Internal documents show some of
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino’s are racist, making derogatory remarks about “lazy” indigenous people, “dirty” Africans and Mexicans who emigrate to collect welfare.
Blacklock’s Reporter said the document is dated June 23, but was only released Wednesday.
“It will take bold, decisive action to convince employees there is a real management commitment to change,” said the report Anti-Racism Employee Focus Groups.
The document said management had “an obvious internal cultural code in operation,” adding: “The problem is so deeply rooted in the organizational culture and in the values of people in power who have held it for a long time and are not likely to change.”
The department commissioned focus groups with its own employees who self-identified as black, Asian, “mixed origin” and Caucasian.
“Employees paint a picture of an organization fraught with challenges at the level of workplace culture,” said the report.
Employees said they liked their jobs on the whole “which makes the disappointment and concern about racism witnessed from within all the more emotionally acute.”
Participants cited specific examples of bigoted remarks including unidentified managers who:
- referred to cubicles where black employees worked as “the ghetto”;
- nicknamed countries in Africa “the dirty thirty”;
- described Nigerians as characteristically corrupt and untrustworthy;
- said Mexican immigrants “just come here to collect social insurance”;
- said “indigenous people are lazy”;
- said “if the natives wanted their land they should have just stood up.”
Other employees described managers “discussing the physical characteristics of ‘black girls’” and asking to touch black employees’ hair.
“Participants shared a large number of specific examples of racism witnessed within the department, as well as their causes,” said the report.
“These include, but are not limited to, micro-aggressions ranging from well-intentioned comments with hurtful impacts to blatantly racist tropes.”
Employees said they “do not believe there are currently any consequences for racism or racist behaviour at the department, or if there are consequences that go beyond a slap on the wrist they do not believe they are applied in their sectors,” the report said.
“There seems to be no lasting accountability for those accused of racism.”