Dr. Frédéric Bastien is a historian and a professor at Dawson College in Montreal, Québec. Bambi learned from Le Devoir that he filed a complaint (https://bit.ly/3imgrZc) with the Human Rights Commission of Québec and of Canada because his rights have been violated in an advertisement for a position of Canada Research Chair in Canadian-Québec History that excludes “white men” from calls for applications at Laval University. Such positions are rare to open and to be filled. Imagine that this university advertised the position as follows (https://bit.ly/3U90Euc):
“Only applicants with the required skills AND who have self-identified as a member of at least one of these four underrepresented groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons belonging to visible minorities) will be selected”.
Do you find it fair to Dr. Bastien and to other highly competent, so-called white male, historians who would have wished to apply to the position? Bambi doesn’t. She is actually shocked by such increasingly common advertisements of academic positions in Canada!
Indeed, here is another example for you tweeted by Mr. Jonathan Kay, along with sarcastically thoughtful comments. It comes from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne Business School (https://bit.ly/3GOW0hX). Please take the time to look at its language. Does it makes any sense? Is it logical? Is it fair to both those excluded and included in it? Does it really bring fairness to those applicants who may get the position? Why aren’t we allowing them to compete on the basis of merit only? Don’t we think they can do it and succeed like others?
Why is Canada getting into these potentially discriminatory hiring practices? Why are we doing this to ourselves?
Is this the most optimal way to recruit excellence? And does excellent have a colour? Bambi has always thought the latter needs a brain and hard work only.
Furthermore, why is Canada increasingly resembling countries like Lebanon with its quotas of hiring for this or that position in the public sphere or in politics? Is this wise? Is this smart?
As a reply to a different, yet related, question by a faithful reader of this blog in a comment about an earlier post shown further below [hello Fred : )], Bambi partly provided the following insights using her birth country as an example: “… divisive societies more and more relying on identity or sub-identity characteristics for this or that position, for this or that privilege. Bambi will give an example, not related to Canada. Take Lebanon, for example, where religious affiliations are used to determine the President of the Republic must be (Maronite) Christian, the Prime Minister Sunni Muslim, and the Parliament Speaker Shiite Muslim. Keep also in mind that all other public posts are also divided according to religious quotas. So, someone like Bambi can never get the chance to become neither president, nor prime minister, nor parliament speaker there… If we come back to Canada’s context, we now have here what we call “self-identification” and we have groups that are seen as holy more than others…”.
To come back to Canada and to Dr. Bastien, Bambi would like to conclude with his sharp words, hoping they will make us pause and think twice before continuing this hiring trend in our schools, businesses, governments, etc.
“We are in a drift. We think that fighting discrimination with discrimination is not a good way to go. It will just stir up tensions. A position in history is rare».