The Employment Equity Act is enacted.1 It “confirms that employers’ discriminatory recruitment, hiring, and promotion practices had no place in an equitable labour market”.2 One of the major players in the creation of this act was Justice Rosalie Abella, the sole commissioner of the federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment. She was influenced by the beliefs of Jean Pigott, leader of the Linking for Employment Task Force.3 Abella developed recommendations to improve their employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Canada, based on consultations she had with people with disabilities across the country.4 Abella also went on to coin the term “‘employment equity’ to refer to a system of special measures taken to accommodate differences that would surmount barriers to participation in the labour market”.5 Abella’s efforts were undoubtedly a catalyst in the creation of the Employment Equity legislation.
1. Justin Galer, “Employers, Disabled Workers, and the War on Attitudes in Late Twentieth-Century Canada,” in Disabling Barriers: Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law eds. Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017), 37-38.