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Building Just and Inclusive Cities

We recently had the privilege of participating in a webinar hosted by the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) as part of their 2023 Online Roundtable Series Events. The webinar, titled ‘Advancing Social Procurement and Supply Chain Diversity,’ was moderated by Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director of TCBN who are at the forefront of advancing supply chain diversity and workforce development across Toronto’s communities. 

The discussion brought together a diverse array of perspectives, featuring suppliers such as Stephen Callender, President of the Afro Canadian Contractors Association; Brent Brodie, Senior Procurement Analyst and Project Lead at York University; and Diana Levy, Policy Advisor for the City of Toronto’s Purchasing and Materials Management Division.  

Participants delved into important issues as social procurement grows in Canada. A prominent theme was understanding stakeholder needs: from supplier-led target setting; its importance for the viability and sustainability of social procurement policies; to understanding the community impact of social procurement beyond allocated contracts.  

Furthermore, the inclusion of participants such as Dr. Nemoy Lewis from Toronto Metropolitan University who raised the relations between race and how housing is built, and of Victoria Armit from the Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity added important dimensions related to social procurement’s impact. 

We are grateful to be part of this dialogue series, which will culminate to a GTHA Community Benefits Summit at Toronto City Hall on Saturday October 28, 2023 at 9am. We are grateful to have the opportunity to share the panel and to discuss the importance of community benefits agreements.  

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