Federal government to test ‘name-blind’ recruiting process

The CBC:

The pilot program will involve six of the government’s biggest departments: National Defence; Global Affairs Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Public Services and Procurement Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

The project, which will hide applicants’ names from hiring managers during the initial screening process, will compare the results with outcomes from traditional applicant shortlisting. Brison said research has shown that English-speaking employers are 40 per cent more likely to pick candidates with an English or anglicized name than an ethnic one.

Credit to the Canadian government for this initiative. Usually changes like this start in the private, not public, sector. I hope the CBC follows-up with the results of this trial, as I think they will be illuminating.

It’s worth remembering that even if this is successful, name-blind recruiting isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to fighting discrimination in hiring. Once selected for an interview, a candidate still has to make it through an in-person interview where their minority status will inevitably be revealed.

Canada: Internet is a Fundamental Communications Service

From my perspective this is overdue, but it is great to see Canada making internet a fundamental communications service:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians.

It is frequently expected now, including by universities, that you will have access to internet at your home. This will help ensure that is the case for all Canadians, even if they live in rural or remote areas.

Additionally, speed targets were set at “50 megabits per second (Mbps) download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband Internet access services”, which seems quite reasonable to me.

The Last Days of Target

Canadian Business has a fascinating, inside look into what happened with the Target Canada failure:

In the fall of 2013, hundreds of Target Canada head office staff piled into the auditorium at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre for a state-of-the-union address from their leaders. The employees were weary and frustrated by this point. The bulk of the 124 stores had opened, and it was clear the launch had gone seriously awry. Consumers were frustrated when confronted with empty shelves, and the media and financial analysts were hammering the company for it. On stage, Fisher stated his conviction that Target Canada was making progress and that 2014 would be a greatly improved year. A Q&A session followed; one employee bravely asked Fisher what he would do differently if he could do the launch over again. A man in the front row stood up and offered to field the question. Taking the microphone, Steinhafel, Target’s CEO, didn’t hesitate with his answer: He would renegotiate the real estate deal that facilitated the company coming to Canada in the first place.

Welcome Refugees

Canada’s government has published a page documenting our commitment to accept 25,000 additional refugees, as well as tracking the progress:

We want to make it easy for Canadians to stay updated as we welcome Syrian refugees. You can get regular updates on our key figures, highlighting the progress we are making through this initiative.

The government isn’t simply setting lofty goals and tracking progress, but has transparently laid out their plan of execution, which includes ensuring the safety of Canadians.

Like I said in a previous post, I truly am proud to be a Canadian.

A Proud Time to be Canadian

According to Vox, Canada has accepted over 36,000 Syrian refugees since 2013, with only Germany having taken in more. Considering Canada is an ocean away from Syria, this is quite impressive and makes me incredibly proud to be Canadian. It truly exemplifies our values and beliefs.

Syrian Resettlement statistics by country. Top 3 are Germany (38,500), Canada (36,300) and Norway (9,000).Apparently some Americans haven’t heard this news, since Global News reports they are threatening to move to Canada if the US takes in more Syrian refugees:

Disgruntled Americans voiced their threats of heading north of the border on social media this week as the U.S. debates whether to open its doors to those fleeing the Syrian crisis.

Personally, I think we shouldn’t tell them; they might just like it once they move. Welcome to Canada, eh.