The Co-operators pitches in to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada

Guelph, ON (Dec. 14, 2015) – The Co-operators announced today that it has committed $250,000 in funding, and is encouraging its employees to volunteer, as part of the nation-wide effort to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada. A special one-time grant program has been created through The Co-operators Foundation’s Community Economic Development Fund to support organizations’ initiatives aimed at preparing refugees for employability in Canada.

The Canadian government has announced that 25,000 Syrian refugees will settle in Canada, the first of whom recently arrived after a long and difficult journey. Efforts are underway to support the individuals and families arriving in Canada by arranging to meet immediate needs including transitional housing, job training and skills development.

“People and organizations throughout the country are lending a helping hand to support the resettlement of Syrian refugees as they begin a new chapter in their lives here in Canada,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “This is a national project of historic proportions that demands the support of not only government, but community organizations, private enterprises and individual Canadians.”

Through the Community Economic Development Fund, which was created in 1995, The Co-operators has provided more than $5 million to organizations helping marginalized people and communities build the capacity for economic self-reliance.

The Co-operators is also encouraging employees to volunteer to help the many initiatives underway in Canadian communities to welcome the newcomers. Employees are eligible to use two paid days a year to volunteer, and staff-led Volunteers In Action chapters across the country connect them with local organizations.

About The Co-operators

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information, visit