Written by: Jonathan Wade, Red River College | Creative Communications - Student Intern
At the annual State of the Province Address, local high school students from The Chamber’s High School Program voiced their opinion on the state of education in Manitoba.
Over 100 students met with the Province of Manitoba’s Minister of Education and Training, Kelvin Goertzen, and local administration to help decision-makers see what student life is like first hand.
Goertzen says he wishes his voice was heard when he was in school. “When I was in high school, I never had this opportunity.”
In a series of workshops, students analyzed various aspect of education in Manitoba before giving their overall thoughts and opinions to the provincial government and local administration.
A student from Kelvin High School questioned how Manitoba will keep up with the rapidly growing use of technology in the workplace.
“Technology is very important,” says Goertzen on the future of education. “The rudimental and foundational skills are still important too however, we can’t forget about those.”
A student from J.H. Bruns Collegiate wants to meet with officials more often. “I think we should all meet once a month and talk. That can help to provide constant insight into what we are thinking,”
Students were encouraged to approach local administration and the provincial government on any topic relating to education.
“We need to start focusing more on empathy,” says a student from Balmoral Hall School. “We need to take compassion into consideration rather than just academics.”
Another student hopes change will come from meeting with the provincial government. “These are great programs, but we need to be asked more of these questions. They need to take our ideas and put them into action.”
Teachers shared their thoughts on speaking with students. “Networking with kids through events like these is super important,” says one teacher. “Opportunities like these create movements.”
The Province of Manitoba’s Education and Training department will take all of these voices into consideration when doing their education review.
On October 17, Canada became the first G7 country to fully legalize recreational cannabis. Is your business ready?
Here are 5 impacts that the legalization of cannabis has 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 legal, 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.
Are you in the workforce? You’ll benefit from cannabis education.
As the legalization of cannabis sparks a new normal in Canadian society, The Winnipeg Chamber is hosting a full-day Cannabis Conference on November 28 at RBC Convention Centre. The conference features industry leaders who will provide clarity on legalization and how new cannabis policies and opportunities will impact your workplace.
No matter your industry, all workplaces benefit from cannabis education. Here's how:
Do you work in Human Resources?
Attend the Cannabis Conference and you’ll receive nine professional development hours with Chartered Professionals in Human Resources’ (CPHR) accredited program. As an HR professional, you handle employee relations and support. Being in-the-know about the very latest cannabis laws will help you develop customized plans for your workplace, including updating internal policies, drug testing, recruitment, and disciplinary actions.
Are you an executive or manager?
The perspective of your clients, partners and competitors on cannabis and cannabis use will vary. What should you consider when associating your personal or company brand with cannabis? The Cannabis Conference has a session focuses exclusively on clearing the smoke on public relations considerations.
Executives and managers need to know how to identify when an employee is under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Cannabis education will help you understand Manitoba’s new cannabis laws and structure. Attend The Chamber’s Cannabis Conference to discover the appropriate steps to respond to impairment in the workplace and the importance of drug and alcohol policies.
Do you work in healthcare?
As a healthcare professional, you’ll likely be called on to assist in identifying and mitigating addiction risks associated with cannabis use. Cannabis education will help you become familiarized with cannabis products and their side effects. Attend The Chamber’s Cannabis Conference to understand what resources are available to you to navigate cannabis in both medical and recreational contexts.
Do you practice law?
Many businesses will likely need to seek your legal counsel when drafting new drug and alcohol policies. Organizations will also turn to you, legal professionals, for consultation on specific disciplinary actions and for help navigating cannabis rules and regulations. Attend The Chamber’s Cannabis Conference to strengthen your business network and to get insights from top insurers, licensed producers, employers and other legal experts on the best way to prepare your clients for cannabis.
Do you own a business?
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace. The legalization of recreational cannabis poses an increased liability to specific industries and business owners. Do you have enough cannabis education to develop a customized plan for your workplace to mitigate risks? The Chamber’s Cannabis Conference will help you understand how to communicate expectations to employees around responsible cannabis use.
Are you a member of the workforce… in any industry?
To be blunt, anyone interested in the new era of cannabis legalization will benefit from The Chamber’s full-day Cannabis Conference.
To recap, the conference will cover:
Join us for the Conference:
Introducing the Accessible Customer Service standard: a part of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act
Written by: CPHR Manitoba
When you read the term “barrier”, what comes to mind?
[Take a moment to close your eyes and think about what a barrier means to you]
How about “types of barriers” – including negative, presumable or judgmental attitudes; lack of communication; physical challenges; technological issues; or systematic failures?
[Take another moment to think while observing your surroundings]
Barriers are all around us and affect all of us. Some individuals may be stronger communicators but may not understand certain advances in technology; others may be physically able to walk into a room but are held back by a negative attitude, filled with presumptions and judgements, that prevents them from meeting others.
Now take a moment to think, “what if I had a disability” – could you overcome those barriers the same way you would normally approach them? It depends – are you visually-impaired, suffer from a mental health condition, or physically disabled? There are many factors at play here, in this thought-process alone, and unfortunately over 200,000 Manitobans are living with some form of a disability and facing different types of barriers every single day.
The fact is: we need to remove the barriers and create accessibility for all Manitobans.
The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) provides a clear and proactive process for the identification, prevention and removal of barriers with respect to five key pillars, customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and the built environment.
The first standard to be implemented under AMA is the Accessible Customer Service standard. This standard is built on the requirements of the Human Rights Code and addresses business practices and training needed to provide better customer service for people with disabilities.
Fred Dugdale, Board Treasurer at the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities and Manitoba Brain Injury Association who suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury, says that the hardest barrier to overcome is attitude.
“When learning about the Accessibility for Manitobans Act and reviewing your current workplace environment, you have to be realistic and find a way where this works for everyone. People that can work, will work – you just need to find a middle ground where your measures, practices and requirements to identify, prevent and remove barriers are a win-win for everyone,” says Dugdale. “The investment you make to remove barriers will bring long-term benefits and cater to all colleagues and clients in your workplace.”
The deadlines for compliance is structured under a three-year period – Manitoba Government (November 2016), large public sector organizations (November 2017), and companies/organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors (November 2018).
To assist you in the review and development of your workplace policies and practices that will welcome and serve everyone, CPHR Manitoba and the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities have partnered to present the Accessibility for Manitobans Act – First of Five Standards: The Customer Service Standard workshop.
The workshop will cover an overview of the AMA legislation with a focus on the Customer Service Standard, review and compare the AMA with the Manitoba Human Rights Code, identify your organizational responsibilities and learn the key principles to offering accessible customer service in your workplace.
The Accessibility for Manitobans Act – First of Five Standards: The Customer Service Standard workshop takes place on Tuesday, November 13, from 8:30 a.m. – noon at the Viscount Gort Hotel in Winnipeg. Registration fees are $150/CPHR Manitoba members and $200/non-members. To register, visit cphrmb.ca. Registration deadline is November 8.
Have you been in business for a few years and are looking to expand your business? Do you want practical advice to reach the next level in your journey? Are you looking for an opportunity to strengthen your knowledge, acquire new tools, and expand your network? Then we have a great event for you!
The WCC has collaborated with BDC to bring their WE Talk Business Boot Camp to Winnipeg on November 6, 2018 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
These free events, led by BDC, run across Canada with a simple purpose: to bring together women entrepreneurs (WE) who want to talk about business and grow their business.
This one-day intensive program, created by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs, offers practical advice on leadership, money, sales, marketing, and human resources - all with a focus on growth.
The Boot Camps are also hosted by two extraordinary professionals who are passionate about helping women entrepreneurs advance - Janice McDonald (@janicemcd), an award-winning entrepreneur also President of the Beacon Agency and Clare Beckton (@ownit_clare), Executive in residence at the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work at Carleton University.
BDC is bringing together key players such as the Chartered Professional Accountants and Export Development Canada to help facilitate the day’s content. And, BDC is working closely with regional organizations like WCC, to plan the day so that women entrepreneurs can focus on issues and opportunities that are relevant to them.
As Canada’s only bank dedicated to entrepreneurs, BDC has made it their mission to support the growth and success of female entrepreneurs. Statistics tell us that only 16% of small and medium-sized businesses are majority women-owned. BDC wants to change that and has already started through some of the following initiatives:
Do not wait! The event is free, and seats are limited. Please share this event with any women in your network that you think would benefit or register today if you are ready to take your business to the next stage.
BDC’s WE Talk Business Boot Camp
Date: November 6, 2018
Time: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Winnipeg Art Gallery
300 Memorial Boulevard
Attendees must register HERE by October 26th.
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 Winnipeg Chamber: What’s your story? Why did you both found Montessori?
Kristen Shipman: Megan Turner and I were both hard working mothers who were in need of quality early childhood education for our children. Much research was conducted and we were certain we wanted our children to have an authentic Montessori experience, in order to give then the best foot forward for their academic future.
Megan Turner: We found this was not something easily accessible. It was then we decided to build our own authentic Montessori preschool centre, creating 32 new childcare spaces for families in Winnipeg. We knew in our hearts there were other families who shared the same desire and only wanted the best for their children
WC: Manitoba struggles with early childhood literacy and numeracy. What should parents look for in a childcare centre when it comes to daily learning? What’s your approach?
KS: Parents should research the educational curriculum that is followed by the school. Traditional childcare centres follow a play based emergent curriculum, focusing on free play, with less of an emphasis on academics.
At Making Roots Montessori Centre we follow an authentic Montessori curriculum designed specifically for our preschool, exposing children to Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Culture, music and yoga. We offer an Art program featuring artists and composers of the month, a French immersion Montessori curriculum and a French Immersion Kindergarten. All custom designed for our preschool and the needs of our students.
Manitoba currently has the lowest school readiness in the nation. We foster individual growth in each child, in order to best prepare them for school and foster their natural drive for learning. The Montessori method lays the foundations for literacy and numeracy, as well as promotes brain development, builds confidence, independence, and attention span.
WC: As a location relatively close to downtown, most of your parents must work in the core. How do you stay flexible to business people’s schedules?
MT: Making Roots Montessori Centre operates year round, with minimal closures. We are open from 7:30am-5:30pm in order to accommodate working families. Parents are provided with an annual calendar, so they are aware of any closures far in advance.
We service a variety of areas, such as Sage Creek, Southdale, South Transcona, Island Lakes, St.Boniface, and Windsor Park. We also have students from as far as Wolseley and River Park South, as their parents felt Making Roots was the best fit for their family.
WC: What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received from a parent?
KS: We truly love hearing parents feel 100 per cent comfortable knowing that their children are happy, safe, engaged, and learning while they are with us. We often hear from parents that Making Roots feels like a family.
MT: Many childcare centres appear to be focussed on “care," which is critical for all children. However, at Making Roots Montessori we are a pre-school offering not only quality care, but an environment of learning. Many families continue to realize the readiness of their children once they commence grade school, having the Making Roots Montessori foundation prepares them for a head start in early grades.
WC: If you could ask for one change to how childcare works in Manitoba, what would it be?
KS: It would be for the Province to allow Inclusion workers for children with disabilities to work in private child care settings. Currently, Manitoba will only fund Inclusion workers in non-profit centres. This is taking the choice away from families. Montessori was initially designed for children with disabilities; the Montessori environment would allow these children to flourish.
Every month, we ask different participants of our Leadership Winnipeg class to blog about their experience..
Our visit to the University of Manitoba began with a warm welcome from John Kearsey, Vice-President (External). To capture our full experience of the day ahead he asked us to answer questions about our current impressions of the University.
Many of the Leadership Winnipeg participants are U of M Alumni, including myself. For some, it’s been a while since graduation. I was intrigued to see how our impressions might shift after a day up close and behind the scenes.
Where leaders are made
“You start leading long before you get a title.” Erica Jung
The session began with Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the U of M, who launched a panel discussion by stressing that leadership can be taught. Developing leaders through education is a prime goal at the university.
Erica Jung, Associate Director, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, further expanded on how her team works with university teaching staff to shape future leaders, helping them to develop their thinking through deeper exploration of topics and social issues.
A university acts as an anchor for an economically vibrant city by training highly qualified people and helping them develop critical thinking skills. Research expenditures are an investment in the future of society and the economy. Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International), stressed that businesses continue to grow because of ongoing research and without it they are likely to atrophy. The top 15 universities in Canada conduct 85% of the research. The University of Manitoba is among the U15 making it very attractive for future students, faculty and industry.
The University also takes a leadership role in reconciliation. Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Professor, Department of Native Studies, discussed the continued focus to develop Indigenous education programs at the university.
Making and testing foods and nutraceuticals
Dr. Rotimi Aluko, conducted a tour of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, where we were introduced to top facilities for researching, testing and manufacturing food and nutraceutical products. Nutraceuticals are foods containing health-giving additives with medicinal benefits such as supplements.
If you have a recipe for a new supplement you can create it, test it, manufacture the powder and tablets, coat them to make them easier to swallow, bottle, label and package them. All in the same facility.
If you need an audience to taste test your creation, the Centre’s kitchen and lab enables recipes to be tested by humans, or you can use the facility’s artificial stomach, tongue and nose. Seeing the machines that take the place of our natural human taste testers piqued my curiosity. I had never thought about this part of the process and was surprised to see these artificial culinary aficionados.
During lunch we were engaged by a panel who lead some of the University’s many outreach programs:
Living with robots in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab
On our tour of the Lab we were introduced to graduate students and one of their human-like robot companions, Peggy. Although Peggy was not fully running through a program, she seemed completely aware that we were in the room. If we ignored her too long, she’d pipe up with a cheerful “Hi!”, which made a few of us jump.
Our student hosts showed us how progressive robotic research is at the U of M and helped us think of how robots can enhance our lives, freeing up humans to do more creative work or work that requires interpersonal soft skills. Imagine Peggy being your information guide in a shopping mall helping you find the right store or product, or working with autistic children in a teaching capacity.
We were moved
At the end of our day John Kearsey met with us again to engage our group in thoughtful conversation around the University and its prominent role in our province. He asked us the same questions he had at the start of our day. What is our impression of the University now that we’ve had a behind the scenes view? And what three words first come to mind when we think of the University of Manitoba?
From the time we set our feet on university soil to the end of our information-filled day we were indeed moved from seeing the University as a ‘Big’ ‘Educational’ ‘Institution’ (our earlier top three words) to a place of ‘Community’ where ‘Research’ and ‘Innovation’ are front and centre (our top three by the end of the day).
It was an insightful day giving us all greater awareness of the University of Manitoba’s impact on our city, our province and the global stage.
Leadership Winnipeg is grateful for the support of our Vision Partners
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
The most recent Program for International Student Assessment show Manitoba's 15-year-old students are a year behind their counterparts in Canada's top performing provinces when it comes to reading and science, and more than half a year behind when it comes to math.
People often point to high graduation rates as a sign of success, but if our students are falling far behind their Canadian peers in learning outcomes, how can we possibly count graduation as a success? That’s why in Manitoba Bold your Winnipeg Chamber called for a firm action plan to move Manitoba into the top three provinces outcome-wise by 2021.
The Winnipeg Chamber has also long advocated for an amalgamation of all school divisions in Winnipeg. We remain the only large city in Canada with multiple school divisions. The recent provincial education funding announcement included a 15 per cent reduction in the school division administration cost caps. While this isn't amalgamation, the move will keep costs down.
The province also announced a two per cent cap on local education property tax increases, preventing any major property tax increases. The Chamber supports moving the authority to set the property tax mill rate back to the provincial government from school boards, in order to ensure greater consistency.
While the property tax cap will help keep rates down for Manitobans in the short term, cost control remain important. The most recent provincial budget projects total education spending of $4.4 billion. Twenty years ago, the entire provincial budget was $5.3 billion, of which education spending was around $1 billion annually. Even ten years ago, the education budget was around $3.1 billion annually. As test results show, all that spending has not resulted in a better education system. Studies also show no clear relationship between student outcomes and teacher compensation.
At the end of the day what we all want are better student outcomes. Let’s spend more time debating how to improve student outcomes, rather than debating the size of our education spending increases.