Sunday, November 27, 2005

Affirmative Action Racism in Canada

From an e-mail correspondent of ours, a story in the Ottawa Sun:
A massive federal department is under fire for a “racist” new hiring policy that rejects candidates based on sex and skin colour.

David Marshall, Deputy Minister of Public Works Canada, issued a memo Friday outlining a “special measure” to ensure a more diverse workplace.

Under the policy, outside applicants must be women, visible minorities, aboriginals or people with disabilities -- but white guys need not apply.

One job seeker, an experienced, well-educated white male, called the policy “offensive.”

“It’s racist and discriminatory,” he said. “It’s not possible to discriminate in favour of someone on the basis of race without unfairly discriminating against someone because of their race.”

The potential civil servant said the policy flies in the face of the Liberal government’s so-called devotion to a “colour-blind” society. The hypocrisy is “appalling,” he said.

Marshall’s memo said the policy is designed to achieve “Embracing Change” benchmarks for employment equity, and applies to all external recruitment. Government executives and managers must play a role to ensure the public service is “representative,” he said.

Public Works spokesman Pierre Teotonio said the policy will be in force until March 31, 2006, when it will be reviewed. It’s all part of a government-wide action plan to address the under-representation of minorities in the workplace.

“With this measure, the department expects to reduce the gaps in representation,” he said.

There has been a “regression” in the ratio of minority recruits, from one in 8 to one in 20 in the last six months, Teotonio said.

He dismissed the suggestion that the policy rejects certain candidates who could be the best qualified.

“This measure does not undermine the competition process for hiring personnel. It’s still based on merit principle,” he said.
That last statement is a classic example of how bureaucrats can (on a generous assessment) engage in doublethink or (a less generous assessment) lie outright.

The relevant question at Marquette is: how different is this, really, from Provost Madeline Wake’s Orwellian “diversity” policy that says a “diverse” candidate must be in every employment pool?

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