Legislation includes Community Benefits
Bill 6, The Ontario Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, was approved on June 4. The legislation includes provisions for Community Benefits: “Infrastructure planning and investment should promote community benefits, being the supplementary social and economic benefits arising from an infrastructure project that are intended to improve the well-being of a community affected by the project, such as local job creation and training opportunities (including for apprentices, within the meaning of section 8), improvement of public space within the community, and any specific benefits identified by the community.”
Bill 6 provides a planning framework for the delivery of $130 billion of infrastructure projects across the province over the next 10 years. This is a significant milestone, as no other state or provincial level government in North America has enacted legislation that has included Community Benefits.
Metcalf is one of the key funders of the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) — a partnership of community and labour organizations. TCBN is focused on establishing a community benefit agreement with Metrolinx. The agreement will ensure that the Eglinton Crosstown contracts ensure local hiring for the construction that prioritizes hiring youth and members from marginalized communities.
The Toronto Community Benefits Network, The Ontario Nonprofit Network, and United Way Toronto all deputed to the Standing Committee considering the Bill. Another six written submissions (including one from Metcalf) were submitted encouraging the Government to amend Bill 6 to include community benefits.