Ontario Construction News staff writer
EllisDon is now offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the identification and arrest of individuals responsible for racist acts at the Michael Garron Hospital worksite.
The company has also put new security measures in place at the site.
“We are committed to providing the safest possible working environment possible for all of our employees free of harassment and discrimination,” said EllisDon CEO Geoff Smith.
“We are determined to find and convict the individual(s) responsible for the racist activities.”
The measures are in response to a series of racist acts at the Toronto construction site, including three incidents where nooses were found and one where a racist message was written on a washroom door.
New measures include:
- Reward increased to $50,000 from $5,000.
- Additional internal security cameras position in the washroom area.
- Security guard patrolling jobsite and conducting regular washroom checks.
- New security signage for the perimeter hoarding, as well as 24/7 video surveillance and security guards onsite.
- Security on site after normal hours of operation.
- Increased lighting at all access points and exterior lighting to illuminate all entrances and paths of travel.
- Additional supports to secure the hoarding and more privacy screening along the entire perimeter.
- All locks have been changed and door codes reset.
EllisDon is also taking steps to address anti-Black racism and Smith says “any individual from an EllisDon job site who is found to commit a racist or discriminatory act.”
In addition, he said EllisDon’s initiatives is aiming to change the construction industry with the following measures:
- Increase sanctions for our sub-trades found accountable for racist or discriminatory actions, both the individual(s) involved, as well as the company.
- Strategize with unions on how to educate and eradicate anti-Black racism.
- Provide access to complimentary diversity and inclusion training to all our subcontractors and unions – covering concepts such as identity, perspective and language and creating inclusive environments and resources on systemic racism.
Anti-Racism signs are in place as a constant reminder that there is zero-tolerance for racism at our workplaces at all EllisDon sites and the Alliance of Black Employee Experience and Leadership was created to educate employees and sub-trades on anti-Black racism.
“The intent is to provide our employees and members of our subcontractor community a platform to share their experiences and provide suggestions on how to create a more inclusive workplace for members of the Black community and other marginalized groups,” Smith explained.
Anyone with information about the incidents can anonymously call EllisDon’s compliance line at 1-888-253-1655 (Option #3) or send an email to email@example.com.