Employment Equity in Canada

The Legacy of the Abella Report

By (author) Carol Agocs
Categories: Politics and government, Society and Social Sciences
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Paperback : 9781442615625, 352 pages, July 2014

Table of contents

Foreword by Justice Rosalie Abella


Introduction: Perspectives on Employment Equity in Canada (Carol Agócs)

Chapter 1. The Making of the Abella Report: Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of the Report of the Federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment (Carol Agócs)
Chapter 2. Employment Equity in Canada: What Do the Data Show About its Effectiveness? (Nan Weiner)
Chapter 3. Real Change? Reflections on Employment Equity’s Last Quarter Century (Raj Anand)
Chapter 4. Women, Intersectionality and Employment Equity (Kim England) 
Chapter 5. Employment Equity and Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples (Michael Lynk) 
Chapter 6. Employment Equity and Disability: Moving Forward to Achieve Employment Integration and Fulfill Promises of Inclusion and Participation (Marcia Rioux and Lora Patton)
Chapter 7. The Equity Landscape for Sexual Minorities in Canada (Gerald Hunt, David Rayside and Donn Short) 
Chapter 8. Remedying the Experiences of Vulnerable Workers: Links with Employment Equity (Patricia Hughes) 
Chapter 9. Employment Equity in the Federal Public Service: A Union Perspective  (Allison Pilon) 
Chapter 10. Securing Employment Equity by Enforcing Human Rights Laws (Mary Cornish, Fay Faraday and Jan Borowy)
Chapter 11. The Employment Equity Mandate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Some Preliminary Observations for Canada (Michael Ashley Stein) 
Chapter 12. New Narratives, Same Old Problems: The Risk of Diversity-Centered Workplace Decision Making in a “Post-Racial” America (Natasha Martin) 
Chapter 13. Employment Equity: The Next 25 Years (Brian Burkett) 

Conclusion. Looking Forward: The Unfinished Business of Employment Equity (Carol Agócs)

List of Contributors 


In the mid-1980s, the Abella Commission on Equality in Employment and the federal Employment Equity Act made Canada a policy leader in addressing systemic discrimination in the workplace. More than twenty-five years later, Employment Equity in Canada assembles a distinguished group of experts to examine the state of employment equity in Canada today. Examining the evidence of nearly thirty years, the contributors – both scholars and practitioners of employment policy – evaluate the history and influence of the Abella Report, the impact of Canada’s employment equity legislation on equality in the workplace, and the future of substantive equality in an environment where the Canadian government is increasingly hostile to intervention in the workplace. They compare Canada’s legal and policy choices to those of the United States and to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and examine ways in which the concept of employment equity might be expanded to embrace other vulnerable communities. Their observations will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the past, present, and future of Canadian employment and equity policy.


‘This collection is a compelling read, and a very fitting way to recognize the importance of the Abella Report… It will also assist practioners in gaining a better understanding of the context of the current employment equity paradigm in Canada. ’

- Carol Vanenhoek