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Canada’s above-board structures based on prejudice are comparatively founded on the constitutional or statute-allied Acts, in addition to civic policies constructed to enhance the execution of the law and uphold superiority. Morton, Desmond (1999). It is centered across the board’s legal and establishment tools that encompass myriad banned discrimination offenses. Some rights that are profoundly high and dry in the country’s political narration and institutions, nevertheless, are protected by particular rights for instance the rights of the aboriginal and the language rights of the French and English speaking societies. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989). Canada is constitutionally multicultural; figures for a very long time have augured the most imperative authority on the evolution and appraisal of anti-bigotry policies in Canada and conversely the development of the inequitable approach. The history of Canada in the end has been structured based on innumerable population resolutions, starting with Aboriginals, then European colonial settlers, and settlement immigration. Sheffield, Scott (1991).

Canadians and Aboriginals each share unique and besides intertwined self-referential histories, societal relationships, and institutional, political, and cultural forms. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989). In the meantime, Canada stands tall as a nation for immigrants and it has adopted the policies that manage the framework where selecting agents have been vetoed with enormous powers. This gesture has witnessed a litany of hundreds of thousands of immigrations from the 19th century through to the 21st century. Sheffield, Scott (1991). Banded together with a diversity of societies brought the emergence of a national identity based on a double acknowledgment of individual diversity, popularly known as the Canadian deep diversity that clings to the universal ethical standards and constitutional patriotism. The Canadian Forces (CF) is a voluntary organization with members drawn from the Canadian population. The emerging Canadian ethnocultural and age aspects require that the CF fosters diversity as an integral part of its employment policy to be seen as an employer of choice for all its citizens. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989).

The force tries to reflect its national diversity through the integration of its cultural gender and the bilingual as well as its regional diversity. Morton, Desmond (1999). Irrespective of one background the CF members can serve in all military duties and have the objective of safeguarding the country and its interests and values, while at the same time helping to achieve international peace, but the efforts to boost the number of women, visible minorities and aboriginals within ranks of the CF show that the military has been losing ground in recruiting from these groups. Sheffield, Scott (1991). The employment equity plan indicates few jobs within the military near acceptable levels of representation of women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, and people with disabilities which reflects a lack of meaningful progress. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989). The latest statistics by the CF show that the gap has increased as the military fell more than 11,200 people short of its representation targets in June 2007 in which the largest gap was for visible minorities and women. Despite these trends, the Force has always been on the forward movement with regards to the integration of minorities in terms of language women, and minority groups. Pariseau, Jean et Serge Bernier (1998).

Towards full integration

In 1989 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal directed the Canadian forces to ensure that full integration takes place for both the active and reserve forces. Moses, John (1989). The directive was made to ensure the removal of all restrictions on operational and personal considerations and remove the minimum male requirement and start new selection standards. Dundas, Barbara (2001). Further, the CF was directed to remove discriminatory barriers to achieve full integration, the military moved to set both short-and medium-term measures to increase the representation levels that include reaching out to visible-minority communities. Morton, Desmond (1999). According to the equity plan, visible minorities should be given a higher chance due to the anticipated changes in the demographic makeup of Canada in the next few years. Pariseau, Jean et Serge Bernier (1998).

Overall representation

The first Equity Plan for the Canadian Forces showed that several groups were very much underrepresented. A survey conducted in 1997 indicated that the overall representation was 13% for women 1.3%for Aboriginals and 2.1 % for the visible minority in both the regular force and primary reserve although the findings showed the Canadian Forces had the potential to achieve a 3% representation of Aboriginals 28% for women, and 9% for visible minority members. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989).

In December 2004 the CF completed an Employment System Review (ESR). Moses, John (1989). The review analyzed its employment policies and practices to determine all the barriers to employment of the Canadian minority group (women visible minorities Aboriginals and persons with disabilities) which were underrepresented in the CF. Examples of these barriers include attitudes and behaviors towards women, high attrition rates for women, and a lack of flexible career options.

The recommendations of ESR helped in the development of the new Canadian Forces

Employment Equity (EE) Plan. The EE plan aimed to provide the necessary framework for equitable employment of the women as well Aboriginals and the visible minorities. Belkin, A. & McNichol, J. (2000).

Objectives of the EE

  • Increased representation of women.
  • creating an inclusive-minded Canadian Forces

This was to be achieved through increasing awareness by communications and training and increasing acceptance of EE and within the diverse CF

  • facilitate career development

This was to be achieved by allowing all members equal opportunities, to serve without harassment, and exploit their full potential.

The initiative included a review and modifications where applicable to policies on promotion, leave, terms of service, posting, as well as other HR requirements (Crichtley, W. Harriet, 1989).

Through these initiatives, it has been seen that there was a stronger capacity to recruit and retain

Women, including improved training and development program. By 2005 the overall representation of women in the CF was 16% compared to 13% in 1997. In January 2007, over 18,000 women were serving in the CF which was 17.3% of the total military population.

In the year 2006, it was estimated that over 80% of people joining the CF were designated group members (women, minorities, aboriginals) In addition to this young workers today come with different values and attitudes towards work than the previous generation. Recent statistics of both the regular and primary reserves of the Canadian Forces show the actual representation of each group compared with the military’s employment equity goals. Moses, John (1989).


  • Actual representation: 14,594 – 15.1%
  • Expected representation: 18,845 – 19.5%

Aboriginal People

  • Actual representation: 1,519 – 1.6%
  • Expected representation: 2,705 – 2.8%

Visible Minorities

  • Actual 2,951 – 3.1%
  • Expected 8,794 – 9.1%

Persons with Disabilities

  • Actual: 1,101 – 1.1%
  • Expected: Not available because the military doesn’t actively recruit people with disabilities.

Total Forces

Regular force 62,000 25,000 reserve force 25,000 and 4,000 Canadian Rangers.

Representation goals for Women

The Employment Equity Act gives the necessary guidelines for the implementation by the CF. The CF sets the goals of representation for each occupation based on the propensity to join the CF and the availability of women in the Canadian Labour Market. The current representation is 15% for women in both the primary reserves and regular forces although the set goal is 19%. Morton, Desmond (1999).


The CF Retention Team studies attrition and retention trends and identifies any shortcomings.

During the period between 2001-2005, the total attrition rate was the same at 6.2% for men

and women. The trend did not change much in 2006 for officers but over the past year, attrition rates for women (6%) were lower than for their male counterparts (7%). Some occupations do have a high rate of attrition for women than do others (Moses, John, 1989).

The Navy

In 2004, the Navy finalized a study to determine why people left Naval occupations but

remain in the CF and also why others remained in the navy. The study did not find any gender bias because both men and women gave the same reasons. Even though the number of women has increased and reached the senior officer levels no woman has been promoted beyond the rank of Lieutenant-Commander (Walker, James W., 2001).

The Army

To shape the culture of the CF the army conducted two surveys in 2004 the Army Socio-cultural Survey, compared the core values of the military personnel against those of Canadian society, and examined the predominant values of different groups within Canada’s Army. Walker, James W. (2001).

The Army Culture and Climate Survey dealt with issues such as how soldiers felt in the diverse

aspects of their work and workplace. Sloan, Elinor (1999).As far as gender integration was concerned the studies indicated that Army personnel ranged between “neutral to positive” on ratings regarding gender integration. All people in the army believed qualified candidates deserved the job irrespective of gender or minority status (Walker, James W., 2001).

Air Force

Initial results of the new Air Force Climate Survey show an addition of value to the workplace. It is mainly used by the Commanding Officer within his or her unit since it reflects on the leadership and morale within the unit. Dundas, Barbara (2001). This gives direct feedback and assists the CO to adjust internal leadership and unit directives and policies to improve the work environment. On the other hand, the Air Force is developing an Air Force Campaign which will provide a culture shift from attrition towards a culture of retention. Sloan, Elinor (1999). This is aimed at providing a professional, progressive and supportive environment for everyone in the air force. In addition, the overall retention plan will be used to retain women, Aboriginals, and Visible Minorities (Bentley, COL L.W., 2002).


For the CF to attract the best people, the integration of women, minorities, and aboriginals require a higher level of consideration together with the training of non-traditional and young leaders as it has been seen there is an overall increase in the number of women visible minorities and the Aboriginals joining the CF although the growth is somehow very slow in some areas than in others. Morton, Desmond (1999). It is generally accepted that there is a need to improve the CF employment equity plan to increase recruitment and retention of the various groups. The biggest challenge is to remove all the barriers that remain to enable qualified groups to enter the areas of their choice and achieve their full potential in the CF. Alimo-Metcalfe, B. (1995).


  1. Bass, B.M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industry, Military, and Educational Impact. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  2. Belkin, A. & McNichol, J. (2000). Effects of the 1992 lifting of restrictions on gay and lesbian service in the Canadian Forces: Appraising the evidence. Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military
  3. Bentley, COL L.W. (2002). The Debrief the Leaders Project (Officers). Office of the Special Advisor to the Chief of Defense Staff for Professional Development. phenomenon? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 33-41.
  4. Crichtley, W. Harriet (1989). “Civilianization and The Canadian Military”, Armed forces and Society, 16, 1 Pg 117 to 136
  5. Dundas, Barbara (2001). A History of Women in the Canadian Military. Pg 105 to 150, ISBN: 2-920718-79-7,
  6. Morton, Desmond (1999). “A military history of Canada: from Champlain to Kosovo, 4th Rev. Ed. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Pg 254 to 259
  7. Moses, John (1989). Aboriginal Participation in Canadian Military Service: Historic and Contemporary Contexts,
  8. Preston, Robert A (2001).To Serve Canada. A History of the Military College since the 2nd WW Ch 5, 10 to 12
  9. Pariseau, Jean et Serge Bernier (1998). French Canadians and Bilingualism in the CF Volume I Ch 8
  11. Sheffield, Scott (1991). Of Pure European Descent and the White Race,
  12. Walker, James W. (2001). Race and Recruitment in World War I : Enlistment of Visible Minorities in the Canadian Expeditionary Force; Canadian Historical Review, 70 Pg 1 to 26
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