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Message from the CEO

Published April 15, 2020.

1,000 new loans.  25% growth.  Last April 1st, we started our 2020 fiscal year with a target of 1,000 new loans. After twelve months of hard work, we are thrilled to report that as of March 31, Windmill had approved 1,028 new loans.  Thanks to strong team alignment, innovative process improvements and support from so many, we were able to help 25% more skilled immigrants this year over last.  Windmill’s fiscal year ended in the midst of the uncertainty and turbulence of the COVID pandemic.  These challenging times reinforce the importance of Windmill’s work to our country’s response, recovery and rebuilding from this crisis. How?

Consider our portfolio statistics: Sixty-one per cent of Windmill clients are seeking accreditation in a healthcare field.  By September of this year, 160 of our clients expect to gain certification as physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, and medical technologists and will be stepping up to bolster the efforts on the front line.  Today, thousands of our alumni are providing care to patients across the country, and tomorrow, our current clients will be part of the recovery and rebuilding of healthcare teams exhausted by the pandemic.

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Every day, we catch glimpses of life on the frontline of hospitals through former clients who are now delivering essential care to patients and their families. 

Many other clients are working towards accreditation in the essential services that are keeping our economy going when so many of us are stuck at home. IT, finance, supply management, construction and trucking are all fields with current labour market shortages that are anticipated to grow. This year we have built partnerships with a number of organizations to increase the number of skilled immigrants in these professions, notably with the CPA Ontario for finance professionals and with General Assembly for IT professionals.  One such client, Eric, took the 10-week intensive UX & Product Design program, and has secured a great position at a well-known Canadian retail company.

Our client-facing team members are busy this month recommending public supports and local programs to help our clients in times of stress.  Windmill has offered up to three months of relief from loan principal payments and has reduced the interest rate in step with reductions by the Bank of Canada and RBC. Some clients need these extra supports acutely, while others are replying; “If I pay back my loan early, you can use the relief to help someone who needs it more.” It’s heartwarming, to say the least.

We can find solace in the hope for better days ahead, and also in looking back to see just how far we’ve come.  15 years ago, with the help of her friends, Dr. Maria Erikson provided loans for six skilled immigrants to gain their Canadian credentials.  Since then, we have helped over 5000 newcomers across Canada with loans, and have become a truly national charity supporting people whose skills are—and will be—more important than ever. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Wishing you good health and financial security,

Claudia Hepburn

Chief Executive Officer

*Please register for our semi-annual Investors’ Call April 27.  Click here to RSVP