The anti-racism lens of IRCC was applied to a deeper examination of the internal environment of the department in 2020. According to an employee poll, a sizable percentage of racially diverse employees said racism was a problem. As a result, focus groups were held to better grasp the problem. The focus groups included a total of 54 employees.
The results of the focus groups can be summed up as follows:
- Microaggressions, prejudices in hiring and promotion, as well as biases in the execution of IRCC’s program, policy, and customer service, are examples of racism that employees at IRCC have experienced.
- At the workplace culture level, IRCC faces many difficulties, including a history of racism going unchecked, a significant imbalance in racial representation in management, and a lack of clear policies or training on how to handle accusations of racism.
IRCC’s Anti-Racism Strategy for 2021–2024 was introduced in response to this study. Employee input was obtained from the IRCC throughout the first several months of 2022 regarding the Strategy’s direction.
The IRCC’s Strategy first offers broad recommendations for the revised Strategy in comparison to its original version. The action plan’s conceptual pillars are then presented.
The main recommendations are as follows:
- In order to combat racism, it is important to emphasize a multifaceted and committed strategy at all levels.
- Make the plan relatable by fostering dialogue and innovative thought.
- Reiterate your commitment to combating racism while allocating funds to monitor your progress and ensure that this is more than just “talk.”
- Create definite goals and timetables for how milestones will be reached before taking smaller, more solid first steps.
- Include background information about Canada’s immigration history, particularly the ongoing effects on Indigenous peoples.
- Discuss Canada’s responsibility in promoting racial justice around the world: Is IRCC required to promote racial fairness in nations where Canada accepts or rejects immigrants and refugees?
- Watch alert for diverse racism manifestations, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
- Give specifics on how anti-racism workers will be institutionally assimilated and who they can turn to for advice.
- Think about assigning owners of anti-racism files to contact various sectors to gather information and assess development.
The action plan for the Strategy is also broken down into five pillars by IRCC. Each pillar highlights a stream of work that will be addressed as a priority in the near future, according to IRCC.
Pillar 1: Accountability leadership
Making sure there are official accountability systems in place to accomplish anti-racism objectives is related to this pillar. The intention is for senior management to be held accountable for outcomes and for permanently integrating anti-racism activities into the IRCC’s organizational structure.
Pillar 2: Equitable workplace
This pillar is concerned with people management elements that will contribute to fostering an environment where everyone is appreciated and at home. Racialized professionals should no longer face obstacles to career advancement, and inclusivity in the workplace environment should be encouraged.
Pillar 3: Policy and program design
Addressing the IRCC’s institutional racism and discrimination in program and policy creation is closely related to this pillar. Understanding the biases and shortcomings in the current policy and program design can help to strengthen the anti-racist approach to building new policy and program designs.
Pillar 4: service provision
This pillar focus on addressing systematic racism and discrimination in the way the IRCC implements its policies and programs with candidates and outside stakeholders. The objective is to comprehend racism and discrimination in program delivery operations and IRCC officers’ decision-making while designing and implementing tools to incorporate anti-racism in processes for providing services to overcome discrimination.
Pillar 5: Data and research
Producing solid evidence to back up anti-racism efforts is related to this pillar. The objective is to make more information about government-wide standards for supporting anti-racism analyses available.
The IRCC is aware of racism both outside and inside their own organization. Its mission is to be a just and anti-racist organization and to improve the benefits of IRCC services to Canadians and newcomers by eliminating racism in its people management, policies, and programs.