Episode 15- In Conversation with City of Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter

As the mayor of the largest city in Durham Region, Mayor Carter has a diverse community to serve, from historic roots and cultures in the downtown and southern areas of the City, to new communities along the 407, an educational epicenter, and growing hubs of industry and innovation. Oshawa has it all and the Mayor is leading the City into the future.

Episode 14- How Leaders Can Adapt Their Organization to Produce Better Results with Sid Ridgley

Visit Sid Ridgley to see more

Today we are with Organizational Strategist and performance Consultant Sid Ridgley. Sid has provided advice, facilitation and strategy development in the areas of people development, organization growth, and customer loyalty for over 30 years in both the public and private sector spaces.

His contribution to the public sector is to work with the political and administrative leaders in finding new opportunities to enhance service, build better relationships and create a collaborative working environment. In the end, it is a supported and engaged workforce that leads to better outcomes and a healthy work environment and this is what he strives to help create.  

In our conversation Sid shares his perspectives on trust and credibility. We need both to thrive and it is in this space that conflict can emerge as disagreement in challenging times. Solutions can be found from disagreement, whereas conflict creates paralysis and less than ideal decision outcomes.

We then talk about Cooperation vs Collaboration. To quote Sid, “To have effective collaboration one must have all the facts on the table which will lead to synergistic decision making. This is not what happens when we only seek to cooperate.”

The new workforce also doesn’t want a task focused environment. They are engaged and want to contribute in meaningful ways to the outcome of their organizations. This is a transition challenge as old styles clash with new realities of the younger workforce.

We also explored the Peter Principle from Laurence J. Peter. This is the idea that people are often promoted to one level beyond your true capacity to perform. We explore why this happens, what the impact is and why it is so hard if not impossible to prevent in our current employee culture.

As we approach the end of the discussion, Sid makes it very clear that embracing whole enterprise thinking is critical to organizational success. It’s not just about my schere of responsibility but I need to be aware of the priorities of the entire organization to be supportive and empathetic to the roles of my peers.

In the end, we need to embrace the ideas of effectiveness, efficiency, and being affective. Effective to make sure the organization is doing the right things, efficient in making sure the right things are being done right, and affective so that the culture is one where people love doing the right things well.

Episode 13- Project Swallowtail and Habitat Renewal with Dr. Pete Ewins

Pete Ewins is the former Director of Canada’s Endangered Species Program for the World Wildlife Fund with a focus on flagship species conservation in globally significant regions. Since retiring he has engaged with Project Swallowtail to help citizens learn how to restore habitat in your own backyard. Pete is passionate and engaged about shifting from individual species rescue to creating better environments for all life.

Pete’s work with Project Swallowtail brings education and awareness to your front door. This is a collaborative effort to connect communities street by street and empower residents to restore nature in west Toronto. This pilot project will also be used to develop a framework for replication in neighbourhoods across Canada.


Dianne Saxe is an environmental lawyer who has an extensive career in advocating for environment, climate and sustainability in our society both locally and globally. In her private practice and as the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dianne has come to understand much of the issues threatening our planet. Her message is clear and her concerns real as the effects of climate change become more and more visible around us. But she also has hope and optimism in a brighter future if we all appreciate the impact our activities have on our environment and take personal responsibility for our daily actions. She is optimistic that together we will make a difference…in her view we have to.

Links and Resources from Dianne

Dianne has a wealth of experience and knowledge in her field and shared many resources and organizations that bring value to this topic. Visit her website to see all the resources she provides.

Reports published as Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Dianne’s time in this role provided her with an incredible opportunity to contribute to the environmental impact body of knowledge. Some references to consider include:

Environmental Protection Reports
Greenhouse Gas Progress Reports
Energy Conservation Progress Reports
Special Reports

Royal Ontario Museum Creates Climate Change Curator

Diana also shared her role on the selection panel for the new climate change curator that was created at the Royal Ontario Museum. She says that this is a wonderful addition to the offerings of the museum as we need to be more transparent about the impacts on our natural environment. The announcement of Allan and Helaine Shiff Curatorship was made at the end of September 2020 as part of the broader institutional commitment to address global climate crisis, and the selection process will continue through the rest of 2020.

Green Economy Heroes Climate Podcast

Dianne launched a podcast in early 2020 focused on showcasing green economy businesses and initiatives that are succeeding in the green economy. 33 episodes and growing.


With climate change comes more extreme and intense weather events. This has given rise to in increased awareness, formalization and implementation of emergency management and response programs. Governments are generally the primary emergency response agency although many large and critical organizations often follow similar protocols. Sonia has been involved in public health and emergency management for many years in the province and shares her insights, experiences and thoughts on the role, organization and execution of emergency response.


RainscapeTO is a local organization that creates rain gardens and other features designed to intercept rain runoff from properties to improve rain water reuse in the urban setting. Jose shares his journey to rainscape and his experiences from his home Town in Spain. He talks about engineering, society and ethical practices. How he found his calling in life is what brings so much focus and passion to what Jose accomplishes.


Did you know that 1 in 3 people have had experience with or know someone dealing with homelessness? In this episode I had a chance to interview the National Field Organizer, Michelle. We all know this issue exists but how much engagement do we have with those who are experiencing hardship in housing? This sector is often stigmatized to certain groups, but the reality is that homelessness is systemic and pervasive and many are one month away from housing security. Hear what this organization is doing and what you can do to be more aware and support a change in how we view homelessness.