Earlier today Mayor Brian Bowman gave his fourth State of the City address to 1,200 business and community leaders at the RBC Convention Centre. The Mayor announced several new initiatives, some of which were based on Winnipeg Chamber policy. They included:
It is also exciting to see Winnipeg take a leadership role with the new national committee, and it is always good for governments to share best practices. As well improving online services is much needed, especially as more and more of those citizen requests are taking place on mobile devices.
Other announcements focused on working to electrify our transit system, reducing aggressive panhandling and the creation of an illicit drug strategy. A lot was announced in the speech, but the real work begins now.
Does stress have to be an inevitable part of life?
Have you heard people, or even yourself say, “I’m not sick but I am not well either”? So many of us are overwhelmed, exhausted, in pain and lack joy as a result of excess stress. But stress is an inevitable part of living so something we just need to accept right? Wrong! It is not mandatory though some stress is in fact, helpful in challenging us to move forward and achieve!
What are the effects of stress on the body?
Stress has a powerful biochemical effect on us and has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression and autoimmune diseases to name a few. Effective stress management skills can prevent stress related illness and improve our quality of life!
Can we manage excess stress and make it work for us instead of against us?
There are powerful and proven mindbody strategies for becoming the “boss” of our stress. The kind that create health instead of disease.
Here are some powerful tools to start:
Has what we have learned about stress from our past helped us?
Many of us learned how to handle stress by watching significant role models in our lives; parents, other adults, siblings and friends. Some of what we learned is harmful like drinking to excess as our father did or hitting someone as our mother did. These strategies cause us more distress (as well as others!). Alternately, we may have learned that going for a run helped a friend or that seeing a counselor helped a sister. We default to what works or what is easy, when we are in crisis. Having tools at your disposal that work, are easy and enhance health, will transform your life!
How can I prevent stress from having a harmful impact on my life?
One of the best things about learning these practical strategies is that they are both the treatment AND the prevention. In other words, they not only help us recover from the effects of excess stress but also PREVENT the harmful effects of stressful experiences in our lives! Prevention is the key to reversing the stress epidemic in North America. And if you don’t think we are dealing with an epidemic, consider the fact that stress leaves are costing Canadian businesses over $50 billion/year. We need and intervention and it starts with you and I.
When Canada first became a country 150 years ago, only 20 per cent of the population lived in urban areas. We had only one city with more than 100,000 residents.
Today, we have more than 50 municipalities with over 100,000 residents, and only 20 per cent of our population lives in rural areas. We have long been an urban country, yet we lack a national strategy that will help our urban centres grow, thrive and compete in the 21st century.
Recently the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) released Planning for an Urban Future: Our Call for a National Urban Strategy for Canada. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is a founding member of the CGCC, which represents the eight largest urban chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Canada. These eight city-regions combined account for over half of Canada’s GDP.
The report calls for the development of a national urban strategy in Canada. The cornerstone of that strategy will be the development of national urban infrastructure goals and objectives. It is imperative we measure progress against those goals by a clear set of metrics.
Federal infrastructure spending has increased by billions over the past several years, and yet we have no common measure to judge whether that spending was successful. Data is sparse, and poor data leads to poor decision making. With no indication of where shortfalls are, governments have little incentive to change their approach to infrastructure.
Below the broad national level, the strategy calls for city-regional agreements with clear goals and targets. These more localized agreements would spell out the city-regions priorities, and showcase where private-public partnerships could best be utilized. Longer-term contractual agreements would then be developed to deliver on those local priorities. This would mean funding the regional plans, not specific projects. It would allow for greater flexibility and speed up construction times.
Why does this matter to Winnipeg and Manitoba?
As we have recently seen, local priorities are often drowned out by higher levels of government. The City of Winnipeg’s $182-million ask to the Building Canada Fund to accelerate regional road repair lies in limbo. Not only is that an issue, but the current ask is again based on the outdated model of funding projects, not plans. Current federal infrastructure funding methods lack flexibility, and force governments to put forward projects that may not best meet local needs, but instead check off the right funding box.
Instead of going cap in hand to higher levels of government, a national strategy will set the goals and objectives for all governments to meet. While a national strategy must be federal government driven, it will rely on provincial and civic governments as well as the private sector to come together to set those local priorities under the national objectives. However, with no national objectives or priorities currently in place, federal infrastructure funding is currently too unfocused.
We need high quality infrastructure in order to move people and goods in an efficient and safe manner. You can have the best tax rates and regulations in the world, but if you can’t move your country’s goods and citizens effectively, your economy isn’t going anywhere fast. Improving the quality of our infrastructure will increase our country’s competitiveness – an urgent issues as other countries move on their own urban policies.
Right now Canada is one of only two OECD countries with a federal government system that doesn’t have a national urban policy. Developing one will take time, effort and federal leadership. With billions more being spent on infrastructure, we need to ensure all that spending’s effectiveness is clearly measured against strategic goals and objectives.
Every month, we ask different participants of our Leadership Winnipeg class to blog about their experience...
Are leaders born or made? Our sixth session of Leadership Winnipeg began with a welcome by Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manitoba, where he emphasized that leadership can be both taught and learned.
It is fitting that we spent a full day at the University of Manitoba, as this institution is dedicated to both educating leaders as well as providing an environment where innovation and leadership can thrive. Throughout the day, we were given a backstage pass with access to the university’s leaders and a behind-the-scenes tour of the cutting edge research taking place at the University of Manitoba.
Our morning featured insights into leadership within the university as an organization, with Dr. Barnard explaining the university’s governance structure. He explained some of the challenges that face leaders within the university given the size of the organization, the number of stakeholders involved, and the governance processes in place.
While these processes can lead to slower decisions, they are also important to maintain values such as academic freedom. In particular, I was struck by the importance of consensus-building to leadership. At the university, this takes on the form of consultations and debate among the governing bodies, however, consensus-building can also be an important tool for effective leadership elsewhere.
The second part of our day provided a window into the important research being done at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International), spoke with us about how research is critical to economic growth. One of the ways the university fosters this economic growth is by partnering with both new entrepreneurs and established companies.
We had an opportunity to see this in action by touring the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. Here, researchers from the university and private companies work side-by-side to formulate and commercialize products that use our prairie crops. The university provides access to capital-intensive equipment for new companies at a low cost and offers an environment where products can be taken from an idea, to production, and through clinical trials in one building.
Another way the University of Manitoba contributes to economic growth is by functioning as an idea generator to help solve industry problems. For example, the university has a partnership in place with Manitoba Hydro and university researchers are working to create models that will more accurately predict ice jams. This research will in turn help to prevent or mitigate the effects of ice jamming in the future. We were treated to a demonstration of a phenomenon known as hydraulic jump using water from a large reservoir in the Faculty of Engineering building. This water flowed through one of the large flumes used for research and gave us a clear view of the hydraulic jump that occurs when water traveling at a high velocity flows into a slower moving body of water.
Our day was capped off with a visit to the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) where we learned about the important work being done at the University of Manitoba to protect the environment. It was inspiring to learn U of M was one of three founding members of the Arctic Science Partnership, an organization dedicated to bringing together the world’s leading arctic scientists, and is a leader in Arctic research. This leadership in Arctic research is being further reinforced with the construction of a new research facility in Churchill, Manitoba, that will enable researchers to better understand the effects an oil spill could have in the Arctic.
While the focus of the Leadership Winnipeg program is primarily on leadership, the program also provides a unique perspective on our community and the leaders who sometimes escape the spotlight. Even though I graduated from the University of Manitoba with a 4-year degree, I left our day at the university with a new appreciation for this institution. I was impressed by the breadth and calibre of the research which is taking place at the university, and the ways in which the university is striving to educate the leaders of the future. I am prouder than ever to have the University of Manitoba as part of our community and count myself among its graduates.
Leadership Winnipeg is grateful for the support of our Vision Partner
A star from this year’s Super Bowl is coming to Winnipeg.
No, it’s not MVP Nick Foles–but another quarterback who stole the show off the field in a viral commercial featuring the New York Giants’ re-enactment of Dirty Dancing.
Eli Manning is this year’s keynote speaker at the 46th annual Rady JCC Ken Kronson Sports Dinner, taking place June 18, 2018 at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre.
How does the Rady JCC’s fundraising dinner attract such big names to our modest prairie city?
“When you have a net worth of 100 mil, why do you need to come to Winnipeg?” Chairperson Blair Worb asked the Winnipeg Sun. “They are in huge demand, especially the ones that are still playing actively in their careers.
“So we have to prey, P-R-E-Y, on them to come for charity.”
The Rady JCC appeals to the charitable side of the potential speaker, relying on their reputation as an organization that helps children, families, individuals with special needs and seniors, impacting thousands of lives in the community.
"Eli Manning is an elite NFL quarterback with a ton of pedigree, one who always comes through in the clutch," said dinner chair Blair Worb. "We’ve been fortunate to have a number of elite NFL quarterbacks speak at our dinner in the past, and Eli is no different.
"He is also very philanthropic — which resonates with the mission of this dinner — to support those in our community who need it most."
Eli joins a storied history of Sports Dinner keynotes including his brother, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Teemu Selanne and Magic Johnson.
New in 2018 is the name change to the Rady JCC Ken Kronson Sports Dinner—in recognition of the man who chaired the dinner for more than 40 years. Ken Kronson passed away in 2017 and is sorely missed.
The Sports Dinner is a great way to treat clients and business associates to a gala dinner and once-in-a-lifetime interactions with sports celebrities. There’s also a VIP experience, including photos with Eli.
Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities can be viewed here
This year’s honourees are title sponsors from RBC Dominion Securities, Ryan Downey, Brendan Rogers and Paul Winestock. The trio has been integral to the success of the dinner for a decade.
Funds raised from the dinner have been making Winnipeg a better place for 45 years. Through the Rady JCC’s community service programs, help is provided to financially disadvantaged children and families, those with special needs are fully able to participate in camps and specialized programs and much more.
Individual tickets and corporate sponsorships are available at radyjcc.com or by calling 204-477-7513
Recently the City of Winnipeg released new reports on the state of our city’s infrastructure. The reports look at the condition of the 13 major infrastructure areas the city manages, what it would cost to replace them, and what future needs to expect.
On the positive end, we are definitely making progress. When last measured in 2009, Winnipeg’s infrastructure gap over the next decade was placed at $7.0 billion, or $9.9 billion in today’s dollars. The updated report shows the gap has narrowed to $6.9 billion over the next decade, a $3 billion improvement. The gap is calculated by comparing total capital needs (estimated $10.9 billion) over the next decade compared to the city’s (estimated $4.0 billion) in capital spending over the next decade.
Some areas are doing better than others, unfortunately big ticket items are the farthest behind. Roads were given a C+ grade, and the deficit is expected to be just under $2 billion over the next decade, or 27 per cent of the total. In 2009 roads were responsible for 47 per cent of the deficit, so despite a large gap, we have seen a marked improvement in that area.
Transit received a C+ as well, with a $1.3 billion deficit, and bridges a B- with a $1.1 billion deficit. Shockingly, the transit gap over the next decade is almost 70 per cent higher than the current value of transits assets.
Roads, transit and bridges together comprise over 60 per cent of the forecast infrastructure gap.
While Winnipeg is making progress, new approaches are clearly needed. This is why your Chamber joined other large urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across Canada to call for a national urban strategy. A cornerstone of the report asking the federal government to establish a national standard on measuring infrastructure quality and deficits. Right now no such standard exists, leading to infrequent and inconsistent reporting across Canada. Winnipeg's recent report leans on an Ontario provincial guide, for example.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. The City’s updated plan and report reinforces the truth that infrastructure gaps remain here, but gaps also exist in how we measure infrastructure across Canada.
Data security and privacy breach: the most pernicious disease facing businesses today. Yet few victims will speak its name. Can your business survive a data security or privacy breach?
ISACA Winnipeg has invited Peter McCabe, Technology Practice Leader & Account Executive at PROLINK to speak on the subject of data security and privacy breach to shine a light on this dark topic.
The presentation will cover the following elements of this disease:
What about cyber insurance? Its purpose is to relieve the financial stress and provide access to experts. It’s only one piece of an ongoing risk management plan.
When: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 1:15 PM
Where: RBC Convention Centre – Millennium Suite (375 York Ave, Winnipeg)
ISACA Members: $40.00
Register online here
Later this week Mayor Brian Bowman delivers his last State of the City address before Winnipeggers go to the polls on October 24, 2018. Chamber members are hoping to hear the Mayor speak to a variety of issues, but what is the state of our economy?
This past week the Conference Board of Canada released their 2018 outlook for 13 major Canadian cities. One standout from the report is Winnipeg’s economy expanded by 3.7% in 2017, the highest rate in close to 20 years. While economic growth is expected to slow to 2.2% in 2018, that growth rate is still largely in line with the forecasted rates for other prairie cities.
Driving that growth was strength in both the labour and construction markets. Over 7,000 net new jobs were created last year in Winnipeg, and the various construction projects around our city also helped stimulate growth. Also last year housing starts topped 5,500, the highest rate in 30 years.
In 2018 Winnipeg is again forecasted to create over 7,000 jobs. However slowdowns in the construction sector and lower consumer spending partially caused by higher interest rates are expected to be a drag on growth. However the 2.2% growth rate forecasted for 2018 is in line with what the City has averaged over the past 20 years.
Looking a little farther ahead, the Conference Board also predicts that Winnipeg will grow by over 50,000 people in the next five years. While we are still decades away from being a city of a million plus people, it is imperative that we start planning for that growth now.
Most small business owners are adept at doing more with less and tend to acquire skills and knowledge on the fly.
From business development and sales to human resources and accounting, the skills required in small business are wide-ranging and demanding. And with entrepreneurs particularly short on free time, finding training or education opportunities to fill gaps in that skillset can be especially challenging.
Here’s where MOOCs might just be the answer. Learn how MOOCs (massive open online courses) can help small business owners access highly flexible training opportunities across a broad range of subjects and skills.
MOOC’s Canadian Connection
MOOCs were largely a product of the open educational resources movement, with the term MOOC first coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island. Cormier’s inspiration for the original MOOC concept was a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge(CCK08), which was led by George Siemens of Athabasca University and Stephen Downes of the National Research Council.
The course consisted of 25 tuition-paying students in Extended Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as over 2,200 online students from the general public who participated for free. Course content was available through RSS feeds, and online students could participate through collaborative tools, including blog posts, threaded discussions in Moodle, and Second Life meetings.
Where to look for a MOOC
While there are numerous MOOC providers these days, a few of the top providers are working with some of world’s most renowned institutions and most successful companies.
MOOC Benefits Compared to Traditional Learning
Free Learning: Do We Get What We Didn’t Pay For?
It seems unlikely that Harvard University or Google would risk diminishing their brand by delivering sub-standard educational programming, but there are some important aspects to consider.
Statistical analysis of MOOC uptake has revealed that completion rates tend to be low — the numbers vary from about three to 15 per cent. Several different factors are likely to blame, but the challenge for many seems to be the self-directed nature of the learning experience itself. Researchers did find that learners who made some sort of financial investment in the course (even $50) had much higher completion rates (closer to 70%).
As with any business activity you take on, whether it’s revamping your company’s visual identity or completing a two-week course in App Marketing, a good return on investment always starts with an investment. Making the most of MOOCs will still require an investment of your time, focus, and energy, as well as a plan that applies the concepts you’ve learned into the context of your business.
On March 12, the provincial government tabled the 2018 Budget, highlighted by record deficit reduction, a restocking of the Fiscal Stabilization Fund (aka the Rainy Day Fund), strategic and responsible social investments, strong measures to support small business and a series of milestone taxation measures, in particular the introduction of the provincial carbon price. Many of these measures are consistent with changes long advocated by your Winnipeg Chamber.
Overall, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce gives the budget a grade of B- (with a B+ in economics and a C- in environmental studies).
Positive Business Tax Changes
The Chamber will continue to work with government on their carbon pricing policy. There is still time to support our trade exposed sectors and provide additional accounting clarity.
Taken as a whole, Budget 2018 delivered a sound fiscal blueprint and positions Manitoba well on its road to fiscal recovery.