2019-2020 Annual Report

Building on Advocacy

United Way’s partners in the construction trade discuss job opportunities and community benefits in a panel discussion at the Municipalities of the Future Symposium, co-hosted by United Way and York University (from left): Adam Melnick, Local 95 Ontario; Margaret Taylor, Ontario Association of Demolition Contractors; Marc Arsenault, Ontario Ironworkers Council; Merissa Preston, LiUNA!; Wayne Brown, Crosslinx Transit Solutions; Chris Campbell, Carpenters District Council of Ontario. Photo courtesy of York University School of Public Policy & Administration.

For the sector and people we serve

During the 2019 provincial budget cycle, Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO, United Way, penned an op-ed that made the case for the importance of investing in social services. Running in the Toronto Star, this passionate defence of the vital work of the community services sector also underscored United Way’s willingness to work in tandem with the government, helping them strike the fine balance between finding cost-cutting measures and providing better outcomes for people.

Municipalities of the Future Symposium
In March, United Way partnered with York University’s School of Public Policy and Administration for the Municipalities of the Future Symposium, a chance to focus on the responsibilities, challenges and leadership of municipalities both large and small. Spotlighting the promise of Community Benefits Agreements as a game-changer for both business and community, the event brought together stakeholders from government, construction, industry and labour, and featured remarks from AECON founder John M. Beck.

All in 4 Canada
In the lead-up to the federal election, United Way Greater Toronto—along with United Way Centraide Canada, United Ways of BC, and Metcalf, Atkinson and McConnell foundations—supported the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrant’s All in 4 Canada initiative, a national virtual strategy room that responded to anti-immigration sentiments with positive stories, op-eds and spokespeople across Canada. As part of this work, United Way provided funding, training and support to local settlement agencies.

Better Policy for Low-income Families
The United Way movement continues to work in concert with other sector partners to advance progressive public policy that supports low-income Ontarians. In consultation for Ontario’s next poverty reduction strategy, United Way Greater Toronto led a team of 17 Ontario-based United Ways in a round-table discussion with Todd Smith, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. We came together again as a provincial coalition of United Ways during the pandemic, calling on the provincial government to ensure meaningful income security for the most vulnerable, resulting in a lower provincial clawback on the new federal Canadian Emergency Response Benefit than in some other provinces.

Community Benefits in action on the Eglinton Crosstown generated

community members hired

million spent on local businesses

spent on social enterprises

The Ontario Nonprofit Network

United Way supports the annual conference, which focused this year on the collective ability of the sector to influence public policy for stronger communities.