“A Fair [Trade] City” — Jamaal Montasser, Engineers Without Borders

Toronto is a profoundly diverse city — among the most diverse in the world. But Jamaal Montasser of Engineers Without Borders asks, are we global citizens?

Connecting Torontonians’ actions to their impacts overseas may not be that hard. One of the simplest things a consumer can do is choose which products they buy based on crtiera such as Fair Trade certification.

By becoming a Fair Trade City, Toronto could help citizens connect to the rest of the world. By explicitly opting to use Fair Trade products, the City of Toronto could very easily have a disproportionate, beneficial impact on overseas communities.

But the largest effect of all this will be that Torontonians will see and hear about Fair Trade and identify with what the City is leading. Torontonians will recognize that in their everyday actions, such as when buying coffee, they have choices. What if we could awaken Toronto to thinking globally every day? Let’s aim to make this a sustainable city in all senses of the word.

Engineers Without Borders Canada (@EWB) is a group of passionate people who believe they can drive significant positive change in the world. EWB sends Canadians overseas to work in Africa in partnership with local governments and non-governmental organizations in order to develop programs that help rural Africans break the cycle of poverty.

At home, EWB is challenging Canadians to make choices that affect the global south in a positive way. They have worked with Canadian corporations and the federal government to develop pro-poor policies. EWB also helps Canadians see that Africa is a continent of hope and that we as Canadians can make positive choices that affect the lives of others overseas.