Citizenship and Immigration Canada Honours Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. for Leadership Role in Hiring Refugees

CALGARY, June 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. will receive Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC's) Refugee Employment Award. The largest employer in Alberta, the grocery chain is being recognized for its leadership role in improving the employment outcomes of refugees in the City of Calgary.

Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. is being awarded for its efforts through Calgary Catholic Immigration Society to recruit and provide job skills training for refugees. Last year Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. provided 170 immigrants and refugees with job opportunities in 34 Safeway retail stores and four distribution centres in the Calgary area.

Recipients are nominated for this national award by service provider organizations who have witnessed the success of these employers who bring refugees into the labour market, helping them integrate into society and contribute to the Canadian economy.

Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. was nominated by Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. Other winners across Canada include the Gala Bakery in Hamilton ON., nominated by Wesley Urban Ministries, and Dexter Construction of Halifax NS, nominated by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

Quick facts

  • Canada's refugee programs help save lives. In 2014, Canada resettled more than 12,300 refugees.
  • Canada is committed to helping refugees and immigrants integrate and succeed. In recent years, settlement funding has tripled to almost $600 million.



"Our Government has taken significant steps to improve the employment and social outcomes of refugees through its programs and services. Employers also have an important role to play in this regard and I am delighted to congratulate Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. for taking a leading role among the employer community to help resettled refugees in the Calgary area."

Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister

"We are honoured by this tremendous recognition, Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. is proud of the relationship we've developed with many organizations in communities across western Canada. Our partnership with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the refugee hiring initiative has provided an excellent opportunity to engage and develop a team of dedicated Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. employees."

Mark Dimnik, Vice President, Human Resources, Retail Operations for Sobeys Inc

"In the past 35 years CCIS, in partnership with the community, has been committed to fostering the integration of refugees into the local labour market. Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. is a leader in engaging community organizations such as CCIS and in offering customized training and support to give refugees their first jobs in Canada. CCIS' partnership with Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. in the past 10 years has resulted in over 2,200 new hires, many of whom have been refugees. Often, these first jobs lead to long-lasting and rewarding careers." 

Fariborz Birjandian, Chief Executive Officer CCIS

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.


SOURCE Citizenship and Immigration Canada

For further information: Kevin Menard, Minister's Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 613-954-1064; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 613-952-1650,


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