CLAC Releases Research Paper: Community Benefits in Canada, Ontario, and Other Jurisdictions
Cambridge, ON—To ensure that the policy around community benefits in Ontario and throughout Canada is well informed, CLAC released a research paper titled "Community Benefits in Canada, Ontario, and Other Jurisdictions" today. The paper provides a baseline of knowledge for understanding community benefits policies, best practices, successes, and failures.
“The goal of this research paper is to provide Canadian governments at all levels with a resource they can use to develop a strong and proven community benefits policy,” says Paul Wilson, Director of Research and Education for CLAC, Canada’s largest independent labour union. “Done right, a community benefits policy will have a big impact and will become common practice for workers and contractors.”
CLAC’s paper concludes that it is not enough to have good intentions and lofty aspirations—clarity and guidance are also needed when developing community benefits policies. Other key observations include
- Legislation alone is not the solution.
- There are foundational practices that have worked well in other jurisdictions regarding community benefit clauses and community benefit agreements.
- There are eight key ingredients that have been found by researcher Dina Glaser to support positive community benefit outcomes. They include political will, clear alignment with other policy goals and practices, and a workforce contractor development pathway.
- Measuring outcomes is essential to assessing community benefits and practice.
“CLAC is supportive of the idea that public-sector infrastructure procurement can create lasting community benefits that go far beyond the completion of a new building or asset,” says Ian DeWaard, CLAC Ontario Director. “However, we believe that it is important that governments follow their aspirational language with fair, evidenced-based policy that has clear and measurable outcomes.”