The Co-operators donates $360,000 to 16 organizations providing employability services and training

Across Canada, there is a rich variety of community-based organizations providing life-changing employability and career training services for marginalized youth and people with mental health challenges. Recognizing the importance of the work they do, The Co-operators today announced funding of $360,000 to 16 organizations that provide training and employment opportunities to help people overcome barriers to employment and become more self-reliant.

“These organizations fill a very real need in their communities, supporting many people to help them create better, more positive futures for themselves,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Through their efforts to help others, they are creating resilient and sustainable communities.”

The following organizations are receiving funding from The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development (CED) Funds:

Stella Bury Community Services (Stella’s Circle) – St. John’s, N.L.
Open Sky Co-operative – Sackville N.B.
Centre résidentiel et communautaire Jacques-Cartier – Quebec City
Spectre de Rue – Montreal
Comité de revitalisation urbaine intégrée de Saint-PierreLachine, Que.
Causeway Work Centre – Ottawa
Working for Change – Toronto
Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth – Toronto
Roots to Harvest – Thunder Bay, Ont.
FortWhyte Alive – Winnipeg
Ignite Adult Learning Corporation Foundation – Regina
Momentum Community Economic Development Society – Calgary
Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation – Vancouver
The Cleaning Solution – Vancouver
Eastside Movement for Business and Economic Renewal Society (EMBERS) – Vancouver
The Kettle Society – Vancouver

The CED Funds were developed in 1995 to commemorate The Co-operators 50th anniversary, and through it, The Co-operators has granted $5.6 million to 130 organizations. The CED Funds are part of The Co-operators Foundation, which supports community-based organizations and other worthy causes throughout Canada. For more information on the Funds and their recipients, please

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $44 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 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

SOURCE The Co-operators

Severe summer storm in Alberta & Saskatchewan causes close to $65 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports a severe storm that swept through Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan during the third week of July has resulted in nearly $65 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

From July 15 – 16, a low pressure system caused heavy rainfall, large hail, and localized flash flooding in parts of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. This system caused significant hail damage in Lethbridge, AB and localized flooding in Calgary, AB and Arbour Lake, AB. This storm also brought over 60mm of rain to Swift Current, SK in less than one hour.

“This is yet another example of severe weather events causing extensive damage in our region,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “This has been an active summer across the Prairies and it reinforces the need for Canadians to understand their insurance policies and to have an emergency preparedness plan for when bad weather strikes.”

Most damage was reported to have occurred in Alberta. Damage to homes and autos in that province, largely due to hail, resulted in upwards of $59 million in claims alone. This storm follows a previous system that hit the Prairies a week earlier which resulted in more than $48 million in insured damage.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Affordable solution will help ensure ride-sharing drivers have complete protection

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Economical Insurance Announces Executive Change

Press Release:

WATERLOO, ON, August 18, 2016 — Karen Gavan, President and CEO of Economical Insurance, one of Canada’s leading providers of home, auto, and commercial insurance, today announced that Chris Van Kooten, Senior Vice-president and Chief Underwriting Officer at Economical, will be leaving to pursue other endeavours.

“Chris has made significant contributions since joining Economical eight years ago, increasing our sophistication in pricing and analytics,” said Gavan. “We appreciate all he has done for Economical and wish him well in the next phase of his career.”

Mr. Van Kooten’s last day at Economical will be Friday, August 26, 2016. The company has initiated a search to replace him.

About Economical Insurance
Founded in 1871, Economical is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with $2.0 billion in premiums during 2015 and $5.4 billion in assets as at June 30, 2016. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Sonnet, Economical Financial, and Family Insurance Solutions.

For further information, contact:
Doug Maybee, Manager, Public and Media Relations, Economical Insurance

David Bradfield, Vice-president, Communication, Economical Insurance

Western Financial Group appoints Patrick Bieleny as President & CEO


HIGH RIVER, AB, Aug. 17, 2016 /CNW/ – Western Financial Group (Western) and its Board of Directors announce the appointment ofPatrick Bieleny as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Patrick succeeds Paul Taylor, who retired on July 4.

Mr. Bieleny will oversee Western’s Network of insurance brokerages and all of Western’s business units including Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions and Western Life Assurance Company. Mr. Bieleny will also act as CEO of Western Financial Insurance Company (Petsecure) until ownership passes over to Economical.

His diverse background and experience includes most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of XALTA Capital Partners Ltd., an Alberta based private equity and investment firm. He has served in senior executive positions in the agricultural, food and oil industries throughout Alberta. Patrick is a director of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta and a past Director of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, an Alberta Crown Corporation.

“My board colleagues and I are delighted that Patrick Bieleny has agreed to join Western and we’re confident he can lead the team to build on our strong foundation,” said Jim Dinning, chair of the board of Western. “Patrick has a strong track record of operational excellence. We’re excited to work with him as he and the team delivers quality service for our customers across western Canada.”

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to lead Western. It is a terrific organization with dedicated employees and I look forward to all that we can accomplish together,” said Mr. Bieleny.

Mr. Bieleny will assume the President and CEO role effective August 22nd, 2016.

About Western Financial Group

Western Financial Group is a diversified insurance company that serves more than 800,000 customers across Western Canada. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western Provides personal and business insurance services through more than 160 office locations and affiliates. With a skilled team of more than 1,800 employees, Western is committed to building the strongest insurance organization in Western Canada.

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

SOURCE Western Financial Group

Ten Canadian co-ops receive $125,600 from The Co-operators

GUELPH, ON, Aug. 17, 2016 /CNW/ – Today, The Co-operators announced a total of $125,600 in grants to support 10 Canadian co-operatives that are addressing social and economic needs in their communities. The funding is provided through The Co-operators Foundation Co-operative Development Program.

“These organizations are working on a wide range of issues, from homelessness to helping seniors remain in their homes, from building sustainable local food systems to promoting local biofuels,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We are pleased to support the work of these co-ops, which are helping to enhance the sustainability of their communities.”

The following organizations are receiving the grants announced today:

Coopérative de solidarité l’Autre-Toit – Sherbrooke, Que.
Coop l’Autre-Toît offers people experiencing homelessness an opportunity to improve their situation. The co-op currently runs 22 housing units, and will provide housing for 24 new members with construction that is nearing completion.

Coopérative de solidarité Temps libre – Montreal
Temps libre provides open spaces conducive to interaction, incubation and dissemination of cultural, social and digital projects rooted in the Montreal area. Its building accommodates organizations dedicated to the transformation of cities and neighbourhoods, community life, urban ecology and social innovation.

Elevations Co-operative – Toronto
Elevations is an initiative launched by leaders of the East African community in the GTA to support their community members in small business development and to promote East African products and services.

The Karma Project Community Food Co-operative – Simcoe County, Ont.
The Karma Project is a community-owned co-op transforming the local food system in Simcoe Country. The co-op manages five farmers’ markets, the local Good Food Box program, an Edible Classroom school program, fresh food donation drives, two community gardens and two retail food stores.

Western Manitoba Seniors Non-profit Housing Cooperative – Brandon, Man.
This co-op enables seniors to age in place and to live in a community by providing affordable housing options that support physical and mental health, social engagement and personal independence.

Peg City Car Co-operative – Winnipeg
Peg City Car Co-op’s mission is to support its members to walk, bike or bus for most of their transportation needs by providing occasional access to a car when needed. This allows members to avoid or reduce the financial burden and responsibilities of personal car ownership.

Calgary Aging in Place Co-operative – Calgary
Calgary Aging in Place is a unique co-operative aiming to support seniors to stay in their own homes and neighbourhoods, including an innovative option for a home retrofit program for rental opportunities. The co-op co-ordinates a variety of home support services such as cleaning, property management, shopping and transportation.

BC Eco Seed Coop – B.C.
The BC Eco Seed Co-op is a producer co-operative committed to growing and providing seeds that are ecologically grown, open-pollinated, regionally adapted, held in the public domain and not genetically engineered.

Coast Car Co-operative – Sechelt, B.C.
Coast Car Co-op is a member-owned car sharing co-operative established to create options for individuals and businesses looking for alternatives to vehicle ownership while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-operative – Duncan, B.C.
Cowichan Bio-Diesel is dedicated to the local production, use and promotion of biofuels in order to achieve an environmentally sustainable local economy and to provide an alternative to existing fuels.

The Co-operators created the Co-operative Development Program 24 years ago. Since that time, it has provided more than $2.2 millionto 162 emerging or expanding Canadian co-operatives that respond to local unmet needs.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $44 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 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

SOURCE The Co-operators

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