Great-West Life shut down Wednesday after threat police later deemed unfounded

Great-West Life closed all of its Winnipeg offices and told its 5,000 employees to stay home Wednesday morning after the life insurance giant said it received a potential threat.

5,000 employees kept home Wednesday even though police sweep found nothing; offices to be open Thursday

Great-West Life staff in Winnipeg were told to stay home Wednesday out of an abundance of caution, a company spokesperson said. The company said its offices would reopen on Thursday. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Great-West Life closed all of its Winnipeg offices and told its 5,000 employees to stay home Wednesday morning after the life insurance giant said it received a potential threat.

Police were called just before midnight and did a sweep through five buildings overnight but failed to find anything.

"Out of an abundance of caution for our employees and the community around us, we alerted the Winnipeg Police Service and have closed our buildings at 60, 80 and 100 Osborne St., 444 St. Mary and 560 Broadway," company spokeswoman Liz Kulyk said in an email.

Great-West Life, which was founded in 1891 in Winnipeg and still has its headquarters in the city, also owns London Life Insurance, Canada Life Financial, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance and Putnam Investments. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

The police service's canine unit, which was unavailable overnight, did another search Wednesday morning, police Const. Tammy Skrabek said.

In a Wednesday evening news release, Great-West Life said police found no threat to the safety of employees.

"We are now confident that the offices are secure and therefore, all of our offices are expected to be open tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 6, as usual," the company wrote in the release.

Great-West Life wouldn't say how Wednesday's closure would impact its clients.

The company, which was founded in 1891 in Winnipeg and still has its headquarters in the city, also owns London Life Insurance, Canada Life Financial, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance and Putnam Investments.