Special Issue Article
There is no city in North America that has a greater opportunity to create economic prosperity for many in the way Toronto does. If we don’t keep our eye on how to take advantage of the benefits, we risk squandering that opportunity. Let’s take stock of Toronto. We’re booming. Toronto is one of the top cities in North America in the number of construction projects on the go. People are choosing to move to our city in staggering numbers—roughly 120,000 people per year make Toronto their home. We have a financial sector that is one of the most sophisticated in the world, a tech sector whose market growth is second only to Silicon Valley, and the potential to have the fifth largest human health sciences cluster on the planet within the next ten years. The challenge that Canada has, and Toronto has most acutely, is that opportunity is not shared as well as it could be. This is particularly true for our city’s underrepresented communities—particularly youth and newcomers to Canada. Toronto has an overall unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent. Unemployment rates for youth and newcomers, however, stand at an unacceptably high 18 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. At the Toronto Region Board of Trade, I work with 12,000 different business leaders, many of whom tell me they are desperate because they simply cannot fill all the positions they have available.
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Osgoode Hall Law Journal