2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ) representing twenty years of dedicated work towards the economic advancement of Nova Scotia's Acadian and Francophone communities. To celebrate this important milestone, we are holding an Economic Summit in Halifax.

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Wednesday, September 11 in Halifax


At the Westin Nova Scotian
1181 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3H 2P6
[see map]

7:30 am — Registration and breakfast
9:00 am — Opening and welcoming remarks with Mayor Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, Allister Surette, President of the CDÉNÉ, and Julie Oliver, Executive Director of the CDÉNÉ
9:20 am — Keynote by the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie
9:45 am — Presentation by Mylène Thériault, representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic Region
10:15 am — Break
10:45 am — Workshop on intercultural diversity by Laura Huynh Lê, Economic Immigration Officer at CDÉNÉ
11:30 am — Presentation of tourist itineraries promoting Acadian and Francophone regions of Nova Scotia by Gwen LeBlanc, Economic Development Officer at CDÉNÉ
12:00 pm — Luncheon presentation with Jean‑Paul Deveau, President of Acadian Seaplants Ltd
13:00 pm — Workshop on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence by Robert Nonez, Manager of IBM’s Data and AI department
13:45 pm — Workshop on cybersecurity (Internet security) by Jean‑Michel Blais, former police director at Halifax Regional Police
14:30 pm — Break
15:00 pm — Workshop on sustainable development by Nicolas Gagnon, Executive Director of the Centre québécois de développement durable
15:45 pm — Panel discussion with presenters

At Pier 21
1055 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
[see map]

5:30 pm — Reception with seafood showcase, courtesy of Comeau’s Seafoods and DEon Oyster Company (Eel Lake Oyster)
6:30 pm — Welcoming remarks with Allister Surette, President of the CDÉNÉ
Screening of video testimonials from CDÉNÉ partners and clients followed by testimonials retracing the CDÉNÉ’s support in the professional careers of its employees
7:00 pm — Banquet, lobster courtesy of Riverside Lobster international
Presentation of Award Certificates with Mike St‑Onge, President of RDÉE Canada and Allister Surette, President of CDÉNÉ
8:30 pm — Cultural show
10:30 pm — Acknowledgements and closing remarks

From 7:30 am onwards
At the Westin Nova Scotian 
[see map]
Opening and welcoming remarks with Allister Surette, President of the CDÉNÉ, and Julie Oliver, Executive Director of the CDÉNÉ
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Speech by Mayor Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality
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Speech by the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie
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Ms. Diab was first elected in 2013 to the Provincial Assembly representing Halifax Armdale and appointed to Executive Council of Nova Scotia as the first female Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as Minister of Immigration. In July 2015, the Immigration portfolio became her exclusive cabinet position. She was re-elected to the Legislature on May 30, 2017 and was appointed both Minister of Immigration, and Minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie.
Ms. Diab is passionate about making Nova Scotia more diverse. Under her leadership, the province has welcomed more immigrants, strengthened its immigration program, built global networks, and launched a new brand to help market Nova Scotia to the world.
Working to preserve, promote and protect the Acadian culture and the French language of Nova Scotia is a priority of Ms. Diab’s. She proudly represents Nova Scotia’s francophone community at a variety of committees and has established a Ministerial Advisory Committee to keep in touch with Acadian and francophone priorities in the province. In 2019, she was selected to serve as the chargée de mission de la Région Amérique de l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF). Under her leadership, Nova Scotia also launched its first Francophone Immigration Action Plan.
She is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants to Canada and the eldest of six children. Born in Nova Scotia, she was raised in Lebanon, and returned to Halifax in the face of civil war at the age of 11.
Prior to entering politics, she led a successful legal career for over 20 years. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, a Masters of Public Administration and a law degree. In 2018, she was appointed the Queen’s Counsel designation— the appointment is awarded to members of the legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and outstanding contributions to the legal community.
Ms. Diab has received numerous honours and accolades, including: the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce in NS Professional Award, the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Progress Women of Excellence Award, and the Canadian Council of Ambassadors of the Arab League Award.
She is the proud mother of four children and has two grandchildren.

by Mylène Thériault, representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic Region
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• The modernization of the Official Languages Act will be discussed. Indeed, Canada's Official Languages Act (OLA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Since its adoption, several issues still remain. Several stakeholders took advantage of this important anniversary to propose amendments to the OLA. According to the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, the OLA must be modernized to become current, dynamic and robust in order to ensure the better development and vitality of official language minority communities at the social, cultural and economic levels. Ms. Thériault will provide an overview of the process of modernizing the OLA and the Commissioner's recommendations in this regard.

Mylène Thériault is a native of New Brunswick and holds a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Moncton. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Carleton University.
Now a representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic Region, she was also Assistant Executive Director for the organizing committee of the Francophones Games, which were scheduled to take place in Moncton-Dieppe in 2021. Ms. Thériault also worked at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in Ottawa, where she held positions in political and legal departments.

Presentation on interculturality
by Laura Huynh Lê (45 minutes) 
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• This interactive presentation aims to foster empathy, mutual understanding and inclusion between immigrant employers and employees, as well as within communities welcoming newcomers.

• Laura Huynh Lê has been an Economic Immigration Officer at CDÉNÉ since January 2017. Originally from Belgium, Laura Huynh Lê holds a Bachelor's degree in international cooperation from the Haute École de la Province de Namur and a Master's degree in population and development sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. During her studies, she had the opportunity to do internships in India and Vietnam, allowing her to develop her intercultural communication skills.

Presentation of French-language tourist tours in Nova Scotia by Gwen LeBlanc (30 minutes)
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• The Francophone tourism industry offers Nova Scotia's Acadian regions a new opportunity to diversify as an economic driver. The CDÉNÉ, with the commitment and support of municipalities in the Acadian regions, has developed a tool to help and encourage visitors to travel and enjoy a cultural experience in French in Nova Scotia. The promotion of Acadian culture and heritage through the tourism industry is an opportunity to add a sustainable strategy for communities and their members of all ages. Gwen will present the brand new tool aimed at increasing tourism in the Acadian regions of Nova Scotia.

• Gwen LeBlanc is from Wedgeport. Since 2009, she has been a Community Economic Development Officer for the CDÉNÉ, representing the Argyle region. As an economic development officer, she has actively contributed to promoting the tourism industry as an economic engine for her region and all Acadian regions of Nova Scotia. His professional projects within the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada) working group include the creation of the National Classification of French Language Services for Tourism Operators in Canada and the creation of CorridorCanada.ca, a website that promotes Francophone heritage, cultural and tourism experiences across Canada. Currently, Gwen is focusing on creating a new website, visitezne.ca, that promotes the economic diversity and sustainability of Nova Scotia's Acadian regions.  

 by Jean-Paul Deveau,President of Acadian Seaplants Ltd
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• Jean-Paul Deveau is the President and CEO of Acadian Seaplants Limited, a biotech company and the largest independent manufacturer of marine plant products of its type in the world. It is engaged primarily in the sustainable harvesting of wild seaweeds and in the cultivation of unique marine plants for the development of products for people, animals and plants. Acadian Seaplants exports to over 80 countries, operates six processing facilities in Atlantic Canada, Ireland and Scotland, employs 400 people in 13 countries, including 35 scientists - 15 with PhDs.
Acadian Seaplants has received significant government and industry recognition for its innovation, accomplishments in science & technology, management, environmental stewardship, business ethics, safety, export excellence and community service. His company has been one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 17 consecutive years.
Jean-Paul Deveau is a past chair of BioNova (the Nova Scotia Life Sciences Industry Association) and a past member of the Board of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (Nova Scotia Chapter). He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture. He was Chair of the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax and served as a member of the OneNS Coalition.
Jean-Paul Deveau was inducted in the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame, has received two Honourary Doctorate Degrees, awarded the inaugural Spirit of Halifax Award from Destination Halifax and named the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. He was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award’s National Citation for Eco and Social Excellence and named an Atlantic Region’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Health Sciences Sector.

Workshop on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence by Robert Nonez (45 minutes)
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• To understand Artificial Intelligence (AI), we must go back to its origins: What are the motivations that led to its creation? What models have inspired and continue to inspire the creators of this technology? By understanding the links between human and machine intelligence, we will have the necessary foundation to discuss the main inventions that led to the technological advances we know today. Each of these advances will be linked to concrete examples of application in companies. We will discuss the processes necessary for successful integration by describing the human and technical resource requirements.
We will conclude with projections on the future of AI in the short and medium term by analysing their impact on today's companies and with recommendations on strategies for the future. This presentation will therefore provide a practical understanding of artificial intelligence and its applications, allowing you to acquire the knowledge and confidence you need to transform your company into an innovative, efficient and sustainable organization of the future.

• Robert Nonez is a manager of IBM's Data and AI (Data & AI) department. He is leading a research project that links IBM to Ottawa's La Cité Collégiale College. The project consists of experimenting with various innovative techniques in Artificial Intelligence and developing solutions to automate the detection of problems in software. Prior to his management role, Robert was the technical lead for the public APIs for the IBM Watson Analytics product and for the administration functions of the IBM Cognos product. During his 19 years of experience in software development, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) granted him nine (9) patents for his inventions. He currently sits on the Invention Proposal Review Committee of IBM's Data and AI Department.
Originally from Haiti, Robert co-founded and sold a SaaS company that addressed the issue of access to software solutions adapted to the realities of developing countries. He later co-founded a company that offers an innovative method of monitoring the price of products sold on the Internet. Canada's competitiveness in high technology areas requires the creation of institutions to make these technologies easily accessible. With this conviction in mind, Robert sits on the Advisory Committee of the Centre d'Accès à la Technologie en Bio-Innovation (CAT-B) of the Cité Collégiale and on the 2017, 2018 and 2019 committees of the Colleges and Communities (CCI) Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Workshop on Internet security (cybersecurity) by Jean-Michel Blais (45 minutes)
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• What do a Quebec financial company, an extramarital dating website, a credit history assessment company and the ninth largest city in the United States have in common? Desjardins, Ashley Madison, Equifax and the City of Atlanta have all been affected by Internet crime (cybercrime), which can take the form of hacking, fraud, theft of money, captivity and data mischief in addition to identity theft. 
In addition to these highly mediatized and technically sophisticated cases, the majority of crimes on the Internet are in fact often not very sophisticated, causing rather limited damage. But the extent of cybercrime is worrying, as it increasingly affects ordinary people, not just large companies. 
What should we do then? People need to be made aware of the various forms of Internet crime and how to counter these threats. In an illuminating presentation, former Halifax Regional Police Director and former Royal Canadian Mounted Police senior officer Jean-Michel Blais takes a look at today's digital threats. It will provide some insight into this world of darkness so that individuals and companies can counter this phenomenon both at home and in the office.

• Jean-Michel Blais has thirty-one years of police service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the United Nations and the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). He completed his career as a police director with PRH in April 2019. He is a well-known speaker, having presented to organizations and companies in the private, public and parapublic sectors on contemporary leadership and management to address workplace behaviours including underperformance, personality disorders, conflict, harassment, indiscretions and (over)reactions caused by human and natural disasters. 
In 2014, Jean-Michel participated in a TEDx speech on mental health in policing, a subject that still fascinates him and for which he offers interventions and presentations. Since his retirement from PRH, Jean-Michel has been offering his services as a consultant and principal of Empiric Consultancy Solutions (www.empiric.solutions) in French and English with an emphasis on leadership, labour relations and complexity management. He is currently writing a book on his experiences and lessons in leadership and complexity that is expected to be published in 2021.

Workshop on sustainable development by Nicolas Gagnon (45 minutes)
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• The positioning of companies in terms of social responsibility and sustainable development is becoming increasingly important to increase their competitiveness. Whether it is due to the emergence of new requirements from major public and private buyers, in Canada and abroad, new consumer expectations or the gradual integration of sustainable development criteria into corporate financing conditions, positioning in sustainable development is becoming a strategic issue for SMEs. However, while a business strategy focused on sustainable innovation is increasingly an opportunity for Canadian SMEs to stand out from the competition and increase their competitiveness, few are well equipped to meet these new market expectations. This conference aims to briefly demystify the implications of this business model, present some market trends, best business practices, opportunities and other benefits associated with it and steps to take action.

• Nicolas Gagnon has been the Executive Director of the Centre québécois de développement durable (CQDD) since 2012. Over the past 15 years, he has advised many policy makers and business leaders on issues related to the application of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. He holds a master's degree in environmental sciences and has previously worked for several institutions, including the OECD in Paris, the International Centre for Environmental Technologies in Tunis, the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) and the former Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal. Since taking up his position at CQDD, he has advised more than a hundred organizations in both the public and private sectors. As a director, strategic advisor, certified trainer, speaker, initiator and coordinator of structuring and innovative projects, Nicolas Gagnon is involved on a daily basis to support organizations in adopting more sustainable business practices.

From 5:30 pm onwards
Reception at Pier 21
[see map]

Seafood showcase 
Courtesy of Comeau’s Seafoods and DEon Oyster Company (Eel Lake Oyster)

Screening of video testimonials
These videos, which are testimonials from CDÉNÉ's clients and partners, highlight their experiences in services and collaboration over the years and retrace the careers of former CDÉNÉ employees who have benefited from their experiences within the CDÉNÉ to advance their careers.

Lobster, courtesy of Riverside Lobster International

Cultural show
L’Acadie d’hier, d’aujourd’hui et de demain

Beyond folk and traditional songs, violins and spoons, Nova Scotia’s Acadian music scene is complex and full of inspiration. From Celtic influence, to African rhythms, to American country or urban European sounds, Nova Scotia never ceases to surprise and charm.
Experienced and emerging artists are getting married on stage, only this evening, to make you live an ephemeral and unique experience. They will meet with you to present an overview of various traditional titles and significant compositions from the province, interspersed with current and modern compositions.
Be a witness to the updating of Nova Scotia’s Acadian culture; together, let’s look to the future.
Production: Martin Théberge
Artistic and musical direction: Luc d’Eon
With :
Luc d’Eon, artistic Director, Music Director, Voice and Guitar
Céline Doucet, piano
Charles et Monique, singing, dancing and guitar
Danelle Doucet, violin
Éliot Richomme, singing and guitar
Elyse Delaney, singing
Frank Baganda, percussions and dance
Leon Mellow (Bila), song and speech
Sonia Losier, singing
Weldon Boudreau, singing, Guitar and Percussion (podorhythmic)

CDÉNÉGouvernement du Canada logo  NovaScotia RDÉE Canada
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