Event Details

Cities Building Social Value: Social Procurement Strategies and Community Benefit Agreements in Halton and Peel Regions

Thursday, July 27, 2017
André Lyn and Leena Sharma Seth, with Rosemarie Powell

Positive social value initiatives, including social procurement strategies and Community Benefit Agreements, hold the promise of building more wealth within our communities. They have the ability to engage business, government, and community sectors in different ways, to work together towards reducing poverty and building more inclusive economies. Two regions in southwestern Ontario – Peel Region and Halton Region – are building the case for and are pursuing social procurement practices and large-scale Community Benefit Agreements, with the support of laws and policies at the local and provincial level.

André Lyn of the Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy and Leena Sharma Seth of the Halton Poverty Reduction Roundtable, will join us with Rosemarie Powell of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, to talk about their experiences with initiatives that are increasing social value in the community, including the recent successful Metrolinx Community Benefits Framework, which was signed as part of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Transit Railway (LRT) development. They will look at some of the most frequently asked questions, such as, assessing community benefit opportunities, identifying and engaging the right people at the table, how to define success, and more. 

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André Lyn

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 2.45.47 PM.pngAndré Lyn is Senior Manager, Community Investment at United Way of Peel Region and lead for the Community Priorities Fund (CPF), which is UW's largest funding stream. He manages a team of volunteers responsible for reviewing and assessing funding applications from various social service agencies, and provides recommendations for the distribution of the United Way Community Fund. Andre is a social justice advocate committed to poverty reduction. He was the Project Coordinator for the video/documentary - Spaces and Places: Uncovering Homelessness in Peel. He is also a member of the Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee and he collaborates with other anti-poverty groups locally, in the GTA and provincially. Andre was also published in: Women's Mental Health, where he contributed to a chapter entitled "Women Living in Homelessness: They Are (Almost) Invisible".

Leena Sharma Seth

leena sharma seth.jpgLeena Sharma Seth has served as the Director of Community Engagement with the Halton Poverty Roundtable since 2012, a collective impact movement working to eliminate poverty in Halton.  Leena brings a diverse range of experience to this role, having worked for local, national and international community-building organizations over the span of her career. Leena is passionate about facilitating communication and finding understanding between people, groups, and organizations who may be at an impasse due to differences in perspective. Leena is proud to call Burlington home and enjoys gastronomic adventures.

Rosemarie Powell

rosemarie powell.jpgRosemarie has worked over 20 years in the social services sector focused on employment, newcomer, women and youth services. She worked from the grassroots up, leading progressively to more senior management positions. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, where she helps to negotiate jobs and opportunities into major infrastructure projects for historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups. Rosemarie is passionate about fighting for social, economic and environmental justice and so it is understandable that she took time out of her career to co-found two community based workers cooperatives with the goal of combining resources of the members to take action on pressing community issues, including climate change. Rosemarie has earned several high profile awards for her work promoting green change in the priority neighbourhood of Jane Finch including from the Canadian Urban Institute, The City of Toronto and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.