Rainbow Railroad, an international organization that helps LGBTQI+ people escape violence and persecution to find a path to safety, joined The Honourable Minister Marco Mendicino at an announcement of a new, dedicated refugee stream in Canada for international Human Rights Defenders. Rainbow Railroad welcomes this announcement and looks forward to working closely with the government on its implementation.

LGBTQI+ people continue to face widespread discrimination and violence globally in the approximately 70 countries around the world in which same-sex intimacy is criminalized. In some countries and regions, the situation is rapidly deteriorating, with LGBTQI+ communities being targeted in both community and state-led crackdowns. Relatedly, harassment and targeting of Human Rights Defenders is increasing.

Canada becomes one of the first countries in the world to provide a dedicated refugee stream for Human Rights Defenders at risk. Rainbow Railroad has played a consultative role in developing this new policy, making key recommendations to inform the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, since the Minister’s mandate letter called to “Introduce a dedicated refugee stream to provide safe haven for human rights advocates, journalists and humanitarian workers at risk, with a target of helping resettle as many as 250 people a year”.

“Rainbow Railroad has been working with the government of Canada to advocate for the tools needed to support Human Rights Defenders at risk around the world — especially those who are LGBTQI+ and thus uniquely vulnerable to persecution and violence,” said Rainbow Railroad Executive Director, Kimahli Powell. “We look forward to working with the government and its implementing partners to ensure LGBTQI+ Human Rights Defenders are included and prioritized in this new stream.”

Recently, Rainbow Railroad has clearly outlined the global conditions impacting vulnerable LGBTQI+ populations experiencing global persecution and violence in its report on the impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQI+ migrants and in its comprehensive Annual Report: Understanding the State of Global LGBTQI+ Persecution. In both reports, Rainbow Railroad details the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that global LGBTQI+ refugees, displaced persons and Human Rights Defenders face.

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Throughout COVID-19 the move away from cash toward contactless payments has been accelerated. This shift has posed a great challenge for fundraising efforts of all kinds that have relied on in-person donation collection. To provide the charitable sector with a solution for the post-pandemic world, Moneris Solutions is collaborating with the Canadian startup, tiptap, to offer touchless giving technology for non-profits and charities of all sizes.

“We’re excited to be working with tiptap, a great Canadian scale-up that helps non-profits and charities help others,” says Malcolm Fowler, Chief Strategic Partnership Officer, Moneris. “The payments industry has made great strides in improving and expanding contactless payments to better protect Canadians during the pandemic. However, a convenient technological equivalent to support charities and non-profits has been a gap. tiptap has really created a solution that will help charities continue to raise funds for their important work.”

The standalone near-field communication (NFC) enabled wireless devices developed by tiptap allow Canadians to “tap to give™” using a debit card, credit card, or digital wallet. Each pocket-sized unit functions as an autonomous POS system with a pre-set dollar amount, enabling contactless transactions without additional equipment or complicated back-end technology.

“From a consumer perspective, it doesn’t get much easier than tap-and-go,” says Chris Greenfield, CEO and founder of tiptap. “That said, from a vendor perspective, there are certain scenarios — like fundraising — where the existing contactless payment offerings are over-complicated. tiptap is changing that with simple setup and operation. With turn-on-and-collect devices and little to no capital required to get started, we see our solution really meeting a unique need for non-profits and charities.”

Multiple devices of different dollar amounts can be grouped together in a standalone display or even carried around by volunteers so giving is as easy as tapping the amount of choice. The devices can also be integrated into a brand or organization’s marketing materials enhancing the fundraising efforts by foundations and corporations. When the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario wanted to raise funds for their latest campaign while maintaining social distancing, Moneris and tiptap helped to install a solar powered standalone station by the trail entrance. Visitors could then simply tap their card before continuing on their walk, enjoying the natural beauty of the park.

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Jansen Ng of East Gwillimbury sees his windfall as a social and moral responsibility, promising to do a lot of good as Ontario and Canada’s newest multi-millionaire. He even vows to continue to cut his own hair! Jansen collected the massive $65 million jackpot from the Tuesday, July 6, 2021 LOTTO MAX draw.

The 41-year-old, who is an occasional lottery player, decided to buy a LOTTO MAX Quick Pick ticket at a local gas. “A few days after the draw, I went to check the ticket on a ticket checker and the message said, ‘Please See Retailer’. I thought the ticket checker was malfunctioning and decided to check the ticket at home on the OLG Lottery App.” That’s when he saw the ‘Big Winner’ message on the App but didn’t believe it so he kept checking it on a few other mobile devices.

He finally went back to the retailer with the ticket and the terminal began to chime and announce ‘Winner/Gagnant’. That’s when he truly got excited and his first thought was, “Thank God. This is a huge blessing!”

The first person he told about his new windfall was not his parents or his banker. Instead, he went to visit his pastor. He knew that lottery winners usually seek out financial advice when they first learn of their win, but he wanted to seek some spiritual and moral advice. “I felt the responsibility of this win immediately. I wanted to be sure to use this money responsibly, so I felt my pastor was the best person to work that through with me. This is such a humbling experience.”

As a spiritual person, Jansen says “I see this as God’s money; I’ve just been entrusted to take care of it for a little while.” Jansen says he wants to continue to support charities he currently works with, which remain near and dear to him. He is also exploring ways to set up several foundations and not-for-profits. “I have travelled extensively over the years, saw much poverty and want to try to make the world a better place with some of this money. Lottery winnings used strategically and intentionally can impact the community far beyond just a simple donation.”

As a former member of the military, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that led to his retirement. He vows to help fellow veterans and others to deal with non-visible injuries that lead to a severely diminished quality of life. “At one point, I was almost homeless because I didn’t know how to deal with my injury. I was struggling with making decisions and some of the things I did were strange and irrational, but I kept the true cause hidden from the people around me. I hope to help some who are struggling as I did without having to face more personal hardships.”

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CIBC Asset Management Inc. (CAM) launched a new ETF Series of CIBC Sustainable Investment Solutions, providing access to actively managed strategies that seek to align with the investing values of socially responsible investors. A portion of CIBC’s revenues from managing these environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions are donated to organizations supporting climate transition activities. David Scandiffio, President and CEO of CIBC Asset Management noted the CIBC Sustainable Investment Solutions are actively managed funds that integrate a socially responsible approach to investing while providing a range of income and long-term capital growth outcomes. The CIBC Sustainable Investment Solutions are designed to align investors’ wealth with a values-based approach focused on responsible investing. The solutions also aim to have a lower carbon footprint and energy sector exposure than broad market indices, and employ positive sector screening for companies involved in the renewable energy space and green bonds. The products utilize CIBC Asset Management proprietary ESG analysis and portfolio construction methodology in conjunction with customized screening from Sustainalytics.

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