Canadian Government Entities Under Scrutiny for Lax Cybersecurity

Canada’s government sector is increasingly coming under scrutiny for both lagging privacy and security both in legislation and in practice

 

In a sign of the times, figures released in February to the House of Commons reveal that the personal information of at least 144,000 Canadians was mishandled by Federal department and agencies, including the Security Intelligence Service and Department of National Defense.  The breaches were widespread, impacting over 10 separate departments and agencies, with evidence indicating that these figures are being underreported due to inadequate reporting requirements.  The Canada Revenue Agency led the pack with 3,020 identified breaches over the last two years impacting at least 59,065 Canadians. 

 

Helical’s offerings meet the “Baseline Cyber Security Controls for Small and Medium Organizations” published by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and can be scaled up according to need.  You can learn more about how we meet these requirements here or for more information about Helical, visit our website.  

Announcement – New Online Training Program: Lean for Municipalities White Belt

Leading Edge Group is excited to announce the launch of an online Lean for Municipalities White Belt training program.

This program provides a basic introduction to Lean thinking and how it can be applied across the municipality. Upon completion, participants will recognize the relevance of Lean principles and core tools and techniques as they apply in municipal environments as well as identifying specific processes in their organization where they see an opportunity for improvement.

Volume-based corporate rates are available upon request.

Get in touch to discuss any queries about the program or to enrol and arrange payment: https://courses.leadingedgegroup.com/lean-municipality-white-belt/

SDS Breakdown: What, When, Why & How?

What is an SDS?

SDS stands for Safety Data Sheet (previously called MSDS • Material Safety Data Sheet)

When do you need an SDS?

Safety Data Sheets are created for any product that is “classified as a “hazardous product” under WHMIS that is intended for use, handling or storage in a workplace in Canada.”

Hazardous product means any product, mixture, material or substance that is classified in accordance with the regulations made under subsection 15(1) in a category or subcategory of a hazard class listed in Schedule 2 Source

Safety Data Sheets are to be provided by the manufacturer or supplier. They can be a hard copy given in-person or mailed, or a digital copy on a USB, a disc or sent via email.  It is required that workplaces in Canada maintain an SDS library, whether hard copy or digital, and that it be readily available to all employees.

Metal worker wearing PPE at work with fumes surrounding him

What is on an SDS?

A Safety Data Sheet is separated into 16 sections, below is a brief outline of what information goes into each section.

SECTION 1 – Identification

SECTION 2 – Hazard Identification

SECTION 3 – Composition/Ingredients

SECTION 4 – First Aid Measures

SECTION 5 – Fire-fighting Measures

SECTION 6 – Accidental Release Measures

SECTION 7 – Handling and Storage

SECTION 8 – Exposure Controls / PPE

SECTION 9 – Physical and Chemical Properties

SECTION 10 – Stability and Reactivity

SECTION 11 – Toxicological Info.

SECTION 12 – Ecological Info.

SECTION 13 – Disposal Considerations

SECTION 14 – Transportation Info.

SECTION 15 – Regulatory Info.

SECTION 16 – Other Info. (Dates, etc.)

How can you manage your SDS library?

Depending on the number of hazardous materials in your workplace, maintaining your SDS library can often end up being a full-time job! Because Safety Data Sheets are not always provided as easily or up-to-date as they are required, locating the correct copy often takes research, correspondence with the manufacturer and more.

Why do you need help managing your Safety Data Sheets?

Instead of taking up the time of a valuable employee in your company, hiring professionals for your SDS Management is the best way to go. We hire a lawyer to assist with our legal matters, and a plumber to assist with our plumbing, so why not leave this to the professionals as well. Managing your Safety Data Sheets is a matter of not only compliance with legal requirements, but they also provide the needed information to keep your workplace as safe as possible.

MySDS.ca can build and maintain your SDS library which can give you peace of mind, save you money and keep you compliant!

10 Golden Rules for First-Time Managers

One of the biggest challenges we see new first-time managers come up against is changing their mindset when they first take on their new role. As an individual contributor, they were mostly concerned about their own performance and success. As a Manager, they now need to shift their thinking to help other people succeed. And not just their direct reports, but also those who contribute to their team’s success, such as internal and external suppliers to their team.

It’s not an easy shift, because we become habituated in our thinking. So, it’s really about changing our focus and habits.

How do we do that?

By consciously selecting what we want to focus upon, and what new habits we want to develop.

It takes effort, but it’s worth it. We decided to put together a list of things to do, ten in total, to help you achieve that mindset change. Here they are:

  1. Avoid the Expert Syndrome – Your role as a manager is to help other people succeed. When they succeed, you succeed. Many first-time managers make the mistake of thinking that they are the manager because they are the most accomplished person on the team – they are the expert. This is the biggest mistake I see new managers make. Action: You need to give away your expertise.
  2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them – Your first duty as a manager is to better understand your team members – their goals, career aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses. Even their fears. This also applies to a better understanding of your own manager.
    Actions: 1) Help your team succeed by focusing on their professional and personal development. 2) Seek to understand your manager. 
  3.  Don’t Try This Alone – Gone are the days when managers worked out what needed to be done, by whom and by when, and then gave out the orders. Times have changed and people expect to be included in the planning of their work. They also have higher expectations when it comes to greater freedom in how they do their work. You need to be able to balance the need to get work done safely, on time and on budget with these new expectations.
    Action: Develop collaborative based planning, problem-solving and decision-making processes.
  4. Delegate to Coach – When you engage in collaborative planning, you will discover many opportunities to delegate tasks to your team members which will stretch them. They need your support in developing the competencies to perform these tasks. That’s where your role as a coach plays a big part in their success and also yours.
    Action: Learn the skills of coaching.
  5. Build Up Your EQ Muscles – Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is just as vital as General Intelligence (IQ). It’s now a well-established fact that how you manage your emotions plays a vital role in how you build strong relationships. EQ is not about becoming “softer” in how you handle interactions with others, especially in emotionally intense situations. It’s about stopping your emotions from taking control of your behaviors. Actions: 1) Learn more about E.Q. 2) When faced with intense emotions, say “I can’t help feeling the way I feel right now, but I can choose how I will respond.” 
  6.  Live Your Beliefs and Values – Organizations have core beliefs and values, so do you. As a manager, there will come a time when you will need to defend your team. This is when your core beliefs and values will be put to the test. If you back away from such confrontations, you will lose the respect of your team and also your fellow managers, and probably even your own manager. This does not mean defending the indefensible. When a team member commits an offense, you have to be the first person to call it and deal with it.
    Action: Do the internal work to discover your core beliefs and values, especially as they apply to your role as a manager in helping other people be successful. 
  7. Find Good Role Models – Research has shown that we learn most from watching others perform. The same is true of learning to manage and lead. The three core processes of daily management are planning, directing/delegating and coaching. Other managers have taken the same learning journey as you, and many of them can be good role models for you to learn from.
    Action: Find good role models to learn from for planning, directing/delegating and coaching. 
  8. Find a Mentor – A mentor is uniquely positioned to help you progress in your career as a manager. Their role is to provide you with emotional and psychological support on your journey. In addition, a mentor will help you see the bigger picture and not get trapped in the minutiae of day to day organizational drama.
    Action: Find a mentor who is willing and able to support you. 
  9. Seek Out Mastery Experiences – Every managerial position has limitations in terms of time and resources. While you will need to develop many competencies, you will not always have the opportunity to practice them “on-the-job”. That’s where, working with your manager and mentor, you can identify opportunities where you can step away from your day to day duties and perform roles that will broaden and deepen your skills. These could be special assignments, volunteer opportunities and even shadowing a more experienced manager.
    Action: Talk with your manager about your development and craft a personal learning plan with the support of your manager. 
  10. Solicit and Act Upon Feedback – Without feedback, you won’t know if you are improving. Leadership 360 feedback systems have matured to such an extent that now they are an indispensable tool in your management toolbox. Keep in mind that your manager, staff, and others want to help you improve, so take advantage of that willingness by providing them with the opportunity to support you on your journey. Action: Seek 360 feedback

You don’t need to go it alone. You have assets and resources available to you if you just ask. So many first-time managers simply don’t get the training they need to succeed, and as a consequence, the majority fail at reaching their true potential as a manager and leader. Don’t make that mistake.

Case Study – 44HA Drone Topo Survey for E.R. Garden O.L.S.

Scope of work:
44 Hectares, Orthographic Image 3cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours

Purpose:
To identify drainage and topography for a new development site in Markham.

Conditions and Requirements:

Overgrown farm lands had been neglected for several years, creating a very rugged, muddy landscape. Normal survey methods by foot or ATV would have been extremely cumbersome and slow going.
Accuracy requirements were +/-10cm on bare earth and +/-30cm in wooded and wetland areas. (excluding bodies of water)

Methodology and Timeline:

2 Aerial surveyors were deployed with an eBee+ RTK and Propeller Aero point.
Crew laid the Aero point as an independent base to ensure proper calibration between E.R. Gardens Data and Canadian UAV Solutions RTK eBee data

7 Aerial Ground Control shots were used in the model..

Processing took a GIS Photogrammetrist 3 days to build, edit and QA/QC the 3D model.

The Completed Drone Survey was delivered in approximately 4 business days.

Summary:

Canadian UAV Solutions was able to provide accurate data in a timely manner where it would have been extremely time consuming using traditional methods.
By adding a few extra aerial points within the workflow of the boundary survey, significant time was saved and resulted in considerable savings for the OLS.
The number of crew required was significantly less, and the amount of time on site was reduced from approximately a week to a single day.
QA/QC reports a RMSE on check points found on bare earth and wooded areas no greater than 3cm on the Z and 1.5cm on the XY, well within specified accuracy requirements.

Testimonial
“I had heard several horror stories regarding drones over the last few years, and up until recently had decided to stay away until the hype had died down.
I had done my research, and although we could have started our own drone program, it became increasingly obvious that it was a lot more complex the further we investigated it.
Many people were doing it, but were either struggling or getting bad results.
After several in-depth conversations with Canadian UAV Solutions, I was assured they knew my requirements and would be able to achieve them.

We developed a workflow which fit well into our operations, and has allowed us to utilize drone data in scenarios where it performs beautifully.

Their Drone survey ties right into our calibration points, and we have done our own QA/QC to confirm the legitimacy of the info.

In areas where we are looking for drainage information, we could not do it faster or for less.

The value added from the aerial photo alone speaks volumes. By adding the image to the topo, we are able to answer questions without sending anyone back to the field.

Bottomline is, we are able to take on more projects as it is increasing the efficiency of my crew. We intend to continue to work together with Canadian UAV Solutions on future projects.”

Edward R. Garden O.L.S.

E.R. Garden Limited, Ontario Land Surveyor

A Sobering Thought – Is Your Succession Planning Underway?

How’s this for a sobering thought?

According to Statistics Canada’s – Canadian Demographics At a Glance – by the year 2030, deaths are expected to outnumber births in Canada. In addition, Statistics Canada projects that by 2021, one in four members of the labour force could be aged 55 or older.

This means there won’t be as many young workers entering the workforce – plus the current workforce is going grey as we speak.  The result of these two merging factors is labour shortages in many professions Canada-wide.  

Municipalities are no different.  In fact it may be even more difficult for municipalities to attract youth to these roles because youth do not really understand what municipalities do or what it means to work in a municipality. It’s therefore imperative for municipalities to find ways to reach secondary and post-secondary students to educate them on the merits of a municipal career in order to attract them to becoming tomorrow’s leaders. 

What is Succession Planning?

 

Simply put, succession planning is getting the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time.

In the words of one of our professional members, “Succession planning and development should be like a well- run relay race. The transitions should be smooth.” (Prism Group International, Sophie Mathewson, President & Coaching Practice Leader)

Many municipalities are proactive and have succession plans in place, but there are still many others that do not give it much thought or consideration until key personnel leave and there’s a scramble to replace them. Sadly, the exodus of one key person often sets off a domino effect that just results in another municipality needing to hunt for a replacement.  Again, there’s a real need to bring youth and new candidates into the municipal stream.

For those who have not given it much thought yet, here are few things to think about as you start to develop your succession plan.  

In broad terms, succession planning starts with a sound assessment process;  

  1. Identify key areas and key positions you will be losing (number of pending retirements, which year, etc.) so you can identify future needs. Create an inventory of sorts.
  2. Take a look at the key competencies the incumbent has now and determine whether or not these are the same competencies you need in that position in the future.  
  3. Create programs for pre-retirees and if they don’t already track their processes, have them start doing so.
  4. Assess the skills you have in-house and compare them to the skills you need in the future
  5. Determine if there are any interested employees in-house and assess their ability to fill any of the upcoming vacancies. Your performance management program will help with identifying if there are qualified in-house staff to fill positions.
  6. Match the skills and capabilities of your current employees to their career ambitions
  7. Identify any training needs and create customized development plans to develop talent.
  8. Evaluate whether or not you will need to move to an external hire and if so, set the wheels in motion to ensure that you can have the position filled by the expected vacancy date.
  9. Monitor and measure success. 

Don’t forget that using early retirees from the municipal world and municipal consultants can also form part of your succession plan.  These experienced veterans can often get you past the hump until you can find permanent employees. They can also be utilized to mentor your new hires and they can pass the relay race baton of knowledge and experience on to tomorrow’s leaders. 

The competition to replace retirees and fill vacant positions will no doubt be challenging over the next decade but by initiating a sound assessment process today you will be well on your way to having the right talent in the right positions by 2021!

 

Susan Shannon is the Founder & Principal of muniSERV.ca and muniJOBS.ca

[email protected]

 

All ‘seniors’ shouldn’t be lumped together

Granted, reference is made to “young adults” and being in one’s “prime,” but then our vocabulary falters at “middle age.” Even fewer terms exist to differentiate any age after 65. Unfortunately, the word “senior” has become synonymous with being frail, vulnerable, declining mental capacity and limited ability to learn.

Read Helen’s full article in the Toronto Star. 

DRONE Survey Application Case Study

Canadian UAV Solutions

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) provide a safer and cost effective alternative to many Municipal applications such as:

Urban Planning and Corridor mapping, Road, Rail, and utility inspections, Environmental, and Landfill monitoring, Zoning And Bylaw compliance, Natural Disaster assessment, Flood Plain Mapping, Municipal Drain inspection and planning, Pre-construction planning, Construction project monitoring and tracking, Asset Management data collection and more.

Here’s a Canadian UAV Solutions Case Study:
Bay Sands Subdivision Drainage

Client:
Paul Hauser
R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd.

Scope of work:
First phase: 80 Hectares, Orthographic Image 5cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours
Second Phase: Additional 35 Hectares tying into first phase, Orthographic image 5cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours
Purpose:
To identify drainage and topography for a new subdivision in Wasaga Beach.

Conditions and Requirements:
Large swaths of the survey area were heavily wooded or swampy wetlands, causing issue with accessibility and reliable survey information.
Accuracy requirements were +/-10cm on bare earth and +/-30cm in wooded/wetland areas.
(excluding bodies of water)
Previous survey crews had mapped a wooded area trails the year before,
Our survey was required to tie into past survey crew’s calibration points,
As well as embed their 150 survey shots into the final model.

First Phase Methodology and Timeline:
2 Aerial surveyors were deployed with an eBee+ RTK and R10 GPS.
Crew laid 20 aerial ground control points, distributed throughout the survey area.
Shots were calibrated to previous survey crews’ controls.
15 were used in the model, with 5 as check points.

Approximately 4 hours to lay and mark targets. 
2 flights were performed by a Fixed Wing UAV, data collection took approximately 2 hours.
Final 2 hours for target and equipment clean up.
Field work was completed in about 8 hours, or 1 work day.

Processing took a single GIS Photogrammetrist 4 days to build, edit and QA/QC the 3D model.
The first phase was completed in less than a week, approximately 5 business days.

Second Phase Methodology and Timeline:
After speed, accuracy, and price of first survey, R.J. Burnside was able to commission an additional area to be surveyed.
2 Aerial surveyors were deployed using a Phantom 4 RTK and R10 GPS.
10 aerial ground control points were laid throughout the area.
Calibrated to our own controls from phase 1.
6 were used in the construction, 4 as check points.

Approximately 2 hours to lay and mark targets.
2 flights were performed by a Multi-Rotor, data collection took approximately 1 hour.
Additional hour after data collection to clean up equipment and targets.
The field work was completed in half a working day.

Processing, editing and QA/QC was completed in 2 days by a single GIS photogrammetrist.
The second phase was fully completed in less than business 3 days.

Summary:
We were able to provide accurate data where it was near impossible to obtain with a ground crew.
Was done in a similar amount of time as a standard ground survey, however the number of crew required was significantly less, and thus reflected in considerable savings. (enough to extend the survey area)
QA/QC reports a RMSE on check points found on bare earth and wooded areas no greater than 6cm on the Z and 3cm on the XY, well within specified accuracy requirements.

Testimonial
Paul Hauser – R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited
“A few years ago, Burnside decided to explore the potential applications of a Drone Survey. We contacted Canadian UAV Solutions to do a pre-construction scan of a project which was about to get underway. Within about a week we had our topography and site imagery from the day of the survey. The topographic information was very dense, which provided our engineers ample data to produce an accurate drainage plan. A normal ground crew would have struggled getting GPS lock in this dense forest, and cannot provide the imagery data which has been useful to identify feature locations.
Since then we have used Canadian UAV Solutions for various municipal construction projects and plan to explore drone applications further.”

Should your Municipality be open to exploring a more efficient mode of data collection, contact Canadian UAV Solutions today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.

 

The (Old) Elephant in the Room

Over the last few years I have attended several well-organized conferences and seminars in Canada and the U.S on the nature of work in the future. At each event, I listen carefully for any mention of one of the most powerful segments of the workforce who bring impressively high levels of innovation, productivity, and experience to the conversation — that being, older adults.

Sadly, I am always greeted with silence on the issue.

Diversity doesn’t seem to acknowledge age. I don’t hear mention of the possibility of hiring, retaining, or recruiting older adults as a possible solution. Repeatedly, older adults, an often underestimated and disregarded segment of society, lack recognition…..

Read my full article in The Toronto Star

By Helen Hirsh Spence, Top Sixty Over Sixty

3 Potentially Deadly Injuries to Avoid this Winter Season

  With the cold weather here and only getting colder, it is important to remember some safety tips around the workplace for the changing seasons. Below we outline some of the increased risks that come with the winter weather, how to prevent them, and what to do if you suspect them in yourself or a co-worker.

1. Slip and Falls

 although this may seem obvious, slip and falls are still a major cause of workplace accidents in the winter. In Canada over 42,000 workers get injured annually due to fall incidents. With around 17,000 of them resulting in lost-time injuries. With 67% of these being falls “on the same level” (with the remaining 30% being falls from heights). Source It is clear that ice and snow will increase the likelihood of these incidents.

Preventative Measures:

  • It is crucial that snow be removed from walkways and areas used by workers, and that ice be treated with some form of anti-slip coverage – whether it be sand, rock salt or something of the sort.
  • Non-slip footwear – many workers will have to work with slippery surfaces while out on the job. The right footwear choices can help prevent slipping on icy surfaces, such as work boots with a heavy tread, or even a removable tread can be placed over your footwear for added traction (please ensure your winter footwear meets your workplace standards prior to purchasing)

Protect your body – with the cold temperatures it is imperative that workers wear the appropriate clothing to stay protected. Layering your clothing allows you to remove and add layers as you begin to warm up or cool down. Wool is an excellent material to include in layering as it stays warm even when it gets wet. It is easy for workers to forget the potential dangers of working in cold temperatures when they are working hard, and their body has warmed up from physical labour but Hypothermia and Frostbite are very real dangers.

2. Hypothermia

– caused from a dangerous drop in body temperature. Hypothermia accounts for approximately 8000 deaths per year in Canada “Normal body temperature averages 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. With hypothermia, core temperature drops below 95 degrees. In severe hypothermia, core body temperature can drop to 82 degrees or lower.” Source

Warning signs:

  • Shivering, one of the first warning signs that your body is getting too cold and you should seek warmer shelter, when shivering becomes violent or stops, cause for worry increases
  • Grogginess, inability to pay attention or think clearly
  • Slow, shallow breathing leading to little or no breathing as severity increases
  • Slow, weak pulse leading to weak, irregular or non-existent pulse

What should you do:

If you suspect yourself or someone is suffering from hypothermia get them to a warmer/dry location as soon as possible and call for emergency help. Keep the person in a horizontal position and warm them with blankets or skin to skin body heat. If they are conscious give them something warm to drink. When hypothermia is severe people can actually appear to be dead so it is important to keep warming them until help arrives! Source

3. Frostbite

– is caused by the freezing of your skin and the underlying tissues. Source Frostbite most commonly occurs on hands, feet, noses and ears. Frostbite can range in severity but it is never something to be taken lightly. In severe cases nerve damage, blackening of skin and skin infections can occur.

Warning signs:

  • a prickly burning sensation, leading to numbness
  • discolouration of skin – blueish/white or grayish/yellow, hard or waxy-looking skin
  • clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
  • blistering after rewarming, in severe cases Source

What should you do: (as recommended by the Government of Canada)

Passive warming – move to a warm room, wrap yourself in blankets or reheat your body by skin-to-skin contact with another person

Active warming – this can be done along with passive warming. Add heat directly to the frostbitten area. The idea is to thaw the injured skin as quickly as possible without burning yourself. Thawing frostbitten skin is very painful so the injured skin should be placed in water that is just above body temperature. Do not rub, massage or shake the injured skin because that can cause more damage.

Severe frostbite requires immediate medical attention. While you are waiting for help to arrive begin treating it with passive and active warming. Source

The Ontario Government's legal requirements for employers to train staff of hazards specific to weather conditiions

Winter weather brings the fun of many winter activities but also the risk of the injuries listed above. It is important to remember these safety tips while at work and at home this winter. With the proper care taken all three causes of injury can be greatly prevented.

Stay WARM and SAFE this winter season.

Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/environment/extreme-cold.html

https://canadasafetycouncil.org/the-cold-facts-on-hypothermia/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/frostbite/symptoms-causes/syc-20372656

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-hypothermia#1

https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/Slips,-Trips-and-Falls.aspx