March 7th, 2022

York South—Weston MPP urges Ford govt to take concrete action on Metrolinx equity hiring

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP MPP for York South—Weston Faisal Hassan said Doug Ford must demonstrate through concrete, quantifiable action that Metrolinx will meet equity hiring targets after it flip-flopped on its commitment to Toronto Community Benefits.

Last week, the Ford government quietly removed equity hiring targets, local procurement and community consultation from transit agreements. After the NDP raised the concern in question period, the community objected, and the media highlighted the change, the Ford government appeared to backtrack.

“York South —Weston, where many residents have long faced barriers to employment, should not have to withstand the Ford government scrapping employment thresholds for underrepresented communities — including Black people, Indigenous people, people of colour and women — set out in Community Benefits agreements held with Metrolinx,” Hassan said.

He noted that before the government announced its plan to remove equity targets, it was clear Metrolinx had failed to meet its 10 per cent equity hiring goal by more than half.

“How can communities trust this government to keep its word on Community Benefits when Doug Ford has made it clear that hiring from local communities is not a priority for him?” Hassan asked during question period, urging the government to take meaningful action to ensure equity targets are not only met, but measured and tracked.

The MPP cited concerns from the Mount Dennis EcoNeighbourhood Initiative, which recently wrote to the CEO of Metrolinx to express that it has provided the community with little information or consultation about the Community Benefits Agreement that’s part of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project.

“The Ford government must move past words and take real, measurable steps to show communities it will not turn its back on them when it comes to Community Benefits agreements,” Hassan said.