Metro Inc. Donation to displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada under the ‘Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel’



As part of the Government of Canada’s resolute support to Ukrainians, the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) was introduced in March 2022 to support the people of Ukraine by offering Ukrainians a temporary status and ability to work, study and stay in Canada until it is safe for them to return home.

Recognizing Canadians’ generosity and the interest expressed by Canadian businesses in supporting Canada’s response to the crisis in Ukraine, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched the Canadian Industry for Ukraine donation portal in May 2022.  The portal offers Canadian businesses the opportunity to donate high-priority goods and services to support displaced Ukrainians and other displaced persons in need who are making Canada their home.

This report elaborates on the donations management process as guided by CISSA-ACSEI’s Corporate Donation Manual, the allocation and distribution of donations informed by data, and provides impact stories from the ground.

This report is also available in PDF format.

Distribution Process

Metro Inc., one of the four launch partners of ISED’s “Canadian Industry for Ukraine donation portal”, donated a generous $50,000 in gift cards (1,000 gift cards of $50 denominations). The donation was distributed in Ontario and Quebec as indicated by the donor.

CISSA-ACSEI worked with two provincial partners to allocate and coordinate the donations (see Annex 1: Corporate Donation Process Map). To ensure equity between provinces, donations were allocated based on available data, including Financial Assistance data from Employment and Social Development Canada that provides statistics of displaced Ukrainians who applied for financial assistance in each province. In coordination with provincial partners, settlement agencies distributed the donated gift cards to displaced Ukrainians in their communities.

Gift cards were mailed to provincial partners, who distributed them to the relevant settlement agencies in their provinces. Settlement agencies in Ontario and Quebec distributed gift cards to displaced Ukrainians and other displaced persons in need.

In total, 1,000 gift cards were distributed in Ontario and Quebec:

  • By 45 settlement agencies in two Canadian provinces
  • In 36 different cities/communities
  • From larger cities such as Toronto, Montreal, to smaller towns
  • Approximately 1,642 individuals benefited from these gift cards
ESDC Financial Assistance (%)  (data from June 14, 2022)ONQC
Total gift cards1000804196

Table: Allocation process of the donation informed by ESDC’s Financial Assistance Data.

Distribution Visualization

CISSA-ACSEI created an interactive map to visualize the distribution of gift cards donated by Metro Inc.

The chart below illustrates the number of gift cards distributed by each province. The quantities were determined by ESDC’s Transitional Financial Assistance Data.

The Impact "in their words..."

These stories showcase a variety of perspectives:  hearing from displaced Ukrainians themselves, from the volunteers lending a hand, and the settlement workers coordinating donations on the ground.

Due to financial limitations, the videos are not professionally produced; however, they will be shared on CISSA-ACSEI’s online platforms, including web and social media. Given the sensitive nature of the war in Ukraine, we offered participants the opportunity to refrain from revealing their identities.

This video is intended to give donors a further sense of the impact of corporate donations in supporting displaced Ukrainians, including the reach of the donation.


“I would like to thank Metro for this gift card. Your support is really important for Ukrainian newcomers.”

[No name given]

“I recently arrived to Toronto and received Metro gift card. I will buy groceries for my Christmas table.”

[No name given]

“Hello, thank you for this gift card. I will buy treats for our Christmas.”


“Thank you for this gift card.”


“This is very important donation for us who have just arrived to Canada.”

Thank you, Merci Metro Inc.! Дякую!

CISSA-ACSEI, the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial coordinating partners, settlement agencies join their voices to those of displaced Ukrainians to thank Metro Inc. for its generous donation and the impact it has had in the lives of displaced persons in need. Дякую!

Corporate Donations Process Map