This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
Vancouver is promoting employment of people with disabilities while CBC Ottawa goes to court to keep the disabled out of the workforce
“Employment Matters” is a new CBC Vancouver documentary that promotes employment of people with learning disabilities on Canada’s west coast.
4,000 miles away on Canada’s east coast and smallest province, CBC is fighting a battle in court in September to keep the disabled from working. CBC President Hubert Lacroix approved funding for the PEI court case.
This is not the first time Vancouver has been at odds with CBC Management. Kathy Tomlinson of Vancouver’s investigative news team got in a pitched battle with the queen of CBC business reporting Amanda Lang. Tomlinson uncovered by accident the conflict of interest between Lang and the Royal Bank board of directors. See CBC’s Kathy Tomlinson speaks on the record about Amanda Lang
‘Employment Matters’, a new documentary by CBC, explores the untapped market and potential of employing people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace, as part of the Absolutely Canadian series.” CBC
Officially the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is double the rate for non-disabled. Those statistics fail to take into consideration the people with disabilities who quit trying in frustration. The financial cost of unemployed disabled persons falls on the government.
CBC takes PEI Human Rights Commission to court
The PEI Human Rights Commission found enough evidence of discrimination by CBC executive producer Donna Allen and her staff to call for a public hearing into the matter. Allen, CBC journalist Steve Bruce and video operator Randy MacAndrew voted to remove a disabled journalist from the PEI Press Gallery because he was a blogger and did volunteer advocacy for people with disabilities.
“It become almost impossible for me to do my job as a political reporter on PEI after that,” said Stephen Pate. CBC has 31 employees registered on PEI for a press pass, more than all the journalists that cover the Ontario Legislature to get a sense of how CBC likes to control the news flow on PEI.
It’s against the law to discriminate in the employment of people with disabilities. Unlike the documentary from Vancouver, CBC Charlottetown and headquarters in Ottawa don’t believe a reporter in a wheelchair is appropriate to sit beside them.
The Supreme Court of Canada in Robichaud v Brennan decided employers are liable for the acts of their employees, especially managers. “The Canadian Human Rights Act contemplates the imposition of liability on employers for all acts of their employees in the course of employment”.
CBC hired a lawyer to represent their Charlottetown employees, since the alleged discrimination was “stemming from their duties as employees.” The CBC filed an application for Judicial Review in the PEI Supreme Court. The case comes up for a court hearing on September 16, 2015. See CBC Blocks Human Rights Hearing
“Filmmaker Brandy Yanchyk profiled individuals in B.C. and Alberta in a variety of jobs, from a bakery to a horse stable and a homemade popcorn enterprise.
As she followed them in their daily routines and talked to their families and employers, she discovered how much working means to employees and how much they contribute to their workplaces.
Watch the documentary’s premiere on CBC Television in B.C. and Alberta at 7 p.m. local time as well as online at cbc.ca.”
- PEI Human Rights Commission – Pate v. Thibodeau, Wright, Allen and the Press Gallery of Prince Edward Island Legislature
- Supreme Court of PEI – Wayne Thibodeau, Teresa Wright, Donna Allen and the Press Gallery of the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly v. Anne Nicholson in her capacity
as Chairperson of the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission and Stephen Pate – Court File No. SI GS 25540
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network