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Rick Roth Joins Global Public Affairs

https://globalpublicaffairs.ca/rick-roth-joins-gpa/">Rick Roth Joins Global Public Affairs

Global Public Affairs is pleased to announce Rick Roth is joining the firm as Vice President, Ontario effective June 3, 2019.

Rick joins Global’s Toronto office from Queen’s Park where he served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks with the Ford government since July 2018.  Rick executed key files for the government and Minister Rod Phillips including the creation of Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan released in the fall of 2018.

Rick brings over ten years of government, public affairs and communications experience to Global.

Prior to his Chief of Staff role, Rick worked in the private sector with Scotiabank as a Senior Manager for Issues Management. Rick also has more than five years of federal experience during the Harper government. He also held senior roles including serving as Director of Communications to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird as well as International Trade Minister Ed Fast.

Rick will be working with clients across all sectors interested to engage with the Ontario government.

Rick Roth

https://globalpublicaffairs.ca/staff/roth/">Roth

Vice President, Ontario

Phone: 416-597-3473

Email: rroth@globalpublic.com

Rick Roth is the Vice President, Ontario, at Global Public Affairs, helping clients navigate the new Government in Ontario under Premier Doug Ford.  Rick works with clients seeking opportunities to collaborate with the public sector to achieve their business objectives.

Rick has more than a decade of experience in government, crisis communications and public affairs, holding senior positions in Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.  Most recently he served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks helping shape Ontario’s Environment Plan; a detailed vision ranging from the protection of air, land and water, addressing litter and waste as well as Ontario’s new approach to Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Previously Rick spent more than two years as the Senior Manager for Issues and Reputation Management at Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest and most international banks.  There he crafted crisis communications plans for the Bank and their senior executives ranging from issues around cyber security, international trade and commerce as well as in retail and digital banking.  Rick also led the Bank’s external communications strategy during their quarterly earnings as well as numerous mergers and acquisitions.

Rick served within the Government of Canada as the Director of Communications to Canada’s Foreign Minister as well as with Canada’s International Trade Minister; leading the communications team in promoting Canada’s foreign policy and trade priorities around the world, responding to the fluid and unpredictable nature of international relations.  Rick’s term with the federal government concluded with the Minister of International Trade during the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), where Rick led the communications roll-out and stakeholder strategy.

Rick is passionate about international relations, crisis communications and politics, and has built a positive reputation among his colleagues in the media, both in Canada and around the world.

Rick is a graduate of Brock University with a B.A. in Political Science with a Concentration in Public Law.

Growth in trust: scaling up without burning out

https://globalpublicaffairs.ca/growth-in-trust-scaling-up-without-burning-out/">Growth in trust: scaling up without burning out

Over the past few weeks, the cannabis industry has been subjected to a near-daily barrage of media scrutiny. Almost in tandem, CEO departures, regulatory infractions and allegations of fraud have impacted individual company share prices and chipped away at the credibility of the entire sector.

As the fledgling industry moves swiftly to operationalize the sector’s multi billion-dollar potential, it is now crucial for Canada’s 199 license holders to establish internal protocols that enable their organizations to withstand increased examination from media, regulators and shareholders alike.

These past few weeks has forced the industry to reckon with lessons in responsible corporate governance, and how it adapts going forward will predict its future success.  Here are five key lessons the sector should look to adopt.

 

1. Sunshine is the best disinfectant

65% of CEOs say their company has experienced a crisis in the past three years. Further, 73% believe they will face at least one crisis in the next three years. Whether honest or misinterpreted, mistakes happen when companies move quickly and find themselves in unchartered waters. The difference between success and failure is often found in an organization’s ability to transparently communicate with interested and affected parties.

Legal teams will naturally be reticent to share any information without a fulsome investigation and a comprehensive airing of the facts, but the court of public opinion can seldom be relenting.  If mistakes have been made, a three-week story with new details dripped out every day will only prolong your reputational recovery.

 

2. Honesty is always the best policy

Few, if any, will be instinctively dishonest. But all too often we manage tricky situations by cherry-picking facts to paint a rosier picture.  You should always assume the truth will see the light of day.  In order to maintain control of the situation, you need to be the one who tells that story.

If you aren’t, the fallout of your crisis will be far greater to where your brand and credibility will become the question.

Being honest and upfront may cause some short-term pain but might be your only opportunity of long-term gain.

 

3. Talk with your customers, shareholders and employees – and do it often.

Your customers, shareholders and employees all read the news – especially if the news pertains to you.  If you aren’t telling them your story, others will do it for you. Conscious or not, it will frame every social interaction they have going forward.

During times of discomfort, our natural reaction is to just be still.

When you’re managing an issue, you need to push past this instinct and talk to your customers and shareholders.  Assure them you understand the gravity of the situation and your commitment to making things right.  Your long-term viability will depend on this.

Your employees are your most loyal and dedicated stakeholder.  They are also your best advocate because they have the most to lose.  If you aren’t speaking to them, you aren’t preparing them to advocate on your behalf, and instead, hearsay and conjecture will take over.

 

4. Empathy is an endearing human trait

We all make mistakes.  It bears repeating that we’re imperfect by design. The more we admit to these imperfections, the more we connect with one another and better understand our responses. Managing an issue is no different.

In fact, it is an endearing quality when a company admits to their mistakes, commits to learning from their shortcomings and goes forward acting in the best interest of their customer.

 

5. Have a plan, because ‘confidence is king’

Confidence is often a tough attribute to portray when you’re knee-deep in an issue and the bad days continue to stack-up.

The only way you can project confidence is when you are prepared.

Companies large and small should always do audits of where their weak points are and strive to improve them before they become front page news. This practice will give you and your shareholders all the confidence they need to weather choppy waters.

 

Rick Roth is a Vice President with Global Public Affairs and has previously held senior communications and public affairs positions with Federal and Provincial Governments as well as a major Canadian Bank.

Crisis Risk and Issues Management

https://globalpublicaffairs.ca/expertise/crisis-risk-issues-management/">Crisis Risk and Issues Management

Global Public Affairs has decades of experience in managing complex issues across Canada. We have guided clients through a variety of sensitive events and situations, including data breaches, consumer activism, and public safety announcements. Our services include crisis preparedness, public risk assessment, media monitoring, and active crisis response.

Lead Contacts:
Rick Roth
Telephone: 416-597-3473
Email: rroth@globalpublic.com

Andrea Chrysanthou
Telephone: 416-597-3486
Email: achrysanthou@globalpublic.com

Thoren Hudyma
Telephone: 604-630-1064
Email: thudyma@globalpublic.com

Ontario Reacts to U.S. Decision on Steel and Aluminium Tariffs 

https://globalpublicaffairs.ca/beyond-the-ballot-may-31-2018/">Ontario Reacts to U.S. Decision on Steel and Aluminium Tariffs 

Leader Tracker:

With 7 days left in the campaign Premier Wynne has spent much of the last week in the GTA, and yesterday was in Hamilton and the 905 area. Wynne, who has covered more ground than her rivals in her re-election bid, will next head back to the Ottawa region, with upcoming stops in St. Albert and the Bay of Quinte near Kingston.

PC Leader Doug Ford is in southwestern Ontario, after making campaign stops in Sarnia-Lambton, London and Windsor before heading back to the GTA for events in Oakville and Vaughan to wind down the week. With only one week until Ontarians go to the polls, the PC Leader will look to convince voters with one more stop in Ottawa before several events around the 905 and an election eve rally in Caledonia. Following his endorsement with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Doug Ford, Scheer will renege on his earlier promise to stump with the PC leader in person sighting scheduling conflicts.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has charted a similar route to that of the PC Leader with stops in Windsor, Essex, Kitchener-Waterloo, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton before heading back towards the GTA. Horwath has been able to draw crowds in what have been typically safe PC seats, especially in the PC held riding of Sarnia-Lambton, where incumbent Bob Bailey saw an upswing of NDP votes narrow his margin of victory to just over 2,000 votes in 2014.

Premier Wynne at Stelco in Hamilton: Samantha Craggs / CBC

Ontario reacts to U.S. decision on steel and aluminium tariffs

Kathleen Wynne issued a statement on Twitter calling on Horwath and Ford to work with her to “show a united front in calling on Ottawa to prepare the toughest set of retaliatory measures possible & immediately put together a package to protect, support & sustain steel-making jobs in our province.” She also referred to President Trump as a “bully”.
Ford ignored Kathleen Wynne’s request to stand together and issued a separate statement on Twitter. He promised that if elected as Premier, he “will work with the federal government to resolve these trade issues and make Ontario open for business again”.

Given the impact to Andrea Horwath’s hometown of Hamilton, this issue hits home for the NDP. In her statement, Horwath spoke to the consequences this decision will have on communities like Sault Ste. Marie, Hamilton, Sudbury and others benefitting from the Ontario steel and aluminum industry. She also took a dig at Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quoting “whatever Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau have been doing isn’t working – and the consequences are unthinkable”. If elected as Premier, one of her first priorities will be to meet with Canadian and American officials to secure an exemption from these tariffs.

Twitter @FordNation

Doug Ford’s PCs release top-level platform, does not include full costing and budget impacts

After weeks of promising to release a fully costed platform document, the Ontario PCs have released their Plan for the People, an online list of the promises that the PCs have made leading up to and during the campaign. These include the pledge to cut taxes for the middle class, reduce gasoline prices by 10 cents per litre, allow sales of beer and wine in corner stores, and cut hydro rates by 12%. Each promise is listed, along with an estimated cost for each commitment.

Called “responsible, honest and practical” by Ford, the document makes no mention of the 4% efficiencies (or an estimated $6 billion annually) that Ford has said he will find in existing government spending. The plan does not include a budget forecast or indicate a path to balance.

Met with heavy media criticism due to the platform’s lack of detail on Wednesday, Ford called it “very clear”, noting that each promise had a dollar amount indicated; Ford also noted that his party was “the only party that’s fiscally responsible” and that his government would achieve a return to balanced budgets. Ford spokeswoman Melissa Lantsman continued, noting that the PCs “do not know the state of Ontario’s finances – and anyone who tells you they do is lying to you” when asked about the “efficiencies” Ford and his team plan to find.

Both the Liberals and NDP have slammed Ford’s PCs, with Kathleen Wynne accusing Ford of keeping voters in the dark, while Andrea Horwath compared the lack of platform to asking someone to sign a contract to buy something without knowing the cost. The PCs will not release a costed platform ahead of the June 7 election.

 

Ford promises to bring back slots to the race tracks

At a campaign stop in Port Colborne on Tuesday, PC Leader Doug Ford was firm in his pledge to bring back the Slots at the Racetrack Program (SARP). Citing himself as a big fan of the horse racing industry, Ford reiterated the PC talking point that removing the slots was a mistake. For context, Ford was in Port Colborne to discuss his party’s promise to “put more money in people’s pockets,” and as such, his commitment to reinstate slot machines and their associative revenue-sharing model falls in line with PC messaging as of late. While the SARP was originally cancelled by Dalton McGuinty’s government, the program may be difficult to reinstate given that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) no longer runs the slot operations at racetracks in the province. Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Ontario president Peter Berringer noted his willingness to work with any party that is elected on June 7, and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has also promised to work with rural communities and stakeholders to undo the damage caused by the program’s cancellation should her party form government.

Twitter @Kathleen_Wynne

Ask Wynne

Premier Kathleen Wynne has made herself increasingly accessible to voters in recent days. Perhaps in response to her constant polling in third position, the Premier has answered voter questions at the Toronto Star editorial board, live on Twitter, and will next give voters a chance to ask her more questions through a Q&A with Yahoo News Canada.

Coming on the heels of the “sorry, not sorry” add campaign, the Premier is looking to reconnect with voters and prove that she is the seasoned leader to take Ontario through the turbulent times ahead.  In addition to increased accessibility, Wynne has hit at the both the PC and NDP Leaders, claiming that they are too ideological, and lack the experience necessary to deal with the looming trade threat imposed by Trump’s America first policies.

Twitter @AndreaHorwath

Horwath will buy back Hydro One

Hydro One, a popular topic amongst all party’s this campaign, is back in the spotlight this week but this time with the focus on the NDP. Some are questioning leader Andrea Horwath’s plans to “buy back Hydro One”. If elected, an NDP government would buy back publicly traded shares of Hydro One not held by the government for between $3.3 billion and $4.4 billion using the annual dividend of less than $300 million. At a campaign stop on Tuesday, Horwath defended her plan and said she would immediately seek expert advice on the best way forward to buy back the utility. But how? She referenced companies like Heinz and Dell who bought back all of the shares previously sold to private shareholders.

Against privatization, Horwath blames the PC and Liberal governments for the situation voters are in today and promises to bring relief to Ontarians hydro bills. The NDP hydro plan can be found here.

 

Star candidates and new ridings 
Global Insights by Hershell Ezrin

Historically, governing parties lose elections; oppositions rarely win them. But opposition parties’ primary job is to offer credible alternatives when voters decide that it is time for a change.

In a Parliamentary system of government, candidate selection plays an important role in confirming such credibility. The public understands that complex government management requires a team of capable people as well as representatives who understand local conditions. Supported by successful fundraising to pay for advertising and a solid local organization, the right candidate matters. By these measures, the PC campaign, originally put in place under Patrick Brown’s stewardship, did a first-rate job in readying itself for the upcoming campaign. With successive polls suggesting a mandate for change, neither the Liberals nor the NDP have shown the capability in attracting as many promising candidates as have the PCs.

While each party can point to recruiting some notable local talent, the Liberals have been forced to make much of their remaining cabinet Ministers such as Charles Sousa particularly in the GTA and a former Toronto City council budget chief, Shelley Carroll. NDP recruitment was slow off the mark, however saw Marit Stiles, former party president and Gurratan Singh, brother of Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

The PCs have the best case to make about recruitment of candidates with a provincial profile. Former leadership hopefuls Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliott appeal to different elements of the province’s Progressive Conservatives. Denzil Minnan Wong, former Deputy Mayor of Toronto and Rod Phillips, business leader and former chair of PostMedia, present a business centric appeal. Lac Seul Chief Clifford Bull and former federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford offer the PCs hopes in the North West where the NDP has traditionally held its own.

The demographics have also influenced the shape of the June 2018 campaign. 15 new ridings have been added because of population growth (primarily in suburban areas West and North of the City of Toronto, many with large ethnic communities) and another 2 ridings have been created in Northern Ontario because of the challenges of geographic representation (featuring indigenous and francophone concentrations). Several constituency boundaries have been redrawn, forcing sitting members to choose where to run. While incumbency normally presents a statistical electoral head start for sitting members, there has been a large turnover among the provincial Liberals this time, with some 20% (including former Ministers) of its caucus retiring.

Beyond the Ballot: Marieke Walsh @MariekeWalsh

Key Dates

June 7              Ontario election
June 18            Post-election panel moderated by Tom Clark, hosted by the Empire Club