Talent Canada
Talent Canada

News Diversity & Inclusion
Ottawa spending $9.5 million on projects aimed at removing barriers to equality in federally regulated workplaces

Avatar photo

February 27, 2023
By Talent Canada

Wayne Sumarah, chief executive officer of Digital Nova Scotia.

The federal government is spending $9.5 million to boost diversity and equality at federally regulated workplaces.

Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. announced funding for 10 projects that will help break down employment barriers experienced by women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

“When you include everyone, you get the best. So, we’re investing in organizations that break down barriers. That’s how we’ll build a stronger, more diverse workforce, and better workplaces for everyone,” he said.

Funded through the government’s Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity program, these multi-year projects will help federally regulated private-sector employers make their workplaces more fair, diverse and inclusive, Ottawa said in a press release.


O’Regan made the announcement with Wayne Sumarah, chief executive officer of Digital Nova Scotia. During the visit, they discussed Digital Nova Scotia’s project, called Creating an Inclusive Culture: Building Tech Workplaces that Work, which received more than $1 million in funding.

The project aims to create a more inclusive culture in Nova Scotia’s technology sector by improving the representation of supervisors and managers from all four designated groups. Digital Nova Scotia will share its final report with employers in Nova Scotia and across Canada to help raise awareness of industry-specific barriers to diversity and inclusion, and how to address them.

“Greater diversity and inclusion in Nova Scotia’s tech sector will directly result in a broader pool of skilled workers that can help address the needs of our companies experiencing systemic labour shortages,” said Sumarah. “To pilot the developed cultural change framework, we will engage 12 to 15 companies such as diversity, equity and inclusion consultants and trainers and industry members within Nova Scotia’s tech sector. The results and framework will be shared following the completion of the project.”

The announcement, which Ottawa noted took place during Black History Month, highlighted a number of projects aimed at supporting Black Canadians. Through their projects, Women in Capital Markets and the Black Women Business Network will support Black Canadians taking on leadership roles in the banking and financial services sector.

Other projects include the development of an equity, diversity and inclusion toolkit by Toronto Metropolitan University, strategies to accommodate employees with episodic disabilities by Realize, and an inclusion guide for the recruitment, training and retention of women in the transportation sector by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, among others. More information can be found in the backgrounder.

“The Black Business Initiative is proud to collaborate with Digital Nova Scotia and Employment and Social Development Canada on an initiative that will diversify Nova Scotia’s tech sector,” said Rustum Southwell, CEO of Black Business Initiative. “We commend Digital Nova Scotia for pioneering this effort to make the digital sector a significantly more diverse and inclusive space.”

Print this page


Stories continue below