Cogeco Inc.
TSX : CGO

Cogeco Inc.

November 12, 2015 14:00 ET

Louis Audet Calls on the Government of Canada to Commit to Taking in Greater Numbers of Refugees Starting in 2016

Canada must again become a model nation when it comes to international aid

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 12, 2015) - Louis Audet, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cogeco Inc., has called on the Government of Canada to immediately set more ambitious targets for welcoming international refugees in 2016. Mr. Audet issued the call today following his address to members of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, at a press conference during which he was accompanied by François Crépeau, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, and Walter Leuchs, the German Consul General in Montreal.

The President and CEO of Cogeco hailed the example shown by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has shown political courage and humanitarian solidarity in announcing her country's wish to take in 500,000 refugees this year alone. He also welcomed the announcement by Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, that an Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees has been created to follow up on the government's commitment to resettle 25,000 refugees in Canada between now and December 31, 2015. Mr. Audet believes, however, that Canada can do better by committing to taking in a greater number of refugees starting in 2016, as human tragedies of proportions unequalled in history are unfolding.

He also called into question the fact that Canada is content to dedicate barely 0.24% of its GDP to foreign aid spending - approximately one-third of the target recommended by the United Nations. "I strongly urge the new federal government to remedy this deplorable situation and to clearly communicate to Canadians the important role this country should be playing when it comes to international aid," Mr. Audet said. "It is time for Canada to once again become the model nation it always has been. We are duty-bound to assuage the misery. Of course, we will have to do so prudently and intelligently, to minimize the risks to the safety of Canadians. But our humanitarian tradition of receiving refugees must prompt us to take calculated risks, by invoking the ethics of urgency. To that end, resources are required. Unless we want to be ashamed of ourselves for a long time to come, the time to act is now!"

The President and CEO of Cogeco concluded his remarks by borrowing a suggestion from Mr. Crépeau, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants: Canada could well organize, as early as this winter, the Ottawa Conference, inviting the countries of Europe and North and South America to work together to solve this problem in a spirit of solidarity. "For each participating country, the task would thus take on a more human cast. It is morally unacceptable for us to believe that this crisis is Europe's problem alone. We must do more. We can do more. Welcoming 100,000 refugees per year is not beyond our means and our abilities. Let us remember that we, Canadians, welcomed some 70,000 Vietnamese refugees in 1979," he concluded.

Video of the press conference as well as Louis Audet's speech are available on the website corpo.cogeco.com.

ABOUT COGECO

Cogeco Inc. is a diversified holding corporation which operates in the communications and media sectors. Through its Cogeco Cable Inc. subsidiary, Cogeco provides its residential and business customers with video, Internet and telephony services through its two-way broadband fibre networks. Cogeco Cable Inc. operates in Canada under the Cogeco Cable Canada name in Quebec and Ontario, and in the United States under the Atlantic Broadband name in western Pennsylvania, south Florida, Maryland/Delaware, South Carolina and eastern Connecticut. Through Cogeco Peer 1, Cogeco Cable Inc. provides its business customers with a suite of information technology services (colocation, network connectivity, managed hosting, cloud services and managed IT services), through its 21 data centres, extensive FastFiber Network™ and more than 50 points-of-presence in North America and Europe. Through its subsidiary Cogeco Diffusion, Cogeco owns and operates 13 radio stations across most of Quebec with complementary radio formats serving a wide range of audiences as well as Cogeco News, its news agency. Cogeco also operates Cogeco Métromédia, an out-of-home advertising company specialized in the public transit sector. Cogeco's subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:CGO). The subordinate voting shares of Cogeco Cable Inc. are also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:CCA).

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