers to Inuit participation in the
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
workforce. In order to fulfill this obligation the agreement sets out requirements for a
Labour Force Analysis (Art.23.3.1) and Inuit Employment Plans (Art.23.4.1). In January
2000, the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Human Resources Inuit Employment
plan was tabled by cabinet and approved in principle. In the document entitled The
Bathurst Mandate (Pinasuaqtavut) the government of Nunavut outlines its detailed plan
for the direction that Nunavut will take for next 20 years. It states as one of its goals that
by the year 2020 Nunavut has a representative workforce in all sectors and that every
government department in the territory develops and implements a strategy to support the
Inuit Employment Plan.
Article 24 of the NLCA, concerns procurement procedures for government contracts.
This obliges both the Government of Canada and the territorial government to provide
reasonable support and assistance to Inuit firms to enable them to compete for
government contracts (Art.24.2.1). To implement article 24, the Government of Nunavut
implemented the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti (NNI) policy April 1, 2000. Its
objectives are to increase Inuit participation in the provision of goods and services to the
Government of Nunavut (Section 7.1).
The Fair Practices Act, Nunavut (R.S.N.W.T 1988, c.F-2), duplicated in Nunavut from
the Northwest Territories, remains unchanged for the reporting period.
Article 5 : Equality before the law
Article 23 of the NLCA respecting Inuit employment within government addresses the
need for pre-employment training for Inuit to become employed to a representative level
in the government. Some of the measures identified to make this achievable include
instruction in Inuktitut, ability for training opportunities locally and recognition of Inuit
culture and lifestyle (Art.23.5.2). It also recommends on-the-job training opportunities
and apprenticeships. These goals are reflected in the Nunavut Government’s Inuit
Employment Plan. Education is critically important, as half of the territory’s population
is under 15 years of age. To date the number of Inuit going on to higher education has
been significantly lower to that in southern Canada. The IEP recommends a review of the
educational system from kindergarten through to post-secondary in an effort to encourage
youth to stay in school thus gaining the appropriate education to increase Inuit
representation in the work force (Appendix A- IEP).
The Bathurst mandate states the importance of Inuit traditional knowledge, or IQ, as the
context in which the territory will be governed. Following from this the Government of
Nunavut approved the terms of reference for an IQ task force, in August of 2000 to
develop an implementation plan for IQ initiatives.
Canada’s Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination
Article 23 of the NLCA states that as part of the development of an Inuit Employment
Plan there is a need for an understanding of the cultural context of Nunavut – knowledge
of Inuit culture, society and the economy. It also acknowledges the importance of the
Inuktitut language, as well as the need for training opportunities with Inuktitut as the
language of instruction.
Article 32 of the NLCA concerns the Nunavut Social Development Council and
addresses the right of Inuit to participate in the development of social and cultural
policies. The article sets out the establishment of the Nunavut Social Development
Council as the agency designated to ensure that these rights are affirmed and acted upon.
It allows for conducting research on social and cultural issues and dissemination of
information to Inuit on these areas.
Article 7 : Education, Culture and Information
Culture: The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Culture, Language, Elders and
Youth (CLEY) is mandated to preserve and promote Inuit cultural identity. The
department offers financial support and guidance for cultural activities. Through its
Grants and Contributions Policy it provides funding for several cultural and artistic
activities. These activities include fostering the use and retention of the Inuktitut
language and its dialects. CLEY provides funding to support French language
development through the Canada-Nunavut Cooperation Agreement for French and Inuit
CLEY also funds the Quliit Nunavut Status of Women Council and women’s initiatives
that enhance the cultural, economic, political and social participation of women in
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF