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Widespread systemic racism in Canadian military ‘repulsing’ new recruits: report

daftandbarmy

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Based on the results of this (2014) survey we have no hope of achieving any of the targets set for the CAF..... same goes for alot of jobs in the Natural Resources sector (Forestry, Mining, Agriculture etc) I would say:

PTSD and danger among deterrents to visible minorities joining military​

Report for National Defence looks at why Canadian Forces can't meet diversity hiring targets​


Among the key findings:

  • Many youth wanted to pursue careers in health care, entrepreneurship or business.
  • Drawbacks include danger, following orders you disagree with and being away from home.
  • The impression that the military is for people with no other options and is not prestigious is greater than in the general public.
  • A civilian university education is seen as a more direct pathway to success.
  • Familiarity with CAF is low compared to the general public and participants in the target groups are less likely to know a current or former Forces member.
  • A strong sense by parents and communities that it's an unsafe occupation.

 

rmc_wannabe

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  • Many youth wanted to pursue careers in health care, entrepreneurship or business.
  • Drawbacks include danger, following orders you disagree with and being away from home.
  • The impression that the military is for people with no other options and is not prestigious is greater than in the general public.
  • A civilian university education is seen as a more direct pathway to success.
  • Familiarity with CAF is low compared to the general public and participants in the target groups are less likely to know a current or former Forces member.
  • A strong sense by parents and communities that it's an unsafe occupation.

Seems as though a lot of these Cultural differences are not due to the CAF being unwelcoming to diverse candidates, but more being undesirable to the target demographics.

I'm a First Gen Canadian that grew up in Toronto. I was part of the Cadet program in high-school and we had a large diversity of cadets from every culture in our ranks. Parents were supportive because it was an free extracurricular that helped pad the university application. The second the conversation changed to joining the CAF, "oh dear no. We want so much more for our child than...that"

In my case, I told my father (who was against me joining the CAF from Day One) that he could either sign my application and give me a shot at a Summer BMQ, or I would just wait for my 18th birthday and do it behind his back, He relented and signed the form; and has since ate crow by saying it was the best life decision I have ever made.

Until we do a better job at selling the product and making it more socially acceptable to serve, we will face this hostility at every turn. Its not an internal cultural issue we need to solve as much as we need to present an option that will sway these cultural biases within New Canadian/First Gen Canadian populations.
 

daftandbarmy

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Seems as though a lot of these Cultural differences are not due to the CAF being unwelcoming to diverse candidates, but more being undesirable to the target demographics.

I'm a First Gen Canadian that grew up in Toronto. I was part of the Cadet program in high-school and we had a large diversity of cadets from every culture in our ranks. Parents were supportive because it was an free extracurricular that helped pad the university application. The second the conversation changed to joining the CAF, "oh dear no. We want so much more for our child than...that"

In my case, I told my father (who was against me joining the CAF from Day One) that he could either sign my application and give me a shot at a Summer BMQ, or I would just wait for my 18th birthday and do it behind his back, He relented and signed the form; and has since ate crow by saying it was the best life decision I have ever made.

Until we do a better job at selling the product and making it more socially acceptable to serve, we will face this hostility at every turn. Its not an internal cultural issue we need to solve as much as we need to present an option that will sway these cultural biases within New Canadian/First Gen Canadian populations.

Similar 'image' issues impact forest sector recruitment and diversity:


2.3 The Image Factor

Presently, rapid changes in demographics and technology for the business sector have made recruiting a critical element in attracting and retaining the qualified workers that are necessary to secure a knowledgeable and competent workforce (4). Unfortunately, the image of the forest industry has had a negative impact on the success of recruiting qualified workers. During the last few years, the forest industry has been experiencing one of its worst economic periods, which continues to persist. This has generated negative press, thus creating a less than favorable image of the industry. There are many misconceptions about forestry, the most common ones are the following (5):
• Forestry related job prospects are poor
• Forestry is only about logging
• Forestry is “low tech”
• The brightest students do not take forestry
• All forestry jobs are rural jobs
• Forestry is a sunset industry
• The forest industry is a poor environmental performer

These factors likely discourage young people from considering the forest sector for career opportunities.

 

KevinB

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Seems as though a lot of these Cultural differences are not due to the CAF being unwelcoming to diverse candidates, but more being undesirable to the target demographics.

I'm a First Gen Canadian that grew up in Toronto. I was part of the Cadet program in high-school and we had a large diversity of cadets from every culture in our ranks. Parents were supportive because it was an free extracurricular that helped pad the university application. The second the conversation changed to joining the CAF, "oh dear no. We want so much more for our child than...that"

In my case, I told my father (who was against me joining the CAF from Day One) that he could either sign my application and give me a shot at a Summer BMQ, or I would just wait for my 18th birthday and do it behind his back, He relented and signed the form; and has since ate crow by saying it was the best life decision I have ever made.

Until we do a better job at selling the product and making it more socially acceptable to serve, we will face this hostility at every turn. Its not an internal cultural issue we need to solve as much as we need to present an option that will sway these cultural biases within New Canadian/First Gen Canadian populations.
It isn't even a First or New Generation issue.
My parents didn't want me to join the Reg force - doubly so as an enlisted swine (my father had been a RCAF Res Officer through University and Law School), my Grandfather (dad's side) had been an Infantry Officer, and later a Prosecutor during the Japanese War Crime Trials after WWII.
 

Remius

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It isn't even a First or New Generation issue.
My parents didn't want me to join the Reg force - doubly so as an enlisted swine (my father had been a RCAF Res Officer through University and Law School), my Grandfather (dad's side) had been an Infantry Officer, and later a Prosecutor during the Japanese War Crime Trials after WWII.
Strangely my parents were very supportive. My father’s few regrets was that he never served in uniform. His father and grandfather had during both world wars so the prospect of one his sons serving in some capacity was more than fine.
 

FSTO

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Until we do a better job at selling the product and making it more socially acceptable to serve, we will face this hostility at every turn. Its not an internal cultural issue we need to solve as much as we need to present an option that will sway these cultural biases within New Canadian/First Gen Canadian populations.

I can just hear the folks who critique the CAF say "So you're saying its the immigrants fault that they are not joining the CAF in great numbers? How racist of you!"
 

FSTO

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Strangely my parents were very supportive. My father’s few regrets was that he never served in uniform. His father and grandfather had during both world wars so the prospect of one his sons serving in some capacity was more than fine.
My dad passed away when I was young and mom didn't even know that I was thinking of joining until I told here I was heading to Winnipeg for my entrance physical. It also helped that I was a somewhat grown-ass man (26) at the time! :)
 

rmc_wannabe

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I can just hear the folks who critique the CAF say "So you're saying its the immigrants fault that they are not joining the CAF in great numbers? How racist of you!"
Having spent a lot of my formative years amongst these immigrant cultures; they're probably more racist than your average, "Old Stock" Canadian. They just don't have the systemic ability to let it affect Canadian societies and institutions.
I had to break up a fight once in the canteen at my cadet unit between a Trini cadet and a Guyanese cadet because of prejudices brought over from the Old Country. SE/SW Asian communities are even worse for this.
 

TacticalTea

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Interestingly, in the anti-Asian Racism section they talk about Islamophobia, and in the Chaplaincy section they essentially demand the CAF not have Islamic, Catholic, or several Protestant denominations' Chaplains....

I wonder how the government will reconcile those two recommendations when they move forward.
That's exactly what I had in mind and waited for someone else to reply with that to make sure I wasn't drinking crazy juice! Thank you!

It's so insanely contorted and contradictory I can't believe it was actually published.
 

Kilted

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Interestingly, in the anti-Asian Racism section they talk about Islamophobia, and in the Chaplaincy section they essentially demand the CAF not have Islamic, Catholic, or several Protestant denominations' Chaplains....

I wonder how the government will reconcile those two recommendations when they move forward.
How long before they start demanding that that members of those religions not be allowed to serve in the military, or any government job. The second the government starts making a list of religions that they consider appropriate and the ones that they don't, freedom of religion goes out the window. Chaplains, like any other member of the CAF are asked in their interview process if they have any issues working with other religions, races, etc. They are capable of providing needed help to anyone of any background regardless of religious beliefs, perhaps with the exception of not being forced to conduct same-sex marriages, but that is standard for Canada.
 
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I found it very interesting during the press conference that they stated that there is 7 advisory bodies on these various issues. How many PYs are dedicated to these bodies? And the subsequent or associated positions? They of course need staff to draft their corespondance and research issues, etc. Then there are the positions dedicated to producing the appropriate educational material, on line training packages, etc for dissemination to the masses for annual mandated training. Then of course some staff needs to produce, disseminate, collect and collate the metrics associated with these issues. I can see the stand up of a new Command coming for all of these issues.
 

Grimey

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Until we do a better job at selling the product and making it more socially acceptable to serve, we will face this hostility at every turn. Its not an internal cultural issue we need to solve as much as we need to present an option that will sway these cultural biases within New Canadian/First Gen Canadian populations.
I'm not sure what else we could do to "sell" the CAF to target demographics that already hasn't been tried. In 2011-2012 I was responsible for 125 baby Marine Engineering Mechanics over the course of a year in Esquimalt. This was at a time when the CAF was front and center in the public eye due to the various sand box ops on land and at sea, and arguably at a time that had the greatest public good will/prestige over the last 50 years. Out of the 125, we had ten who could be considered the "target", including women. The balance were the usual applicant: Prairie boys, newfies sick of fishing or the gas patch and suburban Ontario kids.

If you can't get "target demographic" applicants when the organization is actively engaged in it's core business and when public support/recognition is at it's post-WW2 peak (granted, likely mile wide/inch deep), the difficulties of achieving the same in today's climate of bureaucratic sclerosis and GOFO sexcapades......... Well, I don't envy the recruiters.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I'm not sure what else we could do to "sell" the CAF to target demographics that already hasn't been tried. In 2011-2012 I was responsible for 125 baby Marine Engineering Mechanics over the course of a year in Esquimalt. This was at a time when the CAF was front and center in the public eye due to the various sand box ops on land and at sea, and arguably at a time that had the greatest public good will/prestige over the last 50 years. Out of the 125, we had ten who could be considered the "target", including women. The balance were the usual applicant: Prairie boys, newfies sick of fishing or the gas patch and suburban Ontario kids.

If you can't get "target demographic" applicants when the organization is actively engaged in it's core business and when public support/recognition is at it's post-WW2 peak (granted, likely mile wide/inch deep), the difficulties of achieving the same in today's climate of bureaucratic sclerosis and GOFO sexcapades......... Well, I don't envy the recruiters.
We had a lot of issues even during Afghan. BGen Menard comes to mind, The Afghan Detainee issues, and ofcourse all the other small fires that collectively burned us as an organization.

Good press from operations isn't necessarily the cure to all our ills. Cleaning up our act and having that become the good press we need is optimal.
 

daftandbarmy

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I'm not sure what else we could do to "sell" the CAF to target demographics that already hasn't been tried. In 2011-2012 I was responsible for 125 baby Marine Engineering Mechanics over the course of a year in Esquimalt. This was at a time when the CAF was front and center in the public eye due to the various sand box ops on land and at sea, and arguably at a time that had the greatest public good will/prestige over the last 50 years. Out of the 125, we had ten who could be considered the "target", including women. The balance were the usual applicant: Prairie boys, newfies sick of fishing or the gas patch and suburban Ontario kids.

If you can't get "target demographic" applicants when the organization is actively engaged in it's core business and when public support/recognition is at it's post-WW2 peak (granted, likely mile wide/inch deep), the difficulties of achieving the same in today's climate of bureaucratic sclerosis and GOFO sexcapades......... Well, I don't envy the recruiters.

I was having a discussion yesterday about this topic with a fairly senior (white guy) person.

My comments about our lack of integration with the civilian world, resulting in them ignoring us, called for an example.

My response was along the lines of "I served as an Officer in the Reserves for over 30 years and can count on one hand the number of times we invited civilian 'decision makers' in for any kind of interaction, social or otherwise. Most annual dinners usually had a 'guest of honour' who was either a military buddy of the CO, or a senior CAF General he was trying to suck up to (and whose ticket our Mess paid for) so he could get promoted faster. We never invited Mayors, MPs, MLAs, senior business people, or anyone who was not military in some way, to the dinners. We never engaged with the public apart from marching past them on Remembrance Day, even when our main focus was supposed to be 'Connecting with Canadians'. Very few of our Officers had real civilian careers, being mostly people who relied on the CAF for their income in some manner, or retired Reg F types."

Writ large, we seem to be an alien intrusion upon the daily life of most Canadians, so we shouldn't be too surprised when we get trounced in public from time to time or just ignored.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I was having a discussion yesterday about this topic with a fairly senior (white guy) person.

My comments about our lack of integration with the civilian world, resulting in them ignoring us, called for an example.

My response was along the lines of "I served as an Officer in the Reserves for over 30 years and can count on one hand the number of times we invited civilian 'decision makers' in for any kind of interaction, social or otherwise. Most annual dinners usually had a 'guest of honour' who was either a military buddy of the CO, or a senior CAF General he was trying to suck up to (and whose ticket our Mess paid for) so he could get promoted faster. We never invited Mayors, MPs, MLAs, senior business people, or anyone who was not military in some way, to the dinners. We never engaged with the public apart from marching past them on Remembrance Day, even when our main focus was supposed to be 'Connecting with Canadians'. Very few of our Officers had real civilian careers, being mostly people who relied on the CAF for their income in some manner, or retired Reg F types."

Writ large, we seem to be an alien intrusion upon the daily life of most Canadians, so we shouldn't be too surprised when we get trounced in public from time to time or just ignored.
This. I cannot count how many mess dinners, Change of HCols, and "Community Events" that are almost incestuous in nature, due to it being a bunch of people already with ties to the CAF participating.

I made a suggestion once that appointing the Dean of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen's University as our HCol would be such a boon to my unit, as we would be able to leverage that relationship for mutual benefit.

Instead, we appoint a former CO who just retired as a BGen / DG Pointless Endeavors who still wants to play army.

We do it to ourselves.
 

Brad Sallows

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There are people deeply committed to finding fault and exposing it. The organization will never be zero-fault; if some measure were reduced to zero, agitators would move the goalposts. Thus, bad press is unavoidable. Overwrought bad press in the service of agendas is unavoidable.
 

Brad Sallows

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We never invited Mayors, MPs, MLAs, senior business people, or anyone who was not military in some way, to the dinners.

Probably a good idea until sometime takes a very stiff broom through the Res F and ejects all the people whose character flaws shouldn't be exposed to people outside the military. We should want the impression to be a good one.
 

Good2Golf

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I was having a discussion yesterday about this topic with a fairly senior (white guy) person.

My comments about our lack of integration with the civilian world, resulting in them ignoring us, called for an example.

My response was along the lines of "I served as an Officer in the Reserves for over 30 years and can count on one hand the number of times we invited civilian 'decision makers' in for any kind of interaction, social or otherwise. Most annual dinners usually had a 'guest of honour' who was either a military buddy of the CO, or a senior CAF General he was trying to suck up to (and whose ticket our Mess paid for) so he could get promoted faster. We never invited Mayors, MPs, MLAs, senior business people, or anyone who was not military in some way, to the dinners. We never engaged with the public apart from marching past them on Remembrance Day, even when our main focus was supposed to be 'Connecting with Canadians'. Very few of our Officers had real civilian careers, being mostly people who relied on the CAF for their income in some manner, or retired Reg F types."

Writ large, we seem to be an alien intrusion upon the daily life of most Canadians, so we shouldn't be too surprised when we get trounced in public from time to time or just ignored.
Maybe CFLA’s ‘EXECUTREC’ program didn’t focus out West. On numerous times, I flew groups of business executive from Toronto to various bases for capability/firepower demonstrations that included meet and greet periods that in some cases, had some of the executives’ companies’ own employees serving as Reservists, speak to them about the various capabilities.

If that’s not happening now, I’d cynically think it’s because the Government doesn’t want it to happen.
 

daftandbarmy

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Maybe CFLA’s ‘EXECUTREC’ program didn’t focus out West. On numerous times, I flew groups of business executive from Toronto to various bases for capability/firepower demonstrations that included meet and greet periods that in some cases, had some of the executives’ companies’ own employees serving as Reservists, speak to them about the various capabilities.

If that’s not happening now, I’d cynically think it’s because the Government doesn’t want it to happen.

The Navy was doing some of that stuff, before COVID of course, but it was never very strategic.

More like the odd, sporadic, 'does anyone want to go?' kind of thing as opposed to being a component part of a corporate marketing strategy of some kind.

In contrast if you look at an organization like Vancity - a bank - they have always done a fantastic job at community outreach and integration to the point where their staff accurately reflect the clients they service: Careers
 

Colin Parkinson

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I'm not sure what else we could do to "sell" the CAF to target demographics that already hasn't been tried. In 2011-2012 I was responsible for 125 baby Marine Engineering Mechanics over the course of a year in Esquimalt. This was at a time when the CAF was front and center in the public eye due to the various sand box ops on land and at sea, and arguably at a time that had the greatest public good will/prestige over the last 50 years. Out of the 125, we had ten who could be considered the "target", including women. The balance were the usual applicant: Prairie boys, newfies sick of fishing or the gas patch and suburban Ontario kids.

If you can't get "target demographic" applicants when the organization is actively engaged in it's core business and when public support/recognition is at it's post-WW2 peak (granted, likely mile wide/inch deep), the difficulties of achieving the same in today's climate of bureaucratic sclerosis and GOFO sexcapades......... Well, I don't envy the recruiters.
Jordan Peterson touched on the issue
 
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