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N.W.T. MLA calls for hiring freeze on non-Indigenous applicants

Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson said its time for the territorial government to take bold measures to increase Indigenous hiring. (Travis Burke/CBC - image credit)
Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson said its time for the territorial government to take bold measures to increase Indigenous hiring. (Travis Burke/CBC – image credit) 

A Northwest Territories MLA is calling for the territorial government to stop hiring non-Indigenous people for one year.

Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson called for the change in the N.W.T. legislature Monday in a question to the Minister of Human Resources, Caroline Wawzonek.

“We need to be bold if we want to see change,” he said.

“Will the minister commit to a temporary suspension of the affirmative action policy and departmental targets and replace it with a one-year moratorium on non-Indigenous hires and transfers throughout this government?”

According to the 2020-2021 annual report on the N.W.T. public service, 29.3 per cent of the government workforce is Indigenous. In senior management, that figure is 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, census data shows Indigenous people account for about 51 per cent of the territory’s population.

Wawzonek told the house that her department would not be implementing Simpson’s recommended hiring freeze but would instead rely on the new Indigenous Recruitment and Retention Framework and Action Plan that was announced by the territorial government last month.

It’s touted as a road map for hiring and promoting more Indigenous people, for creating a more inclusive workplace and for folding Indigenous perspectives into various aspects of government.

It also requires every department to publicly set hiring targets for three years, five years and 10 years.

“We want to have a public service where people are being brought in and then trained up within and moved into positions that are appropriate to their training and being given the training to achieve them. So that requires a plan and it requires some thoughtfulness,” Wawzonek said.

“It’s not enough to simply put people into roles for the sake of the numbers, that’s not what we want.”

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Credit belongs to : ca.news.yahoo.com

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