Update from Metrolinx regarding Community Benefits
In a letter we have received from Metrolinx, it has been confirmed that the four new transit projects will include commitments to diverse hiring targets for historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups, including 10% Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour; 10% Women.
After concerns were raised in March and over the past two months, with your support and advocacy, TCBN’s public campaign has raised awareness. The campaign included petitions to decision makers, media engagement, membership meetings, community meetings, public town halls and meetings with local elected officials about the importance of Community Benefits Agreements as part of the four new transit projects in Toronto.
This new information sets a clear direction from Metrolinx as it outlines how contractors will be held accountable through specific requirements in Requests for Proposals (RFP) and agreements. These agreements will include the contractors commitments to fulfill the following:
- Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Plans (AWDPs) that include quantified targets to meet agreed upon hiring targets for historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups, including 10% Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour; 10% Women.
- Enter into an agreement (outside of the project agreement), between the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development, the Ministry of Transportation, Metrolinx, and the Preferred Proponent, that codifies the targets in contractual commitments that are monitored, mitigated if required, and with transparent data reporting.
- Planned submissions requiring contractors to implement an anti-racism strategy and method of communication with Metrolinx on all issues arising
- A working group comprised of Metrolinx, TCBN, Preferred Proponent and other stakeholders to collaborate and share ideas for how to implement these targets.
- Project Companies will also be encouraged to establish voluntary apprentice hiring targets through the ITA financial incentive.
Metrolinx has also committed to tracking and monitoring progress against contractor plans and outcomes and will also report on procuring from social enterprises.
This is a significant moment for the TCBN community, labour and social enterprise membership who have been advocating to ensure the billions in public dollars for new infrastructure like transit benefit local communities impacted by these projects and specifically equity deserving groups who historically have been underrepresented in the construction and development industry.
We look forward to keeping you updated with more information on the Community Benefits Agreements for each of the four new projects and upcoming engagement opportunities on the implementation plan.
Currently, we are focused on ensuring these commitments are included in all project RFPs and project agreements, and that subcontractors are also held to these requirements. We will also be seeking to ensure Professional, Administrative and Technical (PAT) career opportunities are included in the Community Benefits Agreements.
If you would like to learn more about the jobs and opportunities through community benefits agreements click here
If you have any questions or would like to further discuss this recent news, please contact [email protected]