News Release Archive

Friday, June 20, will mark the signing of an affirmative action
agreement with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Justice Minister Alan Mitchell, responsible for the Human Rights
Act, and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will sign a
memorandum of understanding at 1:30 p.m. in the council chambers
of the Civic Centre, 320 Esplanade in Sydney.

The agreement, with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, will
adopt policies that ensure all hiring, training, development and
work assignments within the municipal government and all of its
departments will be conducted in compliance with the Nova Scotia
Human Rights Act.

"It is important for every Nova Scotian to have an equal
opportunity at employment regardless of race, disability or
gender," said Mr. Mitchell. "By signing an affirmative action
agreement, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is agreeing to
promote equality and access to opportunity."

An affirmative action plan will reinforce the municipality's
present recruitment and selection policy (November 1995) which
promotes equal treatment without discrimination. Every employee
will receive a written statement from the Cape Breton Regional
Municipality about its commitment to affirmative action. In
addition, employment ads will publicize the municipality as an
equal opportunity employer.

"Our affirmative action plan presents a solid commitment to equal
opportunity and practice to all levels of the municipality," said
John Coady, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. "They
are management objectives that are realistically set and set
because there is every intention of achieving them."

To ensure equal opportunities for visible minorities, aboriginal
people, persons with disabilities and women, the program will
involve a number of initiatives. For example, the Cape Breton
Regional Municipality will conduct an employee audit to determine
the extent to which these groups are represented in employment
with the municipality.

Each year the municipality will provide the Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission with short- and long-term employment
projections. Meetings will also be held with target group
organizations with a view to recruiting a diverse group of

"The commission is committed to goals that will yield a more
proactive and less reactive handling of human rights issues,"
said Wayne MacKay, executive director of the Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission.

"Working with organizations to develop their own affirmative
action plan is one way we are achieving this goal. It is
encouraging and heartening that more government and private
agencies recognize that equity is not only fair practice but also
a good business practice."

Signing of the memorandum of understanding stems from the
establishment of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality's
affirmative action committee in September 1996. Members of this
committee were selected from community groups to reflect the
diversity in the region. The agreement will be renewed every five


Contacts: Wayne MacKay
          Executive director
          Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

          Gordon Hayes
          Sydney regional office
          Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

trp                     June 18, 1997 - 10:20 a.m.