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The CBC interviews Izumi Sakamoto about the discriminatory practice of requiring “Canadian Experience”

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FIFSW Associate Professor Izumi Sakamoto was interviewed by the CBC for a story on unfairness in Canadian hiring practices. The story, which was published online and featured on the radio program On The Coast, highlights how immigrant women of colour more likely than non-immigrant to be unemployed — and how the requirement for “Canadian Experience” is a barrier to employment.

Sakamoto’s research influenced the Ontario Human Rights Commission‘s decision to create a policy in 2013 that states that requiring Canadian experience is discriminatory and can be used only in rare circumstances. Sakamoto also contributed to developing the Ontario policy. Ontario was the first province in Canada to denounce Canadian experience as a job requirement.

Other provinces, such as British Columbia, don’t yet have a similar policies in place. “It borders on being ridiculous,” Michael Yue, director of partnership development at Vancouver Community College, told the CBC. “I just sometimes don’t understand why they would look at foreign-trained professionals as almost being lesser … they’ve built projects that are probably 10 times bigger than what we built in Canada.”

Writes Winston Szeto for CBC, “Sakamoto says many employers, especially in small and medium-sized companies, emphasize Canadian experience during interviews to the point where it becomes a euphemism for racism and xenophobia — believing international experience is inferior, and justifying newcomers should conform to dominant white culture.”

> Read U of T New’s Q&A with Associate Professor Izumi Sakamoto

> Read Sakamoto’s 2013 op-ed in the Toronto Star