Jul 30, 2020

Racist Incidents and What We Are Doing About It.

Updated list as of September 30, 2020. 

We want to update our communities on the steps we are taking as a company to hold ourselves accountable to take meaningful actions to address anti-Black racism on our job sites and the industry as a whole. 

Our people are not just our employees—they are our family. We know we need to do better to protect their safety, both physically and emotionally. Here are some of the initiatives we have implemented thus far:

Investigations:

  • Engage law enforcement when racist acts occur and fully support the police investigation to ensure we can hold the perpetrators accountable.
  • Engage independent investigators to assist law enforcement as recommended.
  • Offer a reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to a positive identification of an individual(s) who committed racist acts on site at Michael Garron Hospital.

 

Site Security Measures:

  • Increase site security measures at our job sites including digital surveillance, physical guards during the day and overnight (as needed), security site signage, enhanced lighting and check-ins.
  • Expel any individual from an EllisDon job site who is found to commit a racist or discriminatory act.

 

Changing the Industry:

  • 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 our unions on how to educate and eradicate anti-Black racism.
  • Provide access to complimentary Diversity and Inclusion training to all our subcontractors and unions. It covers concepts such as identity, perspective and language and creating inclusive environments and resources on systemic racism, allyship, microaggressions and more.

 

Education, Awareness and Support:

  • To support our employees in the immediate-term, we have an Employee Assistance Program available to provide immediate mental health support and guidance. We have also engaged Sourceline, clinical experts that assist individuals and families in cases of trauma, to work with the employees and their families directly involved.
  • We have on-going stand-downs and toolbox talks at site level to condemn hateful action, offer support, and create awareness around racism and intolerance and what workers can do to stop it.
  • Post our Anti-Racism signs as a constant reminder that there is zero-tolerance for racism at our workplaces at all EllisDon sites.

 

At EllisDon:

  • Creation of ABEEL (Alliance of Black Employee Experience and Leadership) to educate all of our employees and sub-trades on anti-Black racism. ABEEL has organized a ‘Say No to Anti-Black Racism” week for the week of October 5, 2020 which includes a survey that will be available on all EllisDon sites across the company. 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.
  • President and CEO Geoff Smith signed the BlackNorth Initiative CEO pledge to devote key organizational changes and actions to address, change and end anti-Black systemic racism, led by Wes Hall.
  • EllisDon has established an anonymous reporting system by phone and email that is accessible to all of our workers to create a safe place and encourage everyone to report incidents of racism and discrimination.
  • We have appointed a dedicated employee as the Head of Inclusive Diversity on our People and Culture team.

 

Below please find the latest statement from our President and CEO, Geoff Smith:

“EllisDon acknowledges that systemic racism in the construction industry is real and– with our partner unions and subcontractors– we have initiated both long and short term measures to root it out wherever it lies, and eliminate it. This will take time and sustained effort by many people, but we have already begun, and we will succeed.”

To read the full statement, click HERE.