Tag Archives: vérificatrice générale

Initial reaction to the Auditor General’s Inclusion in the Workplace for Racialized Employees report

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The Office of the Auditor General of Canada recently published its Report 5—Inclusion in the Workplace for Racialized Employees, which found that more concrete action was needed within several federal public service organizations — including the Canada Border Services Agency — to effectively address systemic issues and barriers faced by racialized employees. Indeed, the Auditor General concluded that these organizations “were not making sufficient use of available data to identify barriers faced by their racialized staff or inform equity and inclusion strategies and complaint mechanisms” and that, within management, “accountability for behavioural and cultural change […] was limited and not effectively measured”.

As is often the case when it comes to CBSA, this will not come as a surprise to our members. The Agency is known for brushing aside complaints from employees and letting abuse from managers go unchecked. CIU’s National President said as much to federal MPs earlier this year. The Agency’s management has demonstrated time and again its fundamental inability to address deep-rooted systemic issues, including those affecting our racialized members. What’s worse, in the union’s experience, many of these issues either stem from or are exacerbated by the incompetence and lack of accountability rampant within upper management.

While the Auditor General’s report includes a sensible call to action for federal public organizations — “[t]o create a workplace that is truly inclusive, you need to actively engage with your racialized employees, you need to meaningfully use the data you have to inform your decisions, and you need to hold your leadership accountable for delivering change” — we cannot help but feel that this will ultimately be lost on the Agency. Despite CBSA agreeing with the report’s recommendations, this is the same Agency that claimed to be committed to addressing systemic racism but arbitrarily canceled anti-racism and anti-discrimination training developed by its own racialized employees. It is the same Agency that has ignored our recommendations to see proper anti-racism training restored in a meaningful way.

We are glad to see the Auditor General highlight the gaps in the public service when it comes to anti-racism strategies, and we’ll be taking a closer look at the report to see what it means for our members so that we can keep fighting for a better, more inclusive workplace. But it would be naive to be surprised by the lack of progress within an Agency that has so clearly demonstrated its lack of interest in seeing these issues genuinely addressed.