Not sure the extent to which diversity in the GTA services reflects diversity in the populations they serve.
Emergency services in the GTA didn't much reflect the diversity of the populations they served when I hired on. That's a polite understatement.
Back then, there was a Residency Requirement. But, it was long before the Employment Equity Act.
Even so, you gained valuable experience in the upwards of 240 official and unofficial neighbourhoods in 416, and many more in the Regions of Halton, Peel, York and Durham.
I read this about the long forgotten Residency Requirement from the Supreme Court of Canada,
The court left open the possibility that it might make sense for police and emergency services to have a residency requirement.
Justice Gérard La Forest, writing for the majority, wrote that "in certain circumstances, a municipality (or, for that matter, another government actor) might well be justified in imposing a residence requirement on employees occupying certain essential positions."
This page contains a form to search the Supreme Court of Canada case information database. You can search by the SCC 5-digit case number, by name or word in the style of cause, or by file number from the appeal court.
The justice went on to specify that such a requirement on emergency services — such as police officers, firefighters and paramedics — would make sense so they are "readily available in times of urgent need."
I know members of the emergency services attend local high school career days, so that helps with local recruitment.