GENUIS: What we must do in the wake of the New Zealand terror attack
Disclosure: Garnett Genuis is the Conservative MP representing Sherwood Park–Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta.
Canadians of all backgrounds and faiths were shocked by the horrific attack that recently took place targeting Muslims worshipping in New Zealand. In any country, in any house of worship, we are appalled by this sort of thing.
A new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) intelligent operations centre has opened in downtown St. Catharines today. Accenture already has two operations centres in Canada—one in Thorold, Ontario and Fredericton, New Brunswick. The new warehouse is 68,000 square-feet.
The global professional services company plans to add 100 more local jobs to St. Catharines by 2021. They specialize in intelligent sales, customer operations and IT support and are a Fortune Global 500 company.
The centre’s opening event took place today and the Mayor of St. Catharines, Walter Sendzik, did the honorary ribbon cutting.
Newswire reported Mayor Sendzik saying, “On behalf of the City of St. Catharines, I want to thank Accenture for this incredible investment in our city, which not only brings much needed jobs, but also plays an important role in bringing more people to our downtown.”
“The arrival of Accenture in downtown St. Catharines sends a powerful signal about the transformation that we have seen here in recent years, and we are proud of the fact that a Fortune 500 company with a global reach like Accenture’s has chosen our city for this intelligent operations centre,” he added.
Metrolinx and Endbridge, who have worked with Accenture, were some of the expected guest at the opening.
The director of customer care operations at Enbridge, Darren McIlwraith noted, “Through our partnership with Accenture, we’ve been able to transform how we serve our customers with cutting-edge solutions and leading support capabilities provided by our team in the Niagara region.”
Accenture was just named a member of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the tenth year in a row. Some of the comforts the company offers to employees include, wellness rooms, a meditation/prayer room, cafés, green areas and a mother’s room. Their fitness/games room includes a pool table, air hockey, ping-pong, a yoga area and treadmills.
According to Newswire, Canada’s Accenture president, Jeffrey Russell said, “We’ve been in the Niagara Region since 2001 and are thrilled to expand our footprint in the heart of St. Catharines with new employment opportunities for the deep talent pool and a new service offering for our clients.”
He also noted, “In today’s competitive customer landscape, we help our clients reinvent themselves with intelligent operating models, using the newest technology solutions to deliver value by working side-by-side with them to reimagine their futures and solve their biggest challenges.”
Accenture has a new offering that is meant to work with other organizations so that they can grow in a sustainable manner.
Danielle Moffat is leading the offer for the company, she said, “Sustainable growth has never been more important to companies than it is today. Digital disruption and changing customer expectations have accelerated the need to reinvent sales and service.”
“With the customer lifecycle no longer linear, companies are expected to engage and meet customers in their channel of preference and provide relevant interactions that demonstrate an understanding of their needs. Now is the time for companies to mobilize to an integrated front office, capitalizing on data, digital levers and engagement channels to drive growth and customer loyalty.”
The company has about 5,000 people located in Canada along with 50 delivery locations around the world.
Bell Let’s Talk is partnering up with the Northwestel and government of the Northwest Territories to announce a $500,000 collaboration to support the Strongest Families Institute. Strongest Families is an award-winning charity that provides mental health services to youth and adults throughout the N.W.T. according to a press release.
The Institute helps families to overcome anxiety and behavioural challenges through the use of various evidence-based programs. Operating out of nine provinces in total, coaches provide support any time of the day or night, available in both French and English. Strongest Families also partners with Indigenous advisors to help better connect with people’s needs. The Institute is also committed to respecting the privacy of those they support.
“Our government is committed to making decisions to improve the lives of NWT residents. By partnering with Bell Let’s Talk, Northwestel and the Strongest Families Institute, we are able to provide individuals, families, caregivers and youth with mental wellness and behavioural challenge supports when and where they need them from their home community. There is no waitlist for this innovative, flexible and evidence-based service that is available by phone and can be scheduled around each person’s needs.” said Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services.
One of Strongest Families’ approach is to have weekly 45-minute calls with their clients over a 12 week period, or more if necessary. The clients are given handbooks on different ways that they may be able to deal with their particular mental health issue. There are also videos to accompany the handbook that demonstrate how such skills might be implemented.
“Strongest Families Institute is proud to partner with the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Bell Let’s Talk and Northwestel, to increase access to timely mental health services for children, youth, adults and families. We are honoured to work with these partners to improve access to care. The announcement of this investment allows us to provide our skill-based programs that are proven to overcome mental health issues to NWT residents. Equipping people with life skills will lead to a healthier future. Through today’s announcement of matched funding, together we will improve the well-being of those in need of assistance. Strongest Families Institute applauds Bell Let’s Talk, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Northwestel on their funding commitment to improved mental health wellness for all.” said Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, President and CEO of Strongest Families Institute.
According to Lingley-Pottie about 90 percent of clients report that their mental health issue was eventually resolved or at least improved significantly by the time they had finished the program.
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to build on our existing partnership with the Strongest Families Institute to bring new mental health resources to families in the Northwest Territories. Bell and Northwestel share the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to expanding access to mental health support in ways that will make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.
“As a longstanding partner of Bell Let’s Talk and a passionate supporter of mental health in the North, Northwestel is proud to be involved in today’s announcement about how we will make additional resources available to Northwest Territories families. Mental health affects all of us, and I want to thank Bell Let’s Talk, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Strongest Families Institute for the work they are doing to make mental health a priority in our communities,” said Curtis Shaw, President of Northwestel
Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each text sent at no extra cost to the consumer. One of the main goals is to remove the stigma of discussing issues of mental health publicly. Bell Let’s Talk will be on January 29th.
Former Conservative Party MPP for the riding of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Amanda Simard has announced that she will be joining the Liberal Party in a press conference today.
The announcement made Wednesday with Interim Ontario Liberal Party Leader John Fraser was that Simard left the Progressive Conservatives and served as an independent for the Eastern Ontario riding.
She was known for her opposition to the Progressive Conservatives’ francophone policies, which included the proposed cut to Ontario’s French language services.
As well as this, the PC government also moved to cancel the funding for a new French-language university earlier in their government, which she was similarly outraged by.
“We wish Amanda Simard well as she sits as an independent,” said a Ford party spokesperson. “It’s unfortunate that she chose not to work within government in service to her constituents.”Simard was rumoured to have been flirting with the idea of joining the Liberals.
Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday that new scholarships would be provided in honour of the 57 Canadians who lost their lives on Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752. Ford called the leadership in Iran a “ruthless, evil regime.”
“Innocent lives got shot down by a ruthless, careless Iranian regime,” said Ford in a report by the Toronto Sun. “I want to send a message—and it may not get over there—I support the (anti-government) protesters that are out there. We believe in democracy here in Canada and we’d like to see nothing less than democracy in Iran.”
Some of the families that Ford met with expressed that they put the blame for the incident on the Iranian regime and are looking for justice.
Ford noted, “Nothing, nothing at all was more emotional than sitting down with five families and listening to their stories.”
“One gentleman told me how he lost his daughter and his granddaughter; another person lost their husband; another person lost their brother, sister and a wife and child,” he said. “It was absolutely heartbreaking.”
Ford expressed that he was happy with the way the Canadian government was able to respond to the families of the victims.
He also revealed that there will be 57 post-secondary scholarships created in Ontario to honour Canada’s victims.
The tragedy cost the lives of students in more than a dozen post-secondary schools in Ontario.
The new scholarships will be for the 2021-22 school year and the government will be distributing $10,000 for each.
The scholarships will be distributed with financial need and academic merit in mind. The schools will be working with the families of the victims to determine scholarship recipients.
Ford said, “They were smart, gifted people who had a bright future ahead of them,” and added, “In fact, 34 out of the 57 Canadians were studying — they were PhD candidates, professors, researchers, doctors.”
He also mentioned that a victim of the crash had been working on a new breast cancer drug therapy.
“We will honour their memories through these scholarships to recognize their incredible contributions to our communities,” said Ford.
The province will be distributing the scholarships to the schools that the victims were employed at or attending.
In the weeks to come, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities will be working with government, communities and schools in order to continue to develop the scholarships.