The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) has formed a roundtable with industry partners to address the issue of racism in the construction industry.
In a statement, RESCON said that the roundtable includes 21 industry partners – including employers, unions, employment agencies, educators, organizations representing contractors, the provincial and municipal governments, and the health and safety sector.
Read more: RESCON urges full inquiry into racism in Toronto construction sites
“Quarterly meetings have been established to develop ideas and policy responses on how to deal with racism and change the culture of the construction industry,” RESCON said in their statement. “Subcommittees are being created and will be based on the following themes: employer policies; regulations and legislative requirements; education and training; and marketing and communications.”
The first roundtable meeting was held on October 15 to establish the ground rules for the organization, and was chaired by Amina Dibe, policy and programs analyst at RESCON.
“At the first meeting, we set the direction the group will take and the issues to be tackled,” said Dibe. “When racist incidents were reported early this summer, RESCON decided to take a leadership role in fighting any acts of racism and discrimination in the construction industry. Combating racism and discrimination in construction is critical to ensuring a safe workplace for all. We were encouraged by the strong interest and commitment from everyone at the roundtable to make tangible and long-lasting change. We will be working to move the needle on the issues and continue to provide a space for valuable dialogue.”
“Our construction industry consists of an incredibly diverse, multi-racial, and multi-cultural workforce and we will not tolerate any acts of racism,” said Richard Lyall, president of RESCON. “We were appalled at racist acts that occurred recently on construction sites and decided to spearhead this effort to bring about meaningful changes to deal with the problem. We have some incredible organizations and industry leaders in this roundtable who will work together to stamp out racism in the industry.”