Show Summary: The NB Study Group’s final day in New Brunswick as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Activities in Moncton included a breakfast with Greater Moncton’s business and community leaders, an immigration assistance centre, and meetings with Université de Moncton’s Dr Marc Surette and President Raymond Théberge.
Hi there! Welcome to the Voices of Canadian Leadership podcast. It’s been a few weeks, getting back into the podcasting groove. I’ll cover more details near the end of the show.
Summary of GGCLC so far:
- Our group came from labour, business, non-profit, government and First Peoples
- A broad range of speakers from academia, labour, business, and non-profit.
- Already started touring NB, speaking with non-profit, labour, businesses and political figures (including the Premier and Lt Gov.)
We will now look at the main topic of the show – the New Brunswick Study Group’s final day in NB as part of the 2012 GGCLC.
Let’s go back in time!
VOCL Main Feature
NB – 12 June 2012 – Our Final Day in New Brunswick
Our first stop was back at the Delta hotel with an opportunity to meet with Greater Moncton’s business and community leaders. Speakers (hosted by Ben Champoux) included: Larry Nelson, Janice Goguen, Jacques Dubé, David Campbell, George Donovan, Aldéa Landry, Louis Léger, Catherine Dallaire and Robert Moreau. Building on yesterday’s theme of culture, we heard many reasons on why Moncton is thriving. The first reason is geographical – Moncton is ideally located within the Maritimes since it is close to Charlottetown, Halifax, Fredericton and Saint John. This aspect allows the city to attract world-class sporting events and concerts. The city is bilingual, allowing it to cater to Francophone and Anglophone communities. The University of Moncton is considered essential to the area – many of the successful people in the area have graduated from this institution.
One of the concerns is that Moncton has is the ability to get the right people into the area to sustain their economic boon. In order to maintain current net migration growth rates, they will need to grow the population by 4,000 people in the next three years. This may not be possible, considering that the mortality rate has overcome the birth rate. Even though Moncton is fairly “monochromatic” right now, the ability to attract immigrants and people from other provinces will be key to the future.
Our next stop was not in the original program but was certainly a critical requirement to further explore what we had been seeing. We went to CAFI to get some feedback on immigration. This organization specifically focused on Francophone immigrants and works to integrate a minority and build bridges between Canadians and newcomers. For visible minorities, this can be seen as a daunting challenge since there are not many visible minority leaders in either government or business.
They posit that Moncton is in need of, but not ready for, immigrants. People chose Moncton due to its bilingual nature, but then find out that the bilingualism is more heavily weighted towards English. For those with English as only a third or fourth language, this is a worrisome aspect of integration. Re-training is another – one person from Mali indicated that although she had previously taken several years of education in accounting in her homeland, she essentially had to completely re-train in Canada. A lack of Canadian experience, coupled with re-training, makes it very difficult for immigrants to find a job. For others, a change in culture (collectivism versus individualism) requires a different way of thinking. Finally, and somewhat humorously, not many people are ready for the realities of Canadian winters!
After a short ride, we found ourselves back at the University of Moncton. We had a chance to discuss research work with Marc Surrette. He gave us his story about how he moved throughout Atlantic Canada and the United States to continue his education. After getting his PhD he didn’t think that there would be substantial work for him in Atlantic Canada. When offered the Research Chair position here, he decided that it would be time for him to come back.
The hardest part about research is the ability to find funding – it’s highly competitive. Ties with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (research grants) has allowed the Institute to procure necessary equipment and people. Collaboration is essential in order to maximize funding efficiency – tools such as Skype greatly facilitate this. Marc closed his presentation stating that he is advancing partnerships with Nature’s Crop International to develop new crops as alternate sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Our final event in Moncton was lunch with the newly-elected University of Moncton President, Raymond Théberge. We heard about the effects of education on bilingualism – if we value our two different languages, we need to encourage them to grow. Some French schools were given English textbooks but taught them in French. Although New Brunswick schools have textbooks from England and France they are trying to develop their own textbooks to cover more relevant history (Acadians, etc.)
On a personal note, Raymond talked to us about his experiences being in the early days of the GGCLC. He gave examples of the group dynamics that he experienced, the challenges that they overcame, and how much he personally gained from the tour. It was a great way to cap a most excellent trip to New Brunswick. We also said our final goodbyes to Catherine, who cannot make it to the closing sessions in Ottawa. Thank you so very much, Catherine.
Off to the airport for our final leg of our journey!
Breakfast with Greater Moncton’s business and community leaders
Panel speakers (I apologize if I get any of them wrong!)
- Ben Champoux – Director, Moncton’s Community Business Development
- Larry Nelson – President and CEO, Lounsbury Group (http://lounsburys.com/)
- Janice Goguen – Manager, Business Development at ACOA
- Jacques Dubé – City Manager, City of Moncton
- David Campbell – Jupia Consultants
- George Donovan – CEO, Gogii Games
- Aldéa Landry, PC, CM, QC – President, Landal Consulting
- Louis Léger – Past President of Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc
- Catherine Dallaire – General Manager of Corporate Services, City of Moncton
- Robert Moreau – Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Assumption Life
- FIFA Women’s World Cup coming in 2015 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_FIFA_Women’s_World_Cup. I would have thought that the venues would have been aligned with NHL teams, but Toronto (pulled out due to Pan Am Games) and Calgary aren’t there. Maybe there’s a future NHL team coming to Moncton??? Disappointed that Halifax pulled out – would have been great.
- Today we have the best mayor that we’ve ever had.
- Knowledge creates a cluster around which a community can build. – #1 asset of this region has been the ***University***
- Vibrant entrepreneurial community.
- With IT, success factors included bilingualism, work ethic, ability to market themselves, change in tax structure.
- Net migration flow, for the first time, is now positive into Moncton.
- Growth is limited by the ability to expand with the right people (even if you can attract, where do you place them?).
- Need to give people time off to go to driving schools (never had drivers licenses since they were using public transit.
- Bi-cultural nature creates a positive rivalry in communities.
- The Francophones have a very significant cultural flair.
- ***Don’t be afraid to make decisions.***
- Give of yourself. Businesses give back to the community; the community will give back so much more.
CAFI (CAIIMM) – Centre D’Acceuil
- Director General – Benoit André
- Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du Sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick
- France, Belgium, Africa, Vietnam, and even other language speakers that primarily want to integrate with French.
- Do business mentoring with the Chamber of Commerce; try to find employment to people.
- Has not had a chance to get in front of the Moncton business leaders like we have this morning.
- Budget is a little under $500,000 – funding coming from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Was offered a space in the Community Peace Centre – didn’t want to look like a business.
- One person we spoke to stated that the CCNB has a partnership in her country.
- Wants to stay in Moncton, but two problems – English, and having to re-qualify in her education.
- Even the schools aren’t fully bilingual – her son is learning more English than French.
- Is English immigration different? Likely as difficult, but it’s easier to get by based on language.
- Can be difficult to integrate a minority into a majority centre.
- Racial discrimination. Becomes even more poignant where there is not a prevalent minority.
Université de Moncton
Dr Marc Surette
Side note – on the website link there are two logos. One is UdM, the other is Springboard Atlantic (Chris Mathis from the Fredericton kitchen party)
- U of M – largest French-language speaking university outside of Quebec.
- Funding is not political. Committees rank for funding – peer-reviewed.
- In his research area, still need physical infrastructure ($220k machines, labs).
- Is project worthwhile – will it improve knowledge (health for Canadians), do you have the experience (how can Moncton possibly do this), ACOA looks at science but more emphasis on generating infrastructure.
- ACOA = Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/)
- Partnerships with Nature’s Crop International (from Hunter River, PEI) to develop new crops as alternate sources to Omega-3 fatty acids. http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/eng/ImLookingFor/ProgramInformation/AtlanticInnovationFund/Pages/Nature’sCropsInternationalLimited.aspx
Lunch with UofM President – Raymond Théberge
- Sometimes asking questions in both languages can be a little repetitive, but it can really help to pick up the language.
- Canada is a country that doesn’t work in theory; it works in practice.
- Discussed the very public process of being selected as President of the University – becomes key playing the Acadian and Francophone communities.
- Promote international values – not being an Acadian was an issue at the start of the process (should not have been).
- 100-day plan – 50th anniversary, meet community leaders as fast as possible, meet internal leaders as soon as possible, meeting with three levels of government.
- U of M is a generalist university for undergraduates but must choose an identity for Masters / Doctoral programs.
- Communicate more effectively!
- Dieppe – average age is 38 – parents move down so they can be with grandkids (migration in golden triangle)
- 85% of alumni work in the province.
- Credit transfers between College and University.
- 2 things against immigration – credentials and Canadian work experience.
- Manitoba good example for immigration. MB 1% up to 7% for immigrants, NB stay 1%.
- Immigrants are not achieving same levels of success as previous generations.
- We must be more flexible.
- Mi’ kmaq community schooling is primarily in English.
VOCL Resources and Articles
This week – a random selection of resources and articles
Groupon – “$69 for One-Year Access to 77 Online Leadership Courses (US$1,400 value)”
I am not sponsored by, nor am I endorsing this product, nor have I even seen it. Based on the writings of Steven Covey, popularly known for his “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” book. This may be of some interest to you, so I’m pointing it out. I just find it “odd” that something can be on sale at 95% off. I think that they may have overstated the value, or maybe the market value isn’t more than $70. In any case, I do not plan to charge for VOCL at any time soon…
(Original link has been deleted)
“Vineet Nayar on 13 leadership ideas that will transform your life” by Vineet Nayar at The Economic Times
Actually only 9 ideas – author wants people to write in and add 4 more. He sees leaders as:
- An explorer who finds the unknown exciting
- Sees an opportunity in challenges
- Has an irrational expectation of his/herself and others
- Inspires people
- Is emotional
- Has a higher purpose
- Is trustworthy
- Walks the talk
- Earns the right to lead
Didn’t speak to me, but might speak to others. I have a problem with the first point – finding the unknown exciting. I have found that leaders are able to deal with the unknown; they may not be more excited by it. The irrational expectation part I also have trouble with – leaders can have a vision and push the boundaries, but must still be grounded in logical thought. Perhaps it’s my military side, but I don’t think being as emotional as everyone else is necessary. The movie “Saving Private Ryan” demonstrates this idea pretty well. That does not mean that the leader should be a robot; rather, the leader must ensure that the team’s needs are addressed.
P.S. Article did generate 30 comments, which is more than I tend to see for leadership-related articles.
(Original link has been deleted)
“Leaders, Choose Your Words Wisely” by Douglas R. Conant at the Harvard Business Review
The article focuses on the author’s experience with key phrases that he has heard throughout his life. We seem to be living in a sound-byte world with 30-second elevator pitches being used as a prelude to a lengthier dialogue. We see many lengthy tomes on leadership, and even this blog can be verbose. Sometimes, however, just a few words delivered the right way and at the right time, can have the most profound impact.
“Good Employees Make Mistakes. Great Leaders Allow Them To” by Amy Rees Anderson at Forbes.com
A great article talking about the various roles that are played by leaders and followers in the course of inevitable mistakes.
- Leaders: determine “safer” areas for mistakes to happen, and to communicate that accidental mistakes are a part of growth – think of all the discoveries that have been made because of “accidents”
- Followers: Regarding mistakes, followers should learn from them, own them, fix them, and put safeguards in place so that the same mistake isn’t repeated.
I would have added another follower responsibility at the start, that of recognizing and reporting mistakes (although it is somewhat mentioned in the first paragraph). My experiences at sea have resulted in my making mistakes. I increased trust by divulging those mistakes, plus I learned a lot from them, too!
VOCL Closing Thoughts
- A month since the last podcast – mea culpa
- Change of Command at work
- Preparations for and participation in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo – Protocol office (meet some interesting people). www.nstattoo.ca 29 June to 7 July 2013.
- Remarkable how many separate acts can be combined into a cohesive product.
- Even had a visit from Eric Prud’Homme (VOCL 010) coming in on the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship (http://www.cunard.com/cruise-ships/queen-mary-2/). Went to Luckett Vineyard in the Gaspereau Valley (http://www.luckettvineyards.com/) – location visited by the GGCLC 2012 NS study group.
- A backlog of articles that I want to bring forward.
- Working on how to end the GGCLC story.
- Give of yourself – you get so much more back
- Think about how we collectively approach immigration (or even new people coming into our workplace or community group). Intentionally or not, are we creating artificial barriers?
- There are multiple potential “divides”, the French / English issues we saw in New Brunswick merely being one example. How do we create a bridge to cross that “divide” or not create it in the first place?