Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility

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Education Sessions

Keynote Presentations

Wednesday Lunch Keynote

Keith Brown

Navigating the Needle of Safety


Keith Brown is a world-class VIP entertainer, keynote speaker and magician that has inspired wonder in over 22 countries and counting. Most recently, Keith performed in Iceland for the First Lady! He's a recent TEDx speaker and an international best selling author on Amazon. He was chosen Toronto's BEST Magician... and he's not even from Toronto. When not touring his public show to sold-out houses and rave reviews, Keith trains Ivey MBAs and business executives in effective communication and high-impact presentational skills.


After a decade of performing his signature needle swallowing routine something went amiss and landed Keith in the hospital. Keith survived to tell his story and the sobering lessons about risk and determination he learned along the way. Learn how Keith implemented a number of safety regulations, procedures and strategies to minimize risk and the possibility of returning to the hospital. Discover how Keith transformed one of the biggest failures of his career into one of his greatest successes!

Thursday Lunch Keynote

Jowi Taylor

Six String Nation


Cultural Entrepreneur, Award-winning Broadcaster and Progressive Patriot. “The story of Canada as you’ve never held it before.” Jowi’s audacious Six String Nation project distills stories of diverse cultures, communities, characters and events from every province and territory of Canada into a single guitar called Voyageur – an object that is at once touchstone, talking-stick and living instrument. Jowi’s presentation goes beyond Canada’s cultural clichés, galvanizing audiences with a story that is as deeply personal as each individual in the room and as vast as the country itself. It’s a wonderfully compelling story about building a guitar using pieces of historical and cultural material from every part of Canada. His presentation is more than a story about a guitar, but rather a story and lesson about our country. The Voyageur guitar represents and holds pieces we treasure across the country and tells of geography, history, pride and more: one of the seat boards from Massey Hall, a tiny bit of gold from his Maurice Rocket Richard’s Stanley Cup ring, and tells a moving story of one of the most rare & revered trees in Canada that embodies the spirit of a nation.

Plenary Sessions

  • Changing Climate, Asset Management, and Resiliency with Buried Infrastructure
    Darwin Durnie; Founder - Darwin Durnie Consulting Corp
  • Risks and Trends in Adult Learning
    Debbie Shelley; CEO – Director of Training with Global Training Centre
  • This Land is Your Land: Locating Trends Across Canada
    Michelle Tetreault; Executive Director with Alberta Common Ground Alliance


Break Out Sessions

  • Gordie Howe International Bridge Project
    Grant C. Hilbers; Director of Environmental, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects which will bring much-needed improvements to the movement of goods and people across the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. Join Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority to learn more about the design and construction approach to the bridge, two state-of-the-art ports of entry and Michigan Interchange connection.


  • Come One, Come All: Utility GIS Data Aggregation                                                                                                                     Doug Estok; Business Development Manager with OEC

To illustrate a successful collaborative damage prevention solution that we've been involved with for over a decade: aggregating networking data on behalf of utility stakeholders, municipalities, one call centers, locate service providers, excavators, and engineering firms. In doing so, we add situational awareness, improve data quality, and enhance safety.

This endeavor of cooperation between utility stakeholders is long overdue, and in everyone's best interest ... not only for damage prevention, but public safety as well. We will elaborate on how we got here, the process and its benefits, and why it's important to you, your infrastructure network, your company, and the community at large.


  • DIRT 2018: What are the results and what are we doing to change behavior?
    Nathalie Moreau; Executive Director Prevention and Public Affairs with Info-Excavation
    Richard Durrer; Reporting Specialist with Ontario One Call

How many damages per day in Canada??? We will review and give insights into the creation of the 2018 DIRT report while also giving more background on the data and assumptions used in creating it.  Come discuss about the past, present and future of the DIRT database, and potential ways to spread the message of damage prevention and educating the target groups on where we can all improve.


  • How does AI Improve Accuracy of Underground Locates?
    Denis Courchesne; President & CEO with Info-Excavation

With respect to the quality of information related to the location of underground infrastructures, the issues encountered today are closely connected to our prior knowledge. Owners of underground infrastructures have all experienced issues linked to the knowledge of where their infrastructures are precisely located.

In cooperation with one of its partners, Info-Excavation is currently working on a solution to deal with these issues. Using deep learning methods of artificial intelligence, this solution aims to accurately reposition underground infrastructures within the public right-of-way.

For several years, land markings have been made to locate certain sections of underground infrastructures. Unfortunately, owners hardly ever used this knowledge to update their system’s geospatial data referencing.

To improve the response to locate requests made by contractors related to future excavation projects, reduce the processing volume of these requests and diminish their inherent cost to owners of underground infrastructures, the quality of information known on these installations must be improved.

The goal of this initiative is to assess the use of automatic learning algorithms to help improve the process of locating underground infrastructures. The results of this multi-phased project as well as its intended use will be presented after each phase.


  • Identifying Occupational Health and Safety Risks Related to Damages to Underground Infrastructures
    Ingrid Peignier; Senior Director of Partnerships and Research Valorization with CIRANO (Center for Interuniversity Research
    and Analysis of Organizations)                                                                                                                                                  Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin; Full Professor, Polytechnique Montreal, Chief Executive Officer, CIRANO

This presentation will explain CIRANO’s latest study that aims to understand the risks to which workers are exposed in order to better adapt awareness-raising efforts and better target prevention measures. This demonstrates that damages to underground infrastructure create significant hazards for workers exposed to it.


  • Legislation Across Canada: Roundtable
    Michelle Tetreault; Executive Director with Alberta Common Ground Alliance
    Denis Courchesne; President & CEO with Info-Excavation
    Ravi Sundararaj; Senior Director, Infrastructure Assets Management with PSPC
    Dave Baspaly; Executive Director with British Columbia Common Ground Alliance 

This roundtable will be an interactive session to understand and discuss legislative pursuits across Canada including Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. Lean about lessons learned from Ontario Bill 8, the progress regional partners are making with provincial pursuits. and the status of Bill S229.


  • WATAY Project
    Margaret Kenequanash; CEO, Wataynikaneyap Power


  • Implementing CSA Z663-18: Addressing the limitations and gaps in stakeholder awareness and engagement                       Russ Leedham; Owner/Operations Manager, ProACTIVE Planning, Inc.                                                                                          Blaise Fontaine; Owner/Director of Engagement, ProACTIVE Planning, Inc.

The scope of current engagement practices dealing with land use planning in the vicinity of pipelines systems typically begins and ends with "consultation and inclusion" late in the planning process. We believe the solution lies within education on both sides of the pipeline - physically and administratively - by implementing the principles of CSA Z-663-18 and promoting "awareness through consistent and collaborative stakeholder communication early in the land use planning process." Our presentation examines case studies where awareness and early collaboration between stakeholders and pipeline operators was absent, explores the suggested formalization of roles and responsibilities for municipalities, and reviews emerging and recommended best practices in stakeholder engagement.


More break out sessions are being added! Check back for updates.


Présentation des conférenciers

Conférencier mercredi midi

Keith Brown

Entre l’aiguille et le risque

Keith Brown est un conférencier de renommée mondiale, un animateur VIP et un magicien qui, par ses prestations, a su inspirer les gens dans plus de 22 pays. Il a fait sa plus récente performance devant la première dame de l’Islande! Il a aussi donné une conférence lors d’un événement TEDx, et c’est un auteur à succès de renommée internationale sur Amazon. Il a été nommé « Meilleur magicien de Toronto », et ce, même s’il n’est pas originaire de Toronto. Outre ses tournées mondiales présentées au grand public où il fait salle comble, Keith forme des détenteurs de MBA des plus grandes universités ainsi que des chefs d’entreprise à communiquer efficacement ainsi qu’à donner des présentations à grand impact.


Après avoir présenté son spectacle où il avale une aiguille pendant plus d’une décennie, Keith a dû être hospitalisé à la suite d’un accident malheureux. Keith témoigne aujourd’hui des apprentissages faits en cours de route qui l’ont amené à réfléchir à la notion de risque et de persévérance. Apprenez comment Keith a mis en place des règles, des procédures et des stratégies pour minimiser les risques et ainsi éviter d’être de nouveau hospitalisé. Découvrez comment Keith a transformé un de ses plus grands échecs en une des plus grandes réussites de sa carrière !

Conférencier jeudi midi

Jowi Taylor

Six String Nation

Jowi Taylor est un entrepreneur culturel, un animateur radio primé et un patriote avant-gardiste. Six String Nation raconte « l’histoire du Canada comme vous ne l’avez jamais connu ». À l’aide d’une seule guitare nommée Voyageur, Jowi Taylor résume des anecdotes provenant de différentes cultures, communautés, personnages et événements de toutes les provinces et territoires du Canada. Son instrument devient à la fois pierre angulaire, bâton d’orateur et instrument vivant. La présentation offerte par Jowi va au-delà des stéréotypes culturels : une histoire envoûtante aussi profondément unique que chaque personne dans la salle, et aussi vaste qu’est le pays; une histoire très émouvante qui raconte la fabrication d’une guitare à partir de morceaux historiques et culturels de chaque province et de chaque territoire du Canada. Sa prestation est plus qu’une histoire sur la fabrication d’une guitare, c’est l’histoire et les enseignements qui ont façonné notre pays. La guitare Voyageur contient les morceaux et représente le trésor qui fait la richesse du Canada. Elle contient aussi de la géographie, de l’histoire, de la fierté et plus encore : un des sièges du Massey Hall, un morceau de la bague de la Coupe Stanley appartenant à Maurice « le Rocket » Richard, en plus de raconter l’histoire émouvante d’un des arbres les plus rares et les plus vénérés au Canada, l’arbre qui incarne l’esprit de la nation canadienne. 

Sessions plénières

Les changements climatiques, la gestion des actifs et la résilience en matière d’infrastructures souterraines
Darwin Durnie : Fondateur de l’entreprise Darwin Durnie Consulting Corporation

Les tendances et les risques associés à la formation professionnelle en continu
Debbie Shelley : Directrice générale et directrice de la formation chez Global Training Centre

Cette terre est la vôtre : les tendances en matière de localisation au Canada
Michelle Tetreault : Directrice générale chez le Common Ground Alliance de l’Alberta

Séances en atelier

Venez tous! — L’agrégation de données SIG des infrastructures de services publics
Doug Estok : Directeur, Développement des affaires chez OEC

ORDI 2018 — Quels sont les résultats du rapport? Que faisons-nous pour modifier les comportements?
Nathalie Moreau : Directrice générale, Prévention et affaires publiques chez Info-Excavation
Richard Durrer : Spécialiste en transmission de données chez Ontario One Call

Comment I A peut’il améliorer l’exactitude des localisations d’infrastructures souterraines?
Denis Courchesne : Président et Chef de la direction chez Info-Excavation

Identification des risques pour la santé et la sécurité au travail en lien avec les dommages aux infrastructures souterraines     
Ingrid Peignier : Directrice principale, Partenariats et valorisation de la recherche chez CIRANO (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche
en analyse des organisations)

La législation pour la prévention des dommages au Canada : Table ronde
Michelle Tetreault : Directrice générale chez Common Ground Alliance en Alberta
Denis Courchesne : Président et Chef de la direction chez Info-Excavation
Ravi Sundararaj : Directeur principal, Gestion des biens d’infrastructure chez Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada (SPAC)
Dave Baspaly : Directeur général chez Common Ground Alliance en Colombie-Britannique.

D’autres séances en atelier ont été ajoutées! Vérifiez le site Web afin de connaître les mises à jour.


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