Copyright Board of Canada
Letter on Implementation of the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion

Summer 2021 update

Madam Acting Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet:

On January 22, 2021, the Clerk invited his colleagues to inform you of the measures taken in their respective organizations in response to the Call to action on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion and to report on the Deputy Minister Commitments on Diversity and Inclusion. He rightly reminded us that building a diverse, equitable and inclusive public service is both an obligation and an opportunity for us all, and invited us to make the fight against systemic racism and discrimination, and to promote diversity, an active personal and collective endeavour.

The Copyright Board of Canada (“the Board”) is an independent regulatory body and administrative tribunal responsible for setting royalties for the use of copyrighted works when these rights are administered by a collective society. Through its decisions on proposed tariffs, the Board helps define the economic parameters of the use cycle of copyrighted works.

The Board responded to the Clerk’s call and turned the Deputy Ministers’ commitments to diversity and inclusion into action in 2020-2021. The Board is a micro-organization of approximately 23 employees. Due to the highly specialized legal nature of its mandate, the Board is regularly faced with recruitment challenges and, as a result, must address with particular determination the issue of diversity and representativeness of its workforce. Despite these challenges, the Board is proud to report that in fiscal year 2020-2021, 56% of the employees were women and 36% of them held managerial positions.

Based on these results, the Board is proud to meet its commitments in terms of gender parity, but at the same time recognizes that it still has a long way to go to increase the representation of underrepresented groups. It also understands that it must be able to attract candidates who are Indigenous or have a disability as hiring opportunities arise, particularly at the management level. Efforts will be increased in this regard, including through consultation with the Public Service Commission of Canada on how best to achieve results given the small size of our organization.

The Board understands that in order to build a culture of inclusion that values diversity and addresses racism and systemic barriers, it must provide a welcoming workplace where diversity and inclusion can be expressed and flourish, and that in doing so, it will be able to attract candidates from underrepresented groups. For this reason, in 2020-2021, the Board included in the performance agreements of all its employees a mandatory training plan that includes courses such as Values and Ethics Foundations, Preventing Harassment and Violence in the Canadian Workplace, and Creating a Respectful Workplace, offered by the Canada School of Public Service. In 2021-2022, mandatory training on unconscious bias and supporting diversity in the workplace will be added. The Board also signed an agreement with Health Canada to provide its employees with access to Ombuds services and support for informal management of internal conflict resolution. Finally, the Board established an Employee Workplace Wellness Committee in 2020-2021 with a mandate that explicitly covers awareness of diversity and inclusion issues. This committee reports periodically to the Board’s broader management committee and includes representatives from all sectors of the organization.

To increase the representation of Black and other racialized people, Aboriginal people and people with disabilities at all levels of the organization, the following measures have been put in place:

Finally, over the past two years, the Board has undertaken a comprehensive review of its internal policies, including staffing, employee training, and performance agreements. Attention has been paid to ensure that they are inclusive and free of racism or systemic barriers. With access to justice at the heart of its strategic priorities, the Board has also stepped up initiatives to make its activities more transparent for all Canadians, including the launch of a new website and a new Twitter feed. As an administrative tribunal, the Board is subject to rules of procedural fairness that help to ensure the fair treatment of all parties appearing before it.

Madam Acting Clerk, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the Board’s strategic vision. We are committed to being an employer of choice that reflects the Canadian society we serve. Rest assured that we will stand with you in this noble endeavour and make every effort to live up to your expectations.

Nathalie Théberge
Vice President and CEO

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