Letter to the Minister of National Defence
January 7, 2022
Dear Minister Anand,
Please find enclosed the final report of your Advisory Panel on Systemic Racism and Discrimination as required by our Terms of Reference. It builds on our letter to Minister Sajjan, dated 23 April 2021, and on our interim update, dated 14 July 2021.
The members of your Advisory Panel assess that we were selected to participate in this vital endeavour not because we are subject matter experts in the fields of employment equity, diversity and inclusion, but perhaps because we each have lived experiences that enable us to identify systemic barriers to equity.
Your Advisory Panel believes that the necessary expertise to effectively address challenges described in this final report exists within the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces – most notably, within the Defence Advisory Groups and Network(s). These groups can provide the Defence Team with many worthwhile recommendations. The key to lasting positive change within the Defence Team is to listen to its members at all levels, as it is with their input that a more inclusive culture, appreciative of diversity, can flourish.
This final report identifies areas of opportunity with associated recommendations that the Advisory Panel believes are necessary to address systemic racism and discrimination in the Defence Team. Over the course of our year-long mandate, we have found many sound recommendations from previous panels, boards and committees that have been ignored, not implemented, or simply discarded without any justification. As dedicated Canadian veterans from diverse backgrounds, the Defence Team is still part of our respective communities and our families. As such, we are hopeful that this report will generate serious discussions combined with concrete actions, and accountability at every level.
Members of the Defence Team deserve this. And so do Canadians.
D.L. (Door) Gibson
Aronhia:nens Derek Montour
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