Mr. Speaker, on February 9, after several years of raising this issue, I rose to alert the House again about how the government discriminates by postal code when it advertises for jobs in Ottawa. I find this process and practice so offensive that I am going to stay at it until it fixes it.
I often think that if someone described a country and said a person could go to this country, but this country will not allow its citizens to work in its own capital city for its own government, one would find it offensive and think that person must be referring to a banana republic or something, but that is Canada.
The Canadian government has dozens and dozens of jobs in Ottawa all the time; however, they are only available to people in the immediate Ottawa area. Citizens in Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, Cumberland—Colchester and everywhere across the country cannot apply unless they have certain postal codes in the Ottawa area.
Just a couple of minutes ago I took a bunch of jobs off the Internet. There is a variety of about 15 to 20 jobs. It is not only an offensive policy but a poor policy to not bring people from across the country to the capital city of Canada to help create legislation, draft letters, and just be a part of the practice of governing this country.
When the government advertises jobs, it says that only people in certain postal codes around Ottawa and Hull can apply for these jobs in the capital city of their own country. Citizens of Canada are told they are not welcome in Ottawa and cannot work here because they do not live in the right postal code.
I want to go through a few that I picked off the Internet a minute ago. A correspondence officer for the Solicitor General pays $44,000. The education required is the completion of secondary school. There are a lot of people who would like to have a crack at this particular job. It is not a high education job and pays $44,000 a year, but people in most of our ridings cannot apply because they do not have the right postal code.
The next one is a job in foreign affairs. It is a research instruction and library web master. It requires graduation from a recognized university with a masters degree. We have one with a high school degree and one with a masters degree, and it is the same story. Who can apply? Only those people who live in this little circle around Ottawa in certain postal codes. This job pays $56,861 a year. Can people in Calgary apply for it? No. Can people in Charlottetown apply for it? No. Can people in Toronto apply for it? No, because these jobs with the Government of Canada are restricted to people in the postal codes I referred to.
Another one is reference librarian. It does not even say how many jobs there are. It says that currently there are several vacant positions. I do not know whether that is 5, 10, or 20. There are several vacant positions in the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Who can apply? Only those people who live in these postal codes. Can people in Moncton, Halifax or Truro apply? No, they are not allowed to come to work in their own capital city. They cannot come here because of the discrimination policy of the federal government and it will not change it.
I met with the Public Service Commission and it wants to change it, but it is not given the resources to put in the equipment and technology to do it. Businesses do it, the private sector does it, and there is no reason why the Government of Canada cannot stop this offensive practice of discrimination by postal code.
Another says there are three permanent positions. This is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police civilian staff. Can people in Regina or Victoria apply for this job? They cannot even apply for it even if they are well prepared for it and qualified. This one requires a diploma from a recognized Canadian institute in interior design. There are three jobs and no one in my riding or anyone else's can apply.
It is an offensive policy. It is a poor policy and I want to know, why will the government not change the policy?