Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2009

A complete, alphabetical listing of the best employers in the country, plus a few of the reasons why they made the cut
By
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/17/2008

Adobe Systems

Ottawa, 416 employees. Graphics and desktop publishing software developer

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• helps employees prepare for retirement with a matching RSP

• maternity leave top-up benefits (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks)

• head office is powered by renewable energy sources

Aecon Group

Toronto, 944 employees. Construction and infrastructure development

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• maternity leave top-up benefits (to 100 per cent of salary for six weeks)

• employee recruitment referral bonus (to $3,000)

• recognition program rewards include a grand prize trip for two using the CEO’s air miles

Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries

Boyle, Alta., 449 employees. A producer of kraft pulp used to manufacture a variety of paper products

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• maternity leave top-up payments (to 100 per cent for 18 weeks)

• 40-acre trout pond, walking trail, driving range and baseball field

• flexible personal time off program has employees averaging 12 personal days off per year

Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario

Toronto, 24 employees. A province-wide public sector bargaining agent

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• four weeks’ vacation after one year and early closures before summer long weekends

• parental leave top-up benefits (to 93 per cent for 52 weeks)

• $600 subsidy for fitness and wellness activities

BD Canada

Oakville, Ont., 406 employees. Manufactures and markets medical equipment and supplies to health-care professionals, hospitals, research institutions and consumers

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• subsidized memberships at the fully-equipped fitness facility with available karate and body sculpt classes

• health benefits plan extends into retirement, with no age limit

• contributes to a traditional pension plan, as well as matching RSP contributions (to three per cent of salary)

Bayer

Toronto, 885 employees. A research-based company operating in the health-care, crop science and innovative materials science businesses

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• free memberships to an on-site fitness facility

• new employee lounge includes a games area and a quiet room

• discounts on auto lease rates and home computer equipment purchases

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

Toronto, 840 employees. An international business law firm

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• holds a national training awareness week for employees

• unique Christmas parties with employee-directed short films and musical performances

• recognizes top employee volunteers with a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice

Boeing Canada Technology, Winnipeg Division

Winnipeg, 1,568 employees. An aerospace composite manufacturer

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• financial support for internationally trained employees so they can complete educational equivalency programs

• matching RSP contributions

• maternity top-up benefits and a variety of alternative work options for new mothers

Business Development Bank of Canada

Montreal, 1,681 employees. A federal Crown corporation that provides financing and consulting services for small- and medium-sized businesses

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• referral bonuses (up to $2,000) when employees refer a friend

• six academic scholarships (up to $2,000 each) for Aboriginal business students

• employees can purchase up to five extra vacation days through flexible health benefits plan

CAE

St. Laurent, Que., 3,328 employees. A manufacturer of advanced flight simulation systems for civil aviation companies and defence departments

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• share purchase plan

• maternity top-up payment (to 75 per cent to 18 weeks)

• helps new Canadians build their careers by recognizing foreign educational credentials, training experience and subsidizing equivalency programs

CH2M HILL Canada

Toronto, 1,196. An environmental consulting engineering company, specializing in water and wastewater, environmental, energy and industrial systems, telecommunications and transportation fields

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• full-time teleworking option so employees can spend more time with families and reduce commuting time

• matching RSP plan

• three paid personal days employees can take anytime, for any reason, in addition to three weeks’ vacation to start

Canada Post

Ottawa, 62,610 employees. The nation’s official mail service, providing letter and parcel delivery to more than 13 million addresses across the country

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• phased-in retirement and health coverage for retirees

• works closely with Santa Claus, managing the Santa letter-writing program

• Aboriginal Education Incentive Award for adults returning to school

Canadian Pacific Railway

Calgary, 13,726 employees. A transcontinental rail carrier serving major centres across North America

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• apprenticeship programs, online training options and tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions (up to $10,000)

• flexible health benefits plan includes coverage for retirees with no age limit

• maternity leave top-up benefits

Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Ottawa, 2,553 employees. A government agency dedicated to protecting the national security interests of Canada and safeguarding Canadian citizens

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• hires older workers and counts previous work experience toward paid vacation allowance

• parental leave top-up benefits for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 93 per cent for 37 weeks)

• initiated a successful recruitment campaign to hire more employees from various ethnic communities

Canadian Tire Financial Services

Welland, Ont., 1,338 employees. Finances and manages the Canadian Tire Options MasterCard to more than two million card members

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• health benefits coverage for retirees, with no age limit

• maternity leave top-up benefits

• company president hosts a regular series of informal discussion sessions with small groups and aims to meet with every employee

Carswell, a Thomson Reuters business

Toronto, 641 employees. Publisher of specialized information for lawyers, academics, financial executives, accountants and human resource professionals

• compassionate leave top-up payments (to 95 per cent of salary for eight weeks)

• unique two-year leadership program for employees with impressive results — more than 80 per cent of participants have been promoted

• offers adoptive parents $5,000 in assistance per child

Cascades

Kingsley Falls, Que., 10,400 employees. A manufacturer of specialized packaging and paper products

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• maternity leave top-up benefits for new mothers and adoptive parents (to 95 per cent for 18 weeks)

• rewards exceptional performance by giving employees the use of company properties in Mont-Tremblant, Que. and Miami

• three weeks’ vacation to start

Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto

Toronto, 597 employees. A provider of social services to protect children and families in need

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• up to four weeks’ vacation to start plus paid personal days

• offers unpaid leaves of absence, extending from a few days to a full year

• new mothers can extend maternity leave for up to three years

Cementation

North Bay, Ont., 1,227 employees. A mine contracting and engineering company specializing in the design and construction of underground mines

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• maternity top-up benefits

• curling and golf tournaments, plus volleyball games for employees and spouses

• awarded one employee a free trip to Cuba at the company’s Christmas party

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Toronto, 2,625 employees. A public hospital, providing direct patient care for people with addiction and mental health problems

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• maternity leave top-up benefits (to 93 per cent for 52 weeks)

• recently completed the first phase of an extensive site redevelopment, which will transform the downtown Toronto location into a mixed-use “urban village” with public parks, shops and residences

• parental leave top-up benefits for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 93 per cent for 35 weeks)

Ceridian

Winnipeg, 1,346 employees. Provides payroll and HR management services

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• parental leave top-up benefits (to 95 per cent for six weeks)

• employees’ pets are covered through a pet insurance plan subsidy

• co-workers nominate employees for a chance to win a vacation to a sunny destination

Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA)

Burnaby, B.C., 129 employees. The professional body that represents the interests of certified general accountants and accounting students in Canada and around the world

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• annual $500 transportation subsidy

• communal bikes that are freely available to employees who want to go for a ride on the adjacent trail system

• free memberships to an on-site fitness facility with instructor-led yoga and boot camp classes

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

Chatham, Ont., 701 employees. Operates 250 beds at three hospitals, serving the municipality of Chatham-Kent

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• parental leave top-up payments for new mothers (85 per cent to 27 weeks) as well as new fathers and adoptive parents (85 per cent to 12 weeks)

• tuition coverage for nurses pursuing post-graduate education

• program for older nurses that lets them share expertise in specialized, less physically-demanding roles such as educators, mentors or researchers

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Toronto, 247 employees. The self-regulating body for the province’s medical profession

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• employee tuition subsidies (up to $3,000 each year)

• employees and families watch the annual Santa Claus Parade from head office, which is located on the parade route

• more than 65 per cent of management employees are women

Compass Group Canada

Mississauga, Ont., 11,942 employees. A food services and facilities management company

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• compassionate care leave top-up benefits (to 80 per cent of salary for six weeks)

• focused training program to help women advance to management-level positions

• career advancement opportunities through extensive in-house training, tuition subsidies and a focus on promoting from within

DeltaWare Systems

Charlottetown, 81 employees. Provides information technology consulting and software development services

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• high-tech careers in one of the country’s most livable cities — most employees can get to work in less than 15 minutes

• tuition subsidies for employees to take courses unrelated to their job

• three weeks’ vacation to start

Durham Regional Police Service

Whitby, Ont., 1,345 employees. Provides police protection services in the Regional Municipality of Durham

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• parental leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 75 per cent for 52 weeks) and fathers (to 75 per cent for 37 weeks)

• tuition subsidies up to $1,500 per year

• variety of alternative work options for eligible employees, including flexible hours, telecommuting, job-sharing and compressed workweeks

EPCOR Utilities

Edmonton, 2,582 employees. Provides electricity and water to customers in Western Canada, Ontario and the United States

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• major investments in alternative energy production, including methane generation in Alberta and wind power in Ontario

• employees can schedule up to five personal days off each year, in hourly increments, so they can take care of errands

• pre-retirement planning workshops and gradual reduction of work hours to help employees transition to retirement

Enbridge

Calgary, 3,745 employees. Provides natural gas distribution, pipelines and energy-related services across North America

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• gives employees the cash equivalent of the health benefits they don’t use

• works with community groups to provide jobs for new Canadians with international credentials

• three weeks’ vacation to start, plus 12 paid days off during the year

Export Development Canada

Ottawa, 1,076 employees. A federal Crown corporation that provides trade finance and risk management services to Canadian exporters in markets around the world

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• offers employees instruction in their choice of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic

• maternity leave top-up payments (to 95 per cent for 26 weeks)

• three weeks’ vacation to start and four personal days off each year

FSC Architects & Engineers

Yellowknife, 70 employees. Consulting firm of engineers and architects, specializing in remote and cold region technology

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• matching RSP and phased-in retirement work options

• located close to the Frame Lake walking trail, which employees can use to walk or bicycle to work

• employees get paid time-off to volunteer for a charity of their choice

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Toronto, 8,836 employees. Operator of luxury hotels and resorts

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• wrote the book (Green Partnership Guide) on how to create profitable recycling programs in the industry

• in-house courses for staff that range from food preparation to finance

• discounted rates at hotels and resorts around the world for employees and their families and friends

Farm Credit Canada

Regina, 1,295 employees. Provides financial services to farmers and agricultural businesses across the country

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• pension plan and a flexible health benefits plan that lets employees convert unused health benefits into additional savings for retirement

• three weeks’ vacation to start and six personal days

• works with the First Nations University of Canada to actively recruit Aboriginal students

Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories

Brampton, Ont., 1,567 employees. A provider of licensed medical diagnostic laboratory services

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• compassionate leave top-up benefits (to 75 per cent for eight weeks)

• parental leave top-up benefits to new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents (to 75 per cent for 15 weeks)

• matching RSP, phased-in retirement options and retirement planning advice

George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology

Toronto, 1,145 employees. Educational institution offering seven bachelor’s degrees and 150 full-time programs, with a student population of 60,000

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• three weeks’ vacation to start, in addition to five paid days off during Christmas

• free memberships to on-site fitness facility, which hosts yoga classes on a regular basis

• flexible work options including telecommuting, reduced summer hours and a 35-hour workweek

Golder Associates

Burnaby, B.C., 2,372 employees. A consulting engineering firm, providing civil engineering and environmental services to clients worldwide

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• international career opportunities through an in-house employee exchange program

• share purchase and profit-sharing plans

• dedicates one per cent of net revenues to training initiatives and contributes to a scholarship fund to help employees continue their education at outside institutions

Great Little Box Company

Vancouver, 194 employees. A manufacturer of custom and stock corrugated boxes and point-of-purchase displays

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• opens its books each month to employees

• takes all employees on trips when the company achieves its profitability goals

• located on 10 acres along the Fraser River, complete with a dock for employees who kayak to work

HSBC Bank Canada

Vancouver, 5,777 employees. Canada’s seventh largest bank with 170 locations across the country

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• health benefits plan, including retirement coverage

• provides $4,000 to staff who are adoptive parents to assist in the adoption process

• tuition subsidies and three paid study days each year

Halifax Herald

Halifax, 343 employees. Publishes two regional newspapers: The Chronicle Herald and the Sunday Herald

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• employees get a paid day off on their birthday

• tuition subsidies

• flexible health benefits plan coverage continues for retirees

Hamilton Health Sciences

Hamilton, 5,682 employees. One of Ontario’s largest regional health-care organizations, serving more than 2.3 million residents

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• three weeks’ vacation to start, increasing to four weeks after three years

• transitional retirement work program helps older employees gradually leave the workforce

• on-site daycare facility that provides emergency short-term care to employees’ children

HOK

Toronto, 339 employees. An international architectural planning and design firm

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• full health benefits coverage for part-time and full-time employees with no waiting period

• public transit subsidies, secure bicycle parking and shower facilities for employees who ride their bicycles to work

• paid time-off for employees to volunteer at their favourite charity

Hewlett-Packard

Mississauga, Ont., 3,481 employees. Provides a broad range of computer products and related services for individual consumers, businesses and institutional clients

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• located within 18 wooded acres adjacent to an environmentally protected ravine

• owns a lakeside resort north of Kingston, Ont., for employees and their families to enjoy

• employee discounts on HP equipment, from laptops to flat-screen televisions

Hill & Knowlton

Toronto, 205 employees. A public affairs and public relations firm

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• celebrates the end of each week with a travelling beer cart that winds through the office

• encourages employees to volunteer media expertise with local non-profit groups

• new employee lounge complete with a bar, dining area and media room

Honeywell

Mississauga, Ont., 4,590 employees. Markets building controls to enhance comfort, improve productivity, save energy, protect the environment and increase security

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• helps employees enjoy retirement years with a traditional pension plan, matching RSP contributions and organized social events

• three weeks’ vacation to start, in addition to four days off during Christmas

• pays referral bonuses to employees (to $2,000)

IKEA

Burlington, Ont., 1,401 employees. A home furnishings retailer that operates 10 stores across the country

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• maternity top-up payments and on-site daycare at one location

• range of flexible work programs to help employees balance work-life commitments

• short leaves of absence that can be used for a variety of reasons, including extending a vacation

Jacques Whitford

Dartmouth, N.S., 132 employees. A consulting engineering firm, specializing in environmental, scientific and planning disciplines

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• summer work placements and academic scholarships for top engineering students

• maternity leave top-up payments (to 75 per cent for 52 weeks)

• tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions

KPMG

Toronto, 5,165 employees. An accounting and professional services firm, providing auditing, tax and financial advisory services to businesses across Canada

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• subsidizes the cost of elder care and child care for employees

• offers leave benefits to employees who are adoptive parents and financial grants (to $20,000) to help cover adoption-related expenses

• fitness subsidy (percentage of salary)

Kodak Graphic Communications

Burnaby, B.C., 1,445 employees. A manufacturer of direct-to-plate prepress equipment and technology

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• encourages employees to leave cars at home by providing transit subsidies, secure bicycle parking and shower facilities for employees who ride to work

• compassionate leave top-up benefits (to 100 per cent for eight weeks)

• helps employees prepare for retirement with a matching RSP and the option to reduce work hours as retirement approaches

L’Oréal Canada

Montreal, 1,200 employees. A manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products

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• alternative work options, including a summer hours program that lets employees start weekends early during the summer

• downtown Montreal location, complete with its own specialty coffee bar and a cosmetics boutique where employees can buy company products at a discount

• invests heavily in employee training, including tuition subsidies, online courses and international training in Paris and New York

Laurentide Controls

Kirkland, Que., 122 employees. Manufactures and distributes process automation products and services to Eastern Canada’s industrial sector

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• provides matching RSP contributions

• consulted employees about its new head office location and sought feedback about workplace design

• offered employees and their partners an all-inclusive Caribbean cruise after meeting annual sales goal

Manitoba Liquor Control Commission

Winnipeg, 341 employees. Operates retail liquor stores and regulates licensed establishments across Manitoba

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• three weeks’ vacation to start and five paid personal days off every year

• employee tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, with no annual maximum

• discounted fitness club memberships for employees and their families

Mars Canada

Bolton, Ont., 478 employees. A manufacturer of confectionery, main meal and pet care products

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• three weeks’ vacation to start and a unique vacation purchase program

• hosts weekly visits from a wellness co-ordinator who provides one-on-one fitness training

• operates an on-site fitness facility with free memberships for employees

Marsh Canada

Toronto, 1,211 employees. An insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm

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• three weeks’ paid vacation after one year and up to five personal days

• closes early before long weekends and reduces hours so employees can enjoy more personal time in the summer

• pays full employee tuition fees for courses taken at outside institutions

McGill University

Montreal, 5,495 employees. Post-secondary institution, providing English-language instruction to nearly 30,000 students

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• subsidized on-site daycare for employees with young children

• alternative work options including flexible hours, telecommuting, shortened workweeks and reduced summer hours

• participates in an inter-university leadership development program, where senior staff intern or work on joint projects at other institutions

Meridian Credit Union

St. Catharines, Ont., 739 employees. One of Canada’s largest credit unions

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• compassionate leave top-up benefits (to 75 per cent for 4 weeks)

• parental leave top-up benefits to new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents (to 100 per cent for eight weeks)

• invests in local communities by giving employees paid time-off to volunteer and offering financial support to neighbourhood charitable campaigns

Monsanto Canada

Winnipeg, 244 employees. An agricultural biotechnology company that develops crop protection products and genetically-modified seed, specializing in canola, corn and soybean crops

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• offers a variety of alternative work options, from telecommuting to an informal summer hours program

• tuition subsidies (to $10,000) for courses at outside institutions

• share purchase plan available to all employees

NB Power

Fredericton, 2,415 employees. Provincial Crown corporation and public utility that provides electricity to more than 350,000 residents

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• on-site daycare at head office

• tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions with no annual maximum

• “earned time-off” program that lets employees take leaves of absence (up to two months) with pay

National Energy Board

Calgary, 319 employees. An independent federal agency that regulates aspects of Canada’s energy industry, and promotes safety and security, environmental protection and efficient energy infrastructure and markets

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• pension plan contributions and health coverage for retirees (with no age limit)

• paid education leave program for employees completing work-related, post-secondary courses at outside institutions

• shower facilities for employees who ride their bicycles to work

New Flyer Industries

Winnipeg, 1,288 employees. Manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses

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• full salaries to millwright, tool-and-die and machinist apprentices during training

• annual staff wellness week that includes everything from flu shots to nutrition classes

• employees get a paid day off on their birthday

Next Level Games

Vancouver, 102 employees. A video game developer specializing in console video games

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• employees share in the company’s success with profit-sharing and share purchase plans

• health benefit coverage to part-time employees

• flexible work hours and telecommuting, and employees can occasionally bring pets to work

Nycomed Canada

Oakville, Ont., 249 employees. A research-based pharmaceutical company that develops and markets a variety of therapeutic medicines for human health

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• uses monthly podcasts to keep in-house and remote workforce apprised of company news

• tuition subsidies to employees (up to $5,000) for courses related to their position

• helps employees move into management with a formal succession planning program

OPSEU Pension Trust

Toronto, 156 employees. Manages one of Canada’s largest pension funds, covering more than 77,000 members and pensioners

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• hosts weekly visits from a wellness co-ordinator in addition to on-site yoga and exercise classes

• surveyed employees about their preferred location, opting to remain downtown over a proposed move to the suburbs

• self-funded leave program that lets employees plan for extended leaves of absence with pay

Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Ottawa, 644 employees. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) conducts independent audits and examinations that provide objective information, advice and assurance to Parliament

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• flexible health benefits plan includes family coverage and extends into retirement with no age limit

• variety of alternative work arrangements, including flexible work hours, telecommuting and shortened workweeks

• unpaid leave of absence program — one employee recently spent one year travelling and living aboard a sailboat

Ontario Power Generation

Toronto, 11,434 employees. A provincial Crown corporation that produces about 70 per cent of electricity in Ontario through three nuclear generation stations, five fossil generating stations, three wind generating stations and 64 hydroelectric generating stations

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• subsidized employee memberships to an on-site fitness facility

• health benefits plan starts on day one and extends into retirement, with no age limit

• combines year-end bonuses for some positions with the stability of a traditional pension plan

Ontario Public Service

Toronto, 67,856 employees. Manages and delivers government programs and services to Ontario residents

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• helps employees enjoy retirement years with a pension plan and health coverage for retirees, with no age limit

• offers employees opportunities for career advancement and specialization in a wide range of fields

• internship and training programs to recruit new graduates and young professionals into the civil service

PCL Construction Group

Edmonton, 1,678 employees. One of North America’s largest general contractors

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• $30-million state-of-the-art training facility

• encourages workplace safety through a program of incentives for safe work performance

• adheres to a “promote from within” strategy — all senior managers are long-time employees

Patient News Publishing

Haliburton, Ont., 69 employees. Develops personalized newsletters for dental practices across North America and the United Kingdom

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• three weeks’ vacation to start

• an on-site fitness facility, outdoor volleyball court, Muskoka chairs and a private dock overlooking a lake

• after-hours program for employees’ young children

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Toronto, 5,773 employees. One of the country’s largest professional services firms

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• provides employees paid study days to prepare for CA exams and related professional accreditations

• donates $300 to an employees’ favourite charity when they volunteer more than 50 hours a year and donates $10,000 on behalf of its volunteer of the year

• annual fitness subsidy (to $1,200) that can be used for weight loss programs, health club memberships or home fitness equipment

Procter & Gamble

Toronto, 2,018 employees. A manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of consumer products

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• student internship and leadership training programs for visible minorities

• employees can increase vacation days by transferring unused credits from health benefits plan

• offers 15 academic scholarships (to $2,000 each) for children of employees and retirees

Research In Motion

Waterloo, Ont., 5,830 employees. A designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless communications products and services

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• employees get a free BlackBerry on day one, company pays usage and service fees

• profit-sharing plan and year-end bonuses

• on-site massage services, flu shot clinics and discounted gym memberships

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto, 52,000 employees. Financial services group

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• in-house and online training programs, career planning services and subsidies for professional association memberships

• flexible work options, including telecommuting and modified work schedules

• maternity leave top-up benefits (to 100 per cent for six weeks)

Royal Canadian Mint

Ottawa, 793 employees. A Crown corporation that mints and distributes all of the country’s circulation and collector coins as well as currency coins for other nations

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• pension plan contributions

• three weeks’ paid vacation to start and personal days off to help employees balance work and personal commitments

• free memberships to on-site fitness facility

Russell Investments

Toronto, 120 employees. Provides investment management services to institutional and individual investors

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• four weeks’ vacation to start

• closes early on long weekends in the summer

• eight-week paid sabbatical after 10 years on the job and every 10th year thereafter

SAS Institute

Toronto, 207 employees. Develops predictive, business intelligence software for the automotive, financial, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, education and government sectors

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• free memberships to on-site fitness facility plus an equipment allowance for the purchase of home fitness equipment

• boasts an in-house band — called the “SASations” — that performs at awards celebrations

• four paid days off each year to volunteer at a local charity

Sapient

Toronto, 187 employees. Provides information technology consulting and marketing services for large corporate clients

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• four weeks’ vacation after three years on the job

• matching RSP contributions as well as discounts on home Internet access and computer equipment

• subsidizes employee tuition fees for courses at outside institutions

SaskEnergy

Regina, 997 employees. A provincial crown corporation that distributes natural gas

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• maternity leave top-up benefits (to 95 per cent for 52 weeks)

• wide range of training and development programs, including tuition subsidies, apprenticeship programs and an in-house Aboriginal mentorship program

• three weeks’ vacation to start

SaskTel

Regina, 3,363 employees. Provides telephone and other communications services to residential and business customers across Saskatchewan

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• free memberships to on-site fitness facility and office is close to running trails that wind along the shores of Wascana Lake

• in-house charitable program lets employees help one another in times of need

• more than 720 training programs online so employees can access materials from any work location across the province

Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation

Regina, 429 employees. A Crown corporation that provides controlled gaming entertainment at two casino properties

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• believes in diversity in the workplace — 48 per cent of employees are of Aboriginal heritage

• unique Aboriginal management development program to prepare employees for management positions

• free employee memberships to a fully-equipped on-site fitness facility

Saskatchewan Government Insurance

Regina, 1,587 employees. Provides property and casualty insurance products and services

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• parental leave top-up benefits (to 100 per cent for 26 weeks)

• tuition subsidies for employees taking courses at outside institutions

• interest-free loans towards the purchase of a new home computer

Shell

Calgary, 4,751 employees. One of the largest integrated petroleum companies in Canada

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• helps employees find child care, schools and elder care across Canada

• health benefits plan extends to retirees

• pays tuition fees for courses at outside institutions

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, B.C., 4,408 employees. A mid-sized Canadian university, offering more than 100 programs to more than 25,000 students

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• on-site daycare facility and summer day camp programs for the children of employees

• free memberships to fitness facility

• staff tuition subsidy (with no annual maximum) for courses taken at the university

Sophos

Vancouver, 199 employees. Develops advanced spam and virus detection software for commercial and institutional customers

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• compassionate care leave top-up payments (to 100 per cent for four weeks)

• matching RSP

• pays referral bonuses (to $2,500)

Spruceland Millworks

Acheson, Alta., 140 employees. A softwood lumber remanufacturer

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• ends the workday when the production target is reached so employees can enjoy more family time

• avoided layoffs after a devastating fire by hiring its employees to help rebuild the factory

• holds annual meetings in exciting locales — all employees recently enjoyed a company-paid trip to a resort in Mexico

Stikeman Elliott

Toronto, 502 employees. A business law firm

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• variety of flexible work options, including telecommuting, a formal earned days off program and a 35-hour workweek

• internship and mentorship opportunities to at-risk youth as part of a Toronto-area program designed to help disadvantaged children stay in school

• pays referral bonuses (to $1,000)

Suncor Energy

Calgary, 5,483 employees. Integrated energy company

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• up to 17 personal paid days off each year in addition to vacation

• tuition subsidies for employees taking courses at outside institutions

• flexible health benefits plan allows employees to convert unused credits into cash

TD Bank

Toronto, 31,473 employees. Provides financial and banking services

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• financial benefits, including low-interest home loans, a share purchase plan, year-end bonuses and discounts on banking services

• developed a training curriculum in partnership with Ryerson University to provide cultural training to internationally-educated professionals

• variety of flexible work arrangements for employees, from alternative working hours to telecommuting

Tamm Communications

Toronto, 24 employees. Advertising agency specializing in recruitment and employee communications

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• four weeks’ vacation to start plus five paid days off during the Christmas season

• manages an island cabin property in Montreal reserved for employee use

• holds popular annual vacation draws, such as a trip for two to the Bahamas or two round-trip tickets to any destination in North America

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto, 1,312 employees. Provides housing to about 160,000 low and moderate-income tenants

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• parental leave top-up benefits to adoptive and new mothers (to 93 per cent for 52 weeks) as well as new fathers (to 93 per cent for 37 weeks)

• healthy workplace initiatives include an employee walking club, free health clinics, and lunch-and-learn sessions

• offers a variety of in-house training initiatives and supports continuing education through tuition subsidies (to $1,000) for courses at outside institutions

Toronto Hydro Corporation

Toronto, 1,527 employees. Distributes electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers

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• parental leave top-up payments for new and adoptive mothers (to 95 per cent for 52 weeks) and new fathers (to 95 per cent for 37 weeks)

• employees have the chance to win an additional week of paid vacation as part of the company’s fundraising efforts for the United Way

• phased-in retirement program and an extended health benefits plan that includes full coverage with no age limit

Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto, 117 employees. A non-profit organization devoted to celebrating excellence in film

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• building a new head office that will feature five cinemas, a gallery, learning suites and a film reference library

• employees have access to film screenings and lectures, as well as DVD lending privileges

• free passes to the Toronto International Film Festival

Toyota

Cambridge, Ont., 5,186 employees. Manufactures automobiles for the North American market

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• operates a fitness and recreation facility for employees

• phased-in retirement program and a flexible health benefits plan for employees that extends into retirement, with no age limit

• staff Christmas party with more than 2,000 guests and great prizes, including a $10,000 certificate towards a new vehicle

Trican Well Service

Calgary, 1,537 employees. A well service company providing specialized products, equipment and technology for oil and gas producers

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• alternative work options, including flexible hours and telecommuting, and phased-in retirement to help older workers transition to retirement

• referral bonuses (to $1,000)

• tuition subsidies for employees wishing to pursue an engineering degree or diploma

University Health Network

Toronto, 8,000 employees. Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre, operating three major hospitals

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• 24-hour on-site daycare and remote daycare partnerships in the suburbs for commuting employees

• an equity leader with female employees occupying the majority of management positions

• full-time wellness co-ordinator manages two on-site wellness centres to help staff stay healthy

University of Alberta

Edmonton, 7,259 employees. One of Canada’s largest research-intensive universities, serving more than 29,000 students

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• free membership to on-site fitness facility, which includes a climbing wall and running track

• subsidized on-site daycare facilities in addition to an off-site daycare subsidy of $2,000 per child

• encourages employees to take public transit by offering transit subsidies, bike parking and shower facilities for bicycle commuters

Upside Software

Edmonton, 142 employees. Develops custom business software for contract management, sourcing and procurement and accounting applications

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• rewards exceptional employee performance with cash bonuses and other awards, including a one-week trip for two to Baja California

• matching RSP contributions

• employee referral bonuses (to $2,500) when a friend is hired by the company

City of Vancouver

Vancouver, 6,435 employees. Provides local government services to 560,000 residents

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• employee discount passes and unlimited access to all pools, rinks and fitness centres managed by the city’s parks board

• subsidizes courses unrelated to employees’ jobs with no annual maximum

• provides six-month work experience terms to individuals recovering from drug addiction in partnership with community organizations across the city

Wardrop Engineering

Winnipeg, 649 employees. A multidisciplinary consulting engineering, environmental and information technology consulting firm

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• paid more than a dozen employees while they joined tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia

• owners deferred their salaries for more than two months to avoid staff layoffs during an industry slowdown

• recognizes good job performance by offering employees cash bonuses (that increase salary by up to 50 per cent)

Wellington, County of

Guelph, Ont., 373 employees. Provides municipal government services to seven municipalities

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• located in a heritage-designated neighbourhood close to a private daycare facility and riverside walking paths

• transit subsidies and secure bicycle parking

• subsidized memberships to an on-site fitness facility and employees can enjoy an afternoon skate at the recreation centre next door

WorkSafeBC

Vancouver, 3,155 employees. A provincial statutory agency committed to the prevention of workplace injury and occupational disease

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• wellness points program rewards employees for participating in healthy lifestyle activities

• self-funded leave plan allows employees to enjoy a leave of absence with deferred pay

• tuition subsidies (to $5,000) for courses at outside institutions

Yellow Pages Group

Verdun, Que., 1,330 employees. Publisher of electronic and print telephone directories

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• three weeks’ vacation after one year on the job

• tuition subsidies (to $2,000 each year) for courses taken at outside institutions

• full health benefits for retirees, with no age limit

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