TORONTO — EllisDon has hired a consultant to investigate and report on the racism incident that occurred the week of June 8 at a construction jobsite in Toronto and the firm has also created an internal anti-racism group to develop a company-wide action plan.
The incident, which EllisDon is calling a racist hate crime, occurred at the Michael Garron Hospital site where the firm is the contractor. Two members of a subtrade found two nooses described as strategically placed on the site.
EllisDon president and CEO Geoff Smith promised full co-operation with the Toronto Police Service investigating the incident, saying in a statement last Friday (June 12) he was “appalled and outraged at the hateful and racist actions.”
Members of Provincial Parliament Rima Berns-McGown (Beaches-East York) and Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) wrote to EllisDon on July 17 expressing their concern over the incident and asking how the company was supporting the Black and other non-white workers on the site.
“Our concern is primarily for Black construction workers on the site and employed elsewhere with EllisDon, who must come to work on a daily basis knowing that colleagues, co-workers or supervisors of theirs were responsible for such a heinous act,” the letter stated.
Smith’s response, written the next day, and addressed to the two MPPs and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, expressed “complete agreement” with the MPPs’ letter.
Smith wrote that EllisDon is “committing every resource we can muster to identify the guilty individual, or individuals, and ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The statement indicated the company’s investigation by Rubin Thomlinson had begun and noted that EllisDon has asked the investigators to recommend additional steps to support its employees and address anti-Black racism.
Besides creating the internal anti-racism group, EllisDon has also developed an Inclusive Diversity training program, Smith wrote.
Read the full statement by EllisDon HERE.