July 31, 2019—Ottawa, Ontario
Today, the three federal research funding agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council—along with the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) as representatives of the equity seeking plaintiffs and the Canadian Human Rights Commission have released the 2019 Addendum, which updates the terms of a 2006 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement with the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP). This important milestone will support the Government of Canada’s corresponding vision for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the program.
Achieving an equitable, diverse and inclusive research environment leads to increased excellence, innovation and impact. If Canada is going to reach its full potential for excellence, there needs to be diversity of perspectives to tackle issues and respond to opportunities effectively and in a way that has real impact. In order for the CRCP to meet its mandate of supporting research excellence, it is critical that all researchers—especially those from underrepresented groups: women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities—do not face systemic barriers in accessing and benefiting from the program. Moreover, to retain this excellent talent in Canada, individuals need to be supported, valued and included.
The Addendum builds on the measures implemented through the CRCP’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan and the corresponding progress made by institutions in addressing barriers in recent years. Collectively, these actions have provided greater transparency and accountability in the processes used by institutions for the recruitment and nomination of chairholders and ensure the level of representation of individuals from underrepresented groups within the program continues to increase over the long term. To this end, the CRCP remains firmly committed to ensuring that the goals and benefits of EDI are realized.
The three federal research funding agencies; the Canada Foundation for Innovation; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Health Canada; and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat recognize the contributions of the eight equity seeking plaintiffs and CAUT towards meeting these important goals. Their sustained efforts in the mediation processes leading to the 2006 Agreement and its 2019 Addendum, combined with the vision of the Government of Canada for EDI in the program, leave a strong legacy toward ensuring equitable access and outcomes for future generations of researchers.
“We have worked closely with all the partners to establish a fair and equitable process and to set targets that are reflective of Canada’s diverse population and are more inclusive of the breadth of research talent and excellence in this country. This is an important milestone that will ensure the best researchers have opportunities to advance knowledge for the benefit of all Canadians.”
—Dominique Bérubé, Chair, Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat Management Committee and Vice-President, Research Programs, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
“The changes being made to the CRC program recognize that under-representation arises not from a lack of qualified candidates but from discriminatory and exclusionary principles or practices in society and in academia itself. By addressing these barriers we can better encourage excellence, innovation, and fairness in the research environment.”
—David Robinson, Executive Director, Canadian Association of University Teachers
“This is an important step toward ensuring that the Canadian research field both reflects Canada’s rich diversity and benefits from the talent and perspectives of those who were previously denied a seat at the table.”
—Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission
Director of Communications
Canadian Association of University Teachers
613-820-2270 x 198
Canadian Human Rights Commission