On Friday February 05, 2021 Toronto City Council approved the report on ‘Advancing the Community Benefits Framework’ which outlines key action steps and activities to implement the Framework over the next year.
Since November 2020, the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) with support from community, labour and institutional partners has encouraged City Council to take bolder steps in the implementation of its Community Benefits Framework in response to the immediacy of the health, social and economic crisis facing Black, Indigenous and other racialized people in our City.
From our jurisdictional scan of best practices, we know that governments at all levels can set, achieve and surpass local/equity hiring and social procurement targets by working in partnership with community, labour, and industry, especially with the public dollars it will invest to address our various public infrastructure needs, like affordable housing, healthcare, transit and building retrofits.
We would like to thank Toronto City Council and the Mayor for their support to approve amendments on two key recommendations that were put forward by TCBN to ensure a commitment to include minimum equity hiring targets in its public infrastructure contracts and establish TCBN as a key strategic City partner to support with implementation of the Framework.
To learn more about the City of Toronto Community Benefits Framework, you can visit the City of Toronto webpage here
City Council Amendments - February 5, 2021
Toronto City Council approved four motions including:
- City Council to direct Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to include the Toronto Community Benefits Network and other Stakeholders, as strategic partners in the Community Benefits Advisory Group and in the community benefits work, the terms of which will be established in an MOU or Terms of Reference to ensure the expertise of all stakeholders is leveraged to support: i) community engagement, ii) processes for project assessment and target setting, iii) outreach, iv) recruitment and placement activities associated with the Community Benefits Framework.
- City Council direct Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration in collaboration with Purchasing and Materials Management Division, Toronto Employment and Social Services, Economic Development and Culture, and Legal Services, to strive to achieve a 10%EQUITY target in construction projects procured by PMMD over $50 million, and Housing Now projects and to report back to Economic and Community Development Committee in Q2 - 2022 on the feasibility of making this 10% hard target mandatory.
- That City Council direct the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, in collaboration with the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, and the Chief Purchasing Officer, to incorporate, through the scope of the Community Benefits Framework implementation program, aids for small businesses that might be affected by long-term government infrastructure projects on main streets, such as the Eglinton LRT Crosstown construction.
- That City Council request the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to give consideration to defining the geographic catchment area/areas that the community benefits framework and community benefits agreements will apply to, and to include these definitions in future reports to City Council.
Executive Committee Amendments - January 27, 2021
City of Toronto Executive Committee met on January 27, 2021 to review the Advancing the Community Benefits Framework staff report. At the meeting, City of Toronto Executive Committee approved four motions:
- City Council direct the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, in collaboration with the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services, the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture and the Chief Purchasing Officer, to report to the Economic and Community Development Committee in the third quarter of 2022 with a Progress Update on the design and pilot testing of the Community Benefits Framework implementation models, as well as a proposed approach to prioritize community benefits projects and initiatives to be supported and implemented by the Community Benefits Framework.
- City Council direct the Chief Procurement Officer, in collaboration with the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, the Manager, Confronting Anti-Black Racism Office and the Manager, Indigenous Affairs Office, to aspire to an annual 10 percent increase starting in 2021, in the number of vendors on the City's diverse supplier list, with a focus on increasing representation of Black-owned and Indigenous-owned businesses, to be in alignment with the Confronting goal to achieve 7.5 percent Black business enrollments in the City's diverse supplier list, by identifying or creating business development opportunities, conducting targeted outreach with business and community stakeholder groups, and reviewing and addressing potential barriers to participation including supplier council certification.
- City Council direct the Chief Procurement Officer, in collaboration with the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, to conduct a five-year review (2017-2021) of the Social Procurement Policy to identify successes and improvements needed in the Social Procurement Policy, and to report back to the Executive Committee in the third quarter of 2022.
- City Council request the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to consult with the Toronto District School Board leadership of Step to Construction regarding their vision, program and recommendations to have students placed on job sites on Toronto's publicly funded construction projects; and explore and consider a minimum hard target for equity seeking groups for hiring in construction across all large scale infrastructure projects.
You can watch the deputations and committee discussions on the Community Benefits Framework HERE.
Staff Report Recommendations - January 20, 2021
City staff report can be viewed HERE.
In our review of the staff report, we are encouraged by the details of report which outlines specific actions that address some of our key recommendations including:
- City of Toronto’s commitment to leveraging the community benefits framework as part of an inclusive economic recovery that prioritizes groups disproportionately at risk of experiencing the negative effects of COVID-19
- A reporting and evaluation framework that includes disaggregated data collection and analysis
- A three-phase plan to develop coordinated systems approaches to local and social hiring pathways that connect employers, job seekers, employment agencies, training programs, unions, and community partners
- Staff funding for three years to implement Community Benefits Framework initiatives ($0.582 million gross and net in 2021)
- Addressing barriers to participation and developing intentional partnerships and outreach activities to promote the Social Procurement Program and supply chain diversity opportunities with diverse suppliers