September 15, 2013
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyI had the privilege of attending the CNLA national meetings in Montreal in August. I can assure you that our industry’s challenges in regards to human resources development are shared across the country. Your LO and CNLA staff  and leaders are working hard to create opportunities and solutions for the industry as a whole.

The conversations from all provinces at the CNLA meetings had a common thread surrounding the need to provide HR best practices and development tools, industry standards and other financial management intelligence that will help our members become more agile and competitive in our changing environment.

LO takes this seriously and thus has had a busy summer preparing for your professional development season. We understand that training is a huge gap for most business owners who have been spending more time in the field due to demand. This is a good news story, but I am also hearing frustration from many owners who are buried in work and are delaying projects because they lack the skilled labour required to best serve their clients.

LO is here to help you to develop your staff through best practices that lead to improved productivity, a stable workforce and profit. For more information on the Expo 2013 Schedule and Conference events go to, Sector events and Congress 2014 information will follow in the coming months via the Landscape Ontario magazine, e-news and at Expo. If you are not presently receiving our weekly e-news, or would like to receive the electronic version of the magazine, then please e-mail Angela Lindsay at to start receiving up-to-date information on training and networking opportunities that will help you and your team.

Connecting Educators

I am very excited to announce that on Oct. 22 (the day before Expo 2013), Landscape Ontario is pleased to present our first Connecting Educators Conference 2013, entitled, Enabling Educators ... Connecting Youth with Green Industry Careers. For more information, go to

The intent of this event is to connect leaders from the education community, industry and government to work toward building skilled capacity that results in our industry attracting the brightest and the best talent to fill our critical skilled labour gap.

After the Algonquin College program was threatened with cancellation a few years ago, it became very obvious that there was and remains a gap in connectivity between us all. In order to ensure that our industry is able to attract, recruit and retain skilled and competent workers, we must put effort into building relationships and providing support to ensure that our youth possess the knowledge, skills and abilities that we need. We must reach out to our local secondary schools that are offering Specialist High Skills Major in horticulture and landscape, forestry, environment, business and agriculture programs to grade 11 and 12 students. We must also do so for our post-secondary apprenticeship, college and university programs.  

We can impact curriculum development and provide on-the-job learning that creates a strong workforce for the future. How wonderful would it be to be able to post an advertisement for a project supervisor, and receive five amazing resumes from individuals who could actually do the work due to training, certification, experience and education? Think about it. That is our goal. The education community is supporting this event and looks forward to connecting dots, as Tim Kearney CLP has been known to say.

We thank the Ministry of Education for its sponsorship of this event. Without them, we would be challenged to offer it.

Please register. We hope to see leaders from industry and the education community there, as we initiate first steps to build relationships. Please contact me if you require additional information.

College of Trades

Many of you have recently received letters from the College of Trades requesting that you become a member of its organization. I have received numerous inquiries from members who think that they are being forced to join.
Please know that this is not the case. It is up to you, as we are considered a voluntary trade, so it is not compulsory for you to join.

Here is an excerpt from the letter:
“I am writing today to let you know that your company, as an employer of tradespersons, is now eligible for membership in the Ontario College of Trades. I also want to outline some of the benefits of membership.
Certificate of Qualification holders (or journeypersons) working in Ontario’s 22 compulsory trades are required by the law of this province to be members of the College. Registered apprentices in all trades are also required to be members of the College…
“Membership in the College is optional for employers of skilled tradespersons, as well as for individuals who hold a Certificate of Qualification in a voluntary trade.”

If you did not receive this letter, but would like more information on membership, visit

I also invite your feedback on activities related to the College of Trades. I am a member of the Horticulture Technician Trade Board as an employer representative. It is my job as a Trade Board member to bring your comments and direction to the table. We meet three times per year.

I would like to draw your attention to the bottom of these letters from the College.  The following words, “STANDARDS. SKILLS. SUCCESS,” takes us right back to the top of this article. We have much to do and so much opportunity for us all. Have a great September.

I welcome your comments.
Contact Sally Harvey at