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November 28, 2008
City’s civic appointments reflect greater diversity
The City of Toronto has achieved greater diversity in its civic appointments during this term of Council, through initiatives aimed at ensuring an open, inclusive and equitable appointments process. An analysis of results of the City’s civic appointments process reveals significant City achievements in this term of Council, when compared to results for the previous term of Council.

“I’m incredibly proud of the success we’ve had in encouraging broad participation of Toronto residents in the democratic functioning of the City through its civic appointments process,” said Mayor David Miller. “When Council approved the City’s Public Appointments Policy in 2006, we acknowledged the need to take positive measures towards achieving greater diversity on our decision-making bodies and we’ve done that.”

In keeping with the City’s priority to appoint boards that reflect the diversity of the community they serve, the City especially encourages women, young adults 18 to 30 years of age, people with disabilities, Aboriginal/First Nations people, and members of racial minorities to apply.

The City achieved a significant increase in applications and appointments for women, young adults and racial minorities in this term of Council, including:

  • A threefold increase in the number of applicants for civic appointments (515 applicants in 2004 to 2006; 1,804 applicants since 2007), as a result of more outreach and advertising.
  • A tenfold increase in the number of young adult applications for board positions as a result of targeted recruitment, and a doubling of the representation of this age group on City boards.
  • An even balance between qualified men and women appointed to the City’s boards, increasing the percentage of women appointees from 33 per cent in the previous Council term to 49 per cent in the current term.
  • 31 per cent of appointees are racial minorities (up from 22 per cent) -- a 41 per cent increase over the previous term.

“The Civic Appointments Committee worked hard to ensure that our agencies, boards and commissions are reflective of the diversity of the City of Toronto,” said Councillor Janet Davis (Ward 31 Beaches-East York), Chair of the Civic Appointments Committee. “By having greater representation of women, young adults, and ethno cultural communities, our boards are stronger and more effective in serving the needs of our city.”

In 2007, the Maytree Foundation awarded the City of Toronto the Diversity in Governance Award for its demonstrated commitment and innovation in creating inclusive boards. Award recipients were selected based on best practices for recruiting, appointing and engaging board members from diverse communities.

The City monitors and reports on the diversity of appointed members for the purpose of assessing how well the City is meeting its diversity objectives and what improvements it could make (such as better targeted outreach activities or removing barriers to participation).

The City’s Public Appointments Policy is a comprehensive guide to the City’s civic recruitment and appointment process and governs appointments to the City’s agencies, boards, commissions and corporations, and City nominations to external special purpose bodies. The Policy recognizes the importance of ensuring that Toronto’s public appointments processes are accessible and equitable for all residents. Application of the Policy has been so successful that in June, 2008, Council approved extending the Policy to include the City’s Advisory Bodies.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of Mayor David Miller, 416-338-7119,
Councillor Janet Davis, Chair, Civic Appointments Committee, 416-392-4035,
Graham Mitchell, Executive Assistant, Office of Councillor Janet Davis, 416-527-3514 (cell),



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