July 31, 2023
OTTAWA - The Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Co-founder, The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, have called on the Government of Canada to resolve the class action lawsuit brought by past and present public service employees.
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation gives its unwavering support for the legal action taken on behalf of past and present federal public service workers who identify as Black, Caribbean or of African descent. We stand in solidarity with the Black Class Action Secretariat in pursuing equity and participation in the workplace, against all forms of racial discrimination. We call on Canada to resolve this lawsuit and address the harm caused to Black Canadians, namely recognizing Black Canadians as a separate designated group under the Employment Equity Act
The class action lawsuit is a landmark case filed against the entire Federal Public Service of Canada for failing to hire and promote Black Canadians on account of their race. The legal action is seeking compensation for decades of damages, a mental health fund, a diversity plan, and changes to the Employment Equity Act to recognize the unique exclusion of Black Canadians in employment. Canada has acknowledged that systemic discrimination exists in all of its institutions, even at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
We welcome this timely intervention by The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean. While Canada has publicly agreed to create a mental health program to address racial trauma caused by systemic anti-Black discrimination, in Court it denies that the discrimination exists. Canada's human rights violations against Black Canadians must come to an end. We call on the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Arif Virani and the President of the Treasury Board Anita Anand to come to the table with the parties and work together to right these historic and ongoing injustices. Nicholas Marcus Thompson, Executive Director of the Black Class Action Secretariat.
Read the full statement of support from The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.