Canadian Black civil servants accuse federal government of racism in UN complaint

Click to play video: 'Black civil servants facing ‘trauma’ amid class action, says organizer'
Black civil servants facing ‘trauma’ amid class action, says organizer
A group of Black civil servants says the federal government is resorting to stall tactics to deny them their day in court, nearly two years after they first sounded the alarm on anti-Black racism in the public service. ‘The West Block’ host Mercedes Stephenson speaks with Nicholas Marcus Thompson, executive director of the Black Class Action Secretariat – Sep 25, 2022

A group of Black civil servants is filing a complaint to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights accusing the federal government of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Amnesty International Canada are supporting this latest action from workers who filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government in 2020 alleging systemic discrimination in how it hires and promotes public servants.

Read more: Manitoba health authority promises to help address racism in health care services

The lawsuit filed in Federal Court on behalf of more than 45,000 Black civil servants alleges they have lost out on “opportunities and benefits afforded to others based on their race” going back to the 1970s.

The statement of claim says the lawsuit is seeking damages to compensate Black public servants for the mental and economic hardships they faced.

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The workers are also asking for a plan to finally diversify the federal labour force and eliminate barriers that even employment equity laws have been unable to remove.

They say the decision to elevate the issue to the international human rights body is because the federal government is purposefully creating delays in the court process.


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