The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender and Preferential Hiring in Canada by Dr. Martin Loney, McGill-Queen’s Univesity Press, 1998
Dr. Martin Loney is the author of “The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender and Preferential Hiring In Canada”, the most extensive study of Canada’s employment equity (known elsewhere as affirmative action) and preferential hiring policies. Dr. Loney shows that current policies which have affected the lives of thousands of Canadians were based on the idea that “systemic discrimination against visible minorities” existed in hiring in Canada’s workplaces.
He examines a large body of data and shows that the “systemic discrimination” claim is ideologically driven, and that a number of visible minority groups were actually in employment positions superior to those of the majority population. As groups, they were actually doing better economically. Other visible minorities were doing just as well. Although some visible minorities were doing poorly, the fact that this was happening did not show that “systemic discrimination” existed. It clearly did not demonstrate that there was a need for employment equity legislation which has resulted in race-based hiring throughout Canada’s public service and in Canada’s private sector. This campaign began in the late 1980’s, has permeated all three levels of government as well as the private sector, and continues today.
However, as Dr. Loney shows, the entire Employment Equity programme, so- named to elicit a programmed politically-correct response, should have been seriously questioned at the time it was being considered. It clearly should have been rejected because it is based on a selective use of statistics, not facts. Dr. Loney demonstrates that Canada’s Employment Equity programme has created inequity for a large number of Canadians because it is institutionalized discrimination against white males. He also asserts that this preferential hiring legislation is a major divisive force in Canadian society. Canada’s federal government should be pursuing policies of unity, not division.
The following is Dr. Philip Resnick’s brief review of “The Pursuit of Division”. Dr. Resnick is a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia and author of “Twenty-First Century Democracy”.
“In this explosive study of identity politics, Martin Loney argues that an improbable alliance of radical feminists, multicultural bureaucrats, and politicians chasing ethnic votes has produced a divisive political agenda at the expense of a shared Canadian community. He examines changes to government policies that have placed race and gender at the centre of Canadian discourse and shows that ‘fraudulent claims, nepotism, shoddy research, and self-serving rhetoric have propelled a politics of grievance’ to the detriment of those who really need government assistance, Canada’s poor.
“‘The Pursuit of Division’ is a well-researched and well-argued challenge to prevailing orthodoxy on equity politics and identity politics in Canada. Loney does an extremely effective job of debunking the selective approach to data that characterizes too much of the discourse in favour of preferential treatment and brings a long overdue comparative dimension to the discussion by situating the Canadian treatment of minorities within a global framework.”