On July 18 2019, almost four years after City Council approved the TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, the City of Toronto adopted a new landmark Community Benefits Framework which will create more opportunities for training and well paying careers in the trades through Apprenticeships with hard targets for hiring Toronto residents from historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups. In addition, the framework will create more opportunities for local, diverse owned businesses and social enterprises to access City contracts through social procurement.
The community benefits framework will apply to:
- City Led Projects - Construction projects of the City and its Divisions, Agencies, and Corporations
- City Owned Land - As requirements within leases on City-owned land (e.g. Real Estate Services, CreateTO, Housing Now Affordable Housing Initiatives)
- Financial Incentive - Where the City is providing a financial incentive for a new private development project
- Voluntary - Where community groups and developers are both willing to enter into discussions about community benefits on private developments on privately-owned land
Details: Community Benefits Framework
The adopted Community Benefits Framework will include:
- Hard targets for workforce development on projects that fall under this Framework. Hard targets will vary between 5-10% depending on project
- A commitment to hire a new Community Benefits Coordinator to support tracking, reporting and implementation at the City
- The establishment and convening of a multi-stakeholder Community Benefits Advisory Group (including representation from equity seeking groups) to provide expertise, address real-time community benefits implementation challenges and solutions, and promote transparency and accountability in the City's community benefits activities
- The Community Benefits Coordinator will work with a Data Analyst to develop and implement a City-wide community benefits data system to monitor, track and report on City of Toronto community benefits targets and/or achievements on a project by project basis, to be published on a City webpage
- Scarborough Training Centre: Utilize the Sir Robert L. Borden property located at 200 Poplar Road as a job skills training centre to assist job candidates from equity seeking groups, including Indigenous peoples, by providing pre-employment training and employment supports prior to and during employment, to maximize employment retention in eastern Scarborough
Report Back: The City will also be reporting back on a few items that will help the City to understand best practices and bring forward additional recommendations for City Council to make an informed decision. This includes:
2020 report back: A) Recommendations to advance the City of Toronto's community benefit initiatives, including additional and/or higher minimum hard targets; B) a jurisdictional scan of best practices related to hard targets on community benefits, including community engagement, criteria and actual hard targets; and C) an indication of the required resources to move the Community Benefits Framework forward. UPDATE FEBRUARY 5, 2021: City Council approved changes to strengthen the CBA Framework.
2022 report back: Status update on the Community Benefits Framework Implementation Plan, and recommendations for Community Benefits Framework future direction.