NOVA SCOTIA, November 1, 2023 - The African Nova Scotian Justice Institute (ANSJI) has issued a powerful letter of support for the Black Class Action Secretariat (BCAS), a non-profit organization at the forefront of a historic class action lawsuit against the Government of Canada. The lawsuit seeks justice for Black employees in the Federal Public Service who have endured systemic anti-Black racism for more than half a century.
We fully support the Black Class Action Secretariat in its pursuit of justice for Black Canadians. The BCAS is leading an unprecedented effort to hold the Canadian government accountable for its failure to protect Black Public Service employees from systemic anti-Black racism. Robert Wright, Executive Director of the African Nova Scotian Justice Institute
Despite the Canadian government's recognition of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 – 2024) and its commitment to ensuring fair and equal treatment for all Black Canadians, it has failed to address systemic anti-Black racism within the Public Service. The violations include the failure to promote Black employees, the infliction of mental suffering due to racist work environments, constructive dismissal, wrongful termination, and negligence. These transgressions not only breach employment law but also basic human rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We have taken steps to create space for the Canadian government to address the economic and psychological harm imposed on thousands of current and former Black Federal Public Service employees. Regrettably, while the government has announced some measures, it is moving too slow to implement them. Alain Babineau, Director - Black Class Action Secretariat
The ANSJI is calling on the Canadian government to:
Public Apology: Issue a public apology to all past and present Federal Black Public Employees for the racist treatment they have endured.
Meaningful Dialogue: Initiate meaningful dialogues with Black public employees, both past and present, including the descendants of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, to address their concerns.
Reparations and Compensation: Provide reparations and compensation to all Federal Black Public Service Employees for the trauma and harm caused to them. This includes the descendants of the Black Battalion, who have not received reparations.
Diverse Leadership: Commit to ensuring that senior leadership positions throughout all agencies and commissions of the Public Service reflect the Canadian population and include Black representation.
Equitable Policies: Implement reforms to ensure that all policies, hiring practices, and promotion procedures within the Public Service are equitable and anti-discriminatory.
About the African Nova Scotian Justice Institute (ANSJI)
The African Nova Scotian Justice Institute is dedicated to advancing justice, equity, and the rights of African Nova Scotians. ANSJI actively works towards addressing systemic racism and advocating for social and legal reform to create a more just society for all.
About the Black Class Action Secretariat (BCAS)
The Black Class Action Secretariat is a not-for-profit organization leading a landmark class action lawsuit against the Canadian government, seeking justice for Black Federal Public Service employees who have endured systemic anti-Black racism. BCAS is committed to ending racial discrimination within the Federal Public Service and fostering a more inclusive Canada.