WINNIPEG — Government, legal and medical analysis of big changes wrought by Manitoba-specific cannabis regulations, and a presentation by Constable Andrea Lefort of the Winnipeg Police service on active shooter situations, were on the agenda at the MHA Convention.
The two-day event held Oct. 22 and 23 at the Victoria Inn, Winnipeg, also featured a joint trade show including both the Manitoba Hotel Association and the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association for the second year in a row.
“The tradeshow went really well,” said Jerry Weir, MHA executive director. “We sold out the show floor again. The exhibitors had great booths, showcasing new foods and new technologies. There were a number of food products served in innovative ways.”
“It's great to be celebrating the 90 years of the association,” Jocelyn told CLN. “MHA has had a long, successful history. I feel humbled going to work. I have visited more than 400 hotels since I started there three years ago. I have no problem driving and seeing the properties. I see the challenges and it's more impactful.”
The conference kicked off on Oct. 22 with an annual general meeting, followed by an update on the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
The accessibility presentation was timely, as the first standard that accompanies The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, came into effect for private businesses including hotels Nov. 1. Yutta Fricke, executive director of the Disabilities Issues Office explained the customer service standard and provided tools and resources to help hoteliers with compliance.
Transformation architect Stephen de Groot, whose topic was, “Once upon an time, everyone ran to work excited,” really got the afternoon rolling, said Jocelyn of the lunchtime speaker. De Groot invited delegates to reflect on the moments in their careers when they felt most engaged, excited and passionate, and provided strategies to help hoteliers and their staff get energized.
“One of my office colleagues had seen him at a previous event, and he provided a really good take on staff motivation,” Jocelyn added.
The cannabis panel, sponsored by Western Financial Group Insurance, spoke about opportunities, regulations and duty of care, specific to Manitoba. The panel consisted of Rick Josephson, CEO, Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba; Mouna Hanna, lawyer, Dolden Wallace Folick, LLP; and Dr. Lyle Oberg, chief policy and medical officer for The Flowr Corporation, a licensed grower.
Constable Andrea Lefort of the Winnipeg Police Service provided an overview of how to respond if an active shooter enters your hotel, in a presentation aimed at helping hoteliers protect their customers and train their staff.
Other topics at the convention included a look at operating performance and transaction highlights for Manitoba from Carrie Russell of HVS. (See related story.) The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries panel provided updates and answered liquor and gaming questions.
The day finished with a Brewer's Reception sponsored by Labatt Brewing Company, and dinner and entertainment at Celebrations Dinner Theatre including a private performance of More Dirty Dancing.
The next morning, Kevin Donnelly, senior vice-president of True North Sports and Entertainment was on hand as some the the MHA's longest serving owners received MHA Quarter Century Awards. Award winners, pictured above, were Lee Guetre, Florence Osesky, Ron Osesky, Tom Caramanos and Manfred Boehm.