Several prominent players in Canada’s pensions and benefits industries have signed onto the BlackNorth Initiative, pledging to take specific actions within their organizations to tackle anti-Black racism.

“The persistent inequities across our country underscore our urgent, national need to address and alleviate racial, ethnic and other tensions and to promote the elimination of anti-Black systemic racism wherever it exists,” read part of the pledge.

“As leaders of some of Canada’s largest corporations, we manage hundreds of thousands of employees and play a critical role in ensuring that inclusion is core to our workplace culture and that our businesses are representative of the communities we serve. Moreover, we know that true diversity is good for the economy; it improves corporate performance, drives growth and enhances employee engagement.”

Read: OPB outlines commitment to stand against anti-Black, anti-Indigenous racism

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Ontario Pension Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan were among more than 200 organizations that signed the pledge.

“Until now, Blacks have been left behind by the diversity movement in Canada. Today, that changes,” said Wes Hall, founder and chairman of the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, in a press release. “In just 47 days, we have built the modern, Canadian version of the [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People].”

Read: Addressing racism as an employer must begin with listening

Other organizations players in the Canadian benefits, pensions and investment industries supporting the initiative include:

  • The Bank of Montreal
  • Beneplan Inc.
  • BentallGreenOak
  • Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
  • Bridging Finance Inc.
  • Canada Life Assurance Co.
  • Canadian Western Bank
  • CI Financial Corp.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.
  • Desjardins Group
  • ESG Global Advisors Inc.
  • Global Risk Institute in Financial Services
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • IG Wealth Management
  • Intact Financial Corp.
  • Mackenzie Investments
  • Manulife Financial Corp.
  • Mercer Canada
  • National Bank of Canada
  • The Ontario Securities Commission
  • Scotiabank
  • Sun Life Financial Inc.

Read: Manulife investing $3.5M in workplace diversity, inclusion

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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