Keynote speech: John Tory
John Tory, Chair of the Civic Action Alliance and former MPP, opened the conference with a compelling speech outlining the practical and moral benefits of having immigrants participate in Canada’s labour market in meaningful ways. His keynote speech outlined a framework from which advocacy in support of diversity in the workplace can be argued. Tory’s approach is divided into three parts: 1) the moral case; 2) the business case, and 3) the presentation of role models in the corporate community. See full summary
"Why do we look at people who’ve come to this country to live beside us and want to work beside us and whose children go to school beside ours any differently? These are people who are in our country, they are living with us, many of them are citizens, all of them will become citizens, and I think we should look at it the same way we look at health care. It’s not that we hand things out to people or give things out to people, just that we give the people a bit of a hand up so they can, perhaps be in a position to do the same for us one day".
"…why wouldn’t you want to have inside your own enterprise to lend the expertise, the experience, the understanding of all those different groups of people, people who represent that market place in to which you are selling your services."
"You have this odd situation in Canada where you have companies trying to look for talent in some areas where we are short, and you have people who are here in the country that have been invited to come here with those skills, and we can’t seem to get them together."