Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 04, 2007 13:45 ET

Canada's New Government Invests Over $1.5 Million to Promote Diversity in the Workplace

LEVIS, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 4, 2007) - Mr. Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Levis-Bellechasse, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced that the federal government will invest $1,575,000 in a project, Operation Decouverte, designed to promote fairness, inclusion and equity in the workplace.

Canada's New Government, through the Workplace Skills Initiative, will fund the project to develop a model to improve the integration of employees into the work force and ensure that businesses have the tools they need to help companies attract and retain employees from all the diverse backgrounds that are represented in the Canadian work force.

"Canada's New Government is committed to ensuring that our country develops a strong economic advantage in today's global economy," said Mr. Blaney. "Through this initiative, we are creating workplaces that support the full participation of all workers and will ensure that our businesses are competitive now and in the future."

The model will be developed and tested with the participation of 60 managers from small- and medium-sized businesses and Desjardins Group. Desjardins Group is a cooperative financial institution based in Levis, Quebec. It is the lead organization on Operation Decouverte, and will work in collaboration with the Universite de Laval and the Universite de Sherbrooke.

Key activities will include a cultural diagnosis and a study of best practices, the development of a skills profile to help manage equity and diversity, and the placement of workers in strategic positions to evaluate the effectiveness of the skills profile. These innovative tools will be shared with businesses and organizations across Canada.

"At Desjardins, recognizing diversity is a natural part of our democratic and social values. Thanks to this generous contribution from the Government of Canada, we can help our management teams develop a special awareness of inclusive management that takes into account diversity and equity in the workplace. This will enable them to deal more effectively with the issues and challenges presented by the new demographic composition of our society," said Mr. Alban D'Amours, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. "We are proud to be among the first employers to benefit from this government initiative and will continue to exercise leadership in social responsibility and solidarity."

The Workplace Skills Initiative (WSI) is designed to fund projects that mobilize and transform Canadian workplaces to meet both present and future challenges. The initiative promotes and tests promising approaches to skills development and improved human resources practices for employed Canadians, encourages employers to invest in the skills of their employees, and informs Government of Canada labour market policy and programming. WSI-funded projects support increased collaboration toward the development of models and instruments for workplace skills. A second call for proposals for WSI was launched recently and closes on April 18, 2007.

Contact Information

  • Media only: Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg
    Lesley Harmer
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office