Monday, November 19, 2012

NL Government Refuses to Hire Transgender! Excuses kept Secret!

NL Government Refuses to Hire Transgender! Excuses kept Secret!


Jennifer McCreath became a public figure in Newfoundland when she made mainstream news, first, for being a transsexual government senior policy analyst in 2008, and then, for suddenly losing what was supposedly a safe and secure job, in early 2009. After a year of unemployment, three years as a temporary file clerk, and several 'runner up' job competitions, McCreath finally ranked #1 in a permanent job competition, last month, for a role that would have seen her oversee the Records Centre for the Department of Information, Business and Rural Development. However, McCreath was advised days later that Deputy Minister, Brent Meade, was not going to sign off on the competition committee's recommendation and that she would not be offered the job. When asked to see the paper work of why, she was told it was 'confidential'. She was told, however, that a secondary evaluation had been conducted (something that is only done for unionized jobs; however, this job was posted as non-bargaining). When asked why a secondary evaluation was conducted on this job, she was advised it was a coincident mistake. She was then told the competition would be cancelled outright.

McCreath is not new to 'coincidental' job competition controversies. Shortly after her position was phased out in 2009, a new job was posted that was very similar. McCreath applied but was not even offered an interview. Five years ago, McCreath was employed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), where she co-wrote policies, procedures, and guidelines for how Government bodies should protect their information resources. She also managed and delivered a privacy review program that insured that all OCIO projects were compliant with the newly-proclaimed privacy provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP) Act, through collaborative work with Department of Justice's ATIPP Coordinator's Office and the House of Assembly's Information Management Branch.

Coincidentally enough, McCreath has interviewed for work twice over at the Department of Justice's ATIPP office, and once at the HoA's Information Management Branch, and was not offered work on any of those three occasions. She has also unsuccessfully interviewed for analyst or senior analyst level information management and/or information privacy work with the NL Centre for Health Information, Western Health, and Central Health, as well as for not less than ten other different provincial Government departments.

McCreath feels extremely frustrated that despite a Bachelor Degree and a College Diploma, as well as what is now seven years of experience in the field of information management and protection, that she has been unable to secure employment beyond a clerical level. McCreath is further frustrated that with recent amendments to the province's ATIPP Act, through the controversial Bill 29, Government now has a legal right to refuse to disclose information pertaining to her job competitions; hence, McCreath may never know for sure, whether she loses these competitions due to merit, or discrimination.

"While I may not have any concrete proof of discrimination, it seems very strange that there always seems to be a rare exception or loop hole that keeps me from finding work at the analyst or senior analyst level," McCreath said. "Not only is it tough to go from a $60000/yr job to a $30,000/yr job, but to find myself stuck paying for much of my own health care, compounds the problem, not to mention, student-debt that still remains from over a decade ago. Explicit Human Rights protection, much like the protection recently added to Ontario and Manitoba's Human Rights Acts, would send a strong message to everyone that trans people are people, and deserve respect and equality that clearly does not yet exist here, both legally or morally, in society. It is perhaps needed here, even more so than in the big cities on the mainland. Heck, most trans people in Newfoundland are chronically underemployed, live in poverty, have insufficient access to health care funding, and even fear for their own physical safety. This is not right!"

As a former ATIPP professional, McCreath was alarmed when she first read Bill 29 earlier this year, and immediately took note of clause 22.1.a. "One of the ten international principles of access and privacy, is ensuring individuals have access to information about them that is under the custody and control of Government. To say now, that job competition screening and job interview notes are 'confidential', not only violates a fundamental principle, but it opens the door for discrimination and/or corruption to be hidden under a blanket of secrecy. Sadly enough, my friends have dubbed 22.1.a, the McCreath Clause," said Jennifer.

Since starting her transition from male to female, McCreath has lost family, friends, employment, and housing. She has been refused leases by landlords, been detained at airport customs and missed flights, been denied health care, been denied health care funding, has had complaints rejected by the Human Rights Commission of NL, and has even been ask not to use public washrooms.

McCreath is one of Canada's best-known and most-respected transgender rights activists. A portfolio of her work and her media appearances is posted here: and a full bio of her is posted here:

The global trans community is commemorating International Transgender Awareness Week, including Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov 20. McCreath will be co-hosting and delivering a keynote address at an event Tuesday night, Nov 20, 2012, 7 pm, at MUN University in Science Building room 2109. McCreath also plans to be in attendance in the Gallery of the HoA on Tuesday afternoon during Question Period, when it is anticipated that members of the NDP will recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance, and will ask the Government questions about trans issues.

inquiries or interviews:

Jennifer McCreath,

or in person after Question Period and after MUN event.

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