Construction Industry Leaders Recognized for their Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

TORONTO, May 14, 2021 /CNW/ – Two years ago, sixteen leaders from community, labour and industry came together to brainstorm strategies…

TORONTO, May 14, 2021 /CNW/ – Two years ago, sixteen leaders from community, labour and industry came together to brainstorm strategies for how to incentivize and recognize the different construction industry leaders, champions and initiatives that we were starting to witness as the community benefits movement gained momentum across Ontario.

Yesterday, that vision materialized with the first ever Building Diversity Awards Celebration Gala.

Awards were presented in 5 categories, showcasing an owner-client, contractor and union that are Leading On Diversity Best Practices, an individual Community Benefits Champion and a NextGen Builders Champion Mentor or Mentee. The following outstanding were selected by an independent judging panel to be honored with this distinguished award; Metrolinx, Leading on Diversity – Client/Owner, Crosslinx Transit Solutions, Leading on Diversity – Contractor, LiUNA Local 506, Leading on Diversity, Union, Chris Campbell, Community Benefits Champion and Kimoy Francique, NexGen Builders Champion. See addendum attached for more details on each recipient.

  • Metrolinx recognizes that its major infrastructure investments should also provide benefits for the communities in which it works, including employment, training, apprenticeship, local supplier and social procurement opportunities where possible. Metrolinx has therefore committed to include a community benefits program for the rapid transit projects, beginning with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. The program represents a new standard for projects being integrated into communities.» Phil Verster, Metrolinx President & Chief Executive Officer
  • As a result of collective effort from the CTS Communications Team, People and Culture team and the Senior Leaders CTS demonstrated a consistent increase over the past five years of new hire apprentices from underrepresented groups, which allowed these individuals to secure a livelihood for themselves, provide for their families and to have a career that they enjoy.» Monique Gordon, People & Culture Services Manager and Business Partner, Crosslinx Transit Solutions – Constructors
  • LiUNA Local 506 has gone above and beyond its planned Community Benefits target. In fact, it has exceeded the combined efforts of all other unions that supply apprentices for Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) which is building the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit Project. David Galvin, Crosslinx Transit Solutions
  • Chris Campbell is a true leader, disrupting racism, while promoting the advancement of BIPOC in the trade industry. Chris is an agent of change. He builds confidence, champions equality and breaks down barriers for the next generation of leaders to come. He leads by example and inspires others to learn and grow. He earned the trust of his peers and drives engagement. He forges genuine relationships between communities to enable change in a very positive manner and he strives to ensure its success.» Rockaya Gueye, Local27 Carpenters, 1st Year Apprentice
  • Kimoy Francique is passionate and always yearning to help others. The fire that fuels her is not materialistic things or money but seeing the people she has helped become successful. Her eagerness to help is unmatched. She creates strategies that fits your needs, talents, skills, and desires and pushes you towards a better you. With Kimoy as a mentor not only will you grow to be the best version of yourself, but you will have gained a life-long friend and supporter in the process.» Juwan Abolaji, Kimoy’s Mentee, NexGen Builders in Construction and 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW

Award recipients were recognized for one or more steps they are taking that correspond to the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks (standards for organizations around the world), as adapted by BuildForce Canada for the Construction Industry.

The construction industry is a vital part of the Canadian economy. With the recent economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is projected that the construction sector will become even more relevant as stimulus dollars are invested into infrastructure projects.

The BDA Awards Gala received overwhelming response from the industry, with over 400 people attending. «This it is a true demonstration of the industry’s commitment to our collective vision of increasing diversity in construction. We thank our generous sponsors, our representatives from all levels of government turned out to demonstrate their support as well as well as our volunteers and mentors who give of your time to support the next generation of builders.» Says Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network.

The Ontario General Contractors Association, along with construction industry leaders such as  EllisDon, AECON and Tridel have embraced the awards along with Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) as strategies to advance the participation of Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups including women, youth and newcomers in the construction sector. 

«Supporting real efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the construction industry is where we must stand,» said Richard Whyte, Chief Estimator, Toronto Civil Division, EllisDon.

The gala featured keynote C. David Moody, owner of C. D. Moody Construction Company, Inc., now one of the largest African-American-owned construction companies in America.

Speakers included Geoff Smith, President and CEO EllisDon, Dahabo Amed-Omer Executive Director of Black North initiative, Rosemarie Powell, who leads Toronto Community Benefits Network, Ehren Cory, CEO Canada Infrastructure Bank, Mayor John Tory and more.

In addition, the Awards Gala featured some amazing artistic performances from local talent, including the unique sounds of Quincy Bullen, King, Nataga Shachu and a rising spoken word star, Hannah Flores. 

To learn more about the Building Diversity Awards and the award recipients, click here: and

Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) in partnership with community, labour and construction industry partners, is pleased to announce the first annual Building Diversity Awards (BDA) Gala, recognizing exemplary contractors, unions and client/owners as well as industry champions who are leading in diversity, equity and inclusion.

SOURCE Toronto Community Benefits Network