Federal law enforcement agencies tasked with implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives were found to have made little to no progress in improving outcomes for women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities, and those with disabilities.
An audit of six federal organizations responsible for the administration of justice in Canada found that despite the corrective actions taken by these agencies in pursuit of DEI, the experience of “equity-deserving groups” and “racialized” peoples has not improved, and in some cases, has gotten marginally worse.
The Auditor General concluded that the six organizations “took action to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by racialized employees,” but they “did not do enough to demonstrate progress toward creating an inclusive organizational structure.”
The six law enforcement agencies in question are the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Correctional Services Canada (CSC), the Department of Justice, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), Public Safety Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Between 2018-2020, survey respondents within the audited organizations indicated that their experience of discrimination within the workplace had not improved.
Within the PPSC, 22% of “racialized” survey respondents indicated that they had experienced racism in 2018 and 22% indicated the same in 2020. The RCMP similarly stagnated, as 12% of “racialized” respondents said that they experienced racism in 2018 as well in 2020.
Public Safety Canada saw an increase in discrimination towards visible minorities from 16%-19% from 2018-2020, as did the Department of Justice from 11%-13% within the same span of time.
Furthermore, from 2020-2022, visible minorities within the CBSA, CSC, RCMP, and Public Safety Canada indicated that they felt less free to report incidents of racism to their higher-ups. Only marginal improvements were found within the Department of Justice and the PPSC.
The audit found all of these organizations besides the RCMP had met the expected estimated number of visible minorities within the organizations measured against the available workforce. However, the audit indicates the disparities within organizational branches and regions, as well as the different jobs and occupations minorities hold compared to their white counterparts.
In light of the killing of the black Minneapolis, Minnesota resident George Floyd, the federal government has committed itself to tackling “systemic racism.”
As a result of Floyd’s death, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labeled Canada a systemically racist country and fully committed his government to addressing this issue.
In January 2021, the Clerk of the Privy Council issued a “call to action” on DEI and anti-racism within the federal public service.
Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has voiced opposition against institutions pushing DEI, calling it “garbage” and a “failing industry.”