CADSI Annual General Meeting

President's Year-in-Review


March 29th, 14:30, Westin Hotel, Confederation III Ballroom, Ottawa, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us at CADSI’s Annual General Meeting. It is my pleasure to submit my third annual report to you, our members.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Board of Directors for its strategic guidance.

I would also like to thank all our members. Your engagement with the Association through committees, events and individual feedback is essential to our success.

My last thanks is to the CADSI Team. It takes a village to raise a child and every event organized, speech written, ad produced, policy analysed, and bill paid comes as a result of an exceptionally hard-working group of dedicated professionals who care about the members as much as I do.

2016 was a busy year for our Association.

We executed a strategic communications campaign designed to raise awareness of the important economic and security benefits our industry provides with political decision-makers and key stakeholders across all parties and to connect better with Canadians.

Our digital footprint significantly increased. We reached over 300,000 people through just one article in the Globe and Mail, reached over 4 million people through print media in general and over 6 million people through web media. In social media we welcomed the Prime Minister’s Office as a Twitter follower. We built on the successful Made Across Canada campaign with success stories of your businesses. This gave you, our members, the benefit of high-end, targeted advertising and increased attention.

Our advocacy focussed on the strategic significance of the sector, linking the Defence Review with the Innovation Agenda. We called for a Defence Industrial Policy at every opportunity. We engaged with the Prime Minister’s Office, lead ministers, members of parliament, and senior civilian and military officials. We participated in industry roundtables for the Minister of National Defence’s Defence Policy Review and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Innovation Agenda. We also appeared before an unprecedented three parliamentary committees. The last time CADSI appeared before any parliamentary committee was in 2010. We announced our support for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and began to work with the government to ensure its implementation.

We were active on government advisories and consultations that included: Supplier Advisory Group (including working groups for cost and profit, the sustainment initiative, risk rebalancing, and security clearances), Integrity Framework Advisor Group, Defence Industry Advisory Group, NATO Industry Advisory Group, Canadian Critical Infrastructure Sector Coalition, and Public Safety’s consultation on cyber security.

We held our first ever On The Hill Reception for parliamentarians and key political staffers. Attendees included two ministers, four parliamentary secretaries, numerous members of parliament, senators and senior political staff including representatives from the Prime Minister's Office. The event was so popular that even Mark Critch from This Hour has 22 Minutes crashed it.

On the security side of our business, our efforts concentrated on conducting a series of round tables in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa that engaged security leaders and key stakeholders from a vast spectrum of industry and government departments. The purpose of the exercise was to better understand the environmental challenges, prioritize the key subsectors, and start a conversation on security industrial capabilities.

CANSEC broke several records. It was a sold-out show. We hosted 61 delegations from 6 continents. We packed the venue with key government decision makers and military and security personnel. We heard keynotes from the Chief of Defence Staff and two Cabinet Ministers. We hosted a press conference with ISED to launch the new biennial ISED/StatsCan State of Canada’s Defence Industry, 2014 report. We reached over 2.1 million individuals through the 75 local and national media representatives in attendance. For the first time ever CADSI appeared on the national network news as a guest of CTV News Channel’s Power Play with Don Martin reaching over 45,000 viewers with information about CADSI, CANSEC, and Canada’s defence and security industries.

Perhaps the best part was that CANSEC continued to improve. We rolled out new upscale branding. We created a meeting-friendly outdoor eating lounge. We put in place a new international lounge complete with prayer room. And we introduced an international multi-lingual tour guide service to help international delegations better understand what you were showcasing. CANSEC was also our launching pad for the inaugural Paddy O'Donnell award celebrating mentorship in our community with our first going to Darryl Hansen from Babcock Canada.

But perhaps one of our proudest moments this past year was signing a 4-year partnership agreement for CANSEC with Ottawa Tourism. I would like to thank Ottawa Tourism for recognizing the economic impact we bring to the community and how we showcase our national capital to the world. We look forward to building on a very strong partnership with Ottawa Tourism and the expertise they bring to the table.

Beyond CANSEC, we once again hosted SME Day, the CAF Outlooks and the Western Innovation Forum which counted the Minister of National Defence as one of our many distinguished guests.

As part of our International program, we participated in an exploratory mission to Defence Services Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We put on the Canada Pavilion at Sea, Air and Space in Washington, D.C. with staffing support from our friends in the Aerospace and Defence Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (ADIANL). We also produced the Canada Pavilion at Eurosatory in Paris and at AUSA in Washington, D.C.

In addition to our own events, we partnered with federal and local development agencies for innovative activities and business outreach across the country. These included the Focus-On Security Series; the Maritime Arctic Safety and Security Conference; and the London Best Defence Conference.

We also partnered with various organizations to show support to our community and corporate social responsibility. This year we lent out support to the Party Under the Stars to help veterans diagnosed with PTSD; the WiDS Scholarship Breakfast, the Memorial Golf Tournament and the Famous 5 luncheon; the National Capital Open to Support our Troops golf tournament with funds going towards mitigating veterans’ homelessness; the Hire-a-Veteran Program; the True Patriot Love Foundation.

We also participated in a number of conferences, advisory and educational activities. We were featured speakers at Converg-X, Telfer Executive Master of Business Complex Program Leadership Course (EMBCPL), The MacKenzie Institute’s Canada’s Defence Perspectives 2020-2050: Recapitalization and the Canadian Forces, and Canadian Forces College National Security Program, just to list a few.

Now I call attention to each of you—our members. You are the reason why CADSI came to be so many years ago and the reason behind the work we do every day.

This past year we were 829 members strong from across Canada. 81% of you were returning members. This is well above average retention rates for similar associations. As a small token of thanks to our members, we introduced commemorative window clings highlighting those who have been members for five or ten years. We also made hundreds of membership appreciation phone calls. We wanted to not only thank you for your continued support but also help you access our services and allow you to provide us with insight into how to improve those services.

We remain focused on producing more value-added services for you. We increased our outreach with free Webinars and re-instituted a quarterly newsletter. We also introduced the Emerging Markets Portal. The portal allows CADSI members—SME members in particular—to easily access the resources, contacts, and tools they require when considering entry into an emerging market. The portal curates information from the Government of Canada, Canadian Commercial Corporation, and local requirements for doing business in-country. We would like to thank members, particularly our operating committees for their support, suggestions and feedback on this initiative.

Lastly, we introduced a new Academic Associates category which extends membership to faculty of universities, colleges and other academic institutions.

The bottom line is that CADSI is in very good health both financially and programmatically. Our collective voice is stronger than ever and together I know that we can create great networks, influence policy and send to market the very best innovative, world-class defence and security products and services that Canada and the world has seen.
This is a high level view of the work we have accomplished in 2016. Next, I want to give you a snapshot of the year ahead.

Defence and security industries are treated as strategic assets in almost all nations, be it for national security or their potential for innovation. As such, we have and will continue to encourage the creation of a defence industrial policy.

We will continue to advance our strategic communications campaign to ensure that key decision makers and Canadians more generally understand the importance of our industries. Our Made Across Canada campaign will continue to showcase more great stories about your business successes and you individually as companies. We will also be highlighting throughout 2017 the theme of 100 Years of Canadian Defence Innovation. We will be sharing through events and activities the incredible accomplishments Canada’s defence industry has achieved from the Battle of Vimy Ridge to today.

We will continue to implement improved policies and programming to support your business activities. Changes to the application of the Cost and Profit Policy, risk re-balancing and the treatment of intellectual property during the Request for Proposal stage are a few areas CADSI is actively engaged in with your help and on your behalf.

We will continue to be active as the Government moves to accede to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and regulate brokering. We will take every opportunity to show how our industry is rigorously regulated and that the rules must remain transparent and predictable.

We continue to improve the CANSEC experience, implementing a number of ideas you suggested through feedback. In addition, we will increase the amount of time dedicated to networking and business-to-business activities at all our events.

CADSI’s security portfolio will raise awareness on the capabilities already within Canada, particularly as they pertain to cyber. We will also engage ISED to undertake greater study of Canada’s cyber capabilities in partnership with industry so that government can develop policies and programs with the most solid evidence base possible.

We will roll out more countries on our Emerging Defence Markets portal.

Lastly, we will increase our communications with you to support your work. We want to make sure you are aware of all the benefits available to you as a member and are informed of new developments.

I would like to end by once again thanking all of you. We enjoy engaging with you to find new, improved and creative ways of showcasing your businesses, providing you value, and understanding the needs of your business so that we can be successful together.