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CCDI's 10th Anniversary

What Does Inclusion Look Like? York Region Is Paving the Way

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Wayne Emmerson

Chairman & CEO, York Region

Bruce Macgregor

Chief Administrative Officer, York Region

Through its Inclusion Charter, York Region has become a trailblazer in equity and diversity practices for its employees and communities alike. 

The Regional Municipality of York (York Region) is an award-winning organization that’s dedicated to providing its residents with a welcoming and inclusive place to live, work, and do business. From north of Toronto to Lake Simcoe, the Region is made up of nine cities and towns and provides 15 core services and programs to more than 1.2 million residents. 


Inspired by values that include integrity, commitment, respect, accountability, and excellence, York Region proudly works to build strong, caring, safe communities. Home to one of the most diverse and fastest growing populations in Canada, York Region strives to build a workforce that represents the diverse communities it serves.

York Region is committed to a welcoming and inclusive community where diversity is celebrated.

Wayne Emmerson

“York Region is committed to a welcoming and inclusive community where diversity is celebrated and where everyone can develop to their full potential, participate freely in society, and live with respect, dignity and freedom from discrimination,” says Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO.

Creating equitable spaces

In a country as socially and culturally diverse as Canada, the importance of building an inclusive workplace cannot be overstated. It takes policies, integrated practice and continuous dialogue for companies to initiate lasting systemic change.

But when they do, businesses experience major positive results like higher performance levels, greater innovation and creativity and a more enjoyable working environment. When everyone feels valued, welcomed, and uplifted, the entire organization benefits.

Named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2020, York Region is an inclusive employer that celebrates its growing and diverse population as a source of strength, vitality, and economic opportunity. The Region’s commitment to inclusion enhances our ongoing work to attract and retain the best talent, promote innovation, and provide an excellent customer experience. 

York Region takes many organizational actions toward promoting employee inclusion. Annual corporate diversity celebrations are organized by staff from various equity-deserving groups as an engaging way to promote intercultural exchanges. Additionally, the organization offers numerous education webinars and resources, including those by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) for continuous employee training. 

“Fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment is enhanced through a culture of continuous improvement. Through various resources, training and groups such as communities of belonging, a diversity and inclusion staff committee and an anti-Black racism advisory group, York Region strives to create a sense of belonging for all staff,” says Bruce Macgregor, Chief Administrative Officer.

Gaining international recognition 

The Inclusion Charter for York Region is a community initiative developed by the Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group which includes 20 organizations that serve people who live, work, and visit here. This community collaboration brings together municipalities, police services, hospitals, school boards, conservation authorities, and agencies with a common commitment to welcoming and inclusive communities. 

There are many collective actions resulting from the Inclusion Charter for York Region such as an online diversity calendar, Inclusive Language Guide and the #EndHateYR campaign aimed at raising awareness about hate motivated crimes and incidents and the community’s shared responsibility to eliminate hate and support those impacted. 

The Inclusion Charter has gained international recognition from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a leading practice model to create inclusive communities.

Visit york.ca/inclusiveYR to learn more about the Inclusion Charter for York Region. 

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