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June 14-16, 2023
Inn on Prince Hotel | Truro, Nova Scotia

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Event Program

  1. Pre Conference Day, Wednesday June 14
  2. Thursday June 15
  3. Friday June 16
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Municipal Finance Officer (MFO) Session *Registration Required

Elm and Oak Room

Workshop – Professional Ethics in Uncertain Times

The risk of fraud and unethical behaviour increases during times of significant change or uncertainty. For professional accountants, the risk landscape is multi-dimensional and continually evolving. This course invites professional accountants to consider the pressures they may experience, unconscious bias and psychological traps that may increase the risk of unethical behaviour, as well as the components of fraud, ethical intelligence, and trust. We conclude with strategies leaders and organizations may use to support and encourage ethical behaviour.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the components of the evolving multi-dimensional risk landscape and consider them in the context of your work.
  • Consider unconscious biases and potential psychological traps with the goal of identifying common traps and biases in the context of accountancy.
  • Identify strategies accountants and leaders may use to help mitigate the risk of fraud and unethical behaviour.

About your speaker:

maureen Gillis

We are pleased to have Maureen Gillis, CPA from Gillis & Associates. Maureen facilitates adult learning on topics related to ethics, leadership, human resources, success, and human behaviour. She has taught for various universities, and trained members of professional organizations for more than a decade. With professional accounting experience in different sectors, formal training in adult learning, and experience in human resource management, Maureen knits together research and practicality to provide sessions that support the ongoing development of professionals and leaders.

Refreshments will be sponsored by the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

IT Session: Introduction to Microsoft InTune *Registration Required

Aspen Room

Facilitator: Jay Redmond, IT Manager, Town of Truro

This session will provide a brief overview of Microsoft InTune, Microsoft's cloud-based endpoint management solution. Used by the Town of Truro, this session will be facilitated by the town's IT manager who will highlight ways to maximize this program within your municipality. This session will also cover conditional access, device management, BitLocker drive encryption, Windows update control and Defender antivirus.

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Accessibility Foundations Training *Registration Required

Maple Room

Facilitators: Rep from Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate; Holly MacLellan (she/her), Municipal Accessibility Support Coordinator, AMANS 

By participating in this 2-hour interactive workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define disability, types of disabilities, accessibility, and the prevalence of disability in Nova Scotia
  • Explain the importance of the Nova Scotia Accessibility Act
  • Understand the impact of the Accessibility Act on Prescribed Public Sector Bodies (PPSBs)
  • Provide examples of barriers and ableism and their impacts on persons with disabilities

Outline practices to  support persons with disabilities to meaningfully participate in community, work, and play

Developed by the Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate Nova Scotia

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Municipal Government 101 *Registration Required

Birch Room

Facilitator: Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing (DMAH)

This session will provide an overview of the Municipal Government within the Province of Nova Scotia, the types of municipal units, and highlight their extensive responsibilities.  We will explore issues such as governance, legal frameworks and spend time addressing the questions you have always wanted to ask.

Sponsored by ns en


4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Chief Administrator Officer’s Session (CAO*)

Birch Room


This session is an opportunity for CAOs of each municipality to get together, have candid conversations, and strategize about the issues impacting them, their municipality, and their regions. Light snacks will be provided.

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


Lower Lobby

Please visit the registration desk to check in for the conference.

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Opening Reception

Elm and Oak Room

Kindly sponsored by Broker Link Insurance and Arthur J. Gallagher, join your municipal colleagues for some finger food and live music from a local Band: No Boundaries with Darcy Doucette and John LaForge in the Elm and Oak. In your badge, you will find one complimentary drink ticket.

Sponsored by Gallagher and BrokerLink

7:00 am – 8:00 am

Early Risers' Club: Guided Walk/Run

Meet in the Hotel Lobby

Kick the conference off with an early morning walk or run with other delegates. and a stop at Novel Tea Everyone is welcome.


8:30 am – 8:45 am

Registration, Early Bird Draws, Exhibitor Viewing & Coffee

Lower Lobby

Grab a cup of Joe and a refreshment to get you moving before the conference sessions start. If you’re lucky, your name may be called to win some donated prizes!

Refreshments sponsored by ipac logo

8:45 am – 9:10 am

Opening Ceremonies

Elm and Oak Room

Join us at the opening ceremonies for greetings from Mayor Bill Mills, Town of Truro; Mayor  Christine Blair,  Municipality of the County of Colchester; Chief Robert Gloade, Millbrook First Nations. Regrets sent from Warden Eleanor Roulston from the Municipality of East Hants.

9:10 am – 10:10 am

Opening Keynote: Breaking Through Adversity with the Resilience Roadmap

Elm and Oak Room

Presented by: Mark Black, Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient – turned – 4-Time Marathon Runner, Author, Coach and Speaker

Mark will provide a framework for success despite the odds and provides a powerful dose of inspiration and excuse-eliminating motivation. Using his life story of battling a life-threatening disease, surviving a Heart & Double-Lung Transplant, and recovering to run 4 marathons.

Mark will show you that you are limited more by perceptions than circumstances. But it goes far beyond emotions or attitude. This keynote will provide a powerful experience and leave you with practical takeaways they can implement in your municipality the following day. 

10:10 am – 10:30 am

Refreshment Break: Networking and Meeting the Exhibitors

Lower Lobby

A short break before the first concurrent session block. Enjoy a coffee, visit the exhibitor booths, and catch-up with some friends.

Sponsored by scotiabank

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Concurrent Session A1: Legal Updates and Developments

Elm and Oak Room

Speaker: Noella Martin, KC Partner, Burchell, Wickwire, Bryson Lawyers 

The legal trends for municipalities are inevitably changing. In this session, we are joined by Noella Martin from Burchell, Wickwire, Bryson Lawyers, who will share some insight on the emerging legal issues in Municipal Government – including what we have learned through collective bargaining, legislation addressing medical notes and the impact on attendance management, as well as other significant developments.

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Concurrent Session A2: Public Procurement 101

Birch Room

Speaker: Edwina Renaux, Purchasing Officer/Finance, Town of Truro

No matter the size of your municipality, public procurement rules, and regulations must be followed. Whether or not your municipality has a designated procurement specialist, understanding the basics of public procurement is important. Join the Town of Truro in an interactive session highlighting some best practices and basic processes around procurement, followed by a question and answer period. You will also leave this session with templates you can work with.

Sponsored by: kinetic gpo logo

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Concurrent Session A3: Using Plain Language in Municipal Communications

Maple Room

Speaker: Erin Casey (she/they), Professional Communicator, Writer, and Editor

Come learn the basics of plain language in this hands-on workshop, including:

  • what clear and accessible language is, and why it's an issue of equity and inclusion
  • who benefits from plain language
  • the key principles of plain language
  • how you can start incorporating plain language into your everyday communication

Come ready to practice and have fun! 

11:35 am – 12:15 pm

AMANS Power Session

Elm and Oak Room

Presented by: Jeff Bishop, Executive Director, AMANS

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn what's going on with your Association. Come hear the latest project updates and learn about the new initiatives AMANS is taking on this year.

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

Wellness Luncheon

Elm and Oak Room

Sponsored by:

TELUS Health EN Hor 2021 Digital RGBHUB Horizontal Full Colour CMYK hr

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Concurrent Session B1: Navigating Employee Support Systems

Birch Room

Presented by Mary Morris, Executive Director, Employer Advisor Nova Scotia Society; Krista Heslop, Section Manager, Desjardins Insurance and Moderated by Janine McInnis, Associate Vice President, HUB International  Ontario Limited

Understanding and navigating the system from an employer perspective. How do employers work with the Workers Compensation Board, especially municipalities without designated Human Resources support systems? In this session, Desjardins will discuss the importance of intervening early to reduce the disability impact and duration of absence.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Concurrent Session B2: Assurance for Your Insurance

Elm and Oak Room

Presented by: Mark MacDonald, Vice President, Account Executive, Aon Risk Solutions; Joey D. Palov; Partner, Cox & Palmer; Joel Plater, Chief Risk Officer and Manager of Risk and Insurance Services, Halifax Regional Municipality

Not every municipality has an insurance specialist on staff. This leaves Municipalities to rely on advice from brokers and legal advisors; but in discussions on insurance coverage, sometimes your broker says, "ask legal" and legal says "ask our broker". How do we know when we have the ‘right’ coverage from a risk management perspective? On this panel, we'll hear from municipal staff, broker/insurer, and legal advisor perspectives on how to weigh the risks when assessing your municipal insurance coverage.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Concurrent Session B3: Succession Planning: Advice on Transitioning to a Senior Leadership Role

Maple Room

Presented by: Kim Ramsay, CAO, Municipality of East Hants

This session will focus on preparing employees for career advancement in municipal government. Kim will discuss how to have a forward-thinking planning lens and how to make informed, intentional decisions to prepare yourself for a leadership role.

2:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Short Networking Break

Lower Lobby

A short break after the concurrent session block. Enjoy a coffee, visit the exhibitor booths and catch up with a friend.

Sponsored by cpa logo

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

What Does Truth and Reconciliation Mean For Your Municipality?

Elm and Oak Room

Presenter: Heather Stevens, Manager, Millbrook Cultural & Heritage Centre

Heather will speak from the heart as she shares her stories and wisdom around Truth and Reconciliation and what it means for municipalities and the Indigenous communities we serve.

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Off-Site Dinner, Entertainment, and Tour of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre

Transportation will be provided for this event: Registration in advance is required. The cost to attend is $35

Join your municipal colleagues for a buffet meal,  entertainment by Jackie Putnam and a tour of the RECC Facility. Transportation will be provided

Sponsored by blue cross evening sponsor


8:30 pm

Hospitality Suite Sponsored Event

Upper Lobby Area (Maple/Aspen/Birch Rooms)

Following the Rath Eastlink Community Centre Dinner, there will be a hospitality suite. Enjoy some live music by the Island Boys, a beverage, and reconnect with some colleagues and enjoy a beverage.

Sponsored by scotiabank


7:00 am – 8:00 am

Early Risers' Club: Guided Walk/Run

Meet in the Hotel Lobby

Kick the conference off with an early morning walk or run with other delegates. and a stop at Novel Tea Everyone is welcome.


8:45 am – 9:00 am

Early Bird Draws, Exhibitor Viewing & Coffee

Lower Lobby

Grab a cup of Joe and a refreshment to get your day moving. If you’re lucky, your name may be called to win some donated prizes!

Refreshments sponsored by bwb logo

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Provincial Update

Elm and Oak Room

Come join the conversation with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing (DMAH). This session will feature updates by DMAH on current issues as well as information from Education and Early Childhood Development and Environment and Climate Change on matters impacting municipalities.

10:00 am – 10:15 am

Tradeshow Refreshment Break

Lower Lobby

A short break before the wrap up the conference with a panel presentation and our closing keynote presentation.

Sponsored by burchell macdougall logo lawyers colour 01

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Municipal Success Stories: Innovations in Employee Retention and Attraction

Elm and Oak Room

Presented by Kim Ramsay, CAO, Municipality of East Hants; Rob Frost, Deputy CAO, Municipality of the County of Kings

Real-life stories from Municipalities how they manage their employees through modern-day retention and attraction practices:

  • Municipality of East Hants: Employee Satisfaction and Culture 
    Kim will present their Employee satisfaction survey and talk about the value of doing employee surveys, what East Hants has learned, and why they received such great scores. Kim will also highlight the importance of first impressions and how their brand impacts attraction and recruitment. 

  • Municipality of the County of Kings:  Diversity and Employee Wellness Practices
    Rob will talk about the many things Kings is doing to attract and retain employees, including Diversity and Employee Wellness practices, and how these initiatives can have positive impacts but still need to constantly evolve to meet the requirements of a workforce
11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Closing Keynote: Courageous Conversations

Elm and Oak Room

Presented by Ann Divine, CEO and founder of Ashanti Leadership and Development Services Inc. and co-founder of Ashanti Leadership Academy

Our people are our most valued resource. It is where the individuals we employ, are encouraged to bring their authentic and best self and to feel they are welcome and belong. Their opinions are values, and they are recognized for their unique perspectives. As a result, our business is thriving, productive, progressive, and successful. This is our ultimate goal. Yet, in today’s ever changing and unprecedented times, both employers and employees are being challenged. Studies have shown that many employees are not happy, and they struggle with being fully engaged in the workplace for a variety of reasons; these can be defined by their race, gender, sexual orientation, cultural and religious values, persons with disabilities and most recently mental health challenges because of the impact of the pandemic.

Courageous Conversations may be new to some, but some communities would argue that they have always had such conversations but were dismissed, or avoided. To have such conversations and win over those who have felt dismissed, individuals must be prepared to face challenges to the privileged and powerful. They are encouraged to build meaningful and trusting relationships.


12:15 pm

Closing Ceremony & Grand Prize Draw

Elm and Oak Room

Throw your badge in for a chance to win a Grand Prize. You must be in attendance to win.

Municipal Sponsors

Town of Truro
Municipality of East Hants
Municipality of the County of Colchester

Corporate Sponsors

Province of NS
Telus Business
Telus Health
Blue Cross
Kenetic GPO
Coast Tire and Auto
PSD City Wide

Refreshment Break Sponsors

Burchell MacDougall
sorensen electric
BWB Laywers

Trade Show Exhibitors

PSD city wide
Fishing Gear Coalition
Ridgeback Security
 Accessibility Directorate
Intelivote Systems inc.
telus health
Fundy Textile
Canada Revenue Agency / Government of Canada
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