December 16, 2021

Two years have gone by quickly. It seems like only yesterday I was thinking through the theme for my presidency. Legacy has always been important to me — the idea of reflecting on my own past, and building for the future has been a big part of what I do every day. When I began this term as president, I was sure there would be a lot of hard work, but that I would also benefit from the social events and opportunities to meet members and represent the association to the government and the public. I lamented at the last board meeting that because of the pandemic, I missed out on the fun stuff and just got the work.

This got me thinking… I hope everyone takes a minute to reflect on how we have all survived the great pandemic — and realize we are all stronger and wiser for it. I learned that with effective communication and peer support, we, as an association, can do anything. The achievements of the LO COVID-19 Task Force are a testament to that notion. When everyone pulls together, mountains can be moved. I also witnessed how quickly and easily things can go sideways when we don’t communicate as well as we should. I have never been accused of being a great communicator. It is important to identify these situations quickly so we can all get back on track.

Next month, I will hand the presidential gavel over to Lindsay Drake Nightingale, and move into the Past-President seat. I have always enjoyed Lindsay’s thoughtful dialogue, and while her approach will be different, she will always have the member’s interests at heart. I look forward to hearing the direction and focus of Lindsay’s two-year term.

As Past-President, I take on the role of CNLA Provincial Board Rep for the next two years. In this position, I will take the issues and needs of LO members to the national level. While there are many things going on at that level, the one that affects us all is the acute labour shortage. Labour has been at the forefront of LO and CNLA discussions for as long as I can remember. The workforce development programs we enjoy are all a result of those discussions.

There is also something bigger that we all need to look at (and I suspect  LO and CNLA are only scratching the surface on the real issue) — I have said it before: I believe the real issue is that we are not great employers. I realize I’m stirring the pot, but the fact is we are in competition with the construction, manufacturing and logistics industries, as well as Amazon. LO’s GROW program touches on this via the Employers of Choice Program. We all need to be the best employers possible and move on from being dealers in part-time jobs. We have to be purveyors of exceptional career opportunities. It might even mean we need to give up our overtime exemption.

I challenge you to keep coming back to this topic and to be open to thinking outside the box. Strive to be the very best employer and everything else will fall into place.

Send me your ideas for becoming an exceptional employer and I will take it to the top.

Dave Wright
LO President