Posted on February 23, 2005

No Whites Need Apply

Kathleen Harris, Toronto Sun, Feb. 23

Critics are calling it “craziness” that the Correctional Service of Canada is disqualifying candidates for parole officer jobs because they’re white. An Ontario job-seeker received a rejection letter recently, advising that only aboriginals and visible minorities need apply.

“Please be advised that effective immediately the Ontario region of the Correctional Service of Canada is no longer maintaining an inventory for parole officer applications from the general public,” the Feb. 19 letter reads.

“Due to staffing resources we will continue to accept applications from aboriginal and visible-minority candidates only.”

CSC is committed to having a “skilled, diversified workforce reflective of Canadian society,” the letter continues, adding that future vacancies may be posted that are open to the “general public.”

Conservative MP Myron Thompson called the policy “unbelievable” and “craziness” and suggested CSC is putting political correctness ahead of merit.

“I can’t believe they would put that in writing,” he fumed.

“What’s happened to merit in this country — abilities and skills? What’s happened to training and expertise?

“Everyone should be on equal playing field when it comes to applying for a position like that and it shouldn’t have a thing to do with ethnic background.”

CSC spokesman Michele Pilon-Santilli said the pool was narrowed because a high number of applicants were competing for limited openings and it was proving “costly” to maintain the inventory. Aboriginal and minority candidates must meet all requirements for the job, she stressed.

“They are under-represented in both of those areas, so those are the only CVs they are maintaining right now,” she said.

“We do have a diverse population and we need to serve Canadians.

“Representation is an integral part of today’s public service, as is education, experience and linguistic capabilities.”