Best Defence Conference 2014 Opening

Opening Remarks

November 13th, London Convention Center, London, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

THANK YOU HEATHER. IT’S A PLEASURE TO BE HERE AND BE YOUR EMCEE FOR THE DAY.

ON BEHALF OF CADSI, OUR PARTNER, THE LONDON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, THE CANADIAN COMMERCIAL CORPORATION, OUR SPONSORS, OUR MEMBERS AND INDUSTRY PARTNERS, AND OUR GOVERNMENT STAKEHOLDERS, IT’S MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME YOU ALL TO THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF THE BEST DEFENCE CONFERENCE.

I’M A SOUTHERN ONTARIO NATIVE. MY COUSINS LIVE IN LONDON AND I WAS SWORN INTO THE CANADIAN FORCES, THE ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY ACTUALLY, HERE IN 1991. I GREW UP IN A SMALL TOWN CALLED LEAMINGTON, “JUST DOWN THE STREET”, AS WE SAY IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO, ABOUT 2 HOURS SOUTH OF HERE DOWN THE 401.

LEAMINGTON AFFECTIONATELY REFERS TO ITSELF AS THE “TOMATO CAPITAL OF CANADA” AND LEAMINGTON’S ECONOMY WAS UNDERPINNED BY THE HJ HEINZ COMPANY FOR MANY YEARS, ALTHOUGH THE REGION HAS VASTLY OUTGROWN PURE LINE PROCESSING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.

MY GRANDFATHER ON MY MOTHER’S SIDE WORKED IN THE PLANT AND MY SUMMER JOBS WERE SPENT IN THE FIELDS PICKING TOMATOES. MY FATHER’S FAMILY, FARMERS, CAME FROM ITALY TO LEAMINGTON BECAUSE OF THE GROWING CLIMATE.

WHO IS TO SAY WHETHER IT WAS THE FARMERS THAT BROUGHT THE HEINZ PLANT TO LEAMINGTON OR THE FIRM ITSELF, BUT I GREW UP IN A COMMUNITY WHERE FARMING INNOVATION KNEW ALMOST NO BOUNDARIES BECAUSE OF THIS RELATIONSHIP – SOME OF THE FIRST GREENHOUSES IN CANADA WERE SET UP THERE BY ENTERPRISING LOCAL FAMILIES AND JUST “DOWN THE STREET” IS HARROW, WHERE THE LARGEST DEDICATED RESEARCH FACILITY FOR GREENHOUSE AND PROCESSING CROPS IN NORTHERN AMERICA IS LOCATED.

BUT WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS CRAZY STORY ABOUT LEAMINGTON AND TOMATOES AND INNOVATION? WELL I’VE SEEN FIRST-HAND THE SYMBIOSIS OF LARGE AND SMALL BUSINESSES TO FURTHER AN ECONOMY AND HOW THE LOCAL COMMUNITY CAN THRIVE BEYOND THE INITIAL ACTIVITY; IN FACT, AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY’S CULTURE, HOCKEY RINK NAMES INCLUDED, CAN, AT TIMES, BE DEFINED BY THE COMPANIES THAT UNDERPIN IT.

IN LONDON, YOU’VE WITNESSED THIS FIRST-HAND IN THE DEFENCE SECTOR WITH GENERAL DYNAMICS LAND SYSTEMS AND I KNOW THAT EVERYONE HERE TODAY WANTS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE COMING, HOW THIS REGION CAN PLAY A PART AND HOW THE LOCAL TALENT CAN FIND ITS WAY INTO THE PROCUREMENTS AND THE WINNING COMPANY’S VALUE CHAINS THAT ARE UPCOMING.

SO TODAY WE ARE GOING TO SPEND SOME TIME ON OUR ECOSYSTEM. WE’LL LOOK AT PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND WHERE LARGE COMPANIES CAN HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES, ON HOW SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES CAN INPUT AND THRIVE IN THESE VALUE CHAINS AND HOW, IN THE CASE OF THE DEFENCE INDUSTRIAL BASE, THE ACTIONS TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMING AND PROCUREMENT CAN DRASTICALLY INFLUENCE THIS ECOSYSTEM TO THE BENEFIT OF ALL CANADIANS.

OUR FIRST SET OF PANELISTS TODAY WILL SHOW US WHERE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIE – WHAT’S COMING UP FOR TENDER. THIS DIALOGUE IS IMPORTANT SO THAT WE CAN ALL BETTER ALIGN OUR OFFERINGS TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO PROTECT AND SERVE ON OUR BEHALF AND SO WE CAN LOOK TO JOIN UP - LARGE AND SMALL BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT STAKEHOLDERS – AHEAD OF THE OPPORTUNITIES.

THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE DAY WE’LL HEAR ABOUT THE CHANGES IN THE PROCUREMENT SYSTEM AND HOW THESE CHANGES SHOULD INCENTIVIZE LARGE BUSINESS TO SEEK OUT OPPORTUNITIES WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES EARLIER IN THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS. THESE CHANGES ARE TRANSFORMATIVE, IMPORTANT AND LASTING. THEY STAND TO CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OUR INDUSTRY THROUGH INCENTIVES PLACED ON THE DEMAND-SIDE OF THE PROCUREMENT EQUATION.

WE’LL HEAR ABOUT THE BUILD IN CANADA INNOVATION PROGRAM AND LISTEN TO A PANEL ON STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AND SUPPLY CHAIN OPPORTUNITIES FROM A NUMBER OF FIRMS.

IT’S OUR HOPE THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY, A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE WAY FORWARD WILL EXIST FOR EVERYONE AND THAT BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE PAUSES FOR NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES YOU CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

SO WITH OUR FURTHER ADO, I‘LL INTRODUCE OUR FIRST SET OF SPEAKERS WHO ARE HERE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE TO TELL US WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON FROM A PROCUREMENT PERSPECTIVE. PLEASE WELCOME:


CAPTAIN (NAVY) WADE CARTER, DIRECTOR OF REQUIREMENTS, ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY
COLONEL GREG W. IVEY, DIRECTOR, LAND REQUIREMENTS , CANADIAN ARMY
BRIGADIER-GENERAL PHILIP GARBUTT, DIRECTOR GENERAL, AIR FORCE DEVELOPMENT, ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE


AND WITH THAT I’LL INVITE CAPTAIN CARTER TO COME FORWARD AND KICK THINGS OFF.