On October 17, Canada will become the first G7 country to fully legalize recreational cannabis. Is your business ready?
Here are 5 impacts that the legalization of cannabis will have on the workplace:
1. Safety concerns
Despite cannabis legalization, adult cannabis use is not new. However, employers are concerned that with legalization a subsequent increased use will impact the workplace. Safety concerns include employees operating motor vehicles and employees using heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis.
2. Alcohol, drug policies and testing
Cannabis is already the most commonly encountered substance in workplace drug testing, but with legalization, its use is expected to grow. Employers have the right to regulate cannabis use at work, and employees have the right to a safe workplace. It’s important to communicate any changes made to alcohol and drug policies, and focus on treatment and recovery during disciplinary actions.
3. Drug use or dependence
Due to legalization, experts expect a rise in recreational cannabis use. Effects of cannabis on individuals vary widely depending on numerous factors, so it’s important to educate employees on its effects and any new workplace policies.
4. Medicinal cannabis use
Because many people use cannabis for medical reasons, it’s important to clearly outline your workplace policies on cannabis while being cognisant of those who require cannabis to treat or relieve the symptoms of a disability. As an employer, you need to accommodate your employees’ needs and that may include the use of medicinal cannabis.
5. Problematic drug use or dependence
Just because cannabis is being legalized, it does not mean it’s a license for poor behaviour. Cannabis use can become problematic for many reasons, such as when workplace performance and attendance decreases. Employers should prepare for a potential rise in problematic cannabis use and dependence in the workplace.
In this world of acronyms in which we live, learn, and work, information can easily get lost in translation. For many of you, this headline was probably a breeze: Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) is hosting the upcoming Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (WCC) After Business Mixer (ABM).
But what about the up-and-coming generation of professionals who will fuel your businesses and Manitoba’s labour force? They can have all the technical skills in the world but if they can’t comprehend the language of industry (acronyms and all) how can they succeed?
At MITT, we get this. And it’s why we’re a leader in Manitoba when it comes to providing integrated essential and employability skills in every program we offer. Our graduates enter the workforce adept, adaptable, and ready for the realities of their professions.
On Sept. 26, we invite WCC members to enhance their ABM experience by touring our campus, meeting our executive, instructors, students, and staff, and learning first-hand about MITT’s holistic approach to training for careers in trades and technology.
It’s a brand new academic year so bring your business acumen, your networking expertise, and your insatiable curiosity to campus and get ready to learn more about MITT, what we do, and how we can help you.
For WCC members who can’t join us on the 26th, scroll down to brush up on MITT and feel free to connect with us any time at email@example.com.
MITT provides certificate, post-graduate, and diploma-level technical training for career-oriented post-secondary and secondary students in four specialized areas:
For more than 30 years, industry collaboration has been our forte. Together, we identify skills gaps—both technical and soft—develop curriculum to meet them, and create work practicum opportunities that help students build connections with prospective employers while they learn. We also provide comprehensive career development support, based on industry feedback, to prospective and current students as well as graduates, and we’re a leading provider of continuing education and workforce development opportunities through our Lifelong Learning Institute.
The learning environment at MITT supports the academic, professional, and personal success of our students, led by industry veteran instructors who teach, mentor, and serve as students’ industry connection points. Our campus community is a safe and inviting place where students from around the world can easily access the information and resources they need to excel in their programs and successfully bridge from the classroom to a career.
At MITT, we also offer several unique pathway programs for adult and language learners, including:
After Business Mixer
Wednesday, September 26
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT)
130 Henlow Bay
BOOTHS: $175 (Members only)
For additional questions, you can reach our Director of Events, Elizabeth Cron, at 204-944-3308 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chamber is calling on all members to spread the word and lend a hand to support a century-long Winnipeg tradition.
As the Winnipeg Parade Committee Inc. prepares for the 109th consecutive Santa parade, Santa’s float has been deemed unsafe to travel. A $100,000 GoFundMe campaign has launched to secure the parade’s future in Winnipeg.
Although the parade generously receives support from sponsors, donors and float entry revenue, this year the costly expense of the float puts the parade in jeopardy.
“The current float is more than 60 years old. With extreme winter temperatures and wear and tear for decades, the old Eaton’s billboards, key to the structural integrity, are damaged beyond repair. The decor is crumbling and the snowmen disintegrating,” said Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Director, Monica Derksen.
“We’ve created a list of thank-you gifts and we are so grateful for donations and support from friends, families, businesses and supporters,” said Derksen. “If every household and business/organization that attends the parade gives $10, we will reach our goal.”
Presented by Manitoba Hydro, the parade is on Saturday, November 17 at 5:00pm.
For more information, or to become a sponsor, please contact 204-777-2682 or email@example.com
Event swag is a must, but is your swag working for you? Swag is a valuable marketing tool – when used correctly your swag can actually work for you.
If you provide quality items that are thoughtful and match your audience, your clients are more likely to use your product and your name will become unforgettable. But, if your swag is low-quality and random, it likely won’t give you any return-on-investment.
Here are 6 swag ideas that people actually like:
1. Tote bag
Event attendees always need a place to put their swag - and what a better place to put them than your branded tote bag!
2. Bluetooth speaker
Power your company with tech products like this portable speaker from Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba!
3. Stress ball
Think outside of the box when it comes to stress balls - we love this polar bear stress ball from Assiniboine Park Zoo!
4. USB Flash Drives
Everyday items, like this USB flash drive from Manitoba Building Trades, are great swag gifts because your customers will always see your brand's name.
5. Mini Office Diffuser
Unique swag items, like this mini office diffuser from Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba, get people talking about your brand.
6. Good quality pens
Investing in good quality pens, like these Pitblado Law pens, means people will actually use them and remember your brand. Investing in poor quality pens actually puts your brand's name at risk - you don't want people associating your brand with inky hands!
Interested in promoting your business?
Learn more about our event and programming sponsorship opportunities contact Jon Goodspeed,
VP of Business Development.
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.