What are the issues?
Click on the link below each issue to read the full Note.
One in four children and one in five adults live in poverty in Toronto.
Despite growing prosperity in some parts of the city, many communities continue to experience significant poverty, at higher rates than the rest of the City. Poverty is increasingly racialized and gendered. Residents face numerous systemic barriers that prevent immediate needs from being addressed and prevent people from exiting poverty.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the City of Toronto
Toronto’s population is made up of diverse communities and groups. The City of Toronto values the contributions made by all residents and is committed to its motto, “Diversity Our Strength”.
The City recognizes the barriers presented by discrimination and the disadvantages faced by equity-seeking groups and vulnerable populations. In particular, the City recognizes the unique status and cultural diversity of Indigenous communities and their right to self-determination.
To address these barriers, the City strives to create and sustain equity in government to serve and reflect all people and implement positive changes in its workforce and communities to achieve access and realize equitable outcomes for all residents. The goal of these actions is to achieve inclusive and safe environments, free from discrimination, harassment and hate.
To recognize the dignity and worth of all people, the City continues to improve the equitable treatment of community members and employees, and aims to provide services by consulting with communities and making sure everyone can participate in decision-making.
Toronto’s Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism
Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. However, studies continue to show that anti-Black racism still exists in this city, affecting the life chances of more than 200,000 people of African descent who call Toronto home.
Anti-Black racism is policies and practices embedded in Canadian institutions that reflect and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and colonization in Canada.
The legacy of anti-Black racism lies in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of Torontonians of African descent. It is experienced as a lack of opportunity, poor health and mental health outcomes, poor education outcomes, higher rates of precarious employment and unemployment, significant poverty, and overrepresentation in the criminal justice, mental health, and child welfare systems.
Human Rights Awareness within the City of Toronto
The City has identified an increase in sexual harassment complaints, investigations and request from individuals seeking to consult with the City’s Human Rights staff. As part of its response to this trend, the City will be re-launching the “Know the Line” anti-sexual harassment educational campaign.
These increases and an increase in the number and complexity of complaints investigated by the City is due, in part, to new investigations linked to the 2016 passage of Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, which increased legislative requirements for investigations into workplace harassment – specifically sexual harassment.
The rise could also be attributed to increases in general rights awareness, legislative requirements/compliance and complainants who cite multiple grounds in a single complaint/consultation.