Annette Sabourin, Vice President of Aboriginal Markets, is Dene from Northern Manitoba. With 23 years of experience in financial services, Annette is responsible for RBC's Aboriginal Markets Commercial Team in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwestern Ontario and Private & Public Sector in North of 60 and the Territories. Annette leads a team of sales professionals specialized in First Nations and Aboriginal owned & operated businesses helping them access capital to create opportunities for own source revenues and sustainable economic development. She is honoured to be leading the Aboriginal Banking team in her Region and believes in an increasingly bright future for Canada's growing First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
Annette, RBC has a long history of partnering with Canada’s Indigenous people and communities. How would you characterize this relationship?
In a few words, I would say deep, diverse, and definitely valued.
I am truly proud of RBC’s long history of building relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments, businesses, communities, organizations, and individuals. Not only do we seek to earn the right to be a strong financial services provider, we strive to be a valued community partner and the employer of choice for Indigenous people.
I feel it is important that we come together to help make communities stronger and to address issues that are important to all of us whether it be the environment or the challenges faced by Indigenous youth.
As Labrador NunatuKavut Inuit Leader Todd Russell wisely said, “You can’t build a country without your indigenous peoples. When we’re weak, this country is weak. And when we’re strong, this country is strong.” We at RBC believe that pursuing dynamic and diverse partnerships is key to building a strong economy and healthy communities across Canada.
What inspires you to do the work you do?
I have been fortunate to travel to communities large and small – from the very remote to the far north. What defines these communities are the people I meet. From Elders passionate about preserving culture and protecting their people to the youth with dreams for tomorrow while standing in the face of adversity, I am inspired by generations of individuals seeking to honour tradition and culture while addressing the social issues and economic needs that face communities. I am inspired by the resilience of Canada’s Indigenous people.
Let’s talk about community support. How has RBC supported Indigenous Communities?
From the arts to sport to healthcare to education to the environment and more, we have proudly entered into several partnerships across diverse organizations while supporting events and causes meaningful to Canada’s Indigenous people.
For example, from a health and wellness perspective, last year, we announced a three year partnership with Heart & Stroke Foundation, Kidney Foundation of Canada, and National Aboriginal Diabetes Association to help provide access to care to more remote communities through mobile screening and education here in Manitoba. Healthier Together Mobile Screening Program is a unique initiative designed to help facilitate early detection of chronic health issues while providing the education and counselling that isn’t always available in all communities. Through RBC Foundation’s donation of $225,000, programs such as this are made possible.
We also recently supported the North American Indigenous Games in Saskatchewan. This celebration of community, culture, and sport presented such a moving experience for all of us privileged to attend and support this event.
From breakfast programs to Indigenous art galleries and exhibits to Aboriginal business education programs to friendship centres, we are partnering and supporting Indigenous people and Indigenous culture in many different ways.
You clearly have a great deal of passion for Indigenous communities. What are you looking to add to your list of passions in the coming months?
In addition to continuously exploring ways to deepen our relationship with Indigenous people and communities across our region, I feel very strongly about the newly launched wemattercampaign.org. Similar to the It Gets Better campaign for the LGBT community, We Matter is an online and social media campaign designed to gather messages of hope for our Indigenous communities in videos from individuals across Canada. We Matter has already published several videos from people in communities large and small - some well-known faces and some unknown - individuals who each carry with them powerful messages that remind us of the value of life and the honour of identifying as Indigenous. This campaign is in response to the suicide epidemic affecting our Indigenous youth and shares through these videos as well as art and story that there is always a way forward. I feel very proud that RBC is a founding partner of this initiative.
You spoke earlier about being the employer of choice for Indigenous people. How is RBC doing that?
While taking steps to ensure a diverse an inclusive workplace, we also are committed to creating opportunity for Indigenous individuals to seek out work experience and employment opportunities while also benefitting from scholarships and awards.
The Aboriginal Student Internship Program, our three year national summer internship program, provides students with exposure to a variety of career options. Intended for students enrolled in a two year or longer post-secondary program such as Accounting, Finance, Social Science, or Business Administration, this program provides students with coaching, mentoring, and a head start towards building not only valuable work experience but potentially a full time career post-graduation.
Similarly, our Pursue Your Potential Aboriginal program recruits Indigenous talent to help us better serve our communities. This voluntary program compliments an individual’s job search and application process by providing coaching and guidance on finding the right career path, resume writing and interviewing skill building, and highlighting of candidates to hiring managers and our recruitment team.
But it is also important that we continue to contribute to a culture of inclusion at RBC. That is why I choose to be the Executive Advisor of our regional employee resource group, RBC Royal Eagles. With over 250 employee members in our region of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North Western Ontario with additional chapters coast to coast, the Royal Eagles seek to provide mentorship, a sense of community, cultural education, and community volunteerism. Consisting of both Indigenous employees and allies, Royal Eagles is RBC’s oldest employee resource group dating back to 1990. Our Royal Eagles have helped champion our recognition of National Aboriginal Day and Orange Shirt Day in remembrance of the victims and survivors of residential schools and they lead the organization of the Royal Eagles Backpack Program providing schools supplies and backpacks to communities in need.
We all have a role to play in building a better tomorrow for all Canadians.
You mentioned that there are many more ways that RBC supports Indigenous communities across Canada. How can I find out more about these partnerships?
It is important to stress that this truly is a two-way and highly valued partnership. To learn more about just some of the many ways we partner together is through our annual publication A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report. This report shares through story, timelines, and profiles how we are collaborating through banking, finance, & investments; social development and community presence; thought leadership; employment, education, & training; and supplier diversity.
While it is not the complete story, it demonstrates both the endurance and breadth of our partnerships
by Rob Read, Bison Fire Protection
Kidde Canada has recalled 1.5 Million Smoke Alarms that were manufactured from June 2004 to March 2011. The models involved in the recall are the KN-COSM-IBCA Hardwired Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with battery backup, KN-COSM-ICA Hardwired Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm (without battery backup). Keep in mind with the 10 year replacement recommendation some of these units will have already been replaced, however taking the minute to verify the dates and models on the back of the unit could truly be a life saver.
The issue is that when the alarm reaches the end of its useful life, it issues an end of life chirp every thirty seconds. If the battery is replaced when the unit is at its end of life (or, if you have a model without a battery backup, if power is removed and then restored to the alarm), and the test button is pressed within 10 seconds thereafter, the unit will no longer issue an end of life chirp providing a false sense of security when the unit is in fact no longer functioning as designed.
Customers should immediately stop using the recalled alarms and contact Kidde for a free replacement alarm. The full recall announcement is here https://inmarmarketaction.com/kidde217/kidde-ca-entry/
If you still have questions regarding your smoke alarms please feel free to contact us at 204 237 3473 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.
2) Read The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
3) Visit (and support) Thunderbird House on December 21, 2016.
Our moderator Michael Champagne invited you to visit a vital Indigenous institution in our city and the perfect opportunity is just around the corner.
Join The Winnipeg Chamber and get your ticket today to the 'Reborn Under the Solstice Moon' Pinaysiwiigamic Fundraiser for Thunderbird House, December 21 featuring dinner prepared by Feast, great entertainment, and an art auction.
4) Learn more about the Federal Expert Panel on Youth Employment that Michael Champagne spoke about.
5) Bring Circles for Reconciliation into your workplace for a grassroots led discussion on reconciliation.
6) Learn more (and consider joining) the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce.
7) Take advantage of the resources the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba provides (including its free speakers bank).
8) Visit the North End's Meet Me at The Bell Tower. There's a gathering every Friday at 6 p.m. at 610 Selkirk Ave.
9) Explore the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council website.
Its mission is to champion business relationships and economic growth of the Canadian supply chain through the inclusion of Indigenous and minority suppliers.
10) Read this list of 22 impacts that inter-generational survivors face on a day-to-day basis.
11) Read this month's IRPP Insight entitled Indigenous Peoples, Canada and the Possibility of Reconciliation, a publication consisting of concise policy analyses or critiques on timely topics by experts in the field.
12) Interested in learning more? Reach out to us in an email and we will include you in future discussions.
On November 21 the Province of Manitoba delivered a Throne speech that acknowledged how the economy underpins every action, promise and goal we have as a community. The continued deterioration of Manitoba’s financial position would only serve to undermine the government’s ability to deliver for citizens. This speech delivers the right messages with the right tone on our priorities.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is particularly pleased to see a key recommendation move forward. We’ve long advocated for pooled retirement pension plans as an effective tool to help Manitobans prepare for retirement – without putting a burden on the backs of businesses. The provincial government not only heard this suggestion, but is moving quickly to bring it into reality.
Equally encouraging is the establishment of the Red Tape Reduction Task Force. Without impacting revenues, the Province can make meaningful change here that improves our economic climate.
The Winnipeg Chamber has been in discussions with the Province over the provincial nominee program, bringing forward a number of member-driven recommendations from our Bold Platform. We’re pleased to see this was another area emphasized by the Throne speech since enhancing this program is critical to meeting our skilled employee needs today and tomorrow.
Over the past weeks, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has participated in the Province’s carbon pricing consultations. We believe whatever model Manitoba adopts to direct a potential carbon tax’s revenues will be critical to our success in the future economy and look forward to continuing the conversation outlined in the Throne speech.
There’s only so much room in any speech – or in a year of government life – to identify and address key issues. Nevertheless, The Winnipeg Chamber believes some areas deserved inclusion or stronger emphasis.
Difficulty accessing capital is the number one obstacle identified by our members in survey after survey. While the Province has established a caucus committee to examine access to capital issues in Manitoba, stronger action and urgency is certainly due. In the same vein, the last time our province had a meaningful examination of the tax ecosystem was 1999. A lot’s changed in nearly 18 years and a Manitoba Tax Reform Commission couldn’t be more appropriate given discussions around PST and a probable carbon tax. Lastly, while we support a number of measures the Province has outlined to repair our services there’s an underlying culture within our provincial civil service that needs to be addressed – one that’s process heavy instead of outcome centric. We know culture change is a long term activity. We know it’s hard. But now is the right time for a public service modernization exercise. A civil service that celebrates a customer-centric culture won’t just improve citizens’ interactions with government: it will be key to overcoming our financial challenges.
Overall the Throne speech delivers a powerful message to business: the financial challenge before us is impressive… and we can overcome it.
The Winnipeg Chamber is pleased to have shared your thoughts and ideas with our provincial government in how we move forward. Beyond specific measures, this Throne speech reflects the relationships the Pallister government is building with Manitobans – with openness, transparency and active listening on their part. Along with the emphasis on the economy, we take tremendous hope in that.
As budgets go, there’s more to like than not in the City’s 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets. There’s also more questions than answers.
On the positive side, the budget achieves strong progress in expenditure control. Overall spending rose by 2.3%, in line with population growth and inflation, constituting one of the smallest increases in a decade. Emergency services (police, fire and paramedic services) account for almost half of the city’s annual $1 billion operating budget. Budget 2017 proposes increases of 1.3% and 4.7% for police and fire/paramedic budgets respectively, whereas previous years have seen annual increases ranging from 5-10%.
In addition, fees, levies and other charges were left unchanged, other than inflationary adjustments. Approximately $11 million in efficiency gains are anticipated in Budget 2017, demonstrating a strong and continued focus on value and results within internal operations. At The Chamber and at our member businesses, we know efficiency isn’t a stop-start process: it’s a state of mind and a constant exercise, and thus encouraging to see the City embark upon this path.
While the Chamber remains steadfast in its calls for the elimination of the Municipal Business Tax, the proposed rate reduction from 5.3% to 5.25% was another positive move. The rate decrease represents the third consecutive year of downward pressure on the tax.
The benefit of the reduction is partial offset by the missed opportunity to raise the business tax exemption threshold, left unchanged at 2016 levels ($32,220 in Annual Rental Value). While 2017 is a non-assessment year, the Chamber continues to advocate for set annual increases to the exemption threshold so as to ensure businesses that fall off the business tax roll, remain off the roll.
Of utmost concern in Budget 2017 is the reduction in local and regional street renewal investments and the changes in the Cash to Capital Program.
According to the City, 2% of the 2.33% property tax increase (estimated at $10 million) is to be dedicated to the 2017 Street Renewal Capital Program (regional and local streets). In 2016, total program spending was $105.2 million; in 2017, program spending remains flat at $105.2 million, necessitating the question as to where the estimated $10 million in dedicated revenue has gone? If it has indeed gone to the program, then the City has effectively transferred $10 million from last year’s program to general revenues or other program spending. Given the stated, dedicated intention of the 2.33% property tax increase, the flat investment is of significant concern.
Lastly, the 2017 Cash to Capital program, effectively serving to transfer funds from the city’s operating budget to its capital budget, is set to decrease $23.2 million from the 2017 forecast of $78.8 million. Critics of the City’s recently approved growth impact fees suggest the Cash to Capital program is one area where potential revenue from the fee could find its way into the general operating fund. As such, The Chamber will continue to monitor these changes to ensure any and all impact fee revenue remains dedicated and used as mandated.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce will be appearing before City Council on December 13 to speak in support of Budget 2017, with the concerns and recommendations noted above.
If you’d like more information on Budget 2017 and/or the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, please contact Director of Advocacy, James Magnus-Johnston at 204.944.8484 or email@example.com.
By Raegan Hedley, Exchange Digital PR
The future of business is being driven by millennials, and you can either get in on the joy ride, or get left curbside.
Born between 1977 and 2000, they are more open-minded, educated, responsive, and connected to brands than any generation before them. They seek adventure, novelty, and experiences — all so they can document it and show the world.
Let’s be clear: being on social media isn’t enough for millennials. In fact, poorly run accounts will hurt your business more than helping you.
Here are three ways to tap into the millennial psychology on social media, and appeal to what they want to see brands doing.
1. Stand for Something
Find a cause that aligns with your brand, and find a fitting way for your brand to support that cause. It can be an activation where you ask people to do something, you add charity value to something you already offer, you ask people to engage on social, or you can make your brick-and-mortar a donation drop point.
Almost 50 per cent of millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if that purchase supports a cause. It doesn’t matter what you support — just be genuine — because they can smell it a mile away if you’re not. Millennials don’t see the value in the typical sponsorship model. To them, it’s not about handing over a cheque, getting a name on the banner, and showing up for the photo op.
Also, if you have a tie to the charity or cause you are supporting, don’t be afraid to share you story! Honesty goes a long way.
2. Be Funny (If it’s Fitting)
If you can swing it, using humour can help your company talk to this generation. 80 per cent of millennials want a brand to entertain them.
There’s a way to be professional, tasteful and funny without making people mad. One piece of advice: if you have to pause for a second and think about if it will offend people, it probably will. Stay *far* away from politics, religion, sex and complaints as topics.
When it comes to some serious, don’t try to pull any funny business. Create a caring and empathetic response from the heart, or don’t post about it at all.
3, Ask and Receive
Reviews, comments and engagement are the new millennial currencies. 70 per cent of millennials feel responsible to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience. Take them seriously.
If you have the right attitude, online feedback can give you important insight into areas of your business that could use some improvement. The ability to reply to reviews provides you with a unique opportunity to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one.
Ask your followers to leave reviews, ask questions, encourage them to comment, run polls, and drive meaningful engagement of all kinds. Being responsive (within 24 hours) to both positive and negative engagement can help set you apart, and show you are customer/client focused.
All statistics cited are from MillennailMarketing.com (Who are millennials?).
Written by: Tolu Ilelaboye
Close your eyes and think about this question: what does a leader look like? Is this person male or female? What is their background? How old are they? If there is one thing that you could take away from the Leadership Winnipeg discussions on October 21st it is this: Leadership does not look like any one person. It is not restricted by race, class, age, or sex. It is not governed by career or life choices. And it rarely, if ever, is a solo role.
Between Cindy Tugwell, Michael Redhead Champagne, Mariette Mulaire, and David Johnston, the idea of what a leader is currently doing and has the potential to do is limitless. What these four community leaders prove is that regardless of the communities you identify with and what you are doing to strengthen these comm, you can be a leader. These local community leaders each have their own stories of how they got to where they are but all were there speaking to the group about the same topic. That is, their histories do not impact how they are perceived in the community – as leaders and role models in Winnipeg.
Photo courtesy of Michael Champagne (@northendmc)
What was particularity interesting was that regardless of the field they were currently working in, there were some common themes that they each identified in their understanding of leadership:
1.No one person is a leader. It takes a team of people.
2.Reciprocity is key to community development.
3.Keep an open mind and be willing to try things that may challenge you in new ways.
4.Don’t worry about the potential to fail and continue to push the envelope of opportunities.
If you were walking down the street, today, you might recognize Cindy, Michael, Mariette, or David because they have been in the news, on TV, or speaking at an event that you went to. However, what is to say that you aren’t currently sitting beside another community leader who just happens to be amazing at what they are doing. What’s to say that you aren’t a community leader in your own right? Nothing, because a leader by any other name – Doug, Zainab, Alana, Tolu – is still a leader.