Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The issue of affirmative action has been a topic of some discussion in the past few days. I would like to briefly discuss a highly successful affirmative action program, though completely unofficial, one that has been with us for decades in this government. It is very effective, Mr. Speaker, because it services about 10 percent or less of the population. It is worked to the exclusion of many other groups, groups like the aboriginal people, groups like grown-in-the-north northerners and women.
Mr. Speaker, this group of less than 10 percent of our population, through this unofficial affirmative action, has managed to maintain at least 70 percent of all senior management positions in this government. Mr. Speaker, I am speaking about that group of people known as middle-aged non-aboriginals or white guys. Mr. Speaker, this is a very, very influential fraternity and a very closed fraternity. When I say that, I would like to demonstrate an example. Of the 18 deputy minister level positions, 16 of them are in this category. There is one woman and one aboriginal person at the deputy minister level by my calculations.
Mr. Speaker, when you have this kind of affirmative action policy, though it is unofficial and you are in a position to help design the structures of government at the municipal level, at the territorial level, you are also in a position to write policies and regulations, job descriptions and influence hiring. We have to ask the question as we look at our own affirmative action policy, where has it gone wrong and what can we learn from this unofficial affirmative action program?
Mr. Speaker, it is my contention that it is because of this kind of unofficial affirmative action policy that people of the north have grown very, very frustrated. I think it is one of the reasons that has driven people to embrace self-government so eagerly. It is one of the reasons that the people of Nunavut want to set up their own government that they would control. When we look at re-designing our affirmative action, northern job strategy, we have to take a page from this book. Our political direction is only as good as those who implement it, Mr. Speaker, and we have to have a senior management that is representative of the people it serves if we are going to have substantial change. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.