• Category: SmartCity

FUSION Chair Connects, Engages Inspires

Jennifer Berry, Chair of FUSION Halifax, sent the following e-mail to members and partners last week. Jennifer’s passion for and commitment to Halifax is evident in her words, and also her day-to-day work. Here’s what she had to say:

Hello all

I am writing to you today in my capacity as the 2010/2011 Chair of FUSION Halifax, to thank you for your support and to give you a quick FUSION update. For those I have not met, I welcome the opportunity to  meet and talk about all the wonderful things happening at FUSION Halifax. Please drop me a note to connect.

Now, just a little bit about me: I joined FUSION Halifax Board in 2009 and became Chair in November 2010. I was born here, left for a time and came back, because Halifax is my city, my home and the only place I really want to live. I believe we are extremely privileged to live here. I actually feel it is my responsibility to do whatever I can to make this a place where many more people will chose to live, work and stay. Being a leader in FUSION Halifax is a perfect way for me to do that work – enough about me.

I am extremely grateful to Peter Moorhouse, Alyson Queen, Cheryl Stewart and their teams for building FUSION Halifax into the inspirational organization that we are today. I am quite excited about adding our little piece to their legacy. My first four months as Chair have been both challenging and rewarding. I feel honoured and privileged to work alongside an incredible group of difference makers, within FUSION and in the broader community. Thank you for embracing the idea of FUSION Halifax, for believing that Halifax can be the most vibrant city in Canada, and for working together to make it happen! FUSION Halifax is growing rapidly and we are engaging more and more young people every day. We are counting on you to continue to connect, engage and inspire with us!

I have inserted an excerpt from our recent newsletter below. This is an overview of our top priorities for the year. We will, of course, work on other projects and events throughout the year, but these are the overall organizational priorities.

A few ways to keep in touch: subscribe to our newsletter, join us on Facebook and follow us on twitter at @FUSIONHalifax and please do get in touch to tell me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. I look forward to connecting with all of you in some way in the coming months.

Warm Regards,



FUSION Halifax Priorities

Each year, FUSION’s Board of Directors sets priorities based on what we hear from our members and what we see happening in our community. We start by reviewing the feedback we receive through the Dream Wall where members share their vision for the city. This year, we also conducted a membership survey that provided members with the opportunity to rank the areas of focus.

FUSION’S 2010-2011 priorities are:

Making a Living in HRM – Supporting & Operating Local Business
Independent business, entrepreneurs and local talent are core to sustaining a strong community, healthy economy and vibrant downtown core.

Making a Living in HRM – Establishing a Career 
Regardless of your field, developing a rewarding and successful career and having access to the resources that can help you do it is a key ingredient to contributing to a strong, vibrant Halifax. 

Sustainable Transportation
Whether it’s walking trails, cycling paths, car sharing or transit systems, a range of transportation options will contribute to the sustainability of HRM.

Civic Engagement – Democratic Involvement
Being knowledgeable about government policy and direction at all levels is the first step in actively engaging in the issues that impact our city and region.

Civic Engagement – Volunteerism
Volunteerism and engagement is an important part of a healthy community and FUSION members have the talent and experience to contribute to a wide-range of community programs and initiatives.

Jenb  Jennifer Berry is the Chair of FUSION Halifax. Learn more about her and her organization here. 


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/6V8d7ZfVcGA/fusion-chair-connects-engages-inspires-.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Business Show: Episode 5 in Review

Fady Nashat has come full circle. Fady moved to Canada from Egypt to pursue his studies and begin a new life in Nova Scotia. The connector program has helped him to establish himself in the community and secure a job at Keane Inc., a global investment firm in Halifax. He now meets with current Connector Program participants to share his experiences and offer advice. Fady’s story embodies the full potential of this program.


This episode gives insight into what the program means to other connectors, too. Dick Miller, a connector and VP of The Shaw Group, explains the reality of the program: “You visit them in three or four year’s time and the next thing you know they’ve got their children, they’re engaged in the community, and that’s what it’s about”.

Programs like this attest to the fact that our business community is no exception from Halifax’s hospitable and friendly reputation. Immigrants and international students are here to work, play, and live and I think by now the benefits of hiring newcomers are indisputably evident. I hope to see the switch from participant to connector continue, and I look forward to joining the thriving, diverse workforce that we are currently building.

Watch Now

For more information on becoming a participant in the program or becoming a connector, click here.

For more photos for the Mayor's Welcoming Event, click here.

Maegblogpic2 Maeghan Murphy, Marketing & Communications Co-op Student

Maeghan is with the Partnership on a four month work-term. She is in her third year of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and had her first taste of the working world on her work-term with Nova Scotia Power this summer. She'll always be a Cape Bretoner at heart, but Maeghan is happy to now call Halifax her home.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/GaUZyAcMWlM/smartcity-business-show-episode-5-in-review.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Episode 5: The Connector Program

Video: The Halifax Business Show visits the Mayors Welcome To International Students to find out all about the Connector Program. Host Craig Layton talks to Dick Miller: Vice President of Development and Housing, The Shaw Group. Fady Nashat & Prasad Ranay: Program Participants.

Read more

  • Category: SmartCity

Foreign Workers: Their Contribution to the Canadian Economy

Last December, I was at Stanfield airport when I saw a group of farm workers asking for some assistance. Since English clearly wasn’t their first language (it was Spanish) I decided to approach them and ask them if I could help them. I was able to contact their employer and explain to him that the workers’ flight home (Mexico) was cancelled. I left the group with the certainty that they felt more relieved after I explained the situation to their employer and a temporary solution was found. 

It was rather unique to be in front of this group of foreign workers who contribute so much to the local and national economy. On December 1st 2010, for example, there were 3,630 foreign workers in Nova Scotia, according to preliminary statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 63% of those foreign workers were in Halifax. Foreign workers are essential to the growth of the country’s economy and the statistics confirm this need:  In 2006, there were 160,908 foreign workers in Canada compared to 283,096 workers on Dec 1st 2010(1).

Temporary foreign workers bring valuable skills that fulfill labour needs in different sectors of the economy when Canadians or permanent residents can’t fill the jobs. From farm workers to specialized workers in the IT or pharmaceutical sector to name just a few, foreign workers are very valuable.

After the encounter at the airport, I thought how their work contributes to the wellbeing of the community. Think, for example, about the delicious strawberries that you have recently eaten, it is likely that they are available in your favourite grocery store because a foreign worker made it possible...working during the season to help the Canadian employer harvest them.

I am the Immigration Employer Support Coordinator at the Greater Halifax Partnership and if you, as an employer, want to learn more about how to hire workers from abroad you can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  I can provide you with all the information you need to start the process.

(1)    Preliminary Data Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Margie_immigrationworks Margie Casallas

As a recent immigrant to Canada, Margie understands the unique skills and perspectives that immigrants bring to Nova Scotia. She holds a Business degree and has eight years of experience in the private sector. Margie enjoys traveling and has experienced living in different countries.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/K4jBCPo68Xc/foreign-workers-their-contribution-to-the-canadian-economy.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Business Show: Episode 4 in Review

There are a lot of numbers and figures to process when you’re dealing with an international hot-spot like the Port of Halifax: 11,000 local jobs, $1.5 billion in economic impact, and connecting with 150 countries from all over the world. The economics of it all are crucially important, and undoubtedly impressive, but what else does the port mean for our city?


To me, the port means summer days in downtown Halifax watching thousands of visitors arriving on enormous cruise ships, ready to discover Canada’s East Coast. I see excited families, couples and independent travelers enjoying our traditional pubs and seafood restaurants. I see them admiring the talent of our local artists and musicians on the boardwalk. I see them learning about our interesting history and seeing how we’ve gotten to where we are.

But I picked up on something else, too. I notice the sense of pride we have when people are enjoying what we have to offer. The Port of Halifax gives to both our visitors, and to us. Our guests get the chance to experience our beautiful city and remind us of just how lucky we are to live here.

Watch Now

Maegblogpic2 Maeghan Murphy, Marketing & Communications Co-op Student

Maeghan is with the Partnership on a four month work-term. She is in her third year of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and had her first taste of the working world on her work-term with Nova Scotia Power this summer. She'll always be a Cape Bretoner at heart, but Maeghan is happy to now call Halifax her home.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/zRNaTPzYUjw/smartcity-business-show-episode-4-in-review-.html

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