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Canadian Forces failing to break down barriers for diverse Canadians to join: watchdog

Click to play video: 'Systemic racism and discrimination in Canadian military ‘repulsing’ new recruits: report' Systemic racism and discrimination in Canadian military ‘repulsing’ new recruits: report
The systemic racism running through the Canadian Armed Forces is repelling recruits and hindering the country's security, according to a blistering new report from a panel of former military members. David Akin reports on how the federal government is vowing to combat the problem, and the panel's less obvious suggestions for change – Apr 25, 2022

Canada’s military ombudsman is joining the chorus of those accusing the Canadian Armed Forces and Defence Department of having failed to address long-standing barriers to recruit and retain more women, visible minorities and Indigenous People.

Gregory Lick says in a new report that the military and department have adopted numerous initiatives over the last 20 years to increase the share of Armed Forces members who come from those underrepresented groups.

Read more: Widespread systemic racism in Canadian military ‘repulsing’ new recruits: report

The moves follow several human-rights decisions and the passage of employment equity laws, amid a growing disconnect between the makeup of the military, predominantly composed of white males, and the rest of the country’s population.

Yet Lick says the initiatives have resulted in little progress in increasing representation from underrepresented groups, with the military falling far short of its own targets.

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Read more: A timeline of the Canadian Forces sexual misconduct crisis

The ombudsman’s report comes weeks after a panel of retired Armed Forces members released the results of its own review, which took the military to task for not acting on dozens of previous studies and reviews of racism in the organization.

The scathing anti-racism report also accused the military of not doing enough to detect and prevent white supremacists and other extremists from infiltrating its ranks.

Click to play video: 'Defence minister outlines goals to tackle systemic racism in Canadian Armed Forces' Defence minister outlines goals to tackle systemic racism in Canadian Armed Forces
Defence minister outlines goals to tackle systemic racism in Canadian Armed Forces – Apr 25, 2022

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