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  • 26 September 2019 6:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Why is it so hard to do great works of charity? - Special Senate Committee Report
    Innovative & practical recommendations for our Non-Profit Members, insight & perspective for all Members 
    reported by Jennifer Nichol, ASPECT Member Services and Administrator


    "Why is it so hard to do great works of charity? This was the question the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (the committee) set out to answer." Read more of the executive summary here...

    Struck in January 2018, the committee was asked to examine and report on Canada’s diverse and vibrant charitable and nonprofit sector.  The work done in this sector benefits ALL people. Whether the interdependence is obvious or not, this report makes it clear that it's there. What may be surprising to some is that this sector employs over 7 million people in Canada.  

    Released in June, the report's findings were broadcast via webinar yesterday morning and the ASPECT office was able to hear the findings first hand from one of the Senators on the committee, Ratna Omidvar. Amongst the 42 thoughtful and thought-provoking recommendations made in the report, a few stood out as being especially relevant to our sector.

    • Recommendation 5 (p. 36) That the Government of Canada, through the Minister of Finance and federal-provincial-territorial meetings of Ministers of Finance, support the development of pensions for the charitable and non-profit sectors that are portable across provincial and territorial jurisdictions
    • Recommendation 6 (p. 37)That the Government of Canada, through Labour Canada, work with the charitable and non-profit sector to develop and implement a human resources renewal plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector workforce, recognizing that the needs of northern, rural and urban communities are unique.
    • Recommendation 10 (p. 45) That the Government of Canada, through the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, develop policies that require departments and agencies to compensate for full administrative
      costs associated with delivering the services being funded in transfers to charitable and
      non-profit organizations.
    • Recommendation 12 (p. 47)That the Government of Canada, through Treasury Board of Canada, ensure that grants and contribution agreements cover a minimum of two years, renewable as appropriate;
      and that the level of information required for both application and reporting on these
      agreements are commensurate with the level of funding, minimizing complexity for smaller
    • Recommendation 15 (p. 52): That the Government of Canada’s procurement strategy be further modified to remove barriers to the participation of charitable and non-profit organizations, with a particular focus on suppliers with smaller staff complements. 

    Outside of these official recommendations, in the context of the webinar environment, we also heard about the need for innovative ways for the sector to self-fund, as ASPECT CEO, Janet Morris-Reade discussed with her “Big Idea” at our inaugural ASPECT Summit. We heard about the real need for formal relationships to exist with the Federal Government, outside of the CRA. Another idea discussed was to create a set of standard accounts used by the sector to enable ease of reporting and accessibility to procurement data and establishing baselines for overhead costs.   

    Organizations like ASPECT are one of many non-profits across Canada who also have the privilege of serving both the public and our members, a distinction also discussed as a way to further develop policy and regulation. 

    Wrapping up, we also heard from participants who wondering why this report hasn't been picked up by more news agencies. It was suggested that few reporters are dedicated to this sector, which often leads to misrepresentation of the work being done or even a lack of understanding around how much the sector contributes to our current economic model (it's 7% of GDP) so we encourage our Members to read and spread this report around, as always, we are stronger together.

    What do you think about these recommendations? We want to know. Meh or 10/10?

    Read the whole report here ...

    Do you have something you'd like featured? Please email
  • 20 September 2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I’ve spent the morning in meetings discussing professional development opportunities for ASPECT members and the employment services sector at large. It’s an exciting time as many of the contracts have been awarded, and organizations are looking at ways to get the best value for their professional development budgets. Although we don’t have all the details worked out, I wanted to give you a heads up of what learning opportunities are coming your way.

    ASPECT Conference 2019 – November 4 & 5, 2019, Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
    The ASPECT Conference is the event of the year with something for everyone: case managersresource centre staffjob developersworkshop facilitatorsadministratorsprogram managersinstructors and counsellors, leaders and emerging leaders. Check out the program and register before October 4 for early bird discounts.
    ASPECT Values-Based Leadership – Face-to-Face November 3 & April 21 plus online learning courses
    We’ve partnered with Dr. Roberta Neault and LifeStrategies Inc. to create a leadership training course for the busy leader and/or the emerging leader at an affordable price. Dates and registration will be confirmed next week, but the ASPECT Values-Based Leadership course includes two face-to-face learning sessions where core courses are taught and discussed allowing you to build your essential network, plus 5-9 online courses with pre-learning, webinar lecture, forum discussions and learning assessment. 
    If you sign up for the whole program, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a credentialed Leadership designation. Can’t commit? We’ve also designed the leadership training course to be accessible to those who may want to take only parts of the course. Once you’ve read the course topics, you’ll want to take everything.
    • Core course topics are: What is Leadership?; Self-Awareness, Confidence & Values; Trust, Motivation & Recognition; Leadership within the Organizational Context; Leading for Change; and Leadership: Where Do We Go from Here?
    • Elective course topics are: Leadership Lessons for Transformational Times; Supervising Career Development Practitioners; A Social Justice Approach to Leadership; HR Life Hacks for Leaders and Advocacy; Leadership & Communication; and Teams & Leadership.

    Webinars & Workshops – Call for Presenters
    This year we will offer five face-to-face workshops and a minimum of 10 webinars, some of which will be free and some of which will be exceptionally affordable. If you have a topic or expertise that you would like to share with our networks, please email me. Some of the topics in development are Time Management Strategies for Client Meetings, Interpreting Psychological Assessments and When to Seek Help, Goal Setting Chaos, Gender Identity and Inclusion, and more. 
    ASPECT Summit 2020 – April 22, 2020, Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel
    This employer-facing summit will bring together employers and employment experts to help employers connect with the pre- and post-employment supports available in their communities and to help employment experts (service providers) further develop their offerings to employers within their communities. The date is set, but more information is coming soon.

    There are lots of opportunities to learn and build your networks. If you are looking for training but don't see it mentioned above, contact me with your ideas and we'll see if we can deliver it.  More details coming soon.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 12 September 2019 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 6, 2019

    MOSAIC is pleased to announce a new Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers project which will support newcomers and immigrants in overcoming existing barriers to participate in civic and community based leadership roles.  The project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada’s $3.5 million investment in support of multiculturalism, community activities and events and anti-racism initiatives in BC.  

    The announcement was made by Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, at a press conference in Surrey, BC on September 6.

    MOSAIC’s Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers and Immigrants project will help create strong partnerships between diverse communities, increase civic participation and representation on the boards of local non-profits, increase the capacity of receiving organizations and institutions to attract and retain diverse volunteers and board members, and provide valuable experience to newcomers.

    Canadian immigrants are among the world’s most educated, yet they are less likely to participate in community and civic engagement leadership roles.

    In Metro Vancouver, visible minorities are under-represented across senior leadership positions. Of the 2274 leaders studied in a research report led by the Diversity Institute and SPARC BC , only 12% come from a visible minority background. The lowest representation of visible minorities is in the elected officials sector: visible minorities comprise 26% of elected leaders. From the voluntary sector, only 13% of senior leaders come from a visible minority background. (Source: Diversity Counts: A Snapshot of Diversity in Metro Vancouver, Research Report. July 2011)

    MOSAIC recognized that after basic settlement and employment needs are met, clients want to give back and be involved within their communities. The Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers project, with the Government of Canada's support, will work towards increasing access for immigrants and newcomers to civic and social leadership positions so they have the opportunity for their voices to be heard and participate in the decision-making processes which affect them, their lives and their communities.

    In 2019, MOSAIC has already undertaken a number of activities in this area, including:

    •  “Improving participation of Newcomers’ in Civic Engagement” as a recommendation in the Settlement Sector Study to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa
    • Surveys and focus groups to help identify interest and barriers
    • Participation in Simon Fraser University’s (Radius’ Refugee Livelihoods Lab) Trampoline: Ideas In to Action program through which human-centred design methods were used to ideate MOSAIC’s Social and Civic Engagement project
    • An information session with the City of Vancouver with the purpose of seeking newcomer voices for participation in the city’s advisory groups
    • A public forum about Community Leadership & Migrant Experiences to advance a conversation with MOSAIC stakeholders, clients and partners on how to improve access to more volunteer leadership opportunities for members of the immigrant and refugee communities
    • And most recently, a public forum “Inspiring participation in Elections”. Keynote speakers former Canadian MP Libby Davies, and Former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh captivated our participants by sharing how they became involved in activism.

    Do you have a member feature you'd like to submit? Email

  • 06 September 2019 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The intervals of change -- the time between when technology or ideas are introduced, adopted, and becomes a part of everyday life -- are shortening. Being able to identify trends that are going to stick around is a skill in great demand.  With this in mind, I wanted to draw your attention to some research and opportunities coming your way.

    The Brookfield Institute

    In mid-August, the Brookfield Institute released part two of their Employment in 2030 initiative.  Entitled Sign of the Times: Expert insights about employment in 2030, the report outlines the results from workshops held across Canada to answer some of the following questions:  Will creativity be the most important skill for employability in Canada in 2030? Do all Canadians need to learn how to code? Should Canadian workers focus on building their soft skills?

    Part one, which was released in April this year, is called Turn and Face the Strange: Changes Impacting Employment in Canada. This report looks back at 2018 and then tries to address the trends of the future such as technological change, globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality, and political uncertainty.

    Future Skills Centre

    You've likely already seen it but in case you haven't, there is a call for proposals that closes later this month. According to the information on the Future Skills Centre website, the proposals should try to answer and address the following questions:
    1. How can we best support Canadians facing labour market disruption to transition to new jobs or industries?
    2. How can employers be more effectively engaged in developing and delivering demand-driven solutions to skills gap challenges?
    3. How can skills development systems be optimized, building up the capacity of service providers and encouraging collaboration between organizations?  
    We may not be futurists, but ASPECT members are the experts because you are on the ground working in the community with job-seekers and employers. You are able to notice the gaps in funding and programs before anyone else, and it's my job to distribute that information to researchers and government on your behalf.  Take a moment to email your thoughts on the subject and I'll get them to where they need to be.  

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 16 August 2019 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this week, I met virtually with the BC Prior Learning Action Network (BCPLAN) board of directors for our monthly meeting. One vein of conversation was a comment on a presentation about women in an industry that has low female participation.  Some mentioned how uncomfortable they felt about having it presented by an older Caucasian man who seemed tone deaf to the challenges faced by women. The presentation was two months ago, and even though many had recognized their discomfort at the time, no one had voiced it until our meeting. We decided right then and there that it is our responsibility to ourselves, BCPLAN, the working environments in which we lead, and to those who are not yet in leadership positions to speak up for diversity in gender, in culture, ability, and race. 

    Women in leadership bring better business performance

    I was delighted to read this morning that the International Labour Organization had released a report called the Business Case for Change (May 2019) where it  posits that women in leadership is good for business.  As much as I would like to promote my own feminist agenda, the quest for balance and diversity in the work world is, I think, the key takeaway here. It's something that we strive for at ASPECT acknowledging that there is still a lot of learning to be done.

    Diversity at the ASPECT Conference

    Our goal every year is to put together a program for the ASPECT Conference that promotes learning about the diverse needs in our sector. We try to draw presentations from all specialized serving groups as well as providing professional development opportunities for front-line workers, administrators, community developers, and leaders and emerging leaders.

    One of the topic workshops we are trying to fill is a session on adopting Truth and Reconciliation into a work environment. Last year, Rhonda Terbasket from the Okanagan Training and Development Council delivered a session on First Steps to Reconciliation.  Sadly, Rhonda passed away earlier this year and we are looking for an ASPECT member or stakeholder to volunteer to present at the conference. In payment, we are able to offer a free conference registration valued at $425. Help us continue to make the ASPECT Conference a diverse learning experience that represents all our members.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 09 August 2019 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an assignment for my Master's program and a way to communicate to our board and members what were are doing, I created a map of ASPECT advocacy contacts and the quality of the relationships we currently have.

    It was helpful to me and the ASPECT board of directors to reflect on where we are and where we want to go with developing the relationships.  For me, it also functions as a "to-do" list of people and organizations with whom I should spend more time. I fundamentally believe that we are all stronger when we find areas of overlap and work together to make the sector stronger.

    Click on the image above to see the full map.

    What is missing from the ASPECT outreach map is the connection to municipalities, community-based organizations that are not members, and local businesses. With our limited resources here at ASPECT, we rely on our members to provide those connections for us. Click on the image above and take a good look. If you see something missing or are a part of an organization that is not listed here, please let me know.  After all, the more connected we are the better it is for all. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 02 August 2019 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Minister of Advanced Education & Skills Training Melanie Mark poses with delegates at the Summer Labour Market Conference in Vancouver.

    I'm reporting to you today from the Summer Labour Market Conference in Vancouver. Starting yesterday, the conference brings together job developers, case managers, resource room managers, career counselors, and a good mix of employment professionals from all over the province. It has been an excellent experience and kudos to Christian St. Cyr for putting together an engaging and inspiring program.

    One of the most inspiring speakers thus far has been Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Honorable Melanie Mark. She spoke last year and had the room crying as she shared her lived experience about those who supported her along the way to finish high school and university; becoming the first in her family to do so. This year she again shared her passion for the work she is undertaking in the Ministry. She referred to the 2018 Labour Market Outlook, which has been referred to several times during this conference. (I encourage you to read it if you haven't already.)  The Minister touched on issues of privilege and education and what her Ministry is doing to overcome barriers. Possibly later today there will be an announcement from her Ministry regarding additional supports for apprenticeship training.  

    Later this morning, I'll be participating in a panel discussion about the future development of the Career Development sector. On behalf of ASPECT members, I'm on the National Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work. We are hosting a career development consultation to provide discussion and feedback about defining career development for the future of work during the ASPECT Conference this year. If you are interested in finding out more about the Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work project, replying to the survey, or providing feedback on the definition that is being tweaked, please go to their website

    As I write this, the conference isn't quite over but each session is more informative than the last. ASPECT is proud to be a supporter and looks forward to the ongoing collaboration with the Labour Market Report.

    Janet Morris-Reade

  • 26 July 2019 11:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our conference manager, Lesley Patten, and I have been pouring over conference presentation proposals to create a fabulous ASPECT Conference this year. The challenge is always to find innovative and inspiring workshop topics while at the same time avoiding duplication of what has been done elsewhere. Our program is about 80% there so we've decided to open up registration today.  We still have work to do to update the bits and pieces missing from the program and to make room for special guests who can't confirm quite yet.  

    This year we have four streams of opportunities: Leaders and Emerging Leaders, Career Developers, Something for Everyone, and Something for Almost Everyone. We couldn't decide on a unifying theme for the conference, likely since I couldn't think of one that made sense, but you can expect the great things this year.

    Our opening keynote speaker is Eric Termuende who is a globally-recognized thought leader, author, and international speaker on the future of work and building teams that thrive.  As co-founder of NoW Innovations, he advises industry-leading organizations, institutions, and associations on future-proofing their teams, talent management, and rehumanizing the workplace. Eric has a deep understanding of the next generation of work and how to attract and retain the right talent. 

    We’ve also confirmed that there will be a Ministry Update from the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training (AEST) as well as the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR). Thanks to Assistant Deputy Minister Bindi Sawchuck of AEST and Assistant Deputy Minister Chris Brown of SDPR for once-again agreeing to present. For those delegates who may not be interested in their update, we will have a facilitated discussion/networking opportunity at the same time. As always, our aim is to program something for everyone, no matter where you are in your career path. 

    Thanks to the many ASPECT members and others who took the time to prepare and submit presentation proposals. Thank you also to Lesley Patten, our conference manager, for handling all the details and leading the effort.  If you have a conference or meeting coming up in which you are the part of the organizing committee, please consider hiring Lesley and the ASPECT Events Management team for your event. She’s an expert and what might take your staff many hours to do, she can do it in a fraction of the time and no post-event staff burnout to deal with!   

  • 05 July 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Virtual Member Tour

    After the whirlwind of June, I'm happy to settle into July and will be undertaking a virtual member tour.  Starting next week, you'll receive meeting requests from me to check in and find out how things are going in your organization and community.  It'll be just like the provincial tour I undertook three years ago, except without the airfare, car rental, and hotels: a more budget conscious and eco-friendly alternative. Details will be sent out to ASPECT members early next week.


    Call (Again) for Presenters for the ASPECT Conference 2019

    Terry Deakin of INEO Employment Services in Port Alberni presented at the ASPECT Conference 2017.
    Look for her session in the 2019 conference program coming out later this month.

    The deadline has passed for the call for presenters for the ASPECT Conference on November 4 and 5 in Richmond BC, and we have some informative and innovative proposals to choose from. However, we are looking for presenters for the following topic areas to round out the learning experiences for conference delegates.  Specifically, we are looking for the following:

    • The future of work and how some communities are meeting the challenges.
    • Automation and innovative service delivery models.
    • Change management and self-care.
    • Truth and reconciliation training.

    I understand that with the new employment contracts and the upset over staffing up or down, some of those who would like to have presented missed the opportunity during the confusion.  Here's your 2nd chance to share your expertise, become eligible for a free conference registration, and add  "Conference Presenter"  to your resume.  Please email me your presentation idea before July 10th.  If it's a fit for this year's conference, we'll ask you to complete a full presentation proposal.  

    Janet Morris-Reade

  • 07 June 2019 11:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Innovation takes courage and sometimes it is wildly successful and sometimes it isn't quite. Depending on whom you ask, you may get similarly diverse reviews about our Pre-Summit and the Employer-Employment Expert Summit that took place in Richmond earlier this week.  

    Because I picked the speakers and the topics, I loved every session that I had the chance to see. I was floating in excitement and smiling like a goon as I saw synergies form throughout the room and the trickle of ideas from one presentation to the next. Yes, there were a few hiccups along the way, but I was delighted in so many ways with the small-but-mighty group at the event.

    One session, that is getting mixed reviews, is the one that I presented. Actually, it was more of a presentation + discussion than just a presentation. In it, I introduced a BIG IDEA to tap into the talents and expertise of ASPECT members to create a province-wide fee-for-service offering to employers. The idea is to meet the current needs of employers while creating a revenue stream for ASPECT members. We would create an online marketing portal similar to accommodation and travel sites.

    I did not get the slam-dunk response hoped for, but I did receive some excellent feedback and appreciated the candor in the room. The idea might have value in the future, but right now there is too much uncertainty in the sector and employers are not quite embracing the concept of paid training just yet.

    Here's where we landed after the discussion:
    1. ASPECT would collect information from our members for us to share with our members. This will assist members in finding partners in neighbouring communities and help us have a clearer picture of what is offered when employers do call ASPECT asking for information.
    2. ASPECT would continue to reach out to employers on behalf of the sector to find out how we can help them with their post-employment supports and undertake some research around this area, possibly partnering with an employer group.
    3. Once the service providers have had some time to determine the details of how post-employment supports work under the WorkBC contract, then we will investigate moving forward.
    I would like to thank all those who attended, the presenters and panelists, the sponsor WCG, and the exhibitors for being there. ASPECT President Val Meany, my boss, gets a special gold star for doing an excellent job emceeing on both days. At this point, we don't know if there will be another Summit next year (it won't be in June again), but we do know that the ASPECT Conference will be November 4 & 5 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. I hope to see you there!

    Janet Morris-Reade

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