Government of Canada Invests to Improve Workplace Diversity in the Canadian Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain Sectors

CALGARY, March 18, 2015 /CNW

Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today announced a new grant to improve workplace diversity and inclusion in the logistics, transportation and supply chain industry. Ms. Crockatt made the announcement at the Women in Supply Chain Distinguished Speaker Dinner Series in Calgary.

Under the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity (WORBE) program, the Van Horne Institute will receive $125,000 for a project that will allow them to identify barriers, solutions and best practices of inclusive workplaces by engaging its academic and industry partners. Findings will enable the creation of a corporate change model for industry and academia, and a video promoting the value of inclusive workplaces.

WORBE provides up to $500,000 annually for projects that aim to improve the representation of people with disabilities, women, Aboriginal people, and members of visible minorities in federally regulated workplaces.

Quick Facts

  • Employment equity is a key element of the Government of Canada’s mission to create safe, fair and inclusive workplaces.
  • Through the Labour Program, the Government promotes equitable representation for women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and members of visible minorities by encouraging employers in federally regulated workplaces to diversify their workforce and draw from all available talents.
  • While significant progress is being made, more needs to be done. For example:
    • At 40.9 percent, the representation of women employees remains 7.3 percentage points below their labour market availability and their progress in semi-professional, technical and trades occupations is limited.
    • At 2.0 percent, the representation of Aboriginal employees remains well below their labour market availability of 3.5 percent.
    • The representation of people with disabilities is about half of those who are available and qualified to work.
    • Despite their high representation in the workforce, members of visible minorities have made little progress in obtaining senior management positions.


“In Canada, we depend on the skills of our workers to increase our country’s productivity and economic competitiveness. When everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and participate in Canada’s economy, the entire country succeeds.” Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre

“All Canadians have the right to work in an environment where opportunities are based solely on skills and abilities. The Government of Canada is enhancing employment equity programs to meet the needs of Canada’s increasingly diverse population.”
The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

“The Van Horne Institute is honoured to be entrusted by the Government of Canada for this extremely important project. We look forward to working on this endeavour to assist in encouraging diversity in the Canadian workplace.” Peter Wallis, President & CEO, Van Horne Institute

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The Employment Equity Act (EEA) aims to achieve equality in the workplace so that no one is denied opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability, and to address workplace disadvantages faced by four designated groups: people with disabilities, women, Aboriginal peoples and members of visible minorities.

The Labour Program ensures that federally regulated private-sector employers and Crown corporations report annually on the representation of these designated groups in their workplaces and on the steps they have taken to achieve full representation through the Legislated Employment Equity Program. Employment equity must be included in the employment plans and practices of all federally regulated businesses with 100 or more employees.

There have been varying degrees of progress in improving the representation of the designated groups toward achieving equity. However, under-representation persists in a number of occupational groups and industries.

Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity is a new grant and contribution program designed to support employers subject to the EEA in their efforts to improve designated group representation in areas of low representation through partnerships and industry-tailored strategies.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, 819-953-5646,; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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