An innovative free online training course launched by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in March 2017 has now been adapted to serve a national audience.
Serving All Customers Better was launched today, Dec. 7, in Toronto, during the mid-year meeting of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies.
“Racial stereotyping occurs everywhere in Canada,” said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “Nova Scotia has taken the lead in developing this education tool and through collaborations like this we can help influence positive change across Canada.”
Since its launch the course has trained more than 12,000 Nova Scotians. The national course is expected to train hundreds of thousands of front-line service staff across Canada.
“Consumer racial profiling has been identified by human rights commissions across the country as a significant issue affecting Canadians,” said Charles Dent, association chair. “Offering this course online in both official languages is one way we can work together to prevent discrimination through education.”
The launch of this course nationally is the result of a collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions and the Retail Council of Canada, a non-profit association representing more than 45,000 retail stores, including independent merchants, regional and national mass and specialty chains. This partnership will ensure the influence of this course will be wide reaching across the retail sector.
“Retailers appreciate the steps that human rights commissions
have taken to collaborate with the Retail Council of Canada in developing the course, which will complement their existing training,” said Diane Brisebois, president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada. “We’re confident this course will provide retail employees and other service industry staff with a better understanding and appreciation of the shopping experiences of all Canadians.”
Tomee Elizabeth Sojourner-Campbell, founder of PreventCRP, a Toronto-based organization with global connections focused on addressing and preventing consumer racial profiling, and the Bank of Canada also participated in the launch.
The bank recently issued a new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond, a human rights activist from Nova Scotia who was consumer racially profiled at a movie theatre in 1946.
Consumer racial profiling continues to be a serious issue. Racialized customers are significantly more likely to be followed, searched and ignored. According to human rights legislation in all provinces and territories, it is illegal to deny someone service or discriminate against them by treating them differently because of their race, colour or ethnicity.
Learn more about Serving All Customers Better at cashra.ca/classroom.