Message from the President & CEO
A Time to Give Thanks

A little history….

The first Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada was held by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew in the Eastern Arctic in 1578. They ate a meal of salt beef, biscuits and mushy peas to celebrate and give thanks for their safe arrival in Newfoundland. 1  

Then in 1872, Queen Victoria celebrated the recovery of her son- the Prince of Wales, from a serious bout of typhoid by attending a Thanksgiving service. This service was the first official celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada.   

We must also remember that Indigenous celebrations of thanks pre-date both of the above. 

Later on, Thanksgiving became about celebrating the harvest season. Now, the tradition in most cases is about eating turkey with family and friends. By the time you read this newsletter, you may be on to leftovers. Mmmm, nothing like a turkey and mayo sandwich on always-fresh, white Wonderbread! 

I am told there is a path around Crawford Lake in Milton that has pictures and short stories of Indigenous people and their celebrations. One of the stories is about Thanksgiving; it starts with this sentence:

"Thanksgiving to native indians was a way of everyday life rather than a one-day celebration." 2 
I believe this is the true meaning of giving thanks. Whether you keep a gratitude journal as so many do, or find other ways to appreciate the gifts we are given, I encourage everyone to find a few minutes each day to stop and recognize the good things and good people in our lives. I know some days this is hard to do; those are the days we need it most. 

1 Mills, David, et al. "Thanksgiving in Canada." The Canadian Encyclopedia, 24 Nov. 2011,
2 "Thanksgiving in Canada." Statutory Holidays Canada,

Audie McCarthy
President & CEO
Our Technical Training Advisor Doug Daniels & MCE President & CEO Audie McCarthy will be at the official unveiling of the Donors of Distinction wall this Thursday, October 11, at the Fennell campus.
Visit Business Development Officer Dianne Jones at the Ontario Municipal Administrators Association Fall Workshop in Muskoka from October 24 - 26. Dianne will have a booth representing MCE.
Jodi Prouse, HR Coordinator with the Town of Tillsonburg, was the winner of the $100 gift certificate to Indigo Books.

Congratulations Jodi on behalf of the MCE team.
HR Corner: Benefits of Professional Development
What’s Your Opinion on Dressing Up for Halloween in the Workplace?

At MCE, we certainly do expect hard work, but also recognize the importance of letting loose and having a good laugh. I would like to introduce you to Lucas, our Administrative and Training Support person by day and Superman by night. Well, not exactly, but on Halloween his wacky sense of humour and adventurist side comes out. While dressing up can be fun for some, the question remains; is dressing up at work a good thing and if so, should it be endorsed? 

Let’s start with some interesting statistics! An article by “CNBC Make it” quoted a workplace culture survey that polled 953 full time adult employees asking the question, "Does your place of employment allow employees to dress up and wear a costume to work on Halloween?" 

  • 45% yes, 35% no and 20% did not know 
  • 61% of respondents believe they should be able to dress up at work
  • Those who were able to dress up demonstrated overall higher engagement. 73% were motivated to contribute to the success of the organization compared to 58% who were not allowed to dress up
  • 68% of those allowed to dress up were more likely to be proud to tell others about the organization and 65% would recommend their organization to a friend 
  • Finally, 73% of those who can dress up support the values of their organization as opposed to 58% who cannot dress up

These statistics support the positive outcomes of dressing up at work. In my opinion, I think dressing up at work is dependent on the job. For example, you may not want to dress up as a giant apple if you are a lawyer trying a case before a judge or dress up as a clown if you are a doctor giving bad news to a patient. However, an office setting might be more conducive. Allowing employees to dress up can give a break from daily stressors and can add an element of fun and creativity to the regular routine. 
On the other side of the coin, allowing Halloween costumes at work could result in a variety of unpleasant or legal problems. Employees who decide to dress up, provocatively, or wear a politically incorrect outfit could risk discrimination, harassment complaints or even disciplinary action. In safety sensitive positions, a costume could pose certain Health and Safety risks.

There are many reasons both for and against dressing up at work. If you choose to support dressing up, ensure clear communication to employees of what is considered acceptable and what is inappropriate. Here are a few tips to consider relaying to your staff:

  1. Ensure costumes are not offensive to others.
  2. The costume should align with basic dress code policies. E.g. if your dress code policy does not allow tank tops or bare midriffs, your costume shouldn’t either.  
  3. Stay away from politics and cultural appropriation.
  4. Don’t wear anything gory or gruesome.
  5. Be careful of dress up props. I would not recommend bringing a replica gun to work.

Lastly, and most importantly, let common sense prevail.  

Carrie Deon
Human Resources Generalist
Course of the Month: Emergency Operations Centre Management
This course delivers two days of training for emergency management practitioners in many sectors including municipalities and education. It describes the roles and tasks of an Emergency Operations Centre and Site, and their relationship as components of a multi-agency coordination system. Participants register for either Emergency Operations Centre Management or Emergency Site Management and learn about their respective and cooperative functions through interactive and engaging information sharing, activities and discussions.

Emergency Operations Centre Management has an Open Seat course offering in the Hamilton/Brantford area October 24-25, 2018. More information available here

Contact us anytime for more information |
For more information about our programs, contact:
Lorraine MacDonald
Mohawk College Enterprise | 905-575-2534 | |