Global Affairs Canada.

Documents obtained by True North from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) reveal a woke foreign service obsessed with microaggressions, race and “ambient bigotry.” 

True North obtained the 134-page trove of documents from GAC through an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request. The ATIP is mainly composed of reports and communications related to consultations requested by GAC’s Anti-Racism Secretariat

The bulk of the release is a report by “diversity and inclusion expert” Dr. Anita Jack-Davies of MOSAIC Cross-Cultural Solutions. 

Jack-Davies was hired by Canada’s foreign service to review anti-racism efforts in the department and provide recommendations for improvement.  Her report, titled Anti-racism Environmental Scan & Climate Review: Global Affairs Canada, was based on extensive consultations with – and complaints from – department staff and management.

In a presentation on the survey, Jack-Davies observed that the “workplace culture is not good. It’s a culture that demands self-reliance.” 

One GAC employee claimed that colour blindness from management who were “treating everyone the same” caused them hardship. 

“People naturally choose people they want to work with. ‘Right fit’ is the central principle and this gives free reign to ambient bigotry and can amplify it,” GAC staff complained in another submission.

One staff member called the department a “cesspool of bigotry” but noted that “it does have to hide it a bit.” Others criticised GAC as having a “culture dominated by Caucasians.” 

Staff also complained that the training relied too much on merit and experience instead of hiring people based on their race or whether they belonged to a so-called disadvantaged group or not. 

“The data revealed that GAC was described as “competitive” as well as an organization that heavily invested in the “myth of meritocracy” which posits that “hard work” and “dedication” will lead to success,” wrote Jack-Davies. 

“There are some managers who treat everyone the same, there’s no equity and that can cause a lot of hardship. Promotions are merit based at Global Affairs Canada. They should but won’t do hiring practices that will target visible minorities as that would cause an uproar,” an anonymous survey participant wrote. 

Participants also expressed “experiences with racism abroad, sometimes from colleagues or community members in the host country” they were posted to according to Jack-Davies. 

One member of GAC management complained that other countries hosting diplomatic staff were “not as progressive” as Canada. 

“The world is different, we pride ourselves on treating everyone well and we know otherwise. There are countries that are not as progressive. When there, there could be overt racism,” a manager who participated in the survey wrote. 

In terms of solutions to the perceived problem of systemic racism, some staff held the belief that mandatory anti-racism training should be forced onto the department. 

“Headquarters needs to impose mandatory training because if (they do) not make it mandatory, some heads of missions will try to delay it or not operationalize it. The training should be mandatory,” wrote one GAC employee in October 2020. 

Jack-Davies did in fact recommend mandatory “unconscious-bias, anti-oppression and decolonization” training for leaders and management every three years. In addition to the training sessions, she also said that they should be obliged to engage in “self-study” by listening to videos and podcasts on equity, diversity and inclusion topics. 

One GAC employee complained that an old guard existed in the department who were “the relics of the 1950s” and held “outdated attitudes that may be racist, ageist, sexist.” 

“(Those attitudes) should become a fireable offence,” the staff member recommended.