Breakfast of Champions and Awards

The impact of disruptive technologies, the changing nature of work and the role of immigration on labour market and economic trends was the focus of this year’s Employer’s Summit held on March 11, 2020, at the National Arts Centre. Under the theme, the Future of Work and Immigration, the Summit brought together over 200 attendees, including leaders from business, government and politics, to discuss how employers can position themselves to attract and include immigrant talent in the new economy.

Co-Chairs of the Employer Council of Champions, Gaye Moffett, Founder, GEM HealthCare Services Inc. and Frank Bilodeau, Vice President Ottawa Centre and Gatineau, Scotiabank, introduced the HIO “Employer Pledge for Immigrant Inclusion into the Workplace” and called on employers to sign up. The Employer Pledge aims to rally employers to take more action to advance diversity and inclusion in workplaces to improve labour market outcomes for immigrants in order to effectively contribute to the growth of Ottawa’s economy.

In his welcome address, Mayor Jim Watson presented an overview of a strong local economy with a number of major projects being implemented, the City’s strategy on immigration and the growing need for a skilled labour force to support local economic development.

In his address, the Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Honourable Monte McNaughton, underscored the critical role of employers in supporting the effective integration of immigrants into the economy. He highlighted some policy measures the government of Ontario is implementing to support skills development. He also made a strong case for an increase in Ontario’s allocation under the Provincial Nominee Program to bring in more skilled immigrants to address critical skills needs in the province.

Sunil Johal, thought leader and policy expert on the future of work, set the context for the day with an informative keynote address. He outlined how the digital economy, the automation of industry, and living in an on-demand society is resulting in increased uncertainty, increased pace of change, constant disruption and volatility, and significant pressure on existing regulatory/social and economic frameworks.

Sunil reminded the audience that Canada is a destination for highly-skilled immigrants and has a shrinking labour force that will continue to depend on immigrants for years to come. While some other major economies, such as Japan and the USA, may be taking a closed stance on immigration, Canada has seen an increase in highly-skilled immigrants to fill targeted labour gaps since the 1990’s.

Sunil ended his remarks with a positive message and policy options to drive inclusive growth; re-skilling for the future will become essential; the skills for the future include social and emotional intelligence, something that computers have not yet mastered; adaptability, creativity, and desire for constant learning will be critical in a rapidly changing economy; and, computational and analytic thinking are exceptionally important in complementing new technology. Sunil’s Presentation.

Employer Awards

2020 Employer Excellence Award Winners

Sander Geophysics, Northforge Innovations and Payments Canada are this year’s award winners. These organizations were recognized for their outstanding work in immigrant employment and building diverse and inclusive workplaces. Learn about their outstanding policies and practices around immigrant integration.

2020 Employer Awards for Newcomer Employment- IRCC

The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was on hand to present this year’s National Employer Awards for Newcomer Employment. Four organizations were recognized for demonstrating excellence in welcoming and leveraging the talents of newcomers: Glen Haven Manor (New Glasgow, NS), KPMG in Canada (Toronto, ON), MUFG Fund Services Ltd. (Halifax, NS), and White Hat Drycleaners and Commercial Laundry (Campbell River, BC). Learn about these award winners here…

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