‘Disturbing:’ Canadian gov’t agency adds more LGBTQ+ pride days to staff calendar
OTTAWA, April 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Despite Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s infamous dictum that “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation,” under his son Justin Trudeau’s leadership the Canada Revenue Agency is ramping up its promotion of “LGBTQ+” issues in the workplace.
According to a CRA internal memo obtained by LifeSiteNews, the agency will begin marking the International Day of Pink, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and Pride Month every year.
This is being done as part of the CRA’s “commitment to creating a respectful, health and empowering environment that fosters a productive and high-performing workforce,” according to the internal memo sent out the week of March 28.
The federal tax agency is also introducing a “Positive Spaces initiative” to “enhance the work experience of all employees by creating a safer, more tolerant and open-minded environment.”
That includes the appointment of a “national LGBTQ+ champion” who is “supported by a national, grassroots LGBTQ+ network.”
The CRA internal memo was issued by Joanne Tedesco, the CRA’s deputy assistant commissioner for the Ontario Region and National Champion for the CRA’s Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, and Dan Couture, the CRA’s assistant commissioner and chief human resources officer.
“Please continue to support our efforts by showcasing workplace and workforce trends related to diversity and inclusion,” the memo concludes. “We look forward to the continued conversations to promote and leverage diversity at the CRA.”
Tedesco tweeted a reminder Tuesday that April 12 is the International Day of Pink.
Lise Newton of CRA media relations clarified further that the “overall goal of the Positive Space Initiative is to enhance the work experience of LGBTQ+ employees by creating a safer, more tolerant, open-minded environment. It seeks to achieve this by engaging volunteer champions who promote diversity in the workplace."
The CRA’s “National LGBTQ+ Network was formed in March 2016 by CRA employees in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies (the term used for a heterosexual individual who supports civil rights, gender equality, and the LGBTQ+ community),” Newton told LifeSiteNews in an email.
But Gwen Landolt of REAL Women finds nothing to celebrate in the CRA’s recent move.
“It’s very disturbing” that the CRA, “a so-called impartial agency” that is there “to collect taxes for all Canadians,” is giving “special recognition to only one small segment of society and ignoring all the rest of us,” she told LifeSiteNews.
The “essential question” is why the CRA is “involved in any political debate,” she added.
LifeSiteNews contacted the CRA and asked to speak to Tedesco or Couture to discover what sexual orientation has to do with collecting taxes and whether marking such events politicizes the workplace.
The CRA “respectfully declined” the interview request, replied media spokesperson David Walters.
The CRA “believes in promoting an inclusive work environment for all of its employees, ensuring they bring their whole selves to work, offering a safe and respectful work environment regardless of their sexual orientation,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“LGBTQ+ communities, and their allies, are represented in CRA’s workforce and should have access to celebratory events in line with those celebrating other important aspects of our society.”
Adding the three events promoting homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, “queer-questioning” and other gender varieties brings the number of occasions formally celebrated at the CRA to 15.
Participation is voluntary, Walters wrote, and marking these occasions “contributes to raising awareness around our differences and promoting a more inclusive work environment.”
The CRA celebrates the following events, he noted:
1. Black History Month
2. International Women's Week
3. Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie
4. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
5. International Day Against Bullying/Day of Pink
6. Asian Heritage Month
7. International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
8. World Day for Cultural Diversity
9. National Aboriginal History Month
10. Pride Day
11. Linguistic Duality Day
12. Women's History Month
13. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
14. International Day of Persons with Disabilities
15. National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
The list reveals the CRA’s political bias, says Landolt.
“It’s improper and it’s simply unacceptable that a government agency, which is supposed to be impartial, is so bigoted and is so exclusive that it’s only honouring those on one side of the political debate.”
No pro-life and pro-family events are included, nor are Christians represented, she pointed out, adding that even Muslim events don’t make the list.
And it’s “disturbing” because the American equivalent of the CRA “went after pro-life and pro-family groups and their tax-exempt status” under President Obama, Landolt observed.
With Canada’s tax agency being “so bigoted, one wonders what they’re planning to do,” she said. Is the CRA “going to go after anyone who is pro-life and pro-family and take away their tax exempt status? That’s very troubling, that they only seem to favour one side of the issue.”
Added Landolt: “It’s all progressive nonsense. What’s that got to do with collecting taxes?”