A Kemptville woman can't believe the federal government won't allow white people to apply for an administrative assistant job with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Sara Landriault found the job posting while she was doing a job hunt online. Although she felt she was qualified for the job, she was blocked from submitting her resume because she was not an aboriginal or visible minority.

"This one was pretty close to my criteria, so I thought I would just try it out," Landriault told CTV Ottawa on Wednesday.

The application required Landriault to indicate if she was white, aboriginal or a visible minority. When she indicated that she was white, she could not proceed any further.

"It stopped dead. ‘You do not meet the criteria,' and it gave me a list of what the criteria was if you were non-white Latino, if you were non-white this, or if you were visible minority or aboriginal you could apply."

Government response

Citizenship and Immigration Canada did not respond to CTV Ottawa's request for an interview.

However, CTV did speak to the Public Service Commission of Canada, which overseas more than 20,000 federal government hires.

The agency says job postings exclusively for aboriginals or visible minorities make up about one per cent of all jobs available.

"We want to target some competitions where we specifically attract these equity groups," said Paula Green of the Public Service Commission of Canada.

She added there are plenty of other opportunities for candidates like Landriault.

Strong language

Still, a University of Ottawa law professor says the language in the job posting Landriault found is stronger than she's seen in the past.

"If the public service and federal government paid more attention to the requirement of this act before, maybe now they wouldn't be in the position to put a bit of pressure," said Lucie Lamarche.

Regardless, Landriault says she'd rather give up the perks of a government job than work for an employer that doesn't see her rights as equal.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua