ARCHIVED – Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2009-2010

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Part II: Implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act Across Federal Institutions

Image described below

"Multiculturalism’s Past"
Atalanta Shi
Burnaby North Secondary School (Burnaby, British Columbia)

This drawing depicts Canada’s history of exploration and immigration, with images framed in red and green maple leafs laid over a map of Canada.

Through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the Government of Canada recognizes the diversity of Canadians as regards race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion as a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society and is committed to a policy of multiculturalism designed to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canadians and equality of opportunity in the economic, social, cultural and political life of Canada.

Under the Act, all federal institutions shall:

  • ensure that Canadians of all origins have an equal opportunity to obtain employment and advancement in those institutions;
  • promote policies, programs and practices that enhance the ability of individuals and communities of all origins to contribute to the continuing evolution of Canada;
  • promote policies, programs and practices that enhance the understanding of and respect for the diversity of the members of Canadian society;
  • collect statistical data in order to enable the development of policies, programs and practices that are sensitive and responsive to the multicultural reality of Canada;
  • make use, as appropriate, of the language skills and cultural understanding of individuals of all origins; and,
  • generally, carry on their activities in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to the multicultural reality of Canada.

Federal institutions are defined by the Act as departments, boards, commissions or councils, or other bodies or offices, established to perform a governmental function by or pursuant to an Act of Parliament or by or under the authority of the Governor in Council, as well as departmental corporations or Crown corporations as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act.

Multiculturalism is reflected in the mandates, policies, programs, employment and operating practices of federal institutions. Institutions vary in size, location and mandate. For example, some institutions, such as Canada Post, have national mandates and service points in communities across the country. Other institutions, such as the Department of Western Economic Diversification, are headquartered outside the National Capital Region and have mandates that are region-specific.

For the 2009—10 Annual Report, 134 institutions provided submissions, representing an increase of 8 per cent over the 2008—09 reporting period and a 15 per cent overall increase over the 2007—08 reporting period.

The examples in this chapter are representative of the work undertaken by federal institutions. They are not exhaustive, but are meant to illustrate the ways in which institutions interpreted the Act in the context of their mandate and available resources during the reporting period.

2.1 Challenges to Implementing the Act

While highlighting several key achievements during the reporting period, some federal institutions also identified barriers and challenges to carrying out planned multiculturalism activities. This chapter describes the challenges that federal institutions experienced in implementing the Canadian Multiculturalism Act during the reporting period.

When asked if they faced barriers or challenges to implementing the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the majority of federal institutions (61 per cent) reported that they do not face barriers to implementing the Act.

Two main themes were identified by institutions as challenges to implementing the Act in 2009—10. In some cases, institutions faced multiple challenges to implementing the Act.

Limited Human and Financial Resources

The global economic downturn also impacted federal institutions. Funding was sometimes allocated to operational and crisis issues that required more immediate funding. While most institutions reported no difficulties, for the reporting period,
18 institutions indicated that limited financial and human resources affected their ability to implement the Act.

As reported in previous years, federal institutions continued to encounter difficulty in finding potential employees from different cultural groups who have the skill level required in both official languages for positions that are designated as bilingual.

Human Resources Management

Challenges such as employee turnover, succession planning, language training, recruitment and retention are issues faced across all departments and agencies. In the 2009—10 reporting year, 12 institutions shared their challenges and their opportunities for change in human resources management.

As in previous years, federal institutions continued to report that it is difficult to recruit a diverse work force in remote areas where the pool of experienced and qualified candidates is smaller than in larger communities. Attracting applications for specialized occupational categories, like engineering, from underrepresented groups is also a challenge. Some institutions, including Export Development Canada, have addressed this by participating in local career fairs where candidates from different ethnocultural groups who have the required specialized job competencies are recruited.

2.2 Partnerships

In a multi-faceted and rapidly changing policy environment, partnerships offer the Government of Canada a strategic advantage for improving programs and services for all Canadians. Partnerships leverage the strengths of other levels of government, community organizations and the private sector particularly during a period of recession and economic recovery.

Federal institutions are pursuing partnerships to share resources and expertise, and provide value for Canadians. During the reporting period, several partnerships undertaken by federal institutions took multiculturalism and diversity into consideration, and in turn, forged stronger international relationships, built ties with cultural communities, and provided more effective services to Canadians and newcomers. These partnerships enhanced communications with Aboriginal communities, created job opportunities, increased awareness of multiculturalism and diversity in international forums, and addressed complex social issues at the community level.

Federal Partners

In 2009—10, the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation partnered with the National Capital Commission for Genie Awards programming, the Asian Heritage Society and the National Arts Centre for its Summer Music Institute and B.C. Scene, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the Salon du Livre and the National Aboriginal Day Committee. The Museum also worked closely with embassies and community associations representing Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico in planning and delivering a series of engaging and well-attended events.

Through responsible awareness and enforcement activities, and reliance on a skilled work force, technologies, and partnerships, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada ensures that individuals and businesses comply with Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. In 2009—10, a senior member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was invited to speak about cultural guidelines for national security criminal investigators. The presentation provided employees with some tips on initiating contact and conducting compliance assessments with individuals and business owners from various ethnocultural backgrounds who have reporting requirements under the Act.

Vancouver 2010

In February and March 2010, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games were held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada hosted 6,850 athletes and team officials from more than 80 countries.

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Federal Secretariat, housed in the Department of Canadian Heritage, undertook initiatives that supported the engagement of Canada’s diverse communities through events and activities celebrating the 2010 Winter Games. These included the Canada Pavilion tour, the Venue Arts Aboriginal Program and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre. The Secretariat also undertook initiatives to promote dialogue and cooperation between diverse communities through events and activities celebrating the 2010 Winter Games. These included 2010 themed citizenship ceremonies and the visit of the Emperor of Japan to the Richmond Olympic Oval. The Venue Arts Aboriginal Program and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre youth outreach program engaged various Aboriginal communities.

Every medal won at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was a one-of-a-kind work of art. The Royal Canadian Mint produced 615 Olympic and 399 Paralympic medals for the 2010 Winter Games. The medals featured a different crop of larger, contemporary Aboriginal works of art and were undulating rather than flat.

From November 2009 to March 2010, as part of its mission to draw attention to Canada’s Aboriginal engagement and inclusion in the 2010 Olympics, the Canadian High Commission in London, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, organized the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Participation and Sustainable Legacies exhibition. The exhibition was developed with the support and the collaboration of projects such as the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and the First Nations Snowboard Team.

Public and Private Partnerships

In 2009—10, the National Film Board put in place mentorship initiatives to address the emerging creative tools offered by new media, including original Web-based productions, a new large-scale project to foster original content production for television and the Web and to provide training to emerging Aboriginal filmmakers. Established in collaboration with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a call for projects was made to French-language Aboriginal production companies to develop a co-production project of six half-hour documentaries for television geared toward young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. The project also includes an interactive component designed for digital platforms (Web, podcast, etc.) and a training component consisting of two production internships for Aboriginal people.

Through the First Nation Student Success Program, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs provided funding to band-operated schools in Canada with the goal of improving student outcomes in the three priority areas of literacy, numeracy and student retention. The Program encourages schools to develop success plans, conduct student assessments, and put in place performance measurement systems to monitor school and student progress from kindergarten to grade 12. The Program is part of the larger Reforming First Nation Education Initiative, announced in December 2008. During the reporting period, 19 proposals were approved by the National Selection Committee representing approximately 75 per cent of band-operated schools and 52,000 students in Canada.

International Partners

Since 2002, the Canada School of Public Service and the Escola Nacional de Administração Pública in Brazil have cooperated to exchange knowledge and best practices. This partnership seeks to strengthen action areas in Brazil marked by high levels of poverty and inequality. To this end, in May 2009, the Canada School of Public Service organized an International Workshop on Equity and Diversity focused on the preparation of topics pertaining to gender, race and human rights. These three topics formed the basis for a discussion paper that was written by and distributed to Brazilian schools of government at the federal, state and municipal levels. This partnership increased the understanding of public service employees about best practices in Brazil and heightened awareness of multiculturalism and diversity elements within Canada and Brazil. It also aimed to use these innovative learning methods to partner with ministries and special secretariats for social programs, human rights, gender and racial equality issues and to apply learning to help solve development problems. The workshop itself boasted more than 75 participants from nearly 20 different organizations.

In November 2009, the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Kyung Hee University in Seoul co-hosted an international conference entitled Citizenship and Diversity in Multicultural Societies: Canadian Experience and Implications for Korea. The event featured five Canadian and eight Korean researchers who discussed a range of topics on two panels: migration and citizenship in Canada and Korea, and continuity and change in Canadian multiculturalism. As Korea, a traditionally homogeneous country, becomes increasingly multicultural, this theme resonated with audience members from the Korean government, academia and civil society. Over 100 participants attended this conference.

The Canadian Embassy in Japan, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, assisted in coordinating interviews and providing content to an Asahi/Globe journalist to develop articles that featured Canadian multiculturalism and immigration as the theme. Articles included interviews with notable Canadians, including John Ralston Saul, Allan Rock and Professor Ito Peng and featured topics such as how immigration has enabled Canada to be an equitable, innovative and creative society; how immigrants from conflict zones can find a new life in Canada; and how Canada's diversity allows the country to be more involved in global issues.

Contributing to the sustainability of developing countries and enabling these countries to become more active in the areas of standardization and trade remained a focus for the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in 2009—10. The work of the SCC in this area support key tenets of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, deepening cross-cultural relationships between the SCC and other national standardization bodies. By sharing knowledge and technological tools, the SCC helps developing countries to establish their own national standards systems. In 2009—10, the SCC assisted Malaysia in implementing an accreditation scheme for standards development organizations, and provided capacity-building technical assistance to Ghana and Tunisia. The SCC also renewed hosting partnerships with Austria and Trinidad and Tobago for the Export Alert! system of email notifications on trade-related regulatory changes.

Examples of partnerships led by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration are highlighted in Part One of this report.

2.3 Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Embracing Diversity

Federal institutions undertake many initiatives that encourage intercultural understanding and support the preservation, enhancement, sharing and promotion of multiculturalism in Canada.

This section highlights publicly funded activities, programs and organizations that showcase Canada’s diversity of language, religion and culture, or that increase Canada’s profile at home and abroad as a responsive and welcoming nation that thrives in a multicultural context.

The Canada Council for the Arts recognizes, values and supports artistic practices that express the cultures, perspectives and creativity of Canadians from all backgrounds. The Dance Section contributed funds to Sampradaya Dance Creations to produce 2009 DanceIntense, a two-week summer choreo-residency for over twenty dancers trained in South Asian dance forms. Intended to stimulate an unprecedented professional development project within an international framework, this project was achieved by building partnerships with York University and international dance companies, SAMPAD (England) and Mamata Shankar Dance Company (India). The nationwide scope of this project is strategic in introducing new models of dance development that will benefit the large base of South Asian dance artists and organizations across Canada, as well as building capacity for the development agency objective of Sampradaya Dance Creations.

The Department of Veterans Affairs supports remembrance programming through the Community Engagement Partnership Fund and the Cenotaph/Monument Restoration Program. Agreements it approved in 2009—10 included the provision of funding to the following organizations: the Polish Combatants’ Association in Canada; the Comitato organizzatore dei Giovani Italiani in Canada; the Montréal Organization of the World War II Russian-speaking Veterans; Mountainview School; Nipissing First Nation; the Odawa Native Friendship Centre; the Russian-Canadian Theatrical Community; the Thank-A-Vet-Luncheon; and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 107 (Belgian Veterans Association).

The New Horizons for Seniors Program at the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development encourages the contribution and participation of seniors in their communities across Canada. During the reporting period, 16 projects were approved for funding by the Program for a total of $1,613,262. The Program recognizes the important role of seniors from ethnocultural communities and has provided funding for many projects that are led or inspired by these groups of seniors. In 2009—10, a call for proposals was issued and projects have been funded to develop replicable, innovative and culturally appropriate approaches to help raise awareness of elder abuse within and among ethnocultural communities. Projects focus on developing or adapting materials and resources, such as fact sheets, guides, workshops, DVDs and socio-dramas for seniors, their families, and/or service providers. Examples of projects that aim to raise awareness of elder abuse among ethnocultural communities include:

  • The Knights of Rizal: Innovative Cultural Approaches in the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Through this project, a model and culturally appropriate resource materials will be developed to raise awareness of, and to help prevent, elder abuse among the Filipino and South East Asian communities of Manitoba.
  • The Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens’ Association: Hidden in the Cultural Fabric: Elder Abuse and Neglect in Ethno-cultural Communities in Alberta. Resources and tools to raise knowledge and understanding of elder abuse among seniors in ethnocultural communities will be developed through project funding.
  • The Korean Senior Citizens Society of Toronto: Elder Abuse Education for Korean Seniors and the Korean Community. Through project funding, the Society will engage the Greater Toronto Area Korean community by developing culturally appropriate resources, such as print materials, workshops, community socio-dramas, and outreach via ethnic media to raise awareness of elder abuse and available community supports.

Library and Archives Canada acquires records that reflect Canada’s cultural diversity from organizations or individuals whose records are in danger or being lost or destroyed, and assists in preserving archival heritage in a manner that respects cultural protocols and concerns. The focus of these acquisition activities is to preserve the records of ethnocultural groups that are not well-represented in the Library’s holdings.

2.4 Public Education and Outreach Activities

Federal institutions undertake public education and outreach activities to contribute to the full and equitable participation of all Canadians in the continuing evolution and shaping of Canadian society. Consultations, public education and advertising campaigns, and other outreach activities are key tools used by federal institutions to ensure that policies and programs meet the needs of cultural communities. They also help to disseminate information effectively in order to raise awareness and participation.

This chapter highlights activities undertaken by federal institutions to inform or consult with the public on issues related to multiculturalism.

Public Education and Outreach

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Invest in Canada Bureau produced a report entitled Welcome to Canada: We take care of business, which showcases Canada's advantages as an investment location of choice. The objective of this publication is to influence foreign investors to consider Canada for their business investment plans worldwide. A principal feature of the report is its highlighting of Canada as a tolerant and multicultural society, as expressed by major foreign investors established in Canada. This report is available in English, French, and Chinese.

The Canada Remembers portion of the Department of Veterans Affairs website continued to add components that further advanced its goal of engaging all Canadians in the commemoration of Canadian veterans and military history. The Heroes Remember feature is a searchable Web-based video delivery platform featuring interviews with numerous veterans from major ethnic groups in Canada, including Aboriginal people, Chinese Canadians, and African Canadians. In 2009—10, new veteran interviews were conducted highlighting the sacrifices and achievements of African Canadian veterans and former members of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service. These were added to the Heroes Remember online database. Additionally, the Canada Remembers Web Content and Learning component works to educate and inform the public, especially Canadian youth, about the sacrifices and achievements of Canada's veterans and about the diversity of Canada's veteran population. During the reporting period, La Force Francophone, a Web-based audio, visual and narrative feature on the contributions of French Canadians during the Second World War, was published. The Department continues to provide opportunities to learn about Francophone, African Canadian, Aboriginal and Asian Canadian veterans through the Department's learning, public information and website materials.

To build upon its 2008—13 Strategic Plan, Elections Canada created opportunities to engage electors of all origins, developing a variety of outreach and communications materials that inform and enhance understanding of and engagement in the electoral process. The Voter Information Guide and voter identification requirements document are available on Elections Canada's website in 27 heritage languages, and in 11 Aboriginal languages.

In February 2010, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, in partnership with Jaku Konbit and Black History Ottawa, celebrated African Canadian inventors and innovators. The International African Inventors Museum—a travelling exhibition that highlights the achievements of black inventors and scientists throughout the world—presented an exhibition. In conjunction with the exhibition, Jaku Konbit delivered interactive lectures and science demonstrations to encourage youth, parents, teachers and participants to examine science and technology as career options through exposure to research and achievements by black inventors and scientists.

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police partnered with the National Association of Friendship Centres to co-produce a 10-minute video at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, explaining a person’s right to complain about police officers’ conduct, and the process for doing so. The video incorporates the Aboriginal tradition of storytelling to explain the complaints process in a way that makes it more relevant to the intended audience.

Building on last year’s successful pilot, Canada Revenue Agency media relations teams in the Ontario and Pacific regions proactively contacted media outlets during the 2009 tax filing season to improve relations with mainstream media, local media, and multicultural media outlets whose first language was neither English nor French. This year, they expanded the number and scope of the interviews to include Chinese (Mandarin), Vietnamese, Indian (Punjabi), and Greek. The interviews provided tax filing information to Canadians through mainstream and non-mainstream media.

The "Be Aware and Declare!" campaign, developed and implemented by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, now partners with 16 international airlines. The "Be Aware and Declare!" campaign also has television advertisements in a total of 11 languages, including English, French, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. There are also brochures available in a total of 24 languages.

Stakeholder Engagement and Consultations

The National Arts Centre presented Where the Blood Mixes from March 23 to April 3, 2010. Written by Kevin Loring, winner of the 2009 Governor General Award for Drama, the play explores the impact of the residential school system on the main characters. Student matinees and pre-performance workshops led by the director and cast members included discussions of the residential school system and Aboriginal art.

As part of its ongoing outreach to stakeholders in support of its consular policy development, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Consular Policy and Advocacy Bureau hosted a round table in Toronto in November 2009 involving participation by representatives of Muslim communities across Canada and specialists in the area of child custody and abduction. The round table resulted in the drafting of a set of principles for use in mediation to resolve parental child abductions between signatories to the 1980 Hague Convention and non-Hague (principally Muslim) states. These principles then formed the core document for a multilateral meeting held in Gatineau in May 2010 under the auspices of the Hague Conference.

In February 2010, a senior official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade spoke about Canada's engagement in the Sudan to a crowd at Glendon College in Toronto that included members of the Sudanese community. The purpose of the presentation was to explain and raise awareness of Canada's Whole-of-Government engagement among interested communities and to gain their perspectives and insights into the Sudan and approaches to it. Meetings were also held with members of the Darfur Association of Canada to discuss Canada's engagement in the Sudan and to discuss any concerns or questions members of their group may have had.

In keeping with the Parks Canada Agency’s priority to promote the commemoration of subjects in Canada’s rich ethnocultural past, the Agency continued to consult with ethnocultural communities across Canada, including the Japanese and Portuguese communities in Ottawa and Toronto. As a result of a workshop held in Whitehorse in March 2010, discussions are underway on the contribution of African American soldiers to the building of the Alaska Highway. A unique exhibit, funded under the Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s National Historical Recognition Program, is being developed in Banff National Park to educate Canadians, particularly youth, about Canada's history relating to First World War internment. This location was chosen because of its significance as the site of an internment camp during the First World War. Smaller exhibits are also being developed for the Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston and the Citadel National Historic Site in Halifax, also internment sites during the First World War. Through these and other consultations, the Parks Canada Agency is building relationships and addressing the underrepresentation of this part of Canadian history in the government’s commemorative program and seeking to broaden all Canadians’ understanding of the nation’s diverse past.

In the Ontario region of the Correctional Service of Canada, an outreach activity was undertaken from October 2009 to March 2010, directed at social services and religious groups that serve the West Asian communities in the Greater Toronto Area. This included personal visits and telephone, fax and email contact with more than 80 organizations primarily serving the West Asian population. Outreach culminated in a forum entitled "Making Connections," involving more than 30 of these organizations. Following the event, Corrections received numerous requests for presentations to members of these or similar organizations. In addition, Corrections was able to recruit volunteers from the West Asian community and now has a roster of organizations prepared to assist offenders in their reintegration into Canadian society.

The Ethnocultural Outreach Program was designed by Statistics Canada to promote dialogue and cooperation between Statistics Canada and Canada’s growing ethnocultural communities. During the 2009—10 fiscal year, Statistics Canada continued to establish and maintain relationships with ethnocultural organizations and ethnic media through various outreach activities. One activity under the Program was a presentation on the key outcomes of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada at a Web conference organized by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of British Columbia. The conference had an in-person audience of around 50 and a live Web broadcast to over 200 participants representing around 30 community agencies throughout British Columbia.

Additionally, Statistics Canada developed the Aboriginal Statistics Training Program in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and provides statistical training to First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups. During the reporting period, the Program offered 26 courses to Aboriginal communities and organizations to help build statistical capacity and usage of Aboriginal data. The Program offers a number of interactive workshops (one to three days) for people with little or no experience in statistics. Also in 2009—10, the Program delivered 36 information sessions to Aboriginal organizations and communities across Canada attended by nearly 1,000 people. The goal of these sessions, which included a tour of the Statistics Canada website, was to make Aboriginal data more accessible and to demystify the process.

2.5 A Diverse and Responsive Work Force

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act requires federal institutions to ensure that Canadians of all origins have an equal opportunity to obtain employment and advancement in their institutions. This chapter highlights activities undertaken by federal institutions to reflect Canada’s multicultural reality in their human resources programs, policies and practices, and to create a responsive and representative work force.

In interpreting the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, federal institutions ensure that their human resources policies, plans and activities:

  • create respectful workplaces for employees;
  • offer diversity and language training for employees; and,
  • increase the representation of employment equity groups and other under-represented groups.

Federal institutions review their human resources management on a regular basis to identify barriers to their employees and to the public created by their staffing policies.

Respectful Workplaces

In September 2009, three employees were awarded the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Management of Human Resources Award specifically recognizing their work to increase awareness and acceptance of diversity and inclusiveness. In their everyday work, these employees create a culture of valuing diversity within the organization and serve as excellent role models for others.

The New Brunswick office of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency presented five Diversity forums in 2009—10. These forums, organized by individual units, allowed Agency employees to highlight their own cultural diversity and in doing so, to promote the fact that diversity is not about "the other," but includes everyone.

Diversity and Language Training

Multiculturalism was incorporated into training and learning scenarios for Canada Border Services Agency employees. The Agency has a multiculturalism section on its intranet site that provides links to relevant sites and a calendar of events related to multiculturalism. This section also posts the contact information for the Agency’s champion and coordinator, so that employees can ask questions, give feedback, or make suggestions on multiculturalism initiatives and issues.

In 2009, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade introduced a Multiculturalism wiki for employees. The wiki hosts extensive information on multiculturalism, provides useful tools such as speaking modules for missions, and enables staff to share their multiculturalism-related initiatives. The wiki is a useful tool for staff and has been accessed more than 1,900 times since it was developed.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police strives to preserve and share in the cultural diversity present across the country by providing a police service which is culturally sensitive to the people who make Canada their home."

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has had key achievements during the reporting period in the areas of cultural awareness training and building partnerships with cultural and Aboriginal communities.

The RCMP recognizes that recruiting challenges remain in many cultural communities. It is not enough to advertise in the hope that youth from these communities will apply to the RCMP. It is necessary for proactive recruiters to meet with community leaders and elders to effectively communicate the benefits of a career in the RCMP. Recruiters work with educators and local community groups to ensure that any preconceived bias toward the police that may have existed from their previous country has been addressed and resolved. Research has shown that many cultures do not perceive policing to be a noble and rewarding profession. It is only through communication, partnerships and community outreach that these biases can be addressed.

During the reporting period, seven RCMP divisions developed training for employees with a focus on gaining an understanding of local cultures and the needs of the communities they serve. The training offered in these sessions is region-specific and is often delivered in collaboration with community leaders and elders who have valuable insights to share. Cultural awareness training and resources are accessible to employees through the intranet and include information on various religions and traditions practised by Canadians.

The RCMP National Security Program has been leading law enforcement engagement efforts with communities that are vulnerable to violent radicalization. The Program also reaches out to all communities of different faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds through initiatives such as the Junior Police Academy, Citizens Academy and Newcomers events. The Program's diverse community consultative groups at the divisional and national levels are another example of using dialogue to advance and promote positive relations between the RCMP and the diverse communities, while assisting RCMP members in learning about the customs, religious practices and cultural diversity of various communities. Today, many of the Program's courses have been developed in partnership with leaders from these communities.

In the area of partnerships, an agreement was signed between the RCMP and the Grand Chief of the Association of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) in August 2009 to embed a communications facilitator and liaison members in the AMC office. This position is intended to provide a contact point for all Manitoba First Nations Chiefs regarding issues of policing on specific First Nations communities or impacting the First Nations population whether that is on or off reserve. In October 2009, an agreement was also signed between the RCMP and the Manitoba Métis Federation placing an RCMP member in the Federation with the purpose of identifying any service delivery gaps to the Métis communities and to enhance communications.

Responding to an Increasingly Multicultural Reality

The Canada Revenue Agency maintains an Employee Third Language Capabilities Directory that provides a listing of employees who can communicate in a language other than English or French. The Directory lists the names of employees who may be available and willing to volunteer their services to meet the communication needs of the Agency’s diverse clients. In 2009—10, the online Employee Third Language Capabilities Directory identified 1,773 employees who can provide services in 140 languages.

Passport Canada, under the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, has 34 points of service across the country. Several passport offices hire multilingual employees in order to provide better service to linguistic minorities. The Ottawa office serves the public in nine different languages, including French and English. Multilingual employees of Passport Canada can also provide assistance and expertise to facilitate the travel of members of various ethnocultural groups abroad.

Canada Post employees, from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, have made the Annual Santa Letter Writing Program a success since 1982, answering letters in more than 27 different languages, reflecting employees’ diverse backgrounds. Canada Post does this as a community service; in 2009—10 more than one in five employees (over 11,000) volunteered their time.

The Department of Human Resources and Skills Development’s service-delivery employees across Canada attend mandatory training courses through the Service Canada College. Courses include modules on diversity, like the Cultural Competency component of the Service Excellence course. In 2009—10, the Department also strengthened its communication to clients through foreign-language interpretation services, piloted in 53 Service Canada locations to help people who do not speak English or French access benefits and services.

The Department of Finance plays a central role in supporting the national dimensions of health and social programs that contribute greatly to the well-being of all Canadians.
Through the budget process, the Department also plays a key role in the development of government policies relating to Aboriginal issues, labour markets, immigration, disability, health, justice, education, sports and culture.

During the reporting period, the Clerk of the Privy Council Office (PCO) issued the 2009—10 Public Service Renewal Action Plan. The Plan states that "the development of public servants as leaders, managers and empowered employees is central to a high performing organization. … Special care will be dedicated to ensuring that recruitment reflects Canada's diversity, and filling skills gaps that have been identified through integrated planning." In fall 2009, PCO updated the Strategic HR Plan that was in effect for 2007—08 through 2009—10. The Plan recognizes employees as PCO’s key asset and emphasizes management’s commitment to fostering equity in the work environment.

Figure 2: Canada’s Visible Minority and Aboriginal Population by Region

Figure 2: Canada’s Visible Minority and Aboriginal Population by Region

Source: 2006 Census

"Although our primary client is the Canadian public, the issues faced every day by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are global in scope. To successfully navigate these widespread challenges, we need a multi-faceted work force that is rich in skills and competencies, that respects cultural differences, and that understands the profound importance of cooperation and mutual accommodation. The Agency continuously seeks ways to attract and retain employees from all backgrounds. In 2009—10, the Agency was selected as one of the National Capital Region's Top 25 Employers for the second year in a row, and as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers."

The Treasury Board Secretariat developed a Staffing Strategy for 2009—10 that identified goals to ensure that the Secretariat’s work force remains representative of labour market availability. The Secretariat also continued its partnership with the Public Service Alliance of Canada on the Joint Learning Program created in 2001. Program workshops focus on such topics as anti-harassment, respecting differences, anti-discrimination and employment equity.

A diverse, inclusive workplace has now become a corporate necessity for many organizations. Nowhere is this more important than here in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service where our ability to gather intelligence depends heavily on societal acceptance of our role. We need to reflect the current Canadian mosaic as much as possible, in order to maintain this level of acceptance. Add to this the creativity and expanded-knowledge dividends that flow from diverse workplaces, not to mention the moral imperatives associated with tolerance and inclusiveness, and it becomes easy to understand why diversity must continue to be a top priority.

– Canadian Security Intelligence Service,
Human Resources Directional Statement, 2009—10

2.6 Research and Dissemination Activities

Research is a key step in the policy development process. Under the Canadian Multiculturalism Act federal institutions are required to collect statistical data in order to enable the development of policies, programs and practices that are sensitive and responsive to the multicultural reality of Canada. Many federal institutions conduct research and collect statistical data on multiculturalism that contributes to policy and program development across the Government of Canada.

This chapter highlights multiculturalism research and data collection during the reporting period.

Reports and Publications

Stemming from an increased need for skilled tradespeople in Canada, the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, in collaboration with the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship and Statistics Canada, undertook the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey, which examines factors affecting the completion of apprenticeships, the certification of apprentices and their transition to the labour market. As part of follow-up research on the 2007 Survey, one research project is on the participation of target groups and deals with the participation of women, immigrants and Aboriginal people in apprenticeship programs. This report examines the reasons why these groups are attracted to the trades, which apprenticeship programs most members of these groups choose, barriers or challenges they encounter, labour market outcomes, and the reasons for discontinuing their apprenticeship programs. This report and others are helping the government improve its understanding of apprenticeship issues.

In terms of research and dissemination activities, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec published, jointly with the Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec), a paper entitled "Immigration and the Economic Development of the Regions of Quebec" in the spring 2010 edition of Our Diverse Cities. The paper considers the challenges inherent in the regionalization of immigration, as well as how best to assist regions in developing their capacity to attract and retain immigrants in order to ensure that their communities and local businesses remain sustainable.

In 2009—10, the Department of Canadian Heritage produced a paper on international best practices with respect to the engagement of civil society in human rights; a paper looking at minorities in Canada’s cultural industries using Census data; research on the protection of traditional cultural expressions of minority groups in Canada: and, an overview of provincial and territorial laws, policies and initiatives.

Statistics and Policy Development

In 2005, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages partnered with the Canadian Human Rights Commission to determine if the level of bilingualism was different for visible minority Canadians compared with non-visible minority Canadians and if the official language requirements of positions in the Canadian public service were a hindrance to visible minority groups. Differences in the level of bilingualism between visible minority groups and non-visible minority groups were found to be relatively small and not sufficient to explain differences in career progression. In 2009—10, bilingualism among visible minority groups was revisited, using 2006 Census data and additional variables for analysis. While members of visible minorities who were born in Canada are as bilingual as other Canadians, foreign-born members of visible minorities were found to be less bilingual than other Canadians. However, in some cases, the difference is reversed. For example, Francophone members of visible minorities in Quebec are more bilingual than their non-visible minority counterparts.

In 2009—10, Elections Canada conducted a media audit to analyse language groups by census metropolitan areas. The audit identified key language groups by city and key markets based on the language most often spoken at home, as well as the demographic composition of those markets. The next phase is to establish market and language selection criteria for a media placement strategy for future elections.

The Department of Human Resources and Skills Development produced the Policy Development Guide, a Web-based self-learning tool with an accompanying handbook, for all employees across the Department. It is intended to assist analysts in better understanding the policy development process, while simultaneously guiding them in developing strong policy, program and service initiatives. The Guide contains specific sections on multiculturalism and diversity to help analysts establish plans to build multiculturalism and diversity lenses into their analyses throughout all stages. The Guide offers the following questions to challenge policy and program development:

  • Does the design of your research initiatives, policies and programs take into account multiculturalism as a demographic, economic and social reality in Canada?
  • In what ways can you or your area ensure that diversity analysis is an ongoing part of your work?
  • Where appropriate, have you consulted with diverse cultural, linguistic and religious groups on the design or delivery of your programs or policies?
  • What kinds of activities are you or your branch supporting with regard to your commitment to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act?

In 2009—10, the Department of Canadian Heritage collected data on the participation of Aboriginal peoples in sports through third parties (the Coaching Association of Canada on the National Coaching Certification Program of Canada), as well as data on the number of female and male Aboriginal coaches in each province. The Athlete Assistance Program also collects data on the ethnicity and first language of carded athletes, though the information is voluntary. The results are incorporated into the Annual Questionnaire, which is used for our input into the annual Departmental Performance Report.

Between November 2 and 5, 2009, Statistics Canada, Western Region and Northern Territories, organized a three-day conference focusing on how data are used by Aboriginal communities throughout the region. Approximately 200 people attended the conference, which boasted over 40 breakout sessions on five thematic areas: children and families, economic development and the labour market, health and well-being, the North, and urban Aboriginal populations.


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