The Winnipeg Chamber: Are you hopeful?
Scott Vaughan. Yes, and here’s why. Markets are seeing stronger returns in greener, cleaner investments. One example: in 2017, global investments in renewable energy added up to more than US$2 trillion. This market pull is combined with a regulator push, from market regulators and investors counting up their climate risk in the same way as other material risks. And, of course, governments are sending clearer signals that climate change needs to be addressed. There are ongoing debates about how best to do this, but we’ve moved from “if” climate change ought to be addressed to “how.”
WC: There are so many subjects to focus on – sustainable infrastructure, agricultural adaptation, renewables, etc. – how do you and IISD set priorities?
SV: Like any business, IISD adjusts its priorities and chooses its partners based on a clear strategic plan. Some things are harder to predict, like what the White House will do on NAFTA or the World Trade Organization. But other things we can be more certain about.
For example, we do know that U.S.-Canada relations transcend the daily grind of politics. We know that China will remain focused on its current five-year plan, that big investors are looking at longer-term climate risk, that science is clear about the fact that freshwater challenges are magnifying, and that a younger generation sees clear links between values, public policy expectations and consumer loyalty.
WC: A University of Montreal study (2015) shows that while a significant portion of Canadians believe human activity is mostly or partly contributing to climate change, 39 per cent do not. What’s your reaction to holdouts?
SV: To be honest, I’m not sure why we keep taking surveys on an issue as complex as climate change. I’m an economist, but if I’m asked what I think about monetary policy and new Basel loan loss provisions, I’d say, ‘thank goodness for experts.’
Without a doubt there is a divide along political lines. This is magnified in the U.S., where - for instance - 70 per cent of Democrats trust scientists to describe climate change fully, compared to 15 percent of Republicans. Climate change has clearly been a focus of fake news.
The good news in Canada is the gap is narrowing. While the University of Montreal survey showed 39 percent do not believe in climate change, an April 2018 survey shows this number has dropped to around 33 percent of Canadians. Still, the clear majority do. There are strong debates about how to tackle climate change, but that’s the case for other important public policy issues in Canada too, from health care to reconciliation.
WC: Any thoughts on how Canada and the provinces are approaching carbon pricing?
SV: There’s a lot of interest in how Canada is addressing climate change, given our economic mix – from oil and gas, to agriculture, to the Arctic. Given the nature of our confederation, Canada naturally must try different tools – the federal government has roughly 26 different climate mitigation measures in play right now – but also action from provinces and territories, cities and business.
Carbon pricing is textbook ‘first best’ economics. But the real question isn’t the measure, but the level of ambition, and how these different measures stitch together.
There’s an interesting group that has formed in the U.S called the Climate Leadership Council. Their founding board includes notable Republicans – James A. Baker, George P. Shultz, as well as Lawrence Summers, Michael Bloomberg, the late Stephen Hawking, and others. Their approach to climate change is four-fold:
WC: Can you share some of your favourite examples of companies embracing SDGs and profiting?
SV: There are lots. The mining company Vale has mapped its global operations to the Sustainable Development Goals and set out targets most relevant to their goals and corporate values. These range from supporting a new generation of impact benefit agreements with local communities, setting in place clear freshwater management targets, promoting biodiversity and protected areas, installing renewable energy and supporting human rights. Anglo-American is another example.
Big players in global supply chains – think of Apple – have clear targets for renewable energy throughout their supply chain, and a commitment to be carbon-neutral. Ikea has committed to ensuring 100 per cent of its cotton supply is sustainably sourced, and 50 per cent of its wood supplies. Unilever remains a leader in making the SDGs tangible to their operations.
WC: What’s occupying your time and energy these days?
SV: I’m just back from a trip Disney, so I’m recovering from hugging my daughter’s favorite characters and surviving the rides!
IISD is preparing for its next strategic plan. This coincides with marking our 30th anniversary in 2020. One thing that hasn’t changed in three decades is our strong sense of belonging to the Winnipeg community. But like any business, you can only rest on your past accomplishments for about five minutes before you need to look ahead and start planning. So I’m spending time thinking about how IISD can work with U.S. partners in the stunning absence of leadership from the U.S. federal government, how we are and will work in China, how IISD can leverage its current partnerships to show progress is happening and that we can work together.
That’s outside. Inside, making sure younger, talented colleagues have a place that lets them thrive is really important. Today, when we recruit young leaders, they are interviewing old guys like me to test if we can meet their values and expectations.
WC: What can attendees at your May 18 keynote expect to take away from your talk?
SV: Sustainability and low-carbon pathways aren’t a fringe issue any longer; they are now mainstream finance and business realities.
What is mindfulness?
The word mindfulness has become a buzz word in our culture as of late. We see reference to it on the front pages of magazines, we hear celebrities referencing it, and we notice people taking courses of study on it. The interesting thing is that many of us are not completely clear as to what this word means and how we can integrate it into our everyday life.
In a world that is operating at the speed of light, the concepts that are conveyed in mindfulness practice are extremely counter-intuitive to the culture we live in. It has been said that the average person checks their phone over 110 times per day, we are working longer, harder hours than we ever have before in history, and the levels of anxiety and depression are out of control. We have been culturally conditioned to believe that our success is equated to doing more, making more, and being more. As a result, we are living in a time where there are extreme pressures on individuals to find a proper work/life balance.
Mindfulness practice invites us to slow down and check in with the present moment. When we are living our lives at such a fast pace, it becomes next to impossible to truly be present. Our minds race from one task to the next and as a result, we end up accomplishing a lot less at a much lower quality.
Mindfulness practice however, becomes a lifestyle that promotes accomplishing more at a higher level by trying less. Some of the results of mindfulness practice are less chances of burn out, higher levels of creativity and innovation, and a renewed sense of gratitude, energy, and passion for life in the present moment. Mindfulness is not simply a check box on your to-do list. It is a practice that must be embodied in your day to truly experience its powerful affects.
How can I implement mindfulness into my day?
I would like to invite you to begin your mindfulness journey by trying a few practices throughout your day today. Notice what changes as a result.
The Winnipeg Chamber: How does the fact your customers are owners change how you operate?
Nigel Mohammed: As a financial cooperative, ACU employees recognize that we are ultimately accountable to the 120,000 Manitobans who own our credit union together. Understanding that they are our member-owners serves to underscore the importance of providing trusted advice, access to adequate and appropriate credit, competitive financing and investment offerings, exceptional member service, and ensuring bottom line profitability of the credit union to better respond to member and community needs. Our credit union success is measured by our members’ success.
WC: Can you dive into your commitment to be “socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible” in your practices? How has that influenced your choices?
NM: It starts by making sure you have people in the organization (from board to management to employees) who are aligned with our vision of “a world where financial services in local communities contribute to a sustainable future for all.” Then you integrate this commitment into your policies, strategies, and targets and hold yourselves accountable for results on all measures – financial strength, social impact, members, employees, and environment.
For example, we’ve worked together as employees to reduce our GHG emissions by 56 per cent since 2012. We operate branches in communities that have been abandoned by all the banks, like Winnipeg’s North End. We provide over $85 million in financing towards affordable housing initiatives to create homes for over 3,100 of our most vulnerable neighbours. We provide ethical investment fund options so our members can put their money to work in a way that aligns with their values, and we focus our purchasing power as a credit union in a way that also aligns with our vision. And at the same time we were ranked one of the top financial institutions in Canada for member service, while also winning a 2018 Top Employer Award here in Manitoba.
It is about being financially strong so we can provide world-class service and advice to the local owners of our credit union, while making sure we are doing our part to have a positive impact on the environment we all share, and doing our part to reduce poverty and create social and economic inclusion for all in our community.
WC: Finance is one of the most rapidly changing sectors in the world. What are you doing to keep up with evolutions in fintech and cryptocurrency?
NM: As an organization we continuously review and assess new market entrants and changes in technology. Rapid technological change is impacting the way banking is being done, and we need and want to provide our members the most convenient ways to continue to do business with us.
This constant evolution means we need to be responsible and efficient with our technology investments. We view the fintech space as an opportunity to leverage those investments to ensure we are providing effective solutions for our members. With respect to cryptocurrencies, this is an area we are monitoring with a particular focus on research and pilots related to blockchain/distributed ledger technology. We work closely with our Credit Union peers and partners at a local and national level to leverage economies of scale while also looking internally as to how we can most effectively deliver services to our members.
We know technology will continue to evolve our business model and we have multiple ongoing strategic initiatives that - at their core - are focused on how we can use technology to better serve our members.
WC: As an organization that helps people manage their finances, what’s your view on the current debt load Canadians have? What tools do you provide to help people manage their finances better?
NM: The current debt load carried by Canadians is at an all-time high and is concerning for both individuals and businesses, questioning how long it can be sustained. At ACU, we provide our members with MoneyFit.
MoneyFit is a simple, convenient and easy-to-understand set of tools that supports and guides our advisors through the collection and analysis of their members’ personal financial information. MoneyFit also helps our advisors present their findings to our members in such a way that they:
WC: What should attendees expect at the Member MeetUp on April 25?
NM: Chamber members can expect to hear an overview of banking solutions available through ACU’s Business and Community Financial Centres that support the success of local businesses and non-profit organizations. We look forward to welcoming all in attendance and sharing what ACU has to offer.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a tremendous boost to Canada, the U.S and Mexico’s economies since coming into force in 1994. Almost twenty million jobs between the three countries are reliant on trade. Over five million American jobs have been created due to NAFTA, and Canadian and Mexican direct investment into the U.S has grown tenfold over that time.
Given the incredible importance of the file, it was a pleasure for The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to host our Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Chrystia Freeland recently. Not only is managing Canada's foreign relations difficult task at the best of times, Minister Freeland is leading the NAFTA re-negotiation with the U.S. and Mexico.
During a fireside chat with former Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chair Sean Finn, Minister Freeland shared some insights on what it is like to be on the front lines renegotiating arguably what has been the most successful trade deal of all time. Recent reports have indicated the talks have moved into overdrive, and there has been a newfound sense of urgency to get a deal down.
Minister Freeland was optimistic and upbeat, but reiterated that a deal isn’t done. She thanked Chambers of Commerce and businesses across Canada for their input during the negotiations, and noted she will always stand up for Canadian interests. Minister Freeland shared that she feels a lot of progress can be made in regards to reducing red tape for goods moving across the Canada-U.S. border in the negotiations. A lot of that comes from updating an agreement that is close to 25 years old. For example, the original NAFTA deal includes provisions around cassette players in cars.
Minister Freeland also shared some thoughts on recent unprecedented aggression by the Russian Federation, and Canada’s response. She also spoke about the creation of the Canada-U.S Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders and on increasing women in leadership roles. She shared that Canadian leadership is essential in this area, as we have to lead in the area or no-one else will.
Lastly the Minister left with the heart-warming message that the best part of her job is getting to represent our great country on a daily basis. Amidst global uncertainty, we sometimes forget just how lucky we are to call Canada home.
Canada's population is aging and every province (including Manitoba) forecasts increased healthcare costs in the near future. Considering how many governments already struggle with deficits, the need to spend healthcare dollars effectively has never been higher.
On Friday, April 27 your Winnipeg Chamber invites you to a healthy discussion with Josh Blair on combining private sector solutions with public priorities. As the VP of TELUS Health, he oversees a team of innovators and medical professionals creating technology based solutions that reduce delivery costs while improving health costs for Canadians.
We asked him to share a taste of some of the solutions his team have put forward:
After years of sorting through paper charts, three physicians in different communities across the country all had the same thought: there had to be a better way to store and access patient information. Balancing their time to care for their patients while also writing code, each doctor put idea into action to bring electronic medical records to life.
After years of fine-tuning, Dr. Jim Kavanagh, Dr. Brendan Byrne and Dr. Michel Hébert, now TELUS Health team members, built three platforms for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) now used by thousands of physicians in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
1981: Jim Kavanagh creates PS Suite
With both a medical degree and a degree in mathematics and computer science, Jim Kavanagh knew he could enhance patient care by automating his work. In his basement more than 36 years ago, the Cambridge, Ontario physician alongside his wife Barb, started off by programming patient schedules on a computer, which back then was an anomaly.
Realizing more could be done to simplify his day, Jim engineered an EMR solution to optimize his medical practice.
“I became a doctor because I wanted to help others. I knew what was required to provide good care,” says Jim. The EMR I built made things easier and more accurate. Whether I need to pull up a patient’s full history, or understand a prescription’s side effect, it all became possible right in the tool. For me, it’s all about giving the best care possible and technology amplifies the experience.”
What Jim created is known today as PS Suite. His solution has evolved over the years, thanks in large part to program updates by a team of developers which included his son and daughter. TELUS purchased PS Suite in 2013 and today, with more than 41 years of experience as a family doctor and 36 years of practice as an EMR architect, Jim continues to practice medicine and help TELUS Health design EMR programs.
1991: Brendan Byrne brings Wolf to life
Brendan Byrne didn’t have a computer in the early 1990s, but he couldn’t help but notice significant changes happening all around him. The power of information was growing and he was perplexed as to why patient data was sitting unused in charts.
“After I finished my studies at Yale and later med school at McGill, I travelled around British Columbia and couldn’t believe the amount of critical data just sitting idle in patient charts,” says Branden “I felt it was my duty as a doctor to give the best care possible and I couldn’t stop thinking about all that information “I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but after trying my hand at writing some code, I got the hang of it.”
Inspired to keep coding, Brendan ended up designing what we refer to today as the Wolf EMR platform. Scribing notes by hand on paper became a thing of the past. And not just that, he and other doctors were redefining proactive patient care by leveraging data in his EMR tool.
TELUS purchased Wolf in 2012 and Brendan joined the TELUS Health leadership team while remaining a part-time physician in Surrey, B.C. Today, he continues to enjoy the best of both worlds as Chief Innovation Officer and as a family doctor. As founder of Wellness Garage, a precision lifestyle medicine practice, Brendan spends time with close to 100 patients to boost their physical, mental and social well-being.
2000: Michel Hébert designs KinLogix
For Michel Hébert his EMR story goes back 18 years. Going digital was the obvious solution to eliminating tedious paperwork. After sketching out some ideas late one night alongside his wife, Kathleen, in their Quebec City home, the KinLogix EMR idea was conceived.
“I chose to become a doctor because caring for others is part of my DNA. When I first created my first digital patient chart, the excitement was real. I think I called everyone I knew. I was thrilled! My vision to curb manual work became a reality and I was empowering other doctors to do the same. I look back on that time with great pride.”
His homegrown solution gained popularity – doctors throughout the province were taking notice of the flexibility added to their day. What’s more, KinLogix was the first EMR in Quebec to go mobile – no matter where a doctor is, patient information is accessible while on the go. This type of innovation led Michel’s technology to gain major market share, and in 2012, KinLogix EMR joined the TELUS Health portfolio of solutions. Today, Michel offers strategic guidance to the TELUS team as Medical Director while also caring for his patients.
Working in collaboration with each other and their colleagues, Jim, Brendan and Michel are helping TELUS Health advance the next generation of healthcare solutions. The voice of the patient remains at the core of their work and all three say they’re proud of their lasting legacies.
“It’s privilege to have Jim, Brendan and Michel working with us at TELUS. Their innovation set a strong foundation and by building on their progress as we advance our EMR strategy, we’re enabling better experiences for physicians, and in turn, helping create better health outcomes for Canadians,” says Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health and Payment Solutions.
On Wednesday, April 4, your Winnipeg Chamber hosts one of Canada's busiest leaders and the person tasked with guiding national interests through NAFTA negotiations - Minister Chrystia Freeland.
With a mandate that includes rapidly developing geopolitical events and relationships, it's hard to keep up with Ms. Freeland. Check the headlines - her To Do list likely overlaps with several breaking items.
Nevertheless, as we prepare to discuss NAFTA, supporting rules-based international order and increasing gender equity in Canadian leadership (whether the boardroom or the caucus meeting), we'd like to offer some suggested reading.
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 an intervention and it starts with you and I.
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
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
At a glamourous gala event at Club Regent Event Centre, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce celebrated eight outstanding organizations who make Winnipeg a better city.
Chosen by volunteer judges drawn from the business community, the 2018 Spirit of Winnipeg Award recipients and finalists embody the ambitious, innovative, caring spirit of our prairie home.
We're so grateful you're part of our community.
Nominations for the 2019 Spirit of Winnipeg Awards - the tenth year of our efforts to shine a spotlight on outstanding Winnipeg organizations - will open in the autumn.