Petition Form to Canadian Blood Services

To: Mr. Mel Cappe, Chair, Canadian Blood Services & Board of Directors

Re: Lack of Diversity in Executive Team Members at the Canadian Blood Services

We the undersigned, understand that the Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit corporation and that the Corporate Board Members are the Ministers of Health from Territories and all Provinces except for Quebec. These ministers appoint the Board Members who are responsible for the governance of the organization.

Upon review of your Executive Team Members on your website, it is evident that it lacks any members of visible minorities. We understand that Dr. Chandrakant Shah, a former Canadian Blood Services Board member (2004) from Ontario, recently brought to your attention about the issue of lack of visible minorities on your executive management team and requested board policy and composition of staff members in your organization pertaining to equity-seeking groups viz. visible minorities, women, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities. While you reassured him that he was right in his observation and your Board will address the issue, he was not provided any concrete policy about redressing employment equity. He also had requested the data on proportion of equity seeking groups among the staff composition at different level such as upper management, middle management and you had referred this request to the management team for reply. The following reply was received on January 16, 2019 via e-mail from Ms. Judie Leach, Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary:

“Thanks for your interest in our diversity and inclusion work. I’ll chime in to help with providing clarification around the specific question you raised. Please note that we are not part of the reporting regime of interest to you and as such do not have the reports you seek. This reporting obligation arises out of the federal Employment Equity Act, which only applies to federally regulated employers. CBS continues to be a not-for-profit corporation, which is funded by the provincial governments; our Members are the Ministers of Health across the country. As such, CBS is neither a federally regulated employer nor a federal contractor.

I trust that this helps to provide some clarification around the reports that are the subject of your specific inquiry.”

From above, it is evident that the Canadian taxpayers funds the Canadian Blood Services and are the real stakeholders. Similarly, Canadian blood donors come from all walks of life including from those equity-seeking groups. The sorry state of Canadian Blood Services’ hiring practice is unacceptable with the changing demography of Canadian population. The lack of representation demonstrates that the Canadian Blood Service has a lot of work to do in order to ensure it is not affected by unconscious bias and is sensitive towards an important issue of social justice and equity in Canadian society.

We the following persons signing this petition recommend to the Board of Directors of Canadian Blood Services that:

Canadian Blood Services develop a proactive hiring plan with policies, goals and timelines for recruiting equity seeking groups viz. visible minorities, women, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities, so that its workplace composition is representative of the Canadian population.

Canadian Blood Services be accountable and transparent to Canadians at large by publishing this plan and policies on their website and providing annual reports on their progress towards goals.

Respectfully submitted by concerned Canadians
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