PRESS RELEASE: Over 20 companies join Tent Coalition for Refugees in Canada pledging to create economic opportunity for refugees
- As Canada welcomes tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, major brands including Accenture, Accor, Danby, Shopify Inc., and TD Bank Group step up to meet the moment
Toronto, June 30 2022 – As Canada welcomes an unrestricted number of refugees from Ukraine and 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan, today 22 major companies have committed to creating economic opportunities for these newcomers as they restart their lives across the country.
The Tent Coalition for Refugees in Canada – spearheaded by the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent), a global business network of over 250 companies committed to supporting refugees – will work with some of Canada’s biggest employers to create job opportunities and provide training and other tailored resources to help newcomers better integrate into the economy.
“Canada has a long and proud tradition of welcoming the world’s most vulnerable, and with the right focus we can reduce the number of refugees who are desperately in need of resettlement in a way that grows our economy and addresses our labour shortages. I applaud the Tent Partnership for Refugees on this initiative, which will undoubtedly help newcomers achieve success as they settle into their new communities across the country,” the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said.
“Canada leads the world in resettling and welcoming refugees – now businesses must step up to help refugees integrate successfully in their new communities,” said Gideon Maltz, Executive Director at the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “By helping refugees secure jobs, companies are not only gaining much-needed talent – they’re also creating a fast track for refugees to learn the local language and customs, helping them build a social network and a community.”
The 22 companies in the Coalition span a range of sectors, many of which face significant labor shortages and will benefit from tapping into a new talent pool – including manufacturing, food production, and hospitality. They include: Accenture, Accor, The Adecco Group, Agropur, Bank of Montreal, Bollore Logistics, Ceridian, Danby, Day & Ross, Deloitte, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, IKEA, Jacobs, Loblaws, McCain Foods, Pfizer, Shopify, Inc., Swarovski, Telus Corporation, TD Bank Group, and Ubisoft.
“Employment is one of the most important factors for those fleeing crisis and settling in new countries and Accenture is proud to support the Tent Coalition for Refugees in Canada,” said Jeffrey Russell, president, Accenture Canada. “The more we rally businesses to participate, the more employment opportunities we generate, and the better we support the integration of our new neighbours and colleagues to life in Canada. The benefits are mutual and the time to act is now.”
Supporting refugees is an issue Canadians agree upon; a recent survey found that four in five support the government’s plan to allow an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees into the country, while seven in ten support the resettlement of Afghan allies.
“Supporting refugees is not only the right thing to do – it’s also the smart thing to do,” continued Maltz. “As consumers seek out companies that align with their beliefs, supporting refugees will build brand loyalty and benefit the bottom line. Supporting refugees is a win-win for businesses, refugees, and the whole of society.”
The Coalition in Canada will also work closely with and complement the efforts of the Refugee Roundtable, led by Senator Ratna Omidvar, as well as other NGOs and the Canadian government.
“As the Government of Canada remains committed to welcoming newcomers, it’s wonderful to see the Canadian business community doing its part to ensure they can successfully integrate into our communities and economy,” said The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Co-chair of the Refugee Jobs Roundtable. “Newcomers are truly the lifeblood of a thriving economy and contribute in spades to company culture and innovation.”
Accenture is a long-standing global member of the Tent Partnership for Refugees and helped establish the Tent Coalition for Refugees in Canada.
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About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees mobilizes the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 36 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries. Founded by Chobani’s founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016, we are a network of over 250 major companies committed to including refugees. Tent believes that companies can most sustainably support refugees by leveraging their core business operations – by engaging refugees as potential employees, entrepreneurs and consumers. The full list of Tent members can be found here. Find out more at www.tent.org.