AGENDA

8:00 A.M. Registration and Continental breakfast

8:00 A.M. Registration and Continental breakfast

8:30 A.M. Welcome: Cynthia Crosbie, NLEC Chair of the Board

8:30 A.M. Welcome: Cynthia Crosbie, NLEC Chair of the Board

8:35 A.M. Advice for the Next Premier: Improving the Competitiveness of Newfoundland & Labrador

8:35 A.M. Advice for the Next Premier: Improving the Competitiveness of Newfoundland & Labrador

The NL Employers’ Council (NLEC) recently commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to benchmark Newfoundland & Labrador against similar jurisdictions to determine how competitive our business environment is. The report, released in April 2015, provided a “reality check” for the province and indicates that some economic restructuring is needed to sustain economic prosperity for future generations. In fact, out of 32 benchmarking indicators used by the Conference Board, NL came in the bottom half of all peer jurisdictions in 20. Alexander will lay the groundwork for the day’s discussion by sharing key benchmarking results and outlining policy recommendations generated from the report that the NLEC has asked all political parties to address.

Presented by: Richard Alexander, Executive Director, NL Employers’ Council

8:55 A.M. CEO Panel: Creating Opportunity in a Changing Newfoundland & Labrador

8:55 A.M. CEO Panel: Creating Opportunity in a Changing Newfoundland & Labrador

The CEO Panel is one of the Conference’s most popular and highly rated sessions each year. A group of senior executives from various sectors will give their perspective on topics related to the Conference theme. The discussion will include innovation, education, demographics, politics, and how they feel the business community can continue to create opportunity in a changing Newfoundland & Labrador.

Presented by: Leonard Pecore, CEO of Genoa Design International; John Steele, President of Steele Hotels & Steele Communications; Peter Woodward, President and CEO of Woodward Group of Companies

Moderated by: Richard Alexander, NLEC Executive Director

10:10 A.M. Growing your Business in a Recession

10:10 A.M. Growing your Business in a Recession

While economists and politicians debate the correct terminology for the current economic state, many business owners say they are already feeling its effects. However, challenging times also create opportunities. This session will make sense of the volatile and uncertain international and domestic economic landscape.  Learn how you can not only survive, but thrive, in the current economic climate.

Presented by: Craig Alexander, Vice President of Economic Analysis at the C.D. Howe Institute

10:50 A.M. The Benefits of Freer Trade

10:50 A.M. The Benefits of Freer Trade

Last winter’s dispute between the provincial government and Ottawa over a Fisheries Investment Fund drew significant public attention to the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. While the public discussion centred primarily on Minimum Processing Requirements, trade agreements like CETA have the ability to provide benefits extending well beyond the fishery. “Freer trade” with the EU will increase innovation and productivity in the province, allow businesses in all industries to expand their market reach, and create jobs and wealth for the people of Newfoundland Labrador – as long as we take advantage of it. In this session, find out how reducing trade barriers will increase opportunities for your business, particularly as the local economic climate faces a downturn, and how you can take full advantage of these opportunities.

Presented by: Danielle Goldfarb, Director of the Conference Board of Canada’s Global Commerce Centre

11:30 A.M. Networking break

11:30 A.M. Networking break

12:00 P.M. Luncheon, Keynote Address by Andrew Coyne: What do the federal election results mean for business?

12:00 P.M. Luncheon, Keynote Address by Andrew Coyne: What do the federal election results mean for business?

A columnist at The National Post, and the former National Editor of Maclean’s, Andrew Coyne is never afraid to speak his mind. Coyne has established himself over the last two decades as one of this country’s most thoughtful, passionate, and articulate commentators on political and economic issues. At the 2015 NL Employers’ Council Conference, Coyne will provide his take on the recent federal election. What does the new Trudeau Liberal majority government mean for business, for the future economic success of the country, and for Newfoundland & Labrador?

2:10 P.M. Founding Chair’s Scholarship Presentation

2:10 P.M. Founding Chair’s Scholarship Presentation

Presented by: Vince Withers, NLEC Founding Chair

2:25 P.M. The Business Case for Safety: The remarkable turn-around in the workplace injury compensation system in Newfoundland & Labrador

2:25 P.M. The Business Case for Safety: The remarkable turn-around in the workplace injury compensation system in Newfoundland & Labrador

Together, we’ve achieved a remarkable turn-around in the workplace injury compensation system in Newfoundland and Labrador – from near bankruptcy in 2000 to now being fully funded for the first time. In the last three years assessment rates for employers have dropped by 20%, largely due to a stronger workplace safety culture in the province. How did this happen and what can we do to push this further?

Presented by: Ralph Tucker, Chairperson, WorkplaceNL

2:40 P.M. Spending and Results in K-12 Education: Aiming toward improvement

2:40 P.M. Spending and Results in K-12 Education: Aiming toward improvement

Having a world class education system is one of the best ways to ensure our future economic success.  K-12 education in Newfoundland and Labrador, like in much of the country, is marked by deep declines in school age population, dramatic spending increases, and some disappointing indicators of student performance. Drawing on recent analysis by the Fraser Institute that used data from Ministries of Education and Statistics Canada, Van Pelt will explain how NL’s enrolments, spending and results compare to the rest of Canada. Suggestions—based on evidence from research and the practices in other provinces—for ways forward will be proposed.

Presented by: Deani Van Pelt, Director of the Fraser Institute’s Barbara Mitchell Center for Improvement in Education

3:20 P.M. Panel: What will the upcoming provincial election mean for business?

3:20 P.M. Panel: What will the upcoming provincial election mean for business?

In this session, local political commentators will analyze the election campaign, party platforms and strategy, and election predictions as they relate to business, the economy and the NLEC ‘s advocacy issues.

Panelists: David Cochrane, Provincial Affairs Reporter, CBC; Tim Powers, Vice Chairman, Summa Strategies; Roger Grimes, Former Premier of NL and Kyle Rees, Lawyer, O’Dea Earle Law Offices and VP of the provincial NDP

Moderator: Paddy Daly, Host of VOCM Openline

4:30 P.M. Conference Concludes

4:30 P.M. Conference Concludes

Conference Sponsors

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