The City of Toronto is committed to removing barriers and creating the condition in which all residents can thrive. This is accomplished by identifying and addressing systemic inequities faced by underrepresented and underserved communities, in order to foster equity of opportunity and outcomes. Equity and reconciliation are foundational to the City’s commitments and strategies, including the City’s Corporate Strategic Plan, and advancing equity and reconciliation outcomes for Torontonians are organizational priorities.
Effective integration of equity and reconciliation considerations into City functions, programs and services requires all City staff to apply both lenses to their work. This ensures that all City processes, policies and decisions incorporate and attempt to address equity, reconciliation and human rights considerations. The City’s Equity and Reconciliation infrastructure focuses on addressing the root causes of inequity for better outcomes for Indigenous, Black and equity-deserving groups. Additionally, the City has made workforce equity a key priority to ensure the Toronto Public Service reflects the demographics of the residents it serves.
The City’s Equity and Reconciliation infrastructure is a decentralized model where subject matter expertise, community advisors, resources and tools are located across the organization. In other words, while there are places and people within the City mandated to focus on particular issues, advancing equity and reconciliation for Toronto residents is everyone’s work, at every level of the organization. To support these efforts, this decentralized system consists of:
These components are designed to support divisions develop internal capacity to effectively embed equity and reconciliation considerations in all programs, services, policies and decision-making in every stage of their work.
To effectively integrate equity and reconciliation into City processes, policies and decisions, staff continue to advance strategies aimed at improving equity of opportunity and outcomes for Indigenous, Black and equity-deserving residents. Evolving the City’s Equity and Reconciliation infrastructure requires building capacity and strengthening accountability by promoting best practices from community expertise, industry and other jurisdictions. A collaborative approach grounded in results-based accountability and community experiences of Indigenous, Black and equity-deserving group underpins the City’s approach.
To support the effective advancement and integration of the Equity and Reconciliation into all the City’s work, City Divisions, Agencies, Corporations, as well as the Mayor and Members of Council are supported to ensure these lenses are applied in the course of service delivery, policy development and decision-making. Decision makers often advocate for those who are often underrepresented and underserved, and hold the City accountable for embedding data-informed analysis in the design and implementation of all initiatives.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have a distinct history and complicated relationship with Canadian governments, including the City of Toronto. The Equity and Reconciliation infrastructure is an integral mechanism to advance the Strategic Actions identified in the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), as well as other corporate reconciliation commitments. This infrastructure enables staff to better understand the unique needs and barriers facing Indigenous communities and embed cultural considerations into their practices.
Advancing equity and human rights is the collective responsibility of all City divisions; the Equity and Reconciliation Infrastructure facilitates capacity building, transparency, and accountability through a corporate, cross-divisional framework. This approach encourages a consistent approach and enables an intersectional understanding of equity outcomes to drive systemic long-term change for these communities.
Director, Equity and Human Rights