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.Read more
Rosemarie Powell published MacDonald Block Reconstruction in CBA Campaigns 2021-01-29 16:19:37 -0500
In January 2020, Infrastructure Ontario released the Project Agreement (redacted) with Fengate PCL Consortium for the MacDonald Block reconstruction project - a $1.536 Billion at Queens Park.
TCBN would like to thank our labour member AMAPCEO, the union for Ontario's Professional Employees. AMAPCEO has been a leading champion to ensure that the MacDonald Block Reconstruction Project includes a Community Benefits Agreement.Read more
Rosemarie Powell published Regent Park Community Benefits Coalition in CBA Campaigns 2021-01-29 16:18:32 -0500
Since the Winter QGM in Regent Park, the TCBN has been active in supporting the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association (RPNA) in leading a local Community Benefits Coalition of residents, community groups and organizations. The goal of the coalition is to secure a legally binding agreement with Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and selected developer that commits to both short and long term community benefits in Regent Park. After weeks of negotiations with TCH, the Coalition is excited to announce a Community Benefits Framework Agreement for Phase 4 and 5 of revitalization in Regent Park. More details to come. LEARN MORE
Canada’s Federal Government has identified infrastructure as a key component of Canada’s economic recovery from the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. They are planning to invest over $187 Billion tax payer dollars on infrastructure projects across Canada over the next ten years. Commitment to infrastructure, employment, and improved outcomes for diverse communities must go hand in hand. ENDORSE LETTER.Read more
The Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) envisions Toronto as an inclusive, thriving city in which all residents have equitable opportunities to contribute to building healthy communities and a prospering economy. Our strategic plan objectives are to:
- Negotiate and Implement Community Benefits Agreements: Negotiate and support the implementation of meaningful community benefits agreements, starting with the Crosstown and Finch LRT projects, creating access to jobs and other opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups.
- Build Community Power: Build the platform for community to exercise its power to advance the community benefits movement in major infrastructure investments in the City.
- Community Benefits Knowledge Transfer: Contribute to the body of work on community benefits by documenting, evaluating and sharing, the process and evolution of TCBN community labour coalition.
- Resource Development and Capacity Building: Strengthen the organizational structure and develop the systems and resources to support the strategic directions and goals of the TCBN.
Get the latest update about our progress in key performance areas linked to our strategic plan objectives.
Organizational goals are linked to Strategic Plan Objectives 1 & 2 - Negotiate and Implement Community Benefits Agreements and Build Community PowerView Report
Organizational goals are linked to Strategic Plan Objective 4 – Resource Development and Capacity Building
Organizational goals are linked to Strategic Plan Objective 1 - Negotiate and Implement Community Benefits Agreements
Organizational goals are linked to Strategic Plan Objectives 2 & 3 – Build Community Power and Community Benefits Knowledge Transfer
Organizational goals are linked to Strategic Plan Objectives 2 & 4 – Build Community Power and Resource Development and Capacity Building
Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are increasingly being utilized in government procurement to maximize the social and economic impacts when they buy, build, or provide financial incentives for construction or remediation. In Ontario, the community benefits movement is built on the premise of community and labour working together to ensure the people building public infrastructure projects represent the demographics of the local communities.
In 2015, the Province of Ontario’s Bill 6, Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act was introduced by the provincial government to ensure infrastructure planning and investment include community benefits, being the supplementary social and economic benefits arising from infrastructure projects that are intended to improve the well-being of a community affected by the project. From this legislation, the province identified five pilot infrastructure projects in its Long-Term Infrastructure Plan that would include community benefits requirements.
These community benefits include but not limited to:
- local and equity hiring in apprenticeships
- local and equity hiring in professional, administrative and technical positions
- social procurement supporting local businesses, minority owned businesses and social enterprises
- neighbourhood and environmental improvements as identified by the community
Following this policy, several others were enacted by the different levels of government, including:
- 2017: The Building Better Lives: Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
- 2018 Federal Community Employment Benefits, 2020 Investing in Canada Plan and 2021 Budget
- 2019 and 2021: The City of Toronto’s Community Benefits Framework
The TCBN supports four CBAs currently underway in Toronto:
- Eglinton Crosstown LRT, learn more
- Finch West LRT, learn more
- Casino Woodbine, learn more
- Westpark Healthcare Centre, learn more
All have at minimum, the requirement for 10% of all trade or craft working hours to be performed by apprentices or journey persons from historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups.
In the midst of a busy month for the network in celebrating our five year anniversary at the Annual General Meeting, the coalition has been active in keeping pace with Community Benefits policies and large scale urban infrastructure developments in Toronto
Municipal - Toronto Community Benefits Framework
Last month, the TCBN and community, labour and social enterprise partners turned out at the Toronto Economic and Community Development Committee meeting to depute and provide feedback on the proposed Community Benefits Framework.
In response to our feedback, Councillors on the committee were able to move three motions to strengthen the report to include hard targets, public reporting and opportunities for City support for CBAs where the community and developer are both willing to enter into discussions.
These motions are a step in the right direction, however there is still more work to be done before Council. We are trying to meet with as many Councillors as possible, so please indicate if you are interested in meeting with your local Councillor. The report, along with additional information produced by City staff, will come to Toronto City Council on July 16th or 17th.
Watch Deputations & Feedback from City Councillors HERE
Federal Community Benefits: Bill C-344
In June, we received confirmation that Bill C-344 did not pass the Senate due to procedural hold up by PC Senator David Wells. This is how Bill C44 and others have been killed
Bill C-344, if passed would have given the Minister a new discretionary power to require bidders to provide information on the community benefits to be derived from a project should they be awarded a contract from the federal government. The federal government will be exploring opportunities to direct the civil service to pursue community benefits through a policy change in the procurement process.
We would like to extend our thanks to MP Ramesh Sangha, Minister Ahmed Hussen and Senator Ratna Omidvar for bringing the Bill forward in the House and Senate. We would also like to thank Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Atkinson Foundation, Power Lab, Buy Social Canada and all our network members and community leaders for your advocacy on this Bill.
We have built significant momentum for community benefits on federal infrastructure projects and hope to continue this over the next few years.
Sidewalk Toronto Waterfront Project
Last month, Sidewalk Labs released its Master Design and Innovation Plan, Toronto Tomorrow. In the past year, the TCBN has hosted consultations with our network and Sidewalk representatives to raise concerns about the “smart-city” project and discuss our expectations for a community benefits agreement.
We continue to review the 1,500 page plan and will be providing an update to our network this month. We want to ensure that Sidewalk Labs, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto understand that large scale urban infrastructure projects must benefit all community members and not just a select few.
Waterfront Toronto is hosting a series of consultations in July. Details HERE
Some additional readings on this proposal include:
Lauren Jacobs, Partnership for Working Families - Opinion, "Toronto, it's not you - it's Google" Toronto Star, July 4, 2019.
David Rider, "Sidewalk Labs wants to buy, develop and sell public land." Toronto Star, June 25, 2019.
Editorial, "The cracks in Sidewalk Labs' latest plans for Toronto," Globe and Mail, June 25, 2019.
John Lorinc, "Sidewalk Labs and the problem of smart city governance." Spacing, June 25, 2019
Bill 108 and Community Benefits Charge By-law
In June, the Ontario government passed Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 which makes changes to 13 pieces of legislation including the Planning Act, Endangered Species Act and brings back the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). This raises numerous concerns including our cities ability to raise money from developers to pay for necessary social infrastructure like affordable housing, parks, child care centres, libraries and other community benefits. The Ontario government is now seeking feedback from the public and municipalities. Keep posted for webinar sessions this Summer to learn more and discuss the impact and response to these changes.
Rosemarie Powell answered 2019-02-13 09:10:46 -0500Q: Do you have any food allergies or dietary requirements?
A: I like meat
Rosemarie Powell published Apprenticeship Training Program in CBA Job Board 2019-01-10 13:05:51 -0500
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Rosemarie Powell published Pre-apprenticeship Training Program in CBA Job Board 2019-01-10 13:05:13 -0500
Rosemarie Powell published Professional Administrative and Technical Position in CBA Job Board 2019-01-10 13:05:00 -0500
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Rosemarie Powell published Post Survey Employment Details in Get Help with Job Search 2019-01-02 11:11:24 -0500
Thank you for completing your file with us. We will connect with you for an orientation within two business days and you will start receiving all future jobs and opportunities coming through community benefits. We will check in on your progress on a quarterly basis to get an update from you about your employment status.
Access jobs and opportunities created through Community Benefits Agreements
Rosemarie Powell published Uniting unemployed youths with the trades in In the News 2017-01-04 15:10:09 -0500
Divaldo Miguel admits it was a struggle to make ends meet before he became a cement finisher. With only a high school education, the 29-year-old father of three cycled between periods of unemployment and stints at minimum wage jobs with no benefits. “I’m not gonna lie, it was tough,” he says. “I wanted to work, but there was nothing solid out there.” Read more...
Reasons to Get Involved
- Get breaking news about community benefits in Toronto
- Learn about jobs and opportunities in the construction industry for minorities and women
- Get accurate and up to date information about the process to access jobs and opportunities created through community benefits
- Help build a more inclusive economy and a more sustainable city!
Rosemarie Powell is a passionate advocate for social, economic and environmental justice. She has led for over 20 years from the grassroots up, managing and developing several innovative and impactful community programs and services to support under-represented group’s access to the labour market. Her community engagement work in Jane Finch earned several awards for leadership and imagination. Rosemarie is currently the Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN). The Toronto Community Benefits Network, is a community/labour coalition of over 120 member organizations which initiated successful Community Benefits Agreements for the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT transit projects, West Park Healthcare Centre and Woodbine Casino expansion.