Ridout Barron


Canadian spy network accused of discrimination

A landmark discrimination case is unfolding on the federal level of the Canadian court system, according to recent reports. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, better known to Alberta residents as CSIS, is the subject of a $35 million lawsuit that alleges a culture of discrimination and harassment against visible minorities. The case is still under review at this time, but the suit is getting considerable media attention. 

Five individuals who work for CSIS are at the heart of the lawsuit. Of the five, three are Muslim, one is black and one identifies as gay. None of these individuals, nor any of the individuals named as defendants in the suit, can be named publicly without risking exposing their identities to the larger intelligence community. However, the details of the alleged actions taken by employees and management at CSIS are under no such blackouts. 

All five complainants have alleged that, over the course of several years, they have each been the victim of unfair promotion practices, harassment in the workplace, homophobia, anti-Muslim hate and racism. They say they have been routinely passed over for possible advancement and have been the victim of slurs. Thanks to the "veil of secrecy" the spy agency operates under, they have had no luck addressing the issues with upper management. 

Obviously this behaviour, if proved to be true, is reprehensible. But Alberta residents know all too well that discrimination and harassment in Canadian workplaces is still widespread. This is why individuals who feel they are being victimized in the workplace have legal options available to them; by seeking the support of an experienced employment attorney, they have the option to take the issue to a court of law. 

Source: CTV News, "Spy agency employees reveal shocking allegations of toxic workplace culture", Meredith MacLeod and Josh Dehaas, July 13, 2017

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