Message from the President & CEO

I watch the ripples change their size; but never leave the stream…David Bowie 

Reflecting on the recent municipal election, I wonder what drives individuals to “leave the stream”; to put one’s self out there and run for public office. It takes a special kind of person to willingly subject one’s self and one’s family to scrutiny, verbal attacks on one's personality and beliefs, and the loss of privacy. Not to mention the countless hours, phone calls, text messages and emails from staff and constituents once elected! Are they driven by power and/or by the desire to do good? Most I suspect are driven by the belief that things need to change.  


What really happens when the leaders of a municipality or of an organization change? According to NextBridge Consulting, “anytime someone leaves a work group it’s disruptive to the group but when a senior leader leaves, the organizational shock waves can really knock you back.” The leader sets the vision, direction and culture of the organization so when that leader leaves, people start to question.

  • What else is going to change? 
  • Who else is going to leave? 
  • What does this mean for me?  

People personalize the exit. What does this mean for me? Will I still have a job? What if my job changes? What if I don’t get along with the new leader? What if the new leader takes us in a direction that I don’t like? 

Not all exits are planned. In politics there is a transition period; in organizations there may or may not be one. So what is a leader’s responsibility towards change? Prepare, prepare, prepare. Prepare a strong strategic plan that will outlast your tenure. Prepare your people by ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to continue to add value after you leave. Prepare your peers, partners and customers by building their confidence in your team. 

This will become your legacy - but remember, it is their future.  

Kudos to all those who stepped up and ran for public office this past election. Kudos to all those who step up to leadership.

Audie McCarthy
President & CEO
What You Tell Us. Your Testimonial Stands Out!
"Very interactive and engaging! The customer service program
MCE designed really helped to differentiate between
Good Member Service and AMAZING Member Service!"
Tracy Greenberg, Lead, Learning & Development, FirstOntario Credit Union
Congratulations to 2018 Alumni of Distinction award recipient Wendy Wolfe. Wendy is a Senior Manager with Student Services and Special Projects, MSA.

Wendy is also Future Ready Leadership alumni!
Mohawk College is proud to nominate Beverly Jacobs for a  2018 Premier's Award . Beverly has dedicated her life to fight for the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The Premier’s Awards gala takes place on Monday, November 26.
Update from the winner of the $100 Home Depot Gift Card at OMAA, Dawn Murphy. Dawn decided to use the card as the prize for SBS-Drivetec's own Halloween costume contest. Mike Orr then won the card with the cool costume you see above!
HR Corner: Marijuana in the Workplace - What Does This Mean for Employers?
On October 17, 2018, after months of opposing political views, debating and differing opinions, recreational marijuana officially became legal in Canada. While some of the issues such as legal age and whether it can be smoked in public vary by province, one of the largest questions is; what does this mean for employers? Lets start with some general Canadian statistics about marijuana.

  • About 4.2 million (14%) of Canadians aged 15 years and older reported use of marijuana products for medical or non-medical reasons in the past three months. 
  • More than half (56%) of the users indicated that they used some form of marijuana daily or weekly.
  • Most commonly used product was dried flowers 78%, followed by edibles 28% and hashish 11%. 
  • 72% of the marijuana consumers reported having obtained their product from a single source whether it be family, friend, on line or dealer, all with varying percentages.

So, what does this mean for organizations? A survey completed by over 650 HRPA members found that:

  • 45% of respondents do not believe that their current workplace policies address legalization of marijuana.
  • Only 11% of companies have a policy in place to address medical marijuana.
  • 45.9% do not believe their existing policy adequately covers any potential workplace issues that may arise with the legalization of recreational marijuana.
  • 89% of employers were never required to accommodate marijuana use in the workplace.

There are four main areas all organizations should consider, some of which fall under Canadian Legislation.

  1. Update your HR policies; they should reflect safe behaviour and define the impact of recreational use on being deemed “fit for duty”.
  2. Be cognizant of the duty to accommodate. Medical marijuana use, for physical and mental impairments is protected under Human Rights Legislation. 
  3. Ensure a safe work environment. The Labour Code of Canada protects the Health and Safety rights of all employees. While your organization may not have a “Bona Fide” occupational requirement there is still an obligation to ensure employees and clients are free from the exposure of people under the influence.
  4. Define impairment. Consider treating recreational marijuana use similar to alcohol, recognizing detection and testing are far more challenging. Organizations still require more guidance in this area.

Finally, a personal recommendation; ensure managers are trained on detection, the impacts of marijuana and how to respond. Most importantly, clearly communicate your policies and expectations to all employees. If you have any additional thoughts on the subject that you would like to share, please send me an email.

Carrie Deon
Human Resources Generalist
Trainer of the Month: Sandra Summerhayes
As one of the primary facilitators for MCE’s signature program, Future Ready Leadership, Sandra works with supervisors and managers in a variety of organizations. She guides them in the development of individual learning plans to strengthen their leadership abilities.

Participants learn from Sandra’s encouraging and insightful conversations. She always has a story to tell and draws upon her own experiences to do so. Our MCE team loves partnering with Sandra as she always has the best interests of the customer in mind.
Course of the Month: Building Relationships with Council
In this one-day course, participants will learn the high level roles and responsibilities of council, the Mayor/Reeve and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)/City Manager. They will learn different strategies to build a respectful relationship with council members with the mutual goal of advocating for the members of the public. Participants will work on case studies and activities to learn how to gain the respect of councillors. They will also learn how to adjust their approach to create a win-win outcome with council members.

This course was developed as 75% of municipal workers that we recently polled indicated that they would like to have a day of learning on how to improve their relationships with a council member. Only 21% of workers found their relationship with council excellent. More course information HERE.

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