OTTAWA - A stay-at-home mother trying to re-enter the workforce after nine years away says she can’t understand why the federal government would stop her from applying for a job simply because she is white.
Sara Landriault, a sometime family activist, says that with her kids in school full time she decided to start looking for work outside of the home.
While surfing on the federal government job website, Landriault says she found a position at Citizenship and Immigration Canada she felt she was qualified for but was blocked from submitting her resume because she was not an aboriginal or visible minority.Guess if they'd called it what it really is--The Employment Inequity Act--it would have been much harder for people to swallow.
“I was flabbergasted,” Landriault said in a telephone interview from her home in Kemptville, Ont., just south of Ottawa. “It was insane. I’m white, so I can’t do it?”
Landriault says she has seen job postings in the past that encourage certain groups to apply.
“Which is fine, it’s an equal opportunity position,” Landriault said. “But an equal opportunity employer does not stop one race from applying.”
A CIC spokeswoman takes a different view.
“We are under-represented by aboriginal employees in our work force,” said Melanie Carkner. “At this point in time, the department does meet requirements for visible minorities; however, given the department’s mandate, we make a concerted effort to hire individuals in this group.”
The Employment Equity Act, first introduced by the Mulroney government in 1986 and updated by the Chretien government in 1995, allows for certain groups to be favoured when it comes to hiring.