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Black federal employees say creation of mental health program plagued by racism

December 14, 2022
The Canadian Press


(Deyan/Adobe Stock)

A group of Black federal public servants is accusing the government of racism, and is threatening to pull out of the development of a mental health action plan meant for Black workers.

The Federal Black Employee Caucus sent a letter to the Treasury Board’s chief human resources officer this month, saying the workers supported efforts to address racism within the public service, only to be “continuously faced with the crushing weight of it.”

In a mandate letter a year ago, the prime minister tasked Treasury Board President Mona Fortier with establishing a mental health fund for Black public servants, and the government has budgeted $3.7 million over four years for the program.

The Black employees say it took months to set up a working group, and they accuse government representatives of “blatant anti-Black hate” in their language and of negotiating in bad faith.

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The group says it will be meeting to decide whether it should walk away from the process, just six months after joining.

The Treasury Board says it remains committed to establishing the mental health program.


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