Canada has a population of approximately twenty six million people. With the introduction of the federal government's multicultualism program, the social demographic make up of Canada is quite vast, bringing together people from many different nations to join those already living here. Taking the population as a whole into account, it is no secret that historically, certain members of this social order have been denied fair access to employment system. The federal and provincial governments had undertaken steps to address the issue through a wide range of programs such as equal employment and other affirmative action programs to 'promote equal opportunity in the public service for segments of the population that have historically been underrepresented there.' Today those designated groups, underrepresented in the labour force include women, Aboriginal peoples, disabled people, and persons who are, because of their race or colour, is a visible minority in Canada. In October 1984, Judge Rosalie Silberman Abella submitted a Royal Commission Report on equality in employment (the Abella Report) to the federal government.
'The Commission was established in recognition of the fact that women, visible minorities, the handicapped and native peoples were being denied the full benefits of employment.' Based on the findings of the Abella Commission, the federal government implemented 'The Employment Equity Act' in 1986. This short paper will evaluate the success of the 'Act' and will argue that although some progress has been made, the Canadian Labour force still does not reflect the demographic composition of Canada as the Act had targeted.
For the purposes of implementing Employment Equity, certain individuals or groups who are at an employment disadvantage are designated to benefit from Employment Equity. The Employment Equity Act describes the designated groups as 'women, aboriginal peoples; Indians, Inuit or Metis, who so identify themselves to their employer,