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Press Release

Canadian Business Leaders Take Action on Refugee Crisis

Canadian companies commit to leveraging their core business to engage and empower refugees

Canadian Business Leaders Take Action on Refugee Crisis
Canadian companies commit to leveraging their core business to engage and empower refugees

TORONTO, February 7, 2019 – Executives of leading Canadian companies, including McCain Foods and TD Bank, today announced new commitments to support refugees in Canada, highlighting the vital role for the business community in addressing the refugee crisis. The commitments came as part of the Tent Partnership’s first-ever Canadian Business Summit.

“Companies have the greatest impact when they treat refugees not as victims, but as assets – as workers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and customers,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “We are so proud to see Canadian business leaders making concrete commitments that will help refugees become productive, integrated members of this community.”

At the Summit, business leaders discussed the opportunities and business case for Canadian companies to harness the skills and talents of the more than 100,000 refugees in Canada, with the goal of strengthening and diversifying their workforce and supply chains and building a more prosperous country.

“With Canada now doing more than any other country in the world to resettle refugees, the Canadian business community has a vital role to play,” said Gideon Maltz, Executive Director of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “The commitments today showed practical ways that companies can help refugees, help their own businesses, and help Canada in the long run.”

“The global refugee crisis is not something that NGOs and governments can solve on their own – this is an important moment for businesses to show their support,” said Michael Ward, President of IKEA Canada, one of several companies that made a commitment today. “We’ve seen firsthand the powerful impact of helping refugees rebuild their lives – nothing advances integration in Canada like working side by side with members of the community.”

The Summit featured the following commitments:

  • IKEA Canada will roll out a national refugee hiring program, which aims to employ 250 refugees over the next three years.
  • McCain Foods will hire 125 refugees across its operations in Canada.
  • LinkedIn Canada has partnered with the Refugee Career Jumpstart Project to expand LinkedIn’s Welcome Talent initiative which provides training and mentorship to refugees and newcomers to find meaningful employment opportunities.
  • TD Bank will launch an internal task force dedicated to exploring various areas of engagement to support refugees, including through employment opportunities.
  • Sodexo will hire 300 refugees across their global operations, including 20 in Canada.
  • The Hotel Association of Canada announced a collective commitment on behalf of a group of hotels who are now fully integrated into the Destination Employment program, which aims to support newcomers with training and employment opportunities in the hotel industry.
  • Peace by Chocolate will hire 50 refugees over the next three years, support 10 new refugee businesses through advocacy and leverage their distribution and retailing networks to help four refugee startups and/or businesses get their products to market.
  • KPMG Canada announced a new hiring commitment for refugee newcomers in Canada.
  • Danby Appliances will expand Ease into Canada program, which offers refugee newcomers paid work experience, language training and opportunities for employment.
  • Starbucks Canada

These nine companies join Tent’s global coalition of more than 100 businesses supporting refugees. The coalition allows members to access relevant resources and events and share the impact of their efforts across the Tent network. The full list of Tent partners can be found here.

About the Tent Partnership for Refugees

The Tent Partnership for Refugees, founded by Chobani’s Hamdi Ulukaya, is mobilizing the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 25 million refugees forcibly displaced from their home countries. Ulukaya launched Tent with the belief that the private sector is uniquely positioned to address the global refugee crisis by mobilizing the networks, resources, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the business community. There are over 100 companies in the Tent Partnership supporting refugees across 34 countries.

Tent believes that companies have the greatest impact when they treat refugees not as victims, but as economically-productive workers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, and customers – and when they leverage their core business operations to hire refugees, integrate them into supply chains, invest in refugees, and deliver services to them. Learn more about Tent: http://www.tent.org.

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