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Halifax, September 17, 2019 – The Economic Summit highlighting the 20th anniversary of the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ) was held in Halifax on September 11, 2019. The official opening began with welcoming remarks from Allister Surette, Chair of the CDÉNÉ, and Julie Oliver, Executive Director of the CDÉNÉ.

The Mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mike Savage, then gave his welcoming address recalling the positive impact that the CDÉNÉ has had in Halifax and Nova Scotia.

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Mike Savage, Julie Oliver and Allister Surette

In her keynote, the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, recalled that CDÉNÉ works daily to advance the Acadian and Francophone communities in Nova Scotia and is the only provincial Francophone organization working for economic development.

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The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, minister of Immigration, minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie

The morning continued with a presentation by Mylène Thériault, representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic region, in which she emphasizes the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the Commissioner's recommendations in regards to the modernisation of the OLA.

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Mylène Thériault

The first workshop of the day was facilitated by Laura Huynh Lê, Economic Immigration Officer for CDÉNÉ, and focused on interculturality. Its purpose was to foster empathy, mutual understanding and inclusion between employers and their immigrant employees, as well as within communities welcoming newcomers.

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Laura Huynh Lê

Gwen LeBlanc, Community Economic Development Officer for the CDÉNÉ, presented the French-language tourist itineraries in Nova Scotia and the new website,

Watch the promotional video of on YouTube:

Watch the demo video of the website on YouTube:

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Gwen LeBlanc

The luncheon speaker, Jean-Paul Deveau, President of Acadian Seaplants Ltd, an internationally leading biotechnology company employing 400 people in 13 countries, including 35 scientists, including 15 PhD graduates, gave an inspiring and informative presentation.

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Robert Nonez led a workshop on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence in the early afternoon, going back to its origins and then discussing its present and future.

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Robert Nonez

Jean-Michel Blais then presented a workshop on Cybersecurity, the aim of which was to raise awareness of the various forms of Internet crime and ways to counter these threats.

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Jean-Michel Blais

The last workshop of the day was presented by Nicolas Gagnon, and focused on sustainable development. He detailed the positioning of companies in terms of social responsibility and sustainable development, which is increasingly important in increasing their competitiveness in the global markets.

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Nicolas Gagnon

Finally, this informative and constructive day ended with a panel discussion and question period led by André LeBlanc, Manager of Business Development and Entrepreneurship Services for the CDÉNÉ.

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Nicolas Gagnon, Jean-Michel Blais, Robert Nonez and André Leblanc

The productive day continued at Pier 21. The evening began with a seafood showcase, courtesy of Comeau's Seafoods and DEon Oyster Company, and a screening of video testimonials from CDÉNÉ's clients and partners.

Watch the video on YouTube :

Subsequently, several certificates of recognition from the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada) were awarded. Among the recipients was Yvon Samson, a former manager in community economic development for CDÉNÉ, who has been a member of the CDÉNÉ since its creation and who retired this year.

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Yvon Samson is presented an Award Certificate from RDÉE Canada and on behalf of CDÉNÉ from Allister Surette, Chair of CDÉNÉ

The 20th anniversary was celebrated with a Dinner Banquet, with lobster courtesy of Riverside Lobster International, followed by an excellent cultural show, L'Acadie d'hier, d'aujourd'hui et de demain, produced by Martin Théberge and Luc d’Eon, Artistic Director, with artists Céline Doucet, Charles and Monique, Danielle Doucet, Éliot Richomme, Elyse Delaney, Frank Baganda, Leon Mellow (Bila), Sonia Losier, and Weldon Boudreau.

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From top to bottom and from left to right : Noël Després, Lise Després, Mark Bannerman, Julie Oliver, Allister Surette and Lena Metlege Diab

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

The CDÉNÉ thanks the partners of the event

Gouvernement du Canada logoNovaScotiaRDÉE Canada
Acadian SeaplantsComeauDEonRiverside