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Aug 6: Vancity Supports Lesbians and Gays

Vancity Credit Union "Comes Out" in Support of Lesbians and Gays

Vancouver, August 6, 2002 - Vancouver City Savings Credit Union has "come out" publicly in support of lesbians and gays.

Vancity, which has supported the lesbian and gay community for many years, will be launching the message this week through groundbreaking page-dominant ads in daily newspapers.

The ad campaign will be followed by a number of initiatives, including lesbian and gay advertising to the community, special events, internal policy and procedure refinement, staff training, and the creation of an employee advisory counsel to help staff better serve this community.

Vancity may be the first company in Canada to publicly announce its support for the lesbian and gay community and to include openly gay images in its advertising. The strategy is being implemented following extensive research and consulting with the lesbian and gay community.

Vancity's support of this community is nothing new. The credit union has served lesbian and gay members and supported this community for many years - long before most organizations. Vancity has also had progressive workplace policies in place, including same sex benefits, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies since 1988.

"This isn't about singling out any group or encouraging or discouraging any kind of lifestyle," says Alexandra Paproski, manager, Corporate Affairs. "This is about openly recognizing the lesbian and gay community and acknowledging their right to equality, respect and dignity, both in society and as members of Vancity. This is about embracing the diversity of our community and about asking for their business because we think we have something to offer."

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $7.5 billion in assets, 280,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.