By BURT DOWSETT
Free Press Education Reporter
A section on employment practices in the London board of education's new equity policy is based on legislation that is racist, sexist and reverse discrimination, a trustee on the board's program standing committee charged Tuesday night.
"Basically this section stems from Bill 79, which in my interpretation is in itself discriminatory, racist, sexist, unfair, unequitable," trustee Robert Vaughan told the committee.
Vaughan said Bill 79 governs the principles of employment equity that apply throughout Ontario. Quoting from the legislation, he said it stipulates that every employer's work force should "reflect the representation of aboriginal people, people with disabilities, members of racial minorities and women in the community" at all levels of employment.
QUOTAS: "There's only one interpretation of that particular section and that is quotas, that is reverse discrimination, that is racism, sexism and unfair hiring practices," Vaughan charged, "and there is no way I will ever support anything like that or anything that will ever come from that."
The section of the board's anti-racism and ethnocultural equity policy dealing with hiring was separated from the rest of the motion. Vaughan voted against it, but voted in favor of the remainder of the policy. Both motions passed, and the policy will now go before the entire board for approval.
"Having seen the thin edge of the wedge here of quotas, of unfair hiring practices, of discrimination, there is no way I'll support it, and I would hope that when this goes to the board or committee of the whole that this section is also segregated out so that I would not be able to throw the baby, so to speak, out with the bath water, because this section to me is repulsive."
Trustee Marilyn Joselyn, in moving that the policy be approved, argued that it was simply a further move in the direction the board has gone for many years.
IGNORED: Joselyn said if the first directive on employment equity issued by "the government of the day" had been met, "I don't think we'd have the legislation that we've got. The recommendation was ignored by many, including the government of the day."
In other business, the committee approved a three-part motion calling for the pilot project on report cards to continue, with some revisions, in participating schools in 1995-96.
Those schools not currently involved will also be given the chance to participate.
last updated on April 28, 2002