Last week, the Government of Canada announced that new major infrastructure projects must consider social and economic impacts and encourage inclusive participation under the "Community Employment Benefits" requirement.
Training and employment for under-represented groups and procurement opportunities for SMEs and social enterprises
Recipients of federal funding under the Investing in Canada plan will now be asked to create training and job opportunities for under-represented groups and procurement chances for SME, social enterprises, and charity of not-profit organizations.
Projects over $10 million (for most jurisdictions) will be asked to identify at least three under-represented groups to benefit through training, employment, or procurement opportunities.
Under-represented groups have been identified as including:
- Indigenous peoples
- persons with disabilities
- recent immigrants
Community Employment Benefits to apply to large infrastructure projects worth $33 billion
The Community Employment Benefits will apply to certain large infrastructure projects worth a total of $33 billion. It will be a requirement for all projects under the Defense Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and any Smart City Challenge proposals.
Specific projects that require the Community Employment Benefits will also be posted on Investing in Canada Plan Project Map.
Increasing push for diversity in federal procurements
The Community Employment Benefits announcement follows recent changes to the federal defense procurement bidding process. As previously reported at OMX, gender and diversity plans are now mandatory for bidders and prime contractors.
The gender and diversity plan will outline how the organization and supply chain is aiming to achieve gender balance and increased diversity. This could include gender and diversity initiatives in senior management, in the general workforce, and/or from sellers in the supply chain.
More than $180 billion investing in Canadian infrastructure over the next 12 years
As previously reported by OMX, the Investing in Canada plan will see the government investing more than $180 billion over 12 years to support local, provincial, and territorial infrastructure:
- Public transit ($28.7 billion in funding)
- Green infrastructure ($26.9 billion in funding)
- Social infrastructure ($25.3 billion in funding)
- Trade and transportation ($10.1 billion in funding)
- Rural and northern communities ($2 billion in funding)