Companies recognized for their commitment to hiring Veterans

 Member of Parliament for Durham Erin O’Toole, a former Canadian Armed Forces Veteran and founder of the Celebration of Service, awarded three national employers with the Veteran Employment Transition Award for their organization’s work to support veteran transition with veteran-friendly hiring practices,

GardaWorld, BMO, and VIA Rail were this year’s recipients at the Celebration of Service reception held in Parliament last week.  

Each year, this event brings together members of the Canadian Armed Forces, parliamentarians from other parties to recognize Canadian Employers with innovative veteran employment programs. 

“We wanted to show that there are Veterans leaving the military with so many great skills, experiences that can go into a variety of different employment opportunities,” said O’Toole.

He explained, along with other members of parliament, they consult with Treble Victor, a Military Veteran Business Network to see which employers are going above and beyond to employ military members, Veterans and families. 

“Government must help those who served and sacrificed in their transition to a second career so that they can put down roots, raise a family and be involved in their community. Government, however, cannot do it alone. We need great companies like GardaWorld, VIA Rail, and Bank of Montreal who recognize the tremendous skills our veterans and reservists have and give them the opportunity to succeed,” said O’Toole.

One of this year’s recipients, GardaWorld has been a key player in offering employment opportunities all over the country working closely with potential military employees to cater to their skills.

“GardaWorld is proud to receive this recognition but is more honoured to be able to assist the fantastic Canadians who serve our country and deserve every opportunity for career success. GardaWorld commits to continue giving back and hire these outstanding Canadians. Not only is it good to do, it makes our business better,” said Christian Paradis, senior vice president, strategic development, Security Services at GardaWorld.

In its fifth year, the Celebration of Service has acknowledged many successful and innovative businesses since 2014. A number of those who have been awarded multiple times throughout the last five years, including VIA Rail.

“Over the past few years, VIA Rail has added new initiatives to express our gratitude to the members of our Canadian Armed Forces. We have positioned ourselves as one of the top employers for Canadians who are part of the military community. 

“In fact, VIA Rail has quadrupled the number of veterans and reservists it employs in the past five years,” says Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada. “They stand out as employees not only thanks to their technical and professional expertise, but also and especially for their leadership, loyalty, work ethic, and team spirit. Their military service shows that they are committed to serving their fellow Canadians, just like everyone at VIA Rail.”

During the reception, representatives from each company are awarded a certificate in a laid back environment where service members, employers and Members of Parliament can network, learn about each businesses successes and enjoy being recognized on a large platform.

BMO was also a recipient of this award, as a longtime supporter of the CAF, Veterans and their families.  Recently, BMO launched their first Canadian chapter of the Veterans Advisory Council in Toronto that will be dedicated to hiring Veterans, reservists and military spouses across the country.

“BMO has a long history of assisting national defence personnel, from recruitment to retirement, as well as helping the families of serving personnel find employment,” said Carola Corti, managing director, everyday banking, Bank of Montreal. “We were proud to be recognized as a Canadian employer with innovative veteran employment programs and will continue to look for ways to help the Canadian Defence Community.”

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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