Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Project Type

Healthcare Redevelopment Project

As part of the CBRM Healthcare Redevelopment Project, the Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) program was launched in 2021.  

This program was developed through the leadership of both the construction industry and of equity communities.  With the province’s announcement of substantial investment into infrastructure in the CBRM, both equity communities and the industry recognized the opportunity to increase representation in the trades. With input from Cape Breton’s Equity Network, and from leaders across the construction industry and its supporting organizations, the project launched its EDI program.

“This project is about more than new buildings, it’s about economic change and a transformation for the region. These projects will support quality public services with modern facilities that will meet people’s needs for generations to come. It is also an opportunity to involve more people from historically marginalized communities to develop business opportunities and create a new generation of diverse workers to support growth in the area.”

Robyn Lee Seale (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead with Build NS)

Goals and Targets

The goal of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (EDI) program is to work with underrepresented communities to ensure they are involved and benefiting from these large-scale construction projects. These groups include African Nova Scotian, Indigenous, other visibly racialized people, women, people with disabilities and newcomers. While the program is being launched in Cape Breton, the goal is to expand it to infrastructure projects across the province.

To achieve these goals, the EDI program has embedded recruitment targets into the tender packages of all contractors building the new health care infrastructure. The program has a target that ten per cent of those working on the construction sites in CBRM to be representative of the groups listed above.  Additionally, it requires 25 per cent of skilled trade hours to be from registered apprentices, of which 10 per cent of hours must be from underrepresented groups.

The initiative is currently exceeding the diversity and inclusion target on all sites. 


The EDI program involves partnering with industry, community partners, and other government agencies. Our partners include:

Working Group Members:

  • Mi’kmaw Economic Development Office
  • Women Unlimited
  • Pathways to Employment
  • Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration
  • African Nova Scotian Affairs
  • Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
  • Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
  • PCL Construction  
  • Pomerleau-Lindsay Healthcare Partners
  • The Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration
  • The Department of Community Services

Additional Partners:

  • Office to Advance Women in Apprenticeship
  • Cape Breton Partnership
  • Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Filipino Association of Cape Breton
  • Diversity Employment Network
  • Nova Scotia Works

Link and Resources

Building Tomorrow feature: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Program Seeing Success in CBRM

Canadian Healthcare Facilities feature: Building More than Hospitals