Liberals 2024 budget includes plan to increase “equity groups” in Canada
Liberals announce plan “to embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada.”

Mike Campbell

April 17, 2024

Part of the Liberals 2024 budget introduced on Tuesday includes an intention to introduce legislation that will increase the number of “equity groups” in Canada in the Employment Equity Act. 

Liberals 2024 budget includes plan to increase “equity groups” in Canada

As per the budget, the Liberals state their intention of “Building a better, more inclusive future for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional sexually and gender diverse people (2SLGBTQI+).”

The Employment Equity Act currently lists women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities as those deserving of “special measures” by employers.

But the Liberals intend to expand this to include LGBT and Black Canadians to have their own special categories.

Their plan released Tuesday includes a commitment of investing nearly $150 million over 10 years to support “Canada’s first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan,” part of which aims “to embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada.”

The decision follows a massive report given to the Trudeau Liberals in December 2023 by an ‘equity task force’ that sought to make legislative changes to hiring practices.

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan lauded the 500 page report given to him at the time, which included 187 policy recommendations.

Primarily an attack on merit-based hiring 

Among the report’s countless recommendations, one reads that employers should be allowed to “correct” underrepresented groups among their staff.

The report further states that appointments based on merit should be “assessed by committees composed in consultation with the relevant Joint Employment Equity Committee.” 

Knowing that the outcome of this mandate would likely lead to––indeed, has already led to––disingenuous identity claims, the task force put out an “urgent” call for some sort of verification process to combat the highly subjective “self-identify” option that employers currently give. 

Another recommendation from the report is for employers to have to survey job-seekers about their sexual preferences during the hiring process — and for those hired, to ask about their sexual preferences every single year, as well as when they quit or get fired.

Yet another recommendation states that employers should be required to regularly report to a newly established Equity Commissioner — one who shall have legislative powers — on just how they are working to reduce barriers to employment for LGBT and Black job seekers. 

While announcing the budget plan, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, the Liberals’ Finance Minister, focused primarily on housing investments, child and health care investments, and raising taxes on “the wealthiest” Canadians.

Prior to their announcement, the Liberal government had already announced $38 billion in new programs, which were unveiled in Tuesday’s budget. 

Read more: 5 tax hikes the Liberals announced in Budget 2024 (thecountersignal.com)

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