TORONTO — Following multiple acts of racism over the past several months at the Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) construction site, EllisDon has increased its initial $5,000 reward to $50,000 for anyone who has information that could lead to the identification and conviction of those responsible for the hate crimes.
The company has also imposed extra measures at the site, including more internal security cameras positioned in the washroom area, after a racist message was found on a washroom stall earlier this month.
An additional physical security guard is “roaming” the jobsite and conducting regular washroom checks; more security signs for the perimeter hoarding have been ordered as well as 24/7 video surveillance and security guards onsite; security is also onsite after normal hours; and a security consultant has been engaged “who will make security-related observations and recommendations for EllisDon to consider at MGH and all of our other project sites.”
Additional lighting at access points, more exterior lighting at entrances and paths of travel, additional privacy screening along the perimeter have all be implemented, locks have been changed and door codes reset.
All of these steps are in response to several nooses being found onsite during the summer and early fall in apparent hate crimes.
EllisDon has also taken several steps to address anti-Black racism, including increasing sanctions for subtrades who are found “accountable for racist or discriminatory actions, both the individual(s) involved, as well as the company,” and providing access to diversity and inclusion training. The company created the Alliance of Black Employee Experience and Leadership to educate employees and subtrades on anti-Black racism.
President and CEO Geoff Smith signed the BlackNorth Initiative CEO pledge to devote organizational changes and actions to end anti-Black systemic racism and the company has appointed a dedicated employee as the Head of Inclusive Diversity on its People and Culture team.
An anonymous reporting system by phone and email has also been created for workers to report incidents of racism and discrimination.
“We are determined to find and convict the individual(s) responsible for the racist activities,” the company states.
Anyone with information can anonymously call EllisDon’s Compliance line at 1-888-253-1655 (Option #3) or send an email to email@example.com.
EllisDon also continues to work with Toronto Police on these incidents.