Friday, July 23, 2010

Reverse discrimination, the inconvenient truth

Followers of the headlines will know that there was recently a story of Sara Landriault a stay at home Mom that tried to rejoin the workforce by applying to the Federal government. She was shocked to learn she wasn’t “special enough” (read wrong colour of skin) What she learned is that she had been screened out thanks to the Employment Equity Act. Thankfully Sara is not taking this quietly and is busy embarrassing the government into dealing with this issue and Minister Kenny is listening.
The intent of this Act was well meant, but as they say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” The problems that it creates is that any person from a identified group who wins a position because of their hard work and merit is tainted with the suspicion that they only received it thanks to their race, language or sex. This sort thing poisons the workplace. Also in order to meet imposed “quota’s” Managers will hire under or unqualified people based on these imposed criteria leading to more issues down the road. If these same people become a Human resource issue, then dealing with them becomes a legal minefield for the department and managers. This leads to even more morale problems.
I work with a lot of people who would qualify for these programs and I think it’s safe to say they would look upon such an offer as a insult to their ability and integrity. If you want to help groups such as aboriginals get into the workforce, offer them useful training programs and repayable grants to start businesses. At the very most give out short term contracts so they can build a work history and the skills to succeed. The current system is badly broken and thanks to Sara the veil is lifting.

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