Feds announce first steps of Action Plan to support Black public employees

'These and future investments will continue to be guided by the lived experiences of Black public servants': Anita Anand on new Federal initiatives

Feds announce first steps of Action Plan to support Black public employees

President of the Treasury Board Anita Anand announced Wednesday the first steps in the Action Plan for Black Public Servants.

The plan adds to $45.9 million in funding in the Budget 2022 to support a Black mental health fund, bringing the total to nearly $50 million budgeted for the creation of the Action Plan, according to a press release from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

The Action Plan will be devoted to establishing career development programs and mental health supports for Black public servants, the release said.

Future investments to be guided by lived experiences of Black public employees

“These and future investments will continue to be guided by the lived experiences of Black public servants. There is much more to be done to develop initiatives to help ensure that Black public servants are healthy and supported throughout their careers,” said Anand.

“We will keep working with Black public servants to address all forms of anti-Black racism and discrimination because a diverse, inclusive, safe, and rewarding public service not only benefits employees, but it also strengthens our organizations and improves our service delivery for Canadians.”

The Plan is in response to systemic racism which “continues  to be an everyday reality” for Black employees in Canada, the release states.

Three first steps in Federal Action Plan to Support Black Public Servants

The three initiatives announced by Anand include funding to Health Canada, the Canada School of Public Service and the Public Service Commission (PSC)

  • Health Canada: Health Canada will receive funding for “Black-centric enhancements” to the already existing Employee Assistance Program that is accessed by over 90 federal agencies and departments. This funding will provide for the recruitment of 19 new Black counsellors in 2024, bringing the total number of Black counsellors to 60. These counsellors will provide “culturally competent and trauma-informed” mental health services to public servants and family members.
  • The Canada School of Public Service: funding will go towards launching an executive leadership program for Black executives in groups EX-01, EX-02 and EX-03.
  • Public Service Commission: The PSC will receive funding for individualized counselling and coaching services for Black public employees. Research and feedback from Black public servants will be used under this initiative to improve career development services for Black employees at all levels.

The Action Plan will be implemented and led by an internal task force made up of largely Black employees.

“Every employee should feel valued and be safe at work and we know that the stress caused by racism can greatly affect a person’s mental health and well-being. This is why we are providing better supports, including for mental health, with Black-centric programs to address the needs of our Black colleagues,” said Minister of Health Mark Holland.

In the 2022 Public Service Employee Survey, it was found that 11% of Black public employees experienced discrimination on the job, compared to 6% reported by non-racialized, non-Indigenous employees.  

Recent articles & video

What does an employer have to report after a workplace harassment investigation?

Bell Canada CEO faces critics over layoffs

How employer matching can help Canadians retire early

Robots coming to Walmart warehouses

Most Read Articles

Saskatchewan looks to protect newcomers with new legislation

Canada Goose faces backlash for firing workers via email

Over 40 organizations call for fully funded Canada Disability Benefit