The Broadbent Institute supports a class-action lawsuit that has been filed in the Federal Court of Canada on behalf of nearly 30,000 past and present Black federal employees. The lawsuit seeks long-term solutions to permanently address systemic racism and discrimination in the Public Service of Canada.
The lawsuit argues that systemic racism directed at self-identifying Black employees who work for or with the Public Service of Canada led to tangible damages such as the wrongful failure to promote, intentional infliction of mental suffering, constructive dismissal, wrongful termination, and violations of human rights law and Charter breaches.
Anti-Black racism is prevalent in Canadian society. Countless quantitative, qualitative and anecdotal research has documented the negative and discriminatory treatment of Black people in Canada - the federal government has even acknowledged it. If the government is to truly address anti-Black racism it must include how it treats its Black employees. The government needs to do all it can to right these wrongs and ensure they never happen again, starting with the implementation of recommendations that the government has received through various internal advocacy campaigns on how to address the anti-Black racism and the under-representation of Black workers in senior roles.
“We are committed to realizing the promise of Canada as a diverse, just, and inclusive society and addressing systemic anti-Black racism is one way we will help achieve it,” says Jen Hassum, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute. “Now is the time to actively dismantle the historic and ongoing structural barriers that prevent people from having a life of dignity and realizing their full rights. This is why we stand with Black public service workers and their unions in supporting this class action lawsuit.”