Celebrating International Day of Families: 'Making It Home' for our employees and their families
We are proud to help make Atlantic Canada home for our employees who have come from away. This year for International Day of Families (May 15) we are sharing the stories of some of our team members who have brought their families to Canada's east coast and are enjoying our quality of life.
Originally from Ukraine, Denys immigrated to Canada to work for Sunbury Transport in June 2018. With a Master's degree from a Ukrainian transportation college, he had been a professional truck driver in Europe, having worked in Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France and Poland.
Initially planning to move to Bulgaria with his wife and children, Denys heard about opportunities for drivers in Canada and decided to explore them instead. He travelled to Kyiv and met representatives from Sunbury Transport. With the company’s support, he was then able to make the move to Saint John, NB. He passed his qualifying exams quickly and was able to begin driving for the company soon after.
Denys’ family (his wife, son and daughter) joined him in Canada in September 2018. A year later, in summer 2019, he applied for his permanent residency (PR), which was granted. In 2020, he purchased a home in Saint John, setting down firm roots. His children, now 15 and 11, attend school in Saint John, currently in French Immersion.
Denys’ is an exceptional story. He speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, some Polish and English. He spends his time off renovating his home and doing yard work. He loves Canada for its environment – the fresh air, room and openness, lack of traffic and it’s economy and stability. He’s mentioned ‘everything is good here,’ indicating his family has settled and they’re happy.
When speaking of his experience coming to Canada, he stresses the importance of having a plan and doing everything step-by-step, learning English, seeking advice and keeping in contact with friends and family.
Ionut Caraignat emigrated to Canada from Romania in 2018 and was soon joined by his wife and two children. A professional truck driver with experience working across Europe, he has been working in Sunbury Transport's Vans Division since his move. Ionut received his Permanent Residency in 2020. At the time, he wrote to the company:
"I've thought about the difference between having Permanent Residency and not having it. It's more than my 'permit to work' and I was focused on it so much. Having a Permanent Residency means you have the possibility to make plans for the future. It was a hard and stressful step, but so worth the effort!"
Soon after, the Caraignat family purchased a home in Saint John where they now live with their children and two guinea pigs. Ionut is heavily involved with Sunbury and in his community, having been a recipient of the company's "Driver of the Month" award, driven in local holiday parades, and participated in multiple company advertising campaigns. According to his fleet manager:
“Ionut was involved in a commercial video shoot to showcase drivers and the work they have done over the last year and half, [through the pandemic]. He welcomed the film crew to his home and invited his family to be in the video. They were all extremely happy and proud to be chosen, and he is a great example of the type of drivers (and team members) we want here at Sunbury.”
Olena came to Canada from Ukraine in 2017. She and her husband Oleksii are both members of the JDI team. Olena works with our Finance team and Oleksii is a member of the group at Chandler.
"It was my big dream to move to Canada since I turned 18," says Olena. She was intrigued by New Brunswick when she attended an immigration session in Kyiv put on by the New Brunswick Government. "From the first words about this beautiful province on the East Coast of Canada, I knew I wanted to live here."
Olena is currently a Permanent Resident and is expected to receive her citizenship this year! "The thing my family and I love most about living in New Brunswick (and Saint John) is people. People are the best character of any place you go. If you came here once, you would never want to leave! Our community is very supportive and friendly," says Olena.
Additionally, Olena credits living so close to the Atlantic Ocean as one of the reasons she is proud to call this place home.
Like many Ukrainians, this year has been exceptionally difficult for Olena and her family. In late February, the news of the city where Olena's mother lived being attacked shook her. She took it upon herself to fly overseas and bring her mother back home. You can read the full story about Olena's journey here.
Meet Kakale Hove, a General Labourer with the team at Cavendish Farms in New Annan, PEI. Kakale is the mother of three boys and started with Cavendish Farms in 2021. Originally from Botswana, Southern Africa, she chose PEI has the place to raise her family because "it's a small, beautiful province that has affordable housing and good schools. It is a safe place to raise teenagers." Kakle has only been with the team for 8 months but looks forward to the career growth a company like Cavendish Farms offers. "My coworkers are team players and are so friendly," she adds.
We are happy to have families like Kakale's making the Atlantic Provinces home.
If you are interested in learning more about career opportunities across the Atlantic Provinces, visit careers.jdirving.com today to apply!