British Journal of Canadian Studies

Diversity, equity and the universities: the role of the Federal Contractor's Program in Canada

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2012), 25, (2), 253–266.

Abstract

Canada was an early adopter of employment equity programmes offering protection to minorities experiencing discrimination in employment and developed a model that was subsequently exported to other jurisdictions. Since 1986 the federal government has required employers with federal government contracts of more than $200,000 to adopt fair employment hiring practices in respect to women, people with disabilities, visible minorities and first nation or Aboriginal people. Based on evidence of the hiring practices of two universities in two differing maritime provinces, this article explores the federal government's role in ensuring compliance. It concludes that the intentions behind the legislation have been vitiated by the lax regulatory regime and contrasts the Canadian approach with the employment equity provisions introduced in Northern Ireland that were explicitly based on the Canadian model and have been very successful as a result of effective enforcement and compliance.

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Osborne, R.