Toronto considers Aboriginal employment strategy
Archive 2014 Feb 6, 2014 Adam Jonsson
The city of Toronto is setting its eyes on a new Aboriginal employment strategy.
‘‘It’s time for us to show some leadership. I’m not going to wait for Ottawa or Queen’s Park to solve the problem,’’ says Coun. Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina).
On Tuesday, the city’s executive committee met and decided to recommend the new Aboriginal employment strategy to City Council. The item will be discussed in the next council meeting on Feb. 19.
According to a report from the city manager, Joseph P. Pennachetti, the new strategy would ensure an accurate representation of Aboriginal people in the Public Service workforce.
‘‘We need to actively do better. We have a responsibility to do better,’’ says Coun. Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8 York West).
Denise Davad, a facilitator at Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, says Aboriginal people are being poorly represented within the city’s workforce.
According to data collected by the organization, three out of 30 applicants managed to secure a job with Toronto’s Public Service.
‘‘One of the things we are missing is diversity on council,’’ says Coun. Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre). ‘‘I’m the only guy that looks like me, Coun. Minnan-Wong is the only guy who looks like him, Coun. Cho is the only guy that looks like him and there are not many guys that look like us.’’
Coun. Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), a member of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, said the new employment strategy is needed.
‘‘There is systemic racism that does persists,’’ says Layton. ‘‘Quite frankly… at least in my time at City Hall, I can barely count on one hand the number of Aboriginal people I’ve seen.’’