Inclusion in Challenging Times: Winners of the 2009 "Canada's Best Diversity Employers" Competition Announced

    TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - The 2009 winners of the annual "Canada's Best
Diversity Employers" competition were announced today, recognizing the
nation's leaders in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. This year's
list singles out 35 companies and organizations across Canada that have
developed exceptional diversity initiatives to promote inclusiveness among
five main employee groups.
    "In challenging economic times, these employers are making a difference
for Canadians who often face systemic barriers to employment and career
advancement," says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada's Top 100
Employers project, which oversees the annual selection process. "As a nation,
we show the strength of our character by making sure workers who need our help
the most keep a seat at the family table in difficult economic times."
    Now in its second year, the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition
recognizes employers that have developed exceptional inclusiveness programs
for employee from five main groups: (a) women; (b) members of visible
minorities; (c) persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; and (d)
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered / transsexual (LGBT) peoples. The
competition is managed by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which publishes the annual
guide to Canada's Top 100 Employers, in partnership with BMO Financial Group
and TWI Inc.
    "We have a proud history in Canada that dates back more than 190 years,"
says April Taggart, Senior Vice-President of Talent Management & Diversity at
BMO Financial Group. "While BMO has evolved and grown significantly over these
many years, our steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusiveness has
remained a core value that continues to underpin everything we do and that
makes us an employer of choice through all economic cycles. We see diversity
as a strength that helps organizations adapt more quickly in challenging
economic times, and, with today's announcement, we hope organizations across
Canada will take note of the exceptional diversity initiatives being done by
this year's winners."
    "These employers understand the business case for equity and have moved
well beyond basic compliance issues," says Trevor Wilson, President of TWI
Inc. "They are promoting diversity and inclusiveness as core values that they
expect to see not only in their own organizations, but in the ones that they
deal with as well."
    The winners of this year's list of Canada's Best Diversity Employers were
selected by Mediacorp editors, based on detailed application data from the
annual Canada's Top 100 Employers competition. This year, more than 2,100
employers started the application process for the 2009 competition, which was
reduced to several hundred short-listed employers. Each candidate's diversity
and inclusiveness programs were reviewed to determine how these efforts
compared to those of other employers in their field. The finalists represent
the diversity leaders in their industry and region of Canada. Mediacorp
editors were assisted in this process by specialists from the diversity
consulting firm TWI Inc., which is responsible for developing The Equity
Continuum - an industry-recognized diversity measurement methodology. BMO
Financial Group funded the costs of the project and, as the award's sponsor,
was not considered for the competition. BMO and TWI did not take part in the
final selection of winners, which was left to the Mediacorp editors to decide
on the basis of the applications reviewed.
    The editors' detailed reasons for selection, explaining why each of the
winners was chosen, is now available online at The full list of the 2009 winners of Canada's
Best Diversity Employers is attached.

                      Canada's Best Diversity Employers
                                 2009 Winners
                         (in alphabetical order(*))

                   Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
                       Assiniboine Credit Union Limited
                   Bell Aliant Regional Communications, LP
                         Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
               Boeing Canada Technology Ltd., Winnipeg Division
                   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
                           Canada Post Corporation
                        Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
                 Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
                           Corus Entertainment Inc.
                              Ernst & Young LLP
                         Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co.
                               HSBC Bank Canada
               Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan
                            Intuit Canada Limited
                                   KPMG LLP
                             L'Oréal Canada Inc.
                              McGill University
                                 Nexen Inc.
                           Ontario Public Service
                             Pfizer Canada Inc.
                            Procter & Gamble Inc.
                             Royal Bank of Canada
                      Saskatchewan Government Insurance
                            SaskPower Corporation
                               Scotiabank Group
                              Statistics Canada
                              Telus Corporation
                           Toronto Police Service
                          University Health Network
                       University of British Columbia
                            University of Toronto
                                Vancity Group
                              Xerox Canada Ltd.

        (*) As competition sponsor, BMO Financial Group was not considered
                               for this award

For further information:

For further information: Mediacorp Canada Inc.: Tony Meehan, Publisher,
Canada's Top 100 Employers, (416) 964-6069 x9179; BMO Financial Group: Ralph
Marranca, Director, Media & Public Relations, (416) 867-4995; TWI Inc.: Trevor
Wilson, President, (416) 368-1968 x400

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