Promoting Diversity in the Government of the Northwest Territories

31 mai 2012
Déclarations et discours de ministres

May 31, 2012 - Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to establishing a public service that is inclusive and representative of the population it serves.  Today I am pleased to provide my colleagues with an update on initiatives currently underway to achieve this important goal.

Established in March, 2010, the GNWT Advisory Committee on Employability provides advice on how government can promote, support, and increase the participation of persons with disabilities. Working closely with this committee, the Department of Human Resources has developed a draft framework to guide efforts to promote the territorial public service as a place that welcomes people with disabilities and ensures that our workplace remains inclusive and accessible.

To support this work, the Department of Human Resources recently surveyed government employees on issues and attitudes related to employees with disabilities.  The survey results are currently being tabulated, and we expect to receive them by the end of June.  The results of the survey will provide us with more accurate base-line statistics and correct a long-standing gap in our data.

Ten disability awareness training sessions for employees were held throughout the Northwest Territories this spring, including five in regional centres. Ninety participants took part in these sessions and the feedback has been very positive. The Department may offer more sessions in the future if employees continue to indicate a need for this training.

The Department of Human Resources is also rolling out a poster campaign to be displayed in government workplaces across the territory to promote disability awareness and inclusion.  The posters highlight information on various types of disability, challenging people with the slogans “See the Abilities,” and “Look Beyond Disability.”  These posters also provide information about the GNWT Advisory Committee on Employability and highlight the message that the GNWT is an inclusive workplace open to all people, providing choices and opportunities to people from all communities.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to facilitating an equitable and inclusive hiring process. Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to identify any accommodations they need to eliminate barriers in a job competition. A Diversity Officer is available to provide support and advice to prospective employees throughout this process.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to close by referencing the powerful statement delivered by Mr. Cornelius Van Dyke during the last Elder’s Parliament.  Mr. Van Dyke spoke about a barrier-free and inclusive society, the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and the measures that government can take to eliminate systemic barriers.  In the words of Mr. Van Dyke, “when one of us is diminished, it diminishes all of us.”

The Government of the Northwest Territories shares Mr. Van Dyke’s vision. We remain committed to eliminating systemic barriers to employment and ensuring that our territorial public service is an inclusive employer open to all and representative of the population we serve.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.