Public Service Disaggregated Data for Visible Minorities and Indigenous peoples, Citizenship status

Over the past few months, I have been analyzing the various datasets breaking down public service employment and employee survey data by the individual visible minority and Indigenous groups.

The three articles, What new disaggregated data tells us about federal public service diversity (Policy Options, October 2020), What the Public Service Employee Survey breakdowns of visible minority and other groups tell us about diversity and inclusion (The Hill Times, November 2020) and Diversity and Inclusion: Public Service Hirings, Promotions and Separations (The Hill Times, March 2021) allow for a more comprehensive view of visible minority and Indigenous groups in the federal public service. Moreover, recent Public Service Commission studies analyzing recruitment of employment equity groups add an important element to discussions on public service staffing and recruitment practices.

Much of the debate and discussions have understandably focussed on Blacks in the public service. Yet public service data indicates that their situation is not unique in terms of representation, hirings and promotions and the employee satisfaction, with many commonalities with the other groups. A more granular analysis within each occupational group (i.e., comparing representation at each level by occupational group, as some departments are conducting, may very well provide such evidence).

Key findings are:

  • Overall EE analysis shows considerable variation among the different visible minority and Indigenous groups
  • Visible minorities
    • Correlation between lower educational attainment and representation for most groups save Chinese
    • Overall under-representation common to most groups
    • Blacks, West Asian/Arab small over-representation
    • EX: All groups under-represented save Japanese with Filipino, Latin American and Blacks having the largest gaps
    • Hirings: Hirings of visible minorities have increased for all groups in most occupational groups save for technical and administrative support. Hirings at the EX level have increase for Black, Chinese, South Asian/East Indian and West Asian/Arab, with other groups showing no increase.
    • Promotions: While promotions have increased marginally for virtually all groups at the agregate level, promotions by occupational category provide a mixed picture, with most groups and most occupational categories experiencing a marginal decline in promotions.
  • Indigenous peoples
    • First Nations under-represented, Métis and Inuit over-represented
    • Hirings: While hirings at the EX level have increased slightly, this is less the case for the other occupational categories. Hirings of Métis have increased the most in the operational category, hirings of First Nations the most in the technical category, while hirings of Inuit the most at the EX level.
    • Promotions: A marginal decline across all Indigenous groups and occupational
  • Harassment/Discrimination experiences vary
    • Harassment: Japanese report the most as do First Nations and Métis, Chinese and Filipino least satisfied with resolution as is the case with Métis
    • Discrimination; Blacks report the most, but all groups encounter discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin or colour. Black, Japanese and Latin American least satisfied with resolution. All Indigenous groups report having been discriminated against, mainly based on race or ethnic origin, with Métis also least satisfied with resolution

The recent PSC Audit of Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment provides some interesting data and analysis of the staffing process and how the different employment equity groups, and visible minority largest sub-groups, fare at each of the five stages in the staffing process: job application, automated screening, organizational screening, assessment and appointment (FY 2016-17 data).

The most significant stages were organizational screening and assessment where most filtering took place as shown in the table below:

The next table breaks down visible minorities by the largest groups:

As noted in the audit, Blacks have the largest decrease in representation at all stages save for appointment, with a non-negligible being screened out by automatic screening. Chinese are screened out more by organizational screening whereas West Asian and South Asian are more likely to be screened in as the assessment stage.

The audit provides the following explanation for visible minority groups. Overall, visible minority women have higher success rates than visible minority men at the organizational screening and assessment stages. Visible minorities screened out at the organizational screening stage due to citizenship status (Canadian citizens are given preference over non-citizens) and experience qualifications. Those with public service work experience were more likely to be screened in at this stage but overall “experienced less success than their counterparts regardless of whether or not they had federal public service experience.”

At the assessment stage, visible minorities were less successful when written tests were used, particularly the case for Black candidates.

A separate PSC report addresses the Citizenship of applicants and external appointments. While Canadian citizens have a hiring preference, the share of non-citizen applicants has risen from 9.4 percent in 2015-16 to 14.5 percent in 2018-19, with the share of hires has increased to 2.5 percent from 1.5 percent over the same period

Non-citizen visible minority applicants account for 22.9 percent of all visible minority applicants, for non-visible minorities, the share is only 12.1 percent.

The table below contrasts applicants and appointments by citizenship status for the past four years. For Canadian citizens, the percentage of applicants and appointments are comparable, for Permanent Residents and others, appointments are significantly greater than applicants suggesting that citizenship may be less of a barrier than commonly believed.

Visible minority Canadian citizens represented 17.2 percent of all applicants and 19.5 percent of all hires (2018-19).

Trudeau government asks for ideas on open government

Where do I begin?:

The Liberal government is asking Canadians for their ideas on making government more open.

Treasury Board President Scott Brison announced the national consultation today.

Brison says the transparency bus has left the station.

The minister says he believes that an open government is a more effective government.

Beginning today, people can go to to offer their views on what should be in the next federal strategy on open government.

Officials will also hold in-person discussions across the country and the resulting plan is to be released this summer.

 Some initial thoughts on my short list:
  • The hardest issue of all: changing the culture and enforcing a default obligation of openness;
  • Provide information in electronic formats that allow manipulation for analytical purposes. The previous government only released public opinion research data tables in pdf format, rather than in spreadsheets. More recently, PCO was unable (or unwilling) to export its database of GiC appointments in spreadsheet format, requiring me to recreate this already public information;
  • Expanded data sets, issued regularly in a timely fashion. My initial list, starting with citizenship:
    • in addition to top 10 (consider top 25)  countries of birth, have complete table or one mapped to IRCC operational regions (top 10 only covers about 50 percent of new citizens)
    • naturalization rate after 6 years of permanent residency, broken down country of birth mapped to IRCC operational regions
    • naturalization rate after 6 years of permanent residency by immigration category, gender and province
    • citizenship test pass (language and knowledge) results by country of birth mapped to IRC operational regions
    For passports, numbers related to:
    • top 25 countries of birth (all)
    • top 25 countries of birth (foreign-born)
    • number of passports issued abroad mapped to IRC operational region (to give sense of Canadian expatriates)
    • breakdown by country of birth of passports issued abroad

    Appointments: regular employment equity type reporting for all GiC appointments.

Source: Trudeau government asks for ideas on open government –

Halifax man helped thousands pretend they were in Canada to get around citizenship rules

Good detailed account of citizenship application fraud and how it worked (in the overall context, CIC data suggests that the percentage is low – see “Protecting Canadian Citizenship” – Citizenship Fraud Update – Numbers Still Small). Sentence appears small in relation to the scale of the fraud committed:

If anyone dialed the Halifax phone number Mohd Morelley wrote in his application for citizenship as proof he was integrating in Canada, it would ring out in an office on the outskirts of Halifax. Someone might answer, but it wouldn’t be Morelley or his wife or three children, who all wanted to be Canadians.

They were all living in Kuwait.

Along with the bogus phone number, Morelley and his family bought a full-service bogus citizenship package from an immigration consultant, including a Halifax address for a home he never lived in, tax returns and employment records for a job he never held, payment of utility bills he never used, ATM withdrawals to show local transactions he didn’t make and a letter from a local Islamic society saying he was deeply involved in the activities at a mosque he didn’t attend.

Morelley’s phantom phone — and fake life — were far from unique: more than 140 cell phones, labeled with the number and name of a client, were organized in the Bedford Highway office of the Canadian Commercial Group, run by immigration consultant Hassan Al-Awaid.

At least 1,244 clients were listed in Al-Awaid’s files, most accompanied by family members.

And he is but one of several crooked consultants caught recently peddling easy ways around the residency (and other) requirements for foreigners to gain Canadian citizenship.

Here is how they did it.

Hassan Al-Awaid, 62, an Iraqi national, worked in public relations and marketing for a government-owned petrochemical company in Kuwait before immigrating to Canada in 1992 and settling in Nova Scotia, where he and his wife had three children, including twin girls.

He might have once been a legitimate immigration consultant when he started, at least as far back as 1997. He was a member of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants until he was suspended in 2006. And he didn’t join the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, Canada’s current regulatory body, making him another “ghost consultant,” working in the shadows.

Increasingly, Al-Awaid shifted to black market services and relied on referrals from clients, since his specialization was hard to advertise.

“My office is one of the famous offices in Nova Scotia and my services differ from any other office, especially after arrival, and everyone know that,” he boasted in an email to a client.

…Al-Awaid’s furtive and sometimes frantic business began to unravel in 2007, when Shawna Woodin, an intelligence officer with the Canada Border Services Agency in Halifax, noticed two different signatures for the same person in a citizenship application.

The CBSA and the RCMP started a lengthy investigation. Several of his clients confessed to investigators of the duplicity. Searches in 2010 at Al-Awaid’s office, home and car revealed his meticulous record keeping.

Police found more than 140 labelled cell phones and a stack of ATM cards with their PINs among the 20 filing cabinets of records seized, including reams of emails with clients and detailed records.

He was arrested in 2011

Al-Awaid eventually pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and ten under the Citizenship Act, for cases stretching from 2002 to 2011.

At his sentencing this summer, court heard he was being treated for hypertension, hypothyroidism, elevated cholesterol, gout and diabetes.

“I am simply not satisfied that the Correctional Service of Canada can safely and effectively monitor and treat Mr. Al-Awaid’s very significant health issues,” provincial court of Nova Scotia judge Anne Derrick said.

That allowed him to avoid jail, instead getting a conditional sentence of two years less a day, a $4,000 fine and 240 hours of community service.

Prosecutors lamented the growing presence of citizenship fraud.

“That these ‘address of convenience’ cases went from virtually unheard of a short number of years ago to making regular appearances in news reports across Canada is indicative that the scheme has served to foster an overseas industry that thrives on immigration fraud,” prosecutors Timothy McLaughlin and Ronda Vanderhoek told court.

For the charges against Al-Awaid, police focused on 53 clients who used eight Halifax addresses to falsify residency. Of those 53, seven provided states to police; nine of the applicants had already obtained their citizenship, 19 withdrew from the process, while the rest were still in the application process at the time his case went to court.

Source: Halifax man helped thousands pretend they were in Canada to get around citizenship rules