Scotiabank and The 519 Announce Partnership to Assist LGBTQIA+ Newcomers, Refugees & Asylum Seekers in Canada

TORONTO, June 6, 2024 /CNW/ - Scotiabank and The 519, Canada's largest 2SLGBTQIA+ service provider and community centre, today announced a $750,000, three-year partnership to launch two new programs designed to equip newcomers, refugees and asylum-seekers with integration and employment supports as they build a new life in Canada.

With funding from ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank's $500 million commitment and social impact strategy to remove barriers to career advancement and employment, The 519 will launch:

  • Project Unlock, providing individualized programs to LGBTQIA+ newcomers, including financial assistance, to achieve certification for in-demand careers. Participants will receive mentorship and coaching opportunities and job search support. The 519 will also deliver training for employers across Canada to build more inclusive and accepting employment environments.
  • El Lugar, supporting Latin American newcomers which will include gatherings, workshops and language and integration support to help them successfully enter the workplace and maintain employment.

"At Scotiabank, we are proud of our commitment to help advance inclusion and belonging and foster new opportunities for the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities locally and across our global footprint," said Meigan Terry, SVP and Chief Sustainability, Social Impact and Communications Officer at Scotiabank. "Through ScotiaRISE, we are pleased to partner and support the invaluable work of The 519, to provide help to newcomers as they settle and establish social and financial stability in Canada."

"We're thrilled to deepen our partnership with Scotiabank in support of the communities we serve. LGBTQIA+ people seeking refuge in Canada contribute so much to our communities and our country. This partnership will allow us to continue to provide unique wrap-around and employment support for those looking to rebuild their lives in their new home," says Lisa Duplessis, Director, Programs and Community Services at The 519.

Building Scotiabank Pride

Scotiabank's commitment to prioritizing equality and the inclusion of the broader 2SLGBTQIA+ community is present not only during Pride Month, but year-round with initiatives including:

  • Global Standard for Parental Leave, providing parents (of any gender) with eight fully-paid weeks with a new child and eight additional fully-paid weeks for parents who have given birth (of any gender), as of 2023 in Canada. By 2025, 24 countries across the Bank's footprint including Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and more will have implemented the new global standard.
  • In 2023, Scotiabank announced the launch of our new Global Inclusive Standards of Care for employee benefits, to ensure a more consistent experience for all of our employees, regardless of location. Alignment to these standards has already begun, with a plan to fully implement by the end of 2030. The focus will initially be on health gaps for Women and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community but will positively impact all employees. Inclusive benefits will cover areas like mental health, women's health and expanded same sex partner coverage.
  • In Canada, Scotiabank introduced additional coverage for fertility treatment with a new lifetime value of $20,000 to support employees in their journey to become parents as of April 1, 2024. Employees in Canada also have $10,000 each for both adoption and surrogacy. This is now a total of $40,000 lifetime maximum for all family benefits.
  • To support trans and gender diverse employees and their dependents in their gender affirmation journeys, Scotiabank expanded benefits coverage in Canada and US to include enhanced gender affirmation healthcare that is not covered under government health plans. In Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank has also extended medical coverage to same-sex partners of employees, the first in the industry to include this benefit in the country.
  • Through the Empower Program, Scotiabank supports future 2SLGBTQIA+ leaders with mentorship opportunities. The program is in its fourth year and will expand this year across the Bank's global footprint.

For more information on Scotiabank's commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion and belonging, visit:

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank's vision is to be our clients' most trusted financial partner, to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and maximize total shareholder return. Guided by our purpose: "for every future," we help our clients, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With assets of approximately $1.4 trillion (as at April 30, 2024), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on X @Scotiabank.

About ScotiaRISE

ScotiaRISE is Scotiabank's ten-year, $500 million commitment and social impact strategy helping people in three focus areas: improving high school and post-secondary participation, removing career barriers, and supporting newcomer economic inclusion. ScotiaRISE also invests in programs that address reclamation of Indigenous language and culture as well as urgent and basic needs, such as improving access to basic supports like food and water, shelter and medical care. Since program inception in 2021, ScotiaRISE has invested $102 million in funding globally for 200 organizations, helping individuals from disadvantaged groups at 1.6 million critical moments in time1.

About The 519

The 519 is Canada's largest 2SLGBTQIA+ community centre and multi-service provider. As a City of Toronto Agency and a registered charity, we were created in 1976 by Toronto's 2SLGBTQIA+ communities as a space where people come together to celebrate, organize and create connection. For more information, please visit



Critical moments in time are instances where an individual or group received support, training and/or resources through a program supported by a ScotiaRISE investment. Critical moments are reported proportionate to the funding provided by ScotiaRISE for the specified period of time, program or total investment received to date, as applicable.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information: For media inquiries: Amarra Mohamed,, 647-534-1853