Members announced for Organizational Operating Review Task Force

March 4, 2013

Mayor's Task Force is part of CBRM's Reorganization Plan for Positive Change
SYDNEY, NS – A new task force of experienced and accomplished citizens has been assembled by Mayor Cecil Clarke to make recommendations on the organization and operation of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The task force was a platform commitment and part of the Reorganization Plan for Positive Change.

"The CBRM faces a multitude of cost pressures including a substantial debt burden, unfunded pension liabilities, labour agreements and operational requirements. As a team, and with our partners, we will face these responsibilities in a balanced, fair and affordable way," said Clarke. "The task force will have a wide scope to make recommendations on areas of organization and operation in the municipality."


Clarke says the eight task force members have the expertise and background to offer solid advice and fresh perspectives.

"Just because something has been done a certain way, operationally, for 20 years, doesn't mean we should continue to do it that way or that it's best that way," said Clarke. "Best practices and better ideas are welcomed."

The task force is chaired by Dr. Keith Brown, Vice President (External) at Cape Breton University.

"As a region, we are facing significant challenges. We need to ensure that our efforts are focused. Our role is to ask the questions: Can we do this better? Can we be more efficient?," said Brown. "We will look at all aspects of the CBRM as an organization and make recommendations that will strengthen its operations."

The task force will be briefed by key CBRM staff on organizational and operational matters. They may seek independent legal and accounting expertise when necessary.

The task force will provide recommendations to the Mayor for consideration by Council. Phase One of the task force's work includes any 2013-14 budget considerations and recommendations. Phase Two will bridge the budget process with the CBRM organizational review which will begin in late spring.


CHAIR: Keith Brown, PhD - Dr. Keith Brown is the chair of the Organizational Operating Review Task Force. Dr. Brown is Vice President, External at Cape Breton University and is the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies. Dr. Brown served as Associate Vice President, Development; Dean and Managing Director of Economic and Technological Innovation and Dean of Extension and Community Affairs within the Cape Breton University community. Beyond his career in higher education, he has held the positions of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and Vice President of Industrial Development with the Cape Breton Development Corporation. As Professor of Marketing in the School of Business at CBU, Dr. Brown has taught Marketing Management, Consumer Behaviour, International Business, International Marketing, Sales and Sales Management, Advertising and Tourism Marketing. He currently teaches in the MBA (CED). He has presented and published a wide range of academic papers and served as a guest speaker and panelist on economic development, cultural tourism marketing and Aboriginal economic development. He obtained a B.B.A. from St. F.X. University, Antigonish, N.S., a B.B.Ed. from Saint Mary's University, Halifax, N.S., an M.B.A.-Marketing from City University, Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A. and a Ph.D. Marketing (tourism consumer behaviour) from the University of Bradford, Bradford, England.

Alice Almond – Alice Almond's career in Human Resources included almost 30 years with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. She has extensive experience in the management and delivery of Employment Insurance programs. The former manager of HRSDC in North Sydney, she managed a staff of 24 and delivered a wide range of employment services in a community of over 30,000 people. Following her career at HRSDC, she managed the Cape Breton Response Strategy and specialized in human resource management at First Choice Consulting. At HRSDC, Alice was awarded the Merit Award for Public Service Entrepreneurship and the Staff Creativity and Innovation Award.

Mary Beth Doucette - Mary Beth Doucette, P.Eng, lives in Sydney and grew up in Blacketts Lake. She is currently is Director Quality Assurance and ISO compliance with Membertou Band Office. Through a MOU between Membertou and Cape Breton University, she is the also the Associate Chair, Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at CBU. Mary Beth received a Degree in Industrial Engineering from Dalhousie University. She worked for Canadian Tire Corporation in special projects for 2 years before returning home to study at Cape Breton University in the MBA Community Economic Development program. Her graduate research focused on community economic development in First Nations, examining the role of cultural tourism. Her primary research was with Elders and Band administrators at Membertou regarding expectations for the proposed Heritage Park. Mary Beth is a dedicated community volunteer. She has been a Cape Brestoners Support person since 2006 (her mother has been on the Cape Breastoners since their inception), has been on the Organizing Committee of the Annual Cape Breton Dragon Boat Festival since 2009. She is also on the Board of New Dawn Enterprises and Membertou Governance Committee. This past year she was awarded the 2012 Alumna of the Year award from CBU.

Owen Fitzgerald - Owen Fitzgerald operated his own photography business in downtown Sydney for over 20 years and has published four books documenting the history, culture and beauty of Cape Breton Island. Owen then branched into the IT field, producing educational CD-ROMs that were used in 70 per cent of schools in Canada. Owen has a MBA from Cape Breton University, with a major in community economic development. During this transition, Owen worked for several years in Glace Bay, as head of the YMCA Entrepreneur Centre and in 2006 helped Membertou open its own Entrepreneur Center. Since 2007, Owen has been Executive Director of the Unama'ki Economic Benefits Office in Membertou. In this position, Owen leads a very successful, award winning, First Nation model in economic development that is recognized across Canada. This model involves taking a business and collaborative approach to economic development and training, both by the five First Nation communities in Cape Breton as well as partnerships with industry. Owen is a past-president of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce and in the mid '90s was named the entrepreneur of the year and in 2012 Owen was a finalist for Business Person of the Year. He also successfully led the effort to resolve a dispute between an important community organization, New Dawn, and DND. When president of the Chamber of Commerce, Owen spearheaded efforts to get Route 4 upgraded, for the establishment of the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at CBU, and played an important leadership role in moving forward efforts to development the Port of Sydney. As a community activist, Owen established the HOPE Bursary at CBU, to help mature students build a better future through education.

Bea LeBlanc – Bea LeBlanc is the chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Now retired, Bea was employed by Cape Breton Transition House Association for 30 years. She was Executive Director for 25 years. Her work with women and children who were abused has enabled her to be sworn as an expert witness in court. As a result of her tireless work to address family violence, Bea received a Honourary Doctor of Laws from Cape Breton University. She has received many other awards and designations including the Commemorative Medal for the 125 Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and Canada, the Holy Angels High School Women of the Year Inspirational Award, Carl "Campy" Crawford Humanitarian Award, Tim Miller Human Rights Award and the Minister's Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention.

Cliff Murphy – Cliff Murphy of Sydney served as President of the Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trades Council for 18 years. The Building Trades Council is a professional organization representing more than 4,000 members and 15 private enterprise unions. As well as this role, Cliff was the Business Manager of UA Local 682 Sydney of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Welders for over 23 years. Cliff serves on the Nova Scotia Minister of Labour's Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety and is a member of the Minister's reference group on apprenticeships.

LeRoy Peach – LeRoy Peach was born in Port Morien and holds degrees from Dalhousie (BA Hons English and B.Ed) and the University of Toronto (M.Ed.). He was a high school teacher for 29 years in Nova Scotia and Ontario and the Head of English in an Ontario high school. He retired to Cape Breton in 1989 and has been active in the community. He served on the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board as an elected trustee from 1991-2000. In 2000 he formed the Port Morien Development Association and became its first president. In 2000, he set up a C@P site at the Royal Canadian Legion, the first at a legion in Canada, and has operated it since. In addition, he is active in the legion, his church, the Port Morien Fair and many other special events in the area. He has served on the board of Destination Cape Breton, the C@P Society of Cape Breton and the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for his community activism. LeRoy also holds a Life Membership in the Legion and has attained the highest honour: the Meritorious Service Medal. Le Roy has written seven books and has been a columnist with the Cape Breton Post for 17 years.

Parker Rudderham - Parker Rudderham is President & Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacy Wholesale Services Inc. headquartered in Montreal. It is the largest privately held medical diagnostic distributor in North America. Its brand, PharmaTrue, is marketed in over one hundred countries. Mr. Rudderham is also owner of Farnon, Herriot & Beckett Commercial Realty of Montreal and has diverse investments in many segments of the economy including medical research, transportation, mining, automotive , publishing and hospitality Industries. For the past several years he has been active with a number of non-profit organizations and philanthropic interests.