More than 2,700 Canadians applied to be senators – diversity analysis

senate-working-deck-016For those interested in employment equity and diversity reporting, this first report provides a model for future reporting on judicial and other GiC appointments.

While I have some quibbles – the reference number for visible minorities should be the percentage of those who are also Canadian citizens (15 percent), not the age adjusted workforce population as they have appeared to use (17.8 percent), a breakdown of the ethnic/cultural groups self-identified would be helpful, along with some methodology notes – this is really a good and comprehensive report.

Of course, this report does not include other aspects of diversity such as education, work and the like.

By way of comparison, the 28 Senate appointments of PM Trudeau were comprised of 16 women (57 percent, higher than the 40 percent of applications), six visible minorities (21 percent, slightly lower than the 25 percent who applied) and two Indigenous persons (7 percent, twice that percentage of those that applied).

Hopefully, this will serve as a template for future reporting on the diversity of GiC appointments, including judges:

The independent board that advised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a recent round of Senate appointments says 2,757 people applied to be senators when the Liberal government went looking to fill vacancies for seven provinces.

Canadians were invited to apply when nominations were opened in July to fill 21 spots in the upper chamber. The independent advisory board that reviewed the applications is part of Trudeau’s plan to reform the Senate.

According to the advisory board’s first report, 60 per cent of applicants were male and 68 per cent selected English as their first language.

Twenty-five per cent identified as a visible minority, 13.6 per cent described themselves as indigenous and four per cent as LGBT.

“We were very pleased with the number of applications received, as well as with the calibre of individuals who put their names forward as part of the open application process,” the board writes.

The board says that “nearly 750 national, provincial and local organizations” were also contacted to encourage applications.

Applicants were screened by board members to identify “a list of priority candidates who … best met the merit-based criteria.” The prime minister was then provided with a list of five candidates for each of 20 vacancies, with additional names passed along to fill an unexpected opening for Manitoba.

“Recommended candidates were not prioritized; the proposed candidates were listed in alphabetical order,” the board explains. “The advice to the prime minister included a short synopsis to highlight the merits of each of the recommended candidates, as well as more detailed information from their candidacy submission.”

The board also clarifies that the prime minister’s choices for appointment came from their recommendations.

“We were very pleased that the prime minister made his recommendations to the Governor General from the list of candidates that we had provided to him,” they write.

The total cost for the advisory process so far is estimated to be approximately $900,000.

Maryam Monsef, minister of democratic institutions, also announced on Wednesday that the federal government has opened applications to fill another six vacancies: three in Nova Scotia, two in Ontario and one in New Brunswick.

Source: More than 2,700 Canadians applied to be senators – Politics – CBC News

Report of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments – Permanent Process (July to November 2016)