Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, July 29, 2010 --- Since March, CRARR has received an increasing amount of requests for assistance from racialized individuals, who consider themselves victims of discrimination in employment.

Most complaints involve discrimination in selection and hiring, both in private enterprises and public agencies, in French and English. A large proportion of these complaints come from persons of Arab origin (particularly from North Africa), who have been residing in Montreal for less than ten years. There are also growing complaints from this group with regards to educational institutions and vocational training, including Emploi-Quebec (the provincial employment ministry), which is already the respondent in two civil rights complaints filed by CRARR involving systemic racial bias in its programs and services.

Complaints about union misrepresentation are another growing phenomenon because of the Supreme Court decision in the Parry Sound case, which effectively forces unionized employees to address their grievances regarding discrimination and harassment through grievances rather than with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. Consequently, there have been rising criticisms about union misrepresentation since several unions in Quebec lack the effective infrastructure for handling racial discrimination complaints (including systemic racism in employment) and employees who are victims of discrimination believe that they are inadequately represented by their unions.

Due to the increase in these complaints, CRARR is devoting more energy to the fight against racial discrimination in employment and vocational training. As of August 2010, it will publicize and intensify its work on employment and vocational discrimination cases. CRARR will also create a public narrative involving discrimination victims’ experiences with recourses such as the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission, the Labour Standards Commission and the Labour Relations Commission. The human rights commission's excessive delays and ineffective handling of race-based complaints are special concerns.