OCTOBER 2008           Vol. 02     No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

EDITOR’S NOTE                                         On September 10, 2008, members of the
                                                      National Executive met with Ms. Margaret
This edition of the National News brings you the      Bloodworth, the National Security Advisor to the
first in a series of Profiles of members of the       Prime Minister and Associate Secretary in the
NCVM, in their own words.                             Privy Council. Ms. Bloodworth stood in for Dr.
Mr. James Tam, a founding member of the               Kevin Lynch, the Clerk of the Privy Council and
NCVM, is profiled in this edition. He talks about     Secretary to the Cabinet, who had initiated the
himself, his involvement in and perspectives on       meeting but had to be out of town on an official
the NCVM.                                             assignment. Ms. Bloodworth had attended
                                                      previous national general meetings of NCVM,
                                                      and there was very aware of the activities of the
WHAT’S NEWS                                           organization. She was pleased that, "finally,"
                                                      NCVM was able to have a terms of reference, a
Meeting with Deputy Ministers and Central             feat which she considered a “worthwhile
Agencies                                              achievement.” She welcomed the "new
As part of NCVM‟s responsibilities to ensure that     approach" of NCVM to co develop and
departments and agencies are complying with           collaborate with all stakeholders, including the
the Employment Equity Act, the President and          hiring and middle managers, on issues affecting
1st Vice President held a series of meetings with     visible minority employees. She said she would
Deputy Ministers and their senior managers to         send a staff from her office to attend the
discuss the status of visible minorities in their     Dialogue with Hiring/Middle Managers on
respective departments and agencies. These            September 12. She advised us to keep the
meeting have been very productive, and they           PCO-NCVM relationship. She said PCO was
have helped to construct a nice working               supportive of NCVM and looked forward to our
relationship between NCVM and the respective          advice on visible minority issues
institutions. So far meetings have been held with     She confirmed that Government would move
the Deputy Ministers and senior managers of           ahead with the renewal strategy and stated that
Natural Resources Canada, the Department of           the recruitment under this strategy to fill the gap
Fisheries and Oceans, Public Works and                of visible minority representation will be
Government Services Canada, the Department            achieved.
of Canadian Heritage, and the Atlantic Canada
Opportunity Agency. NCVM will be collaborating        NCVM National and Regional Officers in
with these federal institutions in their visible      Ottawa, September 11 – 12, 2008:
minority outreach programme and in other areas
relating to visible minorities. Future meetings are   (i) Training Session
to be scheduled with HRSDC, Industry Canada,          A training session to equip national and regional
and Justice Canada, as soon as a review of their      officers of NCVM on how to calculate WFA and
respective employment equity action plans is          LMA was held in Ottawa on September 11,
complete.                                             2008. The session, facilitated by Mr. Henry Pau,
                                                      also provided participants with copies of a
                                                   OCTOBER 2008       Vol. 02    No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

Manual on various subjects relating to
employment equity.

Dr. Anil Arora, Deputy Chief Statistician,
Statistics Canada, presented a paper on the
2006 Census and Visible Minorities.
Mr. Sylvain Souligny, Manager, Human
Resources Services Health Canada, presented
a paper on “Making PSEA and Staffing
Processes Work for Visible Minority
Recruitment,” referring to the successes at
Health Canada.

(ii) Dialogue with Hiring / Middle Managers
In collaboration with the National Managers‟
Community (NMC), NCVM hosted a dialogue
with hiring/middle managers in Ottawa on
September 12, 2008. The theme of the dialogue
was “Public Service Renewal and Visible
Minorities.” This was the first time that NCVM
would engage with hiring/middle managers in
discussing visible minority issues. More than 50
hiring/middle managers representing various
departments/agencies from across Canada
participated in the dialogue. A summary of the
discussions/comments and suggested Action
Plan has been prepared. A report on the
dialogue will be sent to the Clerk of the Privy

(iii) Visible Minority Executive Network
National and regional officers of NCVM met with
members of the Visible Minority Executive
Network on September 12. Members of the
Visible Minority Executive Network from various
departments/agencies from across Canada
attended the meeting. Mr. Morris Rosenberg, the
DM Champion, was the keynote speaker.
Participants discussed the need for a strong
NCVM, and the role of visible minority
executives in mentoring members of the NCVM.
                                                      OCTOBER 2008          Vol. 02    No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

                                                      Community, we hosted a meeting with
                                                      hiring/middle managers to discuss employment
                                                      equity and visible minorities. The meeting, held
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                   in Ottawa on September 12, 2008, discussed
                                                      the impact of the 2008-2009 Public Service
It is now a year since the 6 th National General      Renewal Action Plan on visible minorities.
Meeting (NGM) of the NCVM on September 12,
2007, when you elected a new National                 Since May 2008, a series of meetings has been
Executive with me as President to lead the            held with Deputy Ministers and their senior
organization for the 2007-2009 period. In my          managers to review the status of visible
acceptance speech I promised, inter alia, to          minorities in their respective departments and
consult with you regularly on policy matters as       agencies. To date we have met with the officials
well as to inform you of the activities of the        of Natural Resources Canada, Department of
NCVM. In reviewing the activities of the NCVM         Fisheries and Oceans, PWGSC, Canadian
since September 12, 2007, it is gratifying to note    Heritage, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunity
the progress your National Executive has made         Agency. These meetings have helped to
in such a short period of time, especially in         establish closer working relationships with these
enhancing the image and capacity of the NCVM,         federal institutions, including the involvement of
as well as in establishing strategic relations with   NCVM in assisting them in their outreach
key stakeholders – the Privy Council, Deputy          programmes and on cultural awareness training.
Ministers, hiring/middle managers, and the            Other meetings to be scheduled will be with
bargaining unions. A number of things need to         HRSDC, Industry Canada, and Justice Canada.
be mentioned in this regard.
                                                      As a key element in the organizational structure
We have kept you well informed of the activities      of      the     NCVM,       visible     minority
of the NCVM, including our meetings with senior       committees/networks in departments and
government officials and the bargaining unions.       agencies play a pivotal role in the articulation
                                                      and execution of NCVM‟s objectives. We have
We have established an Advisory Committee to          held a series of meetings with the chairpersons
enhance the leadership structure of the NCVM.         of these committees and networks, and provided
                                                      them with advice on how to engage their
We convened a Special National Meeting in             respective senior managers.
Ottawa on March 27, 2008, to review and adopt
a revised Terms of Reference for the NCVM,            One of the decisions we have taken is to ensure
thus ending a 9-year dilemma on this issue.           that members of the National Executive will not
We facilitated the establishment of a National        over-stay their tenure in office. Hence we have
Visible Minority Executive Network to engage in       announced, almost 12 months in advance, that
the activities of NCVM, and to mentor visible         the 7th National General Meeting & Symposium
minority employees.                                   will take place in Toronto on September 08 – 10,
For the first time in the history of the NCVM, in     2009. We have accordingly established a
collaboration with the National Managers‟             Planning Committee to organize this event.
                                                      OCTOBER 2008           Vol. 02     No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

The employment, retention and promotion of            NCVM BUSINESS
visible minorities remain the main objective of
the NCVM. Towards this end, we continue to
engage the PCO, Central Agencies and deputy           The NCVM is holding a 2-day retreat for national
heads of federal departments and agencies. The        and regional officers in Gananoque on
2008-2009 Public Service Renewal Action Plan          November 06 - 07, 2008. The theme of the
of the Clerk is a critical element in this venture.   retreat is Employment Equity in the Federal
This Action Plan directs all Deputy Heads to          Public Service: Challenges Facing the NCVM.
“make offers to at least 4,000 post-secondary         The retreat is a training session to equip NCVM
graduates for indeterminate positions…to              officers with the skills and knowledge required
accelerate closing the gap in representation of       for the execution of their roles and
visible minority Canadians in the public service,     responsibilities. Mr. Carl Taylor will facilitate the
overall recruitment in this area will exceed          retreat.
workforce availability…by the end of March            Two guest speakers are invited. On November
2009.” Our meetings with Deputy Ministers and         06, Mr. Dennis Waithe, Senior Director,
their senior managers           emphasize this        PWGSC, will speak on The Challenge of
imperative. But each member of the NCVM has           Leadership and the NCVM Board of Directors,
a crucial role to play in the realization of this     while Mr. James Lahey, Deputy Secretary to the
objective.      I invite the chairpersons of          Cabinet, Privy Council Office, will speak on
departmental/agency visible minority committees       Public Service Renewal on November 07.
to maintain constant liaison with their respective
Deputy Ministers to ensure that the goals of the      REGIONAL NEWS
2008-2009 Public Service Renewal Action Plan                Central:
are fulfilled, based on the results of the 2006       The Central Regional Council of the NCVM, in
Census which put the population of Canada‟s           collaboration with the Manitoba Federal Council,
visible minorities at 16.2% of the Canadian           the National Manager‟s Community, the
population.                                           Manitoba Youth Network, and the Human
                                                      Resources (HRC) Council is hosting a ‘Partners
As I have said in a previous edition of this          in Renewal Conference’ on November 20,
Newsletter, the involvement of all visible            2008 at the Delta Hotel, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
minorities in the activities of their respective
departmental/agency committees/networks is            This is a two-part event with a learning piece for
crucial in the realization of this undertaking. I     internal employees of the Federal Public Service
strongly urge you all to be engaged in this           and a „targeted recruitment‟ event for external
process.                                              candidates to access Federal Public Service job
Yours sincerely,                                      Contact: Evariste Salndjoukou
O. Igho Natufe
                                                             Quebec:
                                                     OCTOBER 2008         Vol. 02     No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

The Quebec Regional Council of the NCVM is           encouraged the audience to see things from a
hosting a training session on human resources        different perspective. Many participants
programmes on November 26, 2008, in                  commented that the stories made it real and
Montreal, Quebec.                                    provided them with knowledge that they can use
Contact: Rashter Sharma (rashter.sharma@cra-         to provide better support to staff from                                           employment equity designated groups.
                                                     At the end of the forum, participants were asked
                                                     to consider future directions and priorities for
DEPARTMENTAL NETWORK NEWS                            employment equity and diversity, which gave
                                                     participants a chance to reflect on what they
Veterans Affairs Canada                              learned and experienced during the forum. They
Montreal was the backdrop for Veterans Affairs       were also encouraged to take action on issues
Canada‟s first Employment Equity and Diversity       regarding employment equity and diversity
Forum. From June 10 to 12, over 90 employees         during the next 60 days.
came together from across Canada for the             (contact: Zarina Khan [mailto:Zarina.Khan@vac-
forum entitled “The Power of Diversity.”   ]

The forum‟s purpose was to engage managers
in a dialogue on employment equity and               Correctional Services Canada
diversity as it relates to improvement in our work
                                                     The Ethnocultural Services Section of
environment, human resources, duty to
                                                     Correctional Services Canada (CSC) held a
accommodate and accountability.
                                                     workshop on Recruitment strategies and Public
Gisele Toupin, Western Regional Director
                                                     Service Renewal on October 31, 2008 in
General, opened the forum with an arm-chair          Ottawa. Mr. Anatole Papadopoulos, Director in
discussion along with several ADMs and Rachel
                                                     the Public Service Renewal division of the Privy
Gravel. The objective was for senior managers
                                                     Council, was the keynote speaker. Igho Natufe
to respond to questions on topics related to
                                                     and Angelo Mangatal, the NCVM Director of
employment equity and diversity.
                                                     Special Projects attended the workshop. Igho
Guest speaker Professor Errol P. Mendes gave         gave an overview of the activities of the NCVM
a presentation entitled “A Framework for             and the challenges facing visible minorities in
Diversity.” He presented his template as a model     the Federal Public Service. (Contact: Marcel
for diversity in the workplace and challenged        Kabundi, (
attendees to implement it in their own offices.
Dr. Mendes noted that one of the main                .
challenges employees face is “to be comfortable
with the uncomfortable; to be uncomfortable with     PROFILE
the comfortable.”
                                                     James Tam.
People from four designated employment equity
groups shared their experiences and
                                                      OCTOBER 2008         Vol. 02     No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

A founding member of the NCVM, I am currently         conference/symposium of the NCVM in October
a Director, Information Management Branch,            1999. I prize this moment as a defining one in
CIO Sector with the RCMP. I left China when I         my contributions to the NCVM and Canada‟s
was five, with stops in Macau and Hong Kong           visible minorities.
where I witnessed the turbulence of the early
sixties; the misery and resilience of the             I consider the hiring and promotion of visible
displaced people touched me deeply and                minorities in the Federal Public Service as an
shaped my adult desire to help the under              integral part of building the fabrics of a strong
privileged; it also made me so much more              Canada; bringing the bests of multiculturalism
appreciative of Canada.                               into play in a country that embraces
                                                      inclusiveness, respect and openness. This will
At Montreal‟s McGill University, I studied,           eventually bring equity to and for all Canadians.
worked part-time, participated in many student
societies and activities; and managed to              We should all embrace, support and be behind
graduate and reach Grad School. I treasured           NCVM and its leadership in our bid to bring
my student life and wished I could have               improvements to all aspects employment equity
participated more.                                    for visible minorities, and above all, we should
                                                      actively participate and help lead NCVM. “Only
I was recruited by the System Development             with our collective voices, can we be strong and
Division of Statistics Canada and remembered I        resonated...”
was lost on my first day in the infamous bus
system with bus stops that served both                On the 2008-2009 Public Service Renewal
directions in Tunney‟s Pasture. I have fond           Action Plan of the Clerk, rather than being
memories of my IM/IT career at Statistics             sceptical on the sideline, I would urge NCVM
Canada, Public Service Commission, Agriculture        and all visible minority employees, to actively
Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, CCMD,            collaborate and co-ordinate with the Clerk‟s
PWGSC, TBS and LAC.                                   office to make sure his goal is reachable. I see
                                                      this as a great opportunity for further
With regards to the founding of NCVM, I was at        improvement, for visible minorities to make
the right time and the right place. I was the Chair   further inroads in the Federal Public Service.
of the Visible Minorities Consultative Group in
the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern         The biggest challenge facing NCVM would be to
Development, situated adjacent to Heritage            combat apathy and scepticism, to mobilize
Canada and their Diversity Conference, from           visible minorities to believe we can work
where I linked up with other visible minority         together, grow together and at the end of the
leaders in other departments, like Carl Taylor,       day, enjoy the fruits of our labour together. The
Henry Pau, Alex Hector, Dennis Waithe, Corita         NCVM leadership should develop and promote
Harty, etc. In collaboration with departmental        more programmes for the benefit of the
champions, I and these eminent leaders of the         membership.
visible minority community succeeded in               There is no perfect organization anywhere in the
obtaining      funding     for    the      founding   world. NCVM is not perfect and will never be
                                                      OCTOBER 2008    Vol. 02    No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

perfect but we have progressed a long way. We
need sustainable funding and selfless leadership
from each and every one of us. NCVM
leadership should follow its overall plan and
continue to work hard, and to answer each
negative action with success stories.

Individual visible minorities can contribute by
participating in the activities of visible minority
committees / networks in their respective
departments and agencies. By doing so, they
will be contributing to the development of
NCVM. I remember a motto: Fellowship and
Service - enjoying the friendship that we
encounter while servicing our community. We,
each and in our own way, in our hard work, our
success, our humility, our passion, and our pride
will help NCVM and our fellow citizens.
                                                      OCTOBER 2008        Vol. 02    No. 01

Striving for a representative and inclusive public service by promoting the recruitment and
career advancement of visible minority employees in the Federal Public Service

NCVM CALENDAR OF EVENTS                                         Western Region: On or before March 27,
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
The 8th Annual General Meeting and Conference of
the Visible Minority Advisory Council at NRCan will
take place on November 26 – 27, 2008, in Ottawa.
(Contact: Augustine Orumwense
                                                         Submit Comments and Contributions to:

Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada                       Ms. Fatou-Kine Niang
The Committee for Equal Access and Participation         NCVM, Chief Administrative Officer
(CEAP) 2008 Symposium                                    (613)-998-8677
This event is open to all Canadian Heritage and
Parks Canada managers and employees. It is of
particular interest to managers, supervisors and
visible minority employees. The Symposium will be
held in Ottawa on December 01-02, 2008 at the
Marriott Ottawa, 100 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario.
For more information, contact Josée Blakeney at
819-994-1263 or email

Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

DFO is planning a conference on Diversity, to which
managers will be invited. We will soon send letters
of invitations to Presidents of National Councils,
including the NCVM, for a panel discussion. The
conference will take place on February 24-25,
2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa
(Contact: Bambara, Naomi

Regional Annual General meetings/Elections:
    NCR: On or before January 30, 2009
    Central Region: On or before March 23,

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