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Gender-Based Analysis Plus: 2021-22

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Section 1: Institutional GBA+ Capacity

Building from naming a Champion and establishing a committee to take action against systemic employment equity, diversity and inclusion issues in 2020, NSIRA continued to work hard to create a culture of inclusion. At an individual level, the agency held staff discussions on anti-racism and themes related to diversity. In response to the Call to Action from the Clerk of the Privy Council, NSIRA completed a maturity assessment of its policies, programs and practices related to human rights, accessibility, employment equity, diversity and inclusion, and developed a three-year action plan to guide its efforts.

When reviewing national security and intelligence activities, NSIRA analysts are prompted to examines these activities’ potential for resulting in unequal outcomes for visible minority groups. For instance, among last year’s reviews, the Study of the Government of Canada’s Use of Biometrics in the Border Continuum examined the approach of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and of the Canada Border Services Agency to preventing bias and discrimination against some groups of people in the use of biometrics by these agencies.

In terms of investigations, complainants file with NSIRA pursuant to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act and the Rules of Procedure. Following the practices and procedures systematically in all complaint matters ensures a non-discriminatory process.

Furthermore, NSIRA and another review body are finalizing a study on how to systematically collect, analyze and use race-based and other demographic data in the complaints investigation process. This study draws on academic expertise to provide NSIRA insight into: whether significant racial disparities exist among civilian complainants; whether racial differences exist with respect to the types of complaints made against members of national security organizations based on different groups; the frequency of complaints that include allegations of racial or other forms of bias; and whether complaints investigation outcomes vary by racial group. NSIRA also aims to use the study results to improve public awareness and understanding of its investigation process, as well as to guide the development of NSIRA’s outreach and public engagement priorities.

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Gender-Based Analysis Plus: 2020-21

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Section 1: Institutional GBA+ Capacity

This year NSIRA named a Champion for Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The Champion worked to create a culture of inclusion by holding staff discussions on anti-racism and themes related to diversity.

In complaints investigations, NSIRA followed a well-documented process in all cases to ensure equal access to justice for all complainants. It began efforts to study how to systematically analyze complaints data from previous years to look at demographic trends, including race. In this regard, it is working jointly with another review body to leverage relevant academic expertise to assist NSIRA in collecting the right kind of data in future complaints investigations to assist with this analysis. The aim is to gain insight into communities most impacted by national security activities, which can assist NSIRA in guiding its outreach and engagement priorities.

NSIRA’s program of planned and ongoing reviews also takes into account the potential for national security and intelligence activities to result in unequal outcomes for visible minority groups. Ongoing reviews of the Canada Border Services Agency’s targeting practices, as well as the use of biometrics in the national security and intelligence context, focus specifically on understanding the impacts of these activities on diverse communities.

NSIRA continued to hire a diverse group of employees with a mix of experience and skills to fulfil its unique mandate. NSIRA conducted blind resume screening and testing as part of its hiring practices. NSIRA has only six executive positions, two of which are classified in the Law Manager (LC) group. Since April 1, 2020, five positions were staffed, of which 60% of the appointees self-identified as a member of an employment equity designated group. As well, four management positions (e.g., EC-07, FI-04, etc.) were staffed in 2020–21, all with members of an employment equity designated group.

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Gender-Based Analysis Plus: 2019-20

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The Government of Canada defines the term “gender-based analysis plus” (GBA+) as an analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. All individuals have multiple identity factors that intersect to make them who they are, for example, race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residence and disability.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the full implementation of GBA+ across federal departments so that differential impacts on diverse groups of people are considered when policies, programs and legislation are developed.

More information on GBA+ is available on the GBA+ Portal in GCpedia.

Institutional GBA+ Capacity

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency’s (NSIRA’s) mandate includes the review of any activity carried out by a department or agency that relates to national security or intelligence, including issues related to bias and discrimination. Its mandate requires NSIRA to report publicly, in an unclassified manner, on its findings and recommendations.

NSIRA ensures that GBA+ considerations continue to be made, and that the entire agency is accountable for integrating GBA+ into its decision-making processes.

Highlights of GBA+ Results by Program

Investigation of complaints against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service

  • NSIRA systematically follows a well-documented process in all cases to ensure equal access to justice for all complainants.
  • NSIRA has begun to analyze trends in complaints to identify potential biases and discrimination and to collect demographic data about complainants to assess whether certain population groups are more frequently involved in grievances with the security agencies.
  • NSIRA’s staffing practices consider gender-based analysis plus objectives. NSIRA hired a diverse group of employees with a mix of experience and skills to fulfil its broad mandate. For the 2019–20 period, the number of women hired was more than twice that of men; nearly 20% of the total hires were members of visible minority groups. This breadth of experience and competencies provides the agency with high-quality, diverse advice and support.
  • NSIRA engages with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders and community groups to inform its review priorities, demystify the complaints investigation process, and help with recruiting an elite workforce.
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