April 9, 2023Ontario Roundtable in Brief

On March 28th, EHRC hosted an Ontario Regional Roundtable in downtown Toronto. The roundtable featured presentations by special guests Julian Chapman, the President of Forrest and Company, and EHRC’s Mack Long, Project Manager of Indigenous Engagement.

Julian Chapman held an interesting discussion on the theme of effective managerial leadership and how it relates to Change and the attraction and retention of talent. Chapman introduced the concept of Anaklesis which is defined as the protection of self and the status quo from change. And that it is in fact this fear of change and management’s insufficient efforts to deal with it that cause projects to fail, employees to become stressed and burned-out and eventually leave. Chapman ended his presentation by stating that the solution to Anaklesis was clarity, both structurally and strategically, with the role of managers being to ensure that their workers are clear in knowing what they are accountable for.

For more information, please visit Forrest & Company’s website.

Following Chapman’s presentation, Mack Long discussed exciting updates regarding EHRC’s Indigenous Engagement projects. Long presented two projects to the Roundtable: Greening a Generation and Bright Futures Energy Camps.

Long described Greening a Generation as an Indigenous-focused Labour Market Index (LMI) research study. Long stated that the purpose of this LMI was to analyze the preparedness of Indigenous communities to transition away from diesel and fossil fuels. This project aims to implement exciting features such as a new LMI model specifically designed from an Indigenous perspective, 2-4 engagement events in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, grants to invest in young Indigenous people who want to enter the electricity industry as well as supporting smaller scale economics in Indigenous communities.

The other project Long presented was the Bright Futures Energy Camps, which he described as STEM-focused immersive learning camps within Indigenous communities nationwide. Long said that the goal of this project was to host one summer camp in each of Canada’s provinces and territories to help connect Indigenous youth interested in the maths and sciences with eventual career potential in the electricity sector. This project will also create supportive circles for older age groups to generate Indigenous youth employment in the electricity and renewable sector. To learn more about the Bright Futures Energy Camps, visit our website.

The Roundtable discussion that followed was centered around growing concerns within the electricity industry about climate change. Another topic of discussion was labour market shortages, and how Canada’s tight labour market was making it difficult to find new employees. Concerns were expressed about poor DEI practices in the industry, and how the “old-school” mindset is still prevalent in the trades which is discouraging to under-represented workers. The discussion ended on a hopeful note with comments drawing attention to the various programs created to champion DEI change, including EHRC’s projects dedicated to Indigenous Engagement.