Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) is co-ordinating a virtual fireside chat: “Addressing Racism in Construction: A Conversation with EllisDon” on Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.
At the event, OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo will discuss recent events and longstanding issues facing the construction sector with Geoff Smith, president and CEO of EllisDon; Jennifer Khan, head of inclusive diversity at EllisDon, and Samuel Ajobo, chair of Alliance for the Black Employee Experience and Leadership (ABEEL).
The presenters’ goal is to share their experience, discuss how EllisDon responded as general contractors, and learn from their leadership on the issue.
This year, the construction industry was shaken with the discovery of nooses on several EllisDon sites, including the Michael Garron Hospital renovation project in Toronto.
“As leaders in the sector, EllisDon has refused to be silent on this issue and is determined to hold those responsible to account,” a statement outlining the event says. “In their response to these heinous acts, EllisDon demonstrated leadership in our industry by taking concrete steps to address these specific events and the issue of racism in the construction industry.”
The OGCA says it has been actively working to end racism in ICI construction and break down barriers facing underrepresented communities in the construction industry. “We believe that discussions about racism and discrimination in construction are pivotal to improving our industry,” the statement said.