Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, December 4, 2006 --- The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, was the speaker this morning at a breakfast meeting organized by CRARR today, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the federal Employment Equity Act (EEA).

“Since the inception of employment equity there are 38.3 per cent more members of designated groups employed in workplaces covered by the Act. This means our efforts to address discrimination and to promote fairness in the workplace alongside organizations such as CRARR are making a difference,” said Minister Blackburn.

“This milestone year is a time of celebration and reflection as to our accomplishments—it is a time to reaffirm our commitment to protecting the rights of Canadians in the workplace.”

The EEA was first adopted in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment (also known as the Abella Commission). The EEA seeks to achieve equitable representation of visible minorities, women, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities in all private sector companies under federal jurisdiction with 100 employees and in the federal public service. The EEA also led to the creation of the Federal Contractors Program, which requires private companies with 100 employees or more receiving contracts worth $200,000 or more from the federal government to implement employment equity for the four groups.

The CRARR event was sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada. In attendance were 80 representatives of employers, unions, organizations representing the four employment equity designated groups and other provincial and municipal institutions that practice employment equity.

CRARR’s activities related to equity include a dinner to highlight the works of the Abella Commission (1984), a major conference on diversity as an added value for institutions (1993) and a luncheon conference to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Abella Commission and honor the Hon. Rosalie Abella, Chair of the Commission and newly-appointed member of the Supreme Court of Canada (2004).

France Pelletier (National Bank), Fo Niemi, Margaret Wilheim, Jeanne To Thanh Hien (HRSDC) and the Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn
The Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn
The Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn, representatives of RBC, Air Canada, CAW and Banque Nationale with CRARR Directors