Evaluation of Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism

1. Introduction

1.1. Introduction and purpose of evaluation

This report presents the results of the horizontal evaluation of Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism (CAPAR). The data collection was undertaken by Government Consulting Services (GCS) for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) between January and April, 2010. The objective of the evaluation was to examine relevance, design and delivery, and performance, with particular emphasis on evaluating the horizontal approach and design of CAPAR.

The report is organized into four main sections.

  • Section 1 presents a profile of CAPAR and its funded initiatives;
  • Section 2 presents the methodology for the evaluation and discusses methodological considerations;
  • Section 3 presents the findings; and
  • Section 4 presents the overall conclusions.

This report is accompanied by a supplemental document which contains the appendices cited throughout this report.

1.2. Profile of CAPAR

1.2.1. Context and objectives

CAPAR was launched by the Government of Canada (GoC) in 2005 and represented Canada’s first horizontal federal approach to combating racism. Its goal was to help ensure that all Canadians were included and had a role in society and the economy regardless of background, race or ethnicity; that all barriers to full and active participation and opportunity were eliminated; and that the justice system was equipped to respond to overt manifestations of racism in society Footnote 2. The three objectives of CAPAR were:

  • a reduction in discriminatory behaviours and practices, especially in the areas of police services, the justice system and the workplace;
  • a greater capacity on the part of federal partners and stakeholders (other government departments (OGDs), police, justice system, employers, unions, schools and community groups) to work on solutions to racism and diversity issues in their milieu; and
  • increased opportunities for ethno-cultural, ethno-racial and Aboriginal communities to participate in Canada’s social and economic life.

Over the years, Canada has developed a strong legislative and policy framework to support and preserve shared core values, rights and responsibilities. CAPAR was founded on this framework, as well as on a series of domestic and international events that identified issues and priorities on anti-racism. Table 1-1 provides milestones in Canada’s legal/policy framework leading up to the creation of CAPAR.

Table 1-1 : Timeline of anti-discrimination legislation, policies, and events in Canada
Year Event
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1960 Canadian Bill of Rights
1970 Canada ratifies the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) (1965)
1971 Canada's Multiculturalism Policy
1977 Canadian Human Rights Act
1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
1986 Employment Equity Act
1988 Canadian Multiculturalism Act
2000 Canadian Secretariat formed within the Department of Canadian Heritage as the federal government’s designated agent for the World Conference against Racism (WCAR)
2000 Youth Consultation - Satellite meeting for WCAR in Germany involving 29 delegates from Canada (Youth Working Group of the Canadian WCAR Advisory Committee)
2000 Six Canadian regional consultations (Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal) held with representatives from civil society and chaired by the Hedy Fry, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women)
2001 National consultations held in Ottawa to identify national priorities for the WCAR
2001 Aboriginal and northern consultations held in Winnipeg and Iqaluit
2001 United Nation's 3rd WCAR, Durban, South Africa
2002 United Nations General Assembly officially adopts the WCAR Declaration and Program of Action
2002 Canada appears before the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to report on implementation of ICERD
2003 Results of the Ethnic Diversity Survey released
2004 United Nations Special Rapporteur report released
2004 The GoC pledged to "take measures to strengthen Canada's ability to combat racism, hate speech and hate crimes” in the Speech from the Throne
2005 CAPAR is launched

1.2.2 Delivery approach

At the time of inception, CAPAR was led by the Multiculturalism Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH). A Secretariat was established within the Action Plan Unit, which was responsible for the horizontal management of the Initiative, including: the development of corporate documents (e.g., Treasury Board (TB) submission, results-based management and accountability framework (RMAF)), annual reporting, annual consultations with stakeholders, and coordination between the nine funded departments. In October 2008, the Multiculturalism Branch of PCH was moved to CIC. At that time, responsibility for CAPAR became situated within CIC’s Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch.

An interdepartmental working group (IWG) was established as a consultative body for the horizontal initiative and assisted in the development of the 2005 TB Submission and the RMAF. The working group included lead program officers, and, in some cases, evaluation representatives, from each funded department.

Funded departments were required to provide annual reports to the lead department (i.e., PCH or CIC) on key activities and results for their initiatives and were required to conduct their own program evaluations. Non-funded departments reported on initiative activities through the annual reporting mechanism in place for the Multiculturalism Program. PCH/CIC reported on CAPAR results and accomplishments through the Annual Report to Parliament on the Implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, and Canada’s periodic reporting to the United Nations (UN) on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

1.2.3. CAPAR initiatives and budget

CAPAR included initiatives and strategies that were part of existing budgets and programs. There were more than 20 departments and agencies involved in CAPAR (see Appendix A: for a listing of all funded and non-funded programs).

In addition, five-year funding in the amount of $53.6 million (2005-06 to 2009-10), and $11.3 million ongoing, was allocated to support nine new and existing initiatives, as well as a Secretariat, for CAPAR. A brief description of each of the funded initiatives, including planned budget and operational status, is provided in Table 1-2 Footnote 3. The Secretariat was allocated $968.6K (over five years) and $227.8K ongoing.

The Multiculturalism Program at PCH had consulted with federal departments to identify where there were significant gaps in federal programming. A national forum on policing had similarly identified the need for policing authorities to incorporate diversity in their policies and programs and the need to establish rigorous data collection on hate crime. Finally, a gap analysis was completed which identified gaps in federal programming. On the basis of these consultations, forum, and gap analysis, new and existing initiatives were provided with CAPAR funding.

Funded initiatives were led by four departments: PCH, CIC, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), and the Department of Justice (DoJ). The nine new or expanded initiatives related to racism as it affected: youth in school; employers; the workplace; the justice system; policing services; victims and perpetrators of hate crimes; and the development of government policies, programs and services for Canadians.

Table 1-2: Description of initiatives funded under CAPAR
Initiative Department 5-year planned budget Purpose / description Status
Inclusive Institutions Initiative (III) PCH (Multiculturalism Program) $12,124,700 over 5 years; $2,847,200 ongoing III aimed to support and encourage federal institutions to take the priorities and needs of ethno-cultural and ethno-racial communities into consideration when developing new and implementing existing policies, programs and services. Cancelled in 2006
Anti-Racism Test Case Initiative (ARTCI) PCH (Human Rights Program) $268,784 for year 1 (excluding funds for implementation) ARTCI
was envisioned to provide funding to challenge provincial/territorial legislation, practice or policies that allegedly violated the racial equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where such cases were expected to be of potential national significance.
Not implemented
Nationally Standardized Data Collection Strategy on Hate-Motivated Crime (Data Collection Strategy) PCH (Multiculturalism Program), CIC (Multiculturalism Program) $2,289,200 over 5 years; $332,200 ongoing The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) delivers the Data Collection Strategy. Through the Strategy, police report hate-motivated crime to CCJS. The goal of the strategy is to provide both the public and policy makers with key indicators on racial discrimination. Ongoing
Law Enforcement Aboriginal and Diversity Network (LEAD) PCH (Multiculturalism Program) $575,800 over 4 years LEAD was founded in 2003 as a non-profit network of law enforcement agencies and individuals from all jurisdictions in Canada to raise the professional standard in serving Aboriginal and ethno-cultural and ethno-racial communities. Under CAPAR, PCH signed an agreement with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to support a number of LEAD-based activities on a 50-50 cost shared basis. Funding included support for a coordinator, and activities such as administrative functions/supplies and meetings, communication plans and tools, research, consultations, and website development. Cancelled in 2008
Welcoming Communities Initiative (WCI) CIC (Immigration Settlement and Adaptation Program) $17.6 million over 5 years; $4.4 million ongoing WCI aimed at creating a true sense of belonging and shared citizenship for immigrants. The Initiative focuses on working with non-governmental organizations and provincial partners to foster a welcoming environment in communities for newcomers. Ongoing
Racism-Free Workplace Strategy (RFWS) HRSDC (Labour Program) $13 million over 5 years; $3 million ongoing The goal of RFWS was to facilitate the integration of skilled individuals in Canadian workplaces by developing tools, guidelines and education materials for employers, practitioners, managers, employees, and the general public. Activities are intended to reduce discriminatory barriers faced by visible minorities and Aboriginals in Canadian workplaces. Ongoing
Race-Based Issues in the Justice System (RBIJS) DoJ (Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund) $6.7 million over 5 years (distributed amongst the three Justice Initiatives); $500,000 ongoing RBIJS aimed to improve fair treatment of Aboriginals and visible minorities in the justice system. Ongoing
Interventions for Victims and Perpetrators of Hate Crimes (IVPHC) DoJ (Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund) This initiative aimed to identify and respond to the special needs and requirements of victims of hate crimes. Ongoing
Countering Internet-Based Hate Crimes (CIBHC) DoJ (Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund) CIBHC was intended to detect and address the issue of hate speech on the internet. The initiative also aimed to provide public legal education and information on the definition of hate propaganda to enhance the capacity of the public and Internet Service Providers to recognize hate speech. Not implemented
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