Comment 42077

By Someone with real experience (anonymous) | Posted June 16, 2010 at 23:47:53

Chris Kiely you have done yeomans service in writing well about an important issue. If a non-white person had written this, they would have been accused of playing the race card. One thing I would change – substitute non-white Canadians for “Immigrants”. It is non-white Canadians who are experiencing alienation and exclusion, many of them who are recent immigrants and many of them who have been in Canada for well over 25 years paying taxes and participating on the fringe of Canadian public life.

Take any public or community organization in Hamilton – supported by taxpayers and community contributions – and you will hardly find any position of power or influence being occupied by someone who is non-white. This is a terrible indictment and something must be done to highlight this problem.

The City of Hamilton staff – do you see anyone in senior positions? One person – Abdul Khan – was hounded out for daring to speak up and for challenging the status quo. Instead, the City is deeply involved in nepotism. A soon to be retiring father arranges a position for his young son in a certain department. A wife arranges a job for her husband in the same department. How many Councilors have chosen to pretend they don’t know? This stinks to high heaven.

The School Boards, the Childrens Aid Societies, the big non-profit organizations that receive large sums of tax payer money, the LHIN’s, etc and the list goes on and on. NONE of them have non-white people in senior positions.

It is not true that immigrants prefer to go into the private sector and become entrepreneurs. No, the truth is that many of them are shut out of jobs in the public sector. They have no alternative but to start their own business.

Howard Elliot, I don’t doubt your sincerity when you say that Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council and Hamilton's Centre for Civic Inclusion are working hard to make Hamilton welcoming. But what have they really done? I suspect these organizations are set up in a lip serving way and as smoke screens and to deflect criticism so that real hard change does not have to be confronted.

A recent study in Toronto showed that federal organizations that were compelled to report on diversity initiatives in their organizations actually ended up having a higher percentage of minorities in their organizations than average. Rather than proudly proclaiming that they are “equal opportunity” employers (Code for “we don’t have employment equity goals”) organizations in Hamilton should actively promote that they are seeking representation from under-represented groups. And, they should report on their success.

Finally, if nothing is done at a local level, there is going to have to be the push for a Provincial Commission of Enquiry on the status of minorities in Hamilton. People like the Mayor should take note of this.

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