muniSERV and LXM LAW LLP Announce Partnership








For Immediate Release – November 25, 2020

muniSERV and LXM LAW LLP Announce Partnership to bring enhanced membership value to clients of both organizations! and LXM LAW LLP have joined forces to bring even more value to our respective customers and members by providing them with enhanced access to municipal procurement expertise as well as integrated savings!

Both companies offer powerful resources that have been developed to help municipalities throughout Canada. By working together, muniSERV and LXM LAW LLP are able to foster connections between municipalities, help build procurement capacity and provide unique opportunities and savings to muniSERV members.

Our partnership will provide a platform for muniSERV members to share lessons learned and best practices in municipal procurement while offering muniSERV members discounted rates on services. 

LXM LAW’s monthly open call-in shows will provide muniSERV members exclusive access to experts to answer their specific questions on procurement. 

Watch for dates and times of these upcoming call-in opportunities in the Events section on muniSERV.

For more information about and LXM LAW LLP, contact:

Lise Patry, Partner

613.601.6333| [email protected]   


Susan Shannon, Founder & Principal, muniSERV

855.477.5095 | [email protected]


LXM LAW LLP is a multi-disciplinary Canadian law firm that offers legal and consulting services for procurement and contracting needs.  LXM LAW LLP has in-depth experience in Canadian municipal procurement through our experienced professionals.

Our legal and consulting professionals have been on the frontline of public procurement for decades. We’re exceptionally well-versed in both the legal and business aspects of procurement and contracting, including policy and procedure development for organizations of varying sizes and scale. 


muniSERV is a uniquely original online platform that masterfully connects Canadian municipalities and the municipal businesses that serve them. Our membership continues to grow with now over 1,800 municipal and professional members across Canada.

Drawing on the 25 plus years of experience of the owner as a municipal administrator, puts muniSERV in the unique position of understanding how to bring an innovative business perspective to municipalities while at the same time helping the private sector gain a better understanding of municipal operations.



The Communication Advantage Part 2

2 men talking

Have you ever heard the words, “Watch your tone!”?

Are you sending the right message?

Are people hearing what you mean to say or are they only hearing how you say it?

In our last blog we looked at how our facial expressions communicate. (

In this article we will look at Paralinguistics and how they can help or hinder our communication.


Pitch: Does your voice tend to go up if you are nervous or angry? You can develop the ability to control the pitch of your voice to maximize effective communication.

Each of us are able to speak within a vocal range, and vary the pitch. This ranges from the higher, nasal tones to the richer resonant tones that come from within the chest. Many studies indicate that speaking from the lower range instills greater confidence in the listener.

Pace: Are you speaking at a reasonable rate or does it sound rushed? Are you slowing down or
pausing at appropriate points in your presentation? Reserving the increased pace to bring additional
energy and suggest passion will enhance your speech.

Are you intentionally adding moments of silence? These pauses can be as powerful as the
words spoken. Think of the rests between the notes in a piece of music.

Volume: What do we do when someone whispers? We instinctively lean in to hear what is being
said. A whisper can be amazingly powerful since it connotes a secret or special knowledge.
How can you use this as a way to draw in the audience?

Timbre: Timbre refers to the quality of the sound as it is perceived by the listener. It is often
used to describe musical instruments and is distinct from pitch or volume. As an example, compare
Kermit the Frog’s voice to the voice of Morgan Freeman.

Are you using ‘upspeak’ and is it undermining your communication? Raising the voice at the end
of a sentence can transform a statement into a question.

The Power of Prosody! This is the application of all these elements into engaging and effective
communication. Dreary dull, unvaried or monotonous delivery of what could be great content is
going to effectively undermine the entire presentation. A varied, energetic tone can serve to effectively
help communicate ideas.

Remember when you were told to “Watch your tone!”? Those are words worth paying attention to.
What is the next right step in your ascent toward your communication advantage?

We are here to help you succeed.

NB: For a more in-depth consideration of this topic check out:


Municipalities Build Back Better With Whole Person Care









There is a lot of talk about a Build Back Better approach in our communities during the Covid 19 pandemic.  One strategy that helps address those in need is a Whole Person Care approach using a digital platform to collect and measure outcomes for wrap around programs which can be fully funded under the new Canada Healthy Communities Initiative.

With the arrival of Covid 19, the amount spent on healthcare is increasing in every community. While the amount invested in healthcare is increasing, municipalities are spending up to 25% of their healthcare costs to support non-value add aspects in their healthcare system. Value-based care models help optimize what is spent to get the best outcomes. How do communities do more with less as Covid 19 increases health and economic risk? In the short term we will need to work together with what we have and find ways to get better outcomes for less.

We know that Covid 19 is accelerating value-based healthcare approach in communities. Whole-person care is not far behind.

Whole person care describes a wrap around approach that addresses complete physical health, behavioral health and social wellbeing. Communities that work together as a team to provide care for individuals with poorly managed conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and COPD are better equipped to improve health outcomes for less. Helping to manage care for this population most at risk relies on seamless information exchange, tele-health, care co-ordination and consumer engagement. All of these conditions are closely related to the social determinants of health.

Post acute care including home health, hospice and senior living facilities and human service including community mental health centers, addiction treatment centers and social service agencies in every community need to have the technology and skills to work as equal partners. Every community now has a chance to build back better with whole person care. 

Whole person care gets even better when amplified with data science and analytics that are driven with a prescriptive approach to patient care. To prepare our communities to deliver better outcomes during the pandemic, municipalities need to look at systems that offer interoperability – a framework that supports bidirectional exchange of data across systems and providers of care, a network to network bridge, policy agreements, discrete data and support for client consent and sharing that consent with others.

Consumer engagement with a patient portal makes it easier for hospitals and physicians to work with clients. Automated referrals, tele-health and patient information integration create a public care eco-system that serves the public in Covid 19 times. Building Back Better with the help of funding from the Canada Healthy Community Initiative makes it possible to accelerate the care you need in every community. Let us know if you need help with your digital transformation as you build back better in your community.


Learn more: Contact Athena Software



Ensuring Accessibility in your Municipality

By law, as of January 1, 2021, all public sector organizations and private or non-profits organizations with 50+ employees must make their web content fully accessible and compliant under Ontario’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

How to Comply


To comply with WCAG, your public-facing website and all newer posted content must meet WCAG 2.0 standards (as outlined in the Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications). For more detailed information on what needs steps need to be done to make your website accessible visit –


It should also be noted that you don’t have to make changes to your internal website to make it accessible. As well, any content posted to your website before 2012 does not need to be modified to meet WCAG. However, if you are asked, you will need to work with individuals to make this content available to them in an alternate format such as large print or braille.

Tips for Testing your Websites for Accessibility

Once your website is updated to meet WCAG, it is a good idea to test your website out to make sure that your new or refreshed website is accessible before it is launched. Here are some good ways to ensure your website will be accessible for all of your users.

Automatic Assessment and Assistive Technology – Do a final review of your website using an automatic assessment tool that will help flag any issues that have not been resolved. An example of this would be to review your site using assistive technology like a screen reader to make sure the website’s design and technical aspects are accessible.


Review Key Milestones and Changes – It is a good idea to keep a record of the accessibility issues that have been made to your website. Doing this will allow you to see the completed work and how it has been made accessible. As well, having this done up can be helpful if your organization is asked to show how your website is WCAG 2.0 compliant.


Online Accessibility Checker – Use an online tool to check if your website is accessible. While using an online tool does not guarantee that you will find all accessibility issues it can still find somethings you might have missed. This is why it is important to have people review the site as well.


User Testing and Feedback – When possible, ask people with disabilities to test your site before it is launched. Receiving feedback from potential users will help you to find out if there are any further improvements needed.


If You Can’t Comply with WCAG

It may not always be possible to meet the WCAG 2.0 requirements. As an example of this, your website may have been created using software and other tools that predate WCAG 2.0.  While you may be able to update or repair the products you used to support accessibility, if this is not possible, you will need to make sure that when you refresh your website you use new software that supports accessibility.


As well, it may not be possible for you to post some content in a way that complies with WCAG 2.0. An example of this is when you post something like an online map or a complex diagram that is not readily accessible to people with visual disabilities. In cases like this, you may still post the content, however, you must provide it in an accessible format upon request.


In the end, the positive outcome of compliance with WCAG, is that your website will be accessible to everyone! 


Covid 19 – Federal Funding for Municipal Solutions

The Covid 19 pandemic is creating a massive strain on resources in communities across Canada. Human service solutions in education, justice, social and health were never designed to take on this much for so long. Canadian municipalities are making adjustments to accommodate the surge in demand and the ever changing needs of their community. 


Some of our communities are now in the red zone creating the need for further restrictions. Federal, provincial and municipal governments are responding with additional funding and co-operation to help reduce the damage and improve the outcomes in less time. 


On August 13 2020, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced the creation of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative with up to $31 million ($19M 2020-21 & $12M 2021-22) in federal funding to support community-led solutions that respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.The demands placed on families and individuals by COVID-19 have exposed a real need for low-cost, locally-driven ideas to help communities adapt and thrive. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will help breathe life into these small projects that can have a big impact as local governments, Indigenous communities and their non-profit partners rethink public spaces and how they deliver services to people.”


While Infrastructure Canada (INFC) is providing the funding, there is another organization yet to be announced that will organize, evaluate and distribute funding based on your proposal. This announcement will be made shortly. Your municipality will be able to submit a Covid 19 related infrastructure proposal that is between $5,000-$250,000. Three focus areas are: digital solutions, improved mobility solutions and safe and vibrant public spaces. 


A community project that develops infrastructure -related solutions to address changing community needs through the use of data and connected technologies starts with the ability to understand who is affected, what is being delivered and what needs to be done with priority. Measuring outcomes and sharing this information in a secure way becomes the source of truth for social service, health, justice and education partners that are focused on helping those most affected by Covid 19. Any municipality working to solve these complex and rapidly evolving stress points without a case management solution will have overlapping solutions that cost more than required and fail to see the gaps, reducing the outcomes. When you have time and budget, municipalities will continue to manage human services in a way that offers a path with least resistance. 


Covid 19 has exhausted both time and budget. Human services in your community need to work together efficiently. Working to save lives today and preparing for the future depends on it. Athena Software is a Canadian company that has experience working with every level of government in 15 countries around the world helping them find a way to do more with less and get better outcomes. Let me know if you would like to see how this can work for your community. 

Learn more: Athena Software


Five Driving Needs (Part 4): An Expanded Understanding

Happy man in front of his laptop

De-complexify the mysteries of organizational life.

This fourth article in the series further explores the what, why, and how of the Five Driving Needs framework.

Belonging. Security. Freedom. Significance. Meaning.

These needs are universal and personal.

Nature hard wires us with innate needs like belonging and security. They’re vital to the well-being of every person born regardless of their ethnicity, era or postal code. In this way, our needs are universal – hardwired.

But our nurture imprints each of us with a unique need mix. That is, we each prize certain needs far more than others. This happens in two ways:

a) Some needs are thwarted. Example? If our need for belonging went unmet in our home environment, it became disproportionately important to us as adults. Job #1 in any situation became, “How do I get accepted here? What do I have to do to be included in this tribe?”

b) Some needs are pre-eminently valued. Consider. If the need for security was given the highest priority by our parents or our culture, it can overrule the others for the rest of our life – driving us to avoid ambiguity and seek out predictability and clarity in every situation.

All humanity is hardwired for all five needs but some people need certain ones more than anything else, because their environment deprived them of it or prized it above all else. So, when you think of needs, think universal and individual, nature and nurture.

These needs are constant and dynamic.

Read the rest of the article by Brady Wilson


COVID-19 Pandemic – What’s next.

girl looking at a piece of paper

The pandemic continues to rapidly expand in communities across Canada. At the time of this article over 267,000 Canadians have contracted the disease, 217,000 are recovered and 10,552 died. The number of cases each day is accelerating.

The effects of this highly contagious disease are catastrophic when left unchecked. Health systems are at risk of collapse affecting all other health issues. Covid 19 is not just affecting health care. Municipalities are being asked to address the surge in demand in every human service sector – education, justice, social and healthcare.

Primary care and wait times are measured with traditional outcomes in most communities. The wave we do not see coming as easily is just outside of the range of a 911 call. Mental health issues, loss of income, housing, food, education, relationships are all affected with Covid 19. The cold dark days of winter are coming. The risks associated with Covid 19 and issues associated with the disease are going to increase over the winter months.

While a vaccine may be available early 2021, it’s unlikely every Canadian will have access to the vaccine when it is approved.

Municipalities need to proactively seek strategies that wrap programming around individuals and families at risk. Traditional models of care that involve home visits or appointments are shifting to tele-health.

The federal government in co-operation with the provincial and territorial governments announced funding and extension to funding as the need requires.

It’s time to consider the short and long term requirements of your community during and after the pandemic and make use of the funding currently available to enable your municipality to not just survive but build its way out to a better future.

Contact us to learn more about Athena Software!


Five Driving Needs (Part 3): Creating an Energized State of Being

Woman running

Powerfully productive days are the result of energized brains

If a person’s natural M.O. is to contribute and make a difference but they are blocked from doing so, it produces an unmet need. This creates internal tension – the gap between their desired state and their current reality. There’s good news about tension – it has energy right inside it – and that energy can be released. When a driving need is fulfilled, the tension is resolved – and energy is released, producing a state of being. A state of being is more than just a feeling—it is a pervasive emotional condition that includes but transcends the emotion – affecting one’s entire being.

An emotion is like the temperature in your office, a state of being is like the weather in your city. For example:

Feeling accepted by a coworker in a meeting is good, but it can be a fleeting emotion.

Working in a team where you experience a solid, stable sense of belonging is a state of being.

Being given the chance to work on a new project is good, but it can be a fleeting feeling. Experiencing undisrupted freedom to make decisions and take action is a state of being.

An employee – let’s call her Jasmine, who experiences belonging within her team as a state of being. It’s the state of being – not just a passing nod of acceptance that releases a flow of oxytocin – freeing up mental bandwidth by bathing Jasmine’s brain with feelings of bonding, rapport and trust. Oxytocin is such potent juice that it can flush out fears of rejection, exclusion or isolation.

If she is also experiencing a state of significance, the potent juice of serotonin bathes her brain with feelings of agency, belief, confidence – flushing out the fears of being discounted, sidelined or disrespected.

Imagine Jasmine experiencing all five  a five-fold state of belonging, security, freedom, significance and meaning. Her ability to connect with people quickly unlocks trust in the group. Her calm brain sees things so clearly, cutting through the clutter, constantly re-focusing the team on what matters. Her creative thinking permeates the conversation with a sense of possibility – possibility that is infused with a sense of agency and purpose. Jasmine’s juiced brain makes her indispensable.

The addition of each juice does not produce a 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 sum. It’s multiplicative. Our clarity multiplies the impact of our connection which multiplies the impact of our creativity, our possibility and our purpose. The juices working in concert are a source of super-performance that scientists do not yet understand. It’s the inter-relationships of the juices that creates human magic.

Read the rest of the article by Brady Wilson


Five Driving Needs Part 2 – Why are Psychological Needs so Biologically Urgent?

baby holding an adult's finger

Learn why need-meeting is now central to the healthy function of your organization.

Fifty years ago, Drs. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan began exploring what produces vitality in humans. Their work evolved into one of the most prominent theories of human motivation, Self-Determination Theory. According to this theory, when our core psychological needs are fulfilled, vitality and optimal performance naturally occur. Likewise, when they are thwarted, depletion and poor performance naturally ensue.

“Stated simply, basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration can substantially account for both the ‘dark’ and ‘bright’ side of people’s functioning.

Whereas the satisfaction of the psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness contributes to proactivity, integration, and well-being, the frustration of these same psychological needs, especially from significant caregivers, leaves one prone to passivity, fragmentation, and ill-being.” – Vansteenkiste & Ryan, 2013. P. 263

This points to a simple fact: need-meeting is now central to the healthy function of our organizations. There was a day when meeting needs was relegated to the front line – something salespeople and customer service reps did for customers. It is now impossible to sustain innovation, maintain employee engagement or create great customer experiences without knowing and meeting needs at every node and nexus of the organization.

But why are our psychological needs so biologically urgent?

Read the whole article by Brady Wilson


Five Driving Needs – Part 1 – A Framework for Understanding the Energized Brain

Woman thinking

Your powerfully productive day is the result of an energized brain.

Imagine yourself at the end of a powerfully productive day. You became so immersed in your work you lost all track of time. Every task you checked off increased the buzz. By end of day, the sense of progress was palpable.

What creates a day like that? One could imagine it was sandwiched between two dismally unproductive days. So what changed?

It wasn’t your talents – they don’t change from one day to the next. Neither was it your education, your experience, or skills – they don’t spike from one day to the next. It’s unlikely that gritting your teeth and trying harder contributed a thing.

Consider this possibility: that day was the result of an energized brain. Not raw physical verve and mojo, but what we call intelligent energy – the ability to sustain focus in the midst of distractions, manage your emotions in high stakes situations, process oceans of information, pick out the vital bits of intel and connect the dots in surprising ways.

This article de-mystifies that ever-elusive, powerfully productive day. It doesn’t occur randomly or by chance. There is a pattern:

  1. Your driving needs are fulfilled
  2. Those fulfilled needs energize your brain
  3. That energy endows you with peak performance.


Question: what do people mean when they say, “The juices are flowing”?

Answer: Ideas are popping. The volume of ideas, The novelty of those ideas. The usability of those ideas. In short, creativity is getting easy here.

Question: what happens when your phone runs out of juice?

Answer: Brilliant technology – now useless – a paperweight – because it ran out of energy.

Question: what do people mean when they say, “I’ve got the juice to do this now”?

Answer: “I have energy to tackle this.”

The point? Juice is vernacular for energy. You’ve no doubt heard of dopamine – it’s an electro-chemical juice. When it flows – we’re more creative. There are several kinds of juices – each endowing us with a unique functionality. When GABA flows we feel calm. When serotonin flows we feel confident. When oxytocin flows we feel rapport. These juices prime our brains with the connectivity and current that produce peak performance, but they transcend plumbing and electricity by a long shot.

These brain-friendly juices create an emotional state, priming us with feelings of connection, clarity, creativity and confidence. Each juice is a form of intelligent energy that makes our brains smarter and our bodies more vitalized. Juice makes things easier – it shows up in the numbers – and in the work environment.

At Juice, Inc, we have partnered with many leaders to release this intelligent energy in their employees. Here’s what they told us:

Read the full article

By Brady Wilson

Read the next article in our Five Driving Needs Series: Why are Psychological Needs so Biologically Urgent?