Af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion hir­ing must be dis­con­tin­ued

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Local -

Un­for­tu­nately we now must tell our chil­dren that some good stable jobs in gov­ern­ment, at Crown cor­po­ra­tions, in the po­lice force, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tute and other sec­tors aren’t for them be­cause they have the wrong skin colour or gen­der.

In the 1980s gov­ern­ments pur­ported to level the play­ing field for those seek­ing em­ploy­ment in Canada by giv­ing an ad­van­tage in the hir­ing process to women, dis­abled peo­ple and vis­i­ble mi­nori­ties. It was called af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion.

Nearly two decades later, we see this pol­icy is un­nec­es­sary. It al­lows for cor­rup­tion and has re­sulted in more em­ploy­ment for only one of th­ese groups. It’s time to out­law.

When the idea was first con­ceived, un­em­ploy­ment was high and those who claimed to need help had a good ar­gu­ment. This is no longer the case. Busi­ness is boom­ing and work­ers are in de­mand. With the ex­cep­tion of the dis­abled and im­mi­grants, in­di­vid­u­als from the other groups no longer need a help­ing hand.

Af­fir­ma­tive hir­ing poli­cies have been adopted by all lev­els of gov­ern­ment, which re­ward em­ploy­ees at bet­ter than av­er­age wages — all at the tax­payer’s ex­pense. Some of th­ese same tax­pay­ers are now de­nied the right of em­ploy­ment at th­ese in­sti­tu­tions, how­ever.

Dis­crim­i­na­tory hir­ing prac­tices haven’t lev­eled the play­ing field for the most of the peo­ple it was de­signed to help. Canada is a great coun­try where peo­ple should be al­lowed to pur­sue up­ward mo­bil­ity based on ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence, not the hue of their skin or their gen­der. No Cana­di­ans should have more rights than oth­ers. While “af­fir­ma­tive hir­ing” has been touted by those whom it ben­e­fits, we should also rec­og­nize it op­presses those who do not qual­ify.

Iron­i­cally, Canada has sent troops to Afghanistan to help the weak and op­pressed there. It is time Cana­di­ans did the same for them­selves and de­mand an end to un­just af­fir­ma­tive hir­ing poli­cies now. Murdo McNab

Saskatoon

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