Collaboration: The competitive edge to economic growth for metropolitan regions

2016 Collaborate to Compete logo


By Ruby Gill, Communications and Marketing Advisor

What is Collaborate to Compete?

Regional collaboration is the key to staying competitive in the world economy of the future.

Collaborate to Compete is a Canada-based network of metropolitan regions generating knowledge and promoting regional collaboration to improve Canadian competitiveness.

The focus is to increase regional networks  across Canada and North America through shared experiences and best practices.


Fourth Annual Collaborate to Compete 2016

On June 2, 2016, Canada’s leading regional thinkers and forward-looking regional-plan adopters gathered in Winnipeg.

This year’s Collaborate to Compete focus was Metropolitan Regions: Driving the Global Economy

Attendees and speakers came from municipal governments, metro-regions, industry, transit organizations, and more. Their common interest? Regional collaboration as the path to the future.

Keep reading to learn more about the 2016 Collaborate to Compete.

Posted in Uncategorized

2015 Cargo Logistics Conference: Regional collaboration at work

The Calgary Region was well represented at the 2015 Cargo Logistics Conference in Vancouver.  Participation was to attract business and investment to the Calgary Region from North America’s transportation, supply chain and logistics industry.

Watch the Calgary Region attendees discuss the role of collaboration at the Conference:


Key takeaways from the Cargo Logistics Conference:

  • Success with the new inbound marketing approach and the ebook in helping generate leads of businesses looking to invest in the Calgary Region (0:04)
  • Awareness of the benefits for importers and distributors looking to do business in the Region (0:46)
  • Success with the collaborative approach with all partners working as a team representing the Calgary Region (0:56)
  • Connect with the sector leaders in transportation and logistics all at the same place to understand (1:31) :
    • ports on the coast,
    • carriers moving goods into the interior
    • how products are distributed across Western Canada
  • Collaborative approach seen as a success by industry and business (2:02)
  • Connecting with the ports across Canada to explore opportunities (2:42)

The event was a success for the Calgary Region with numerous leads acquired, many new connections gained and collaboration opportunities opened with many organizations in the supply chain, logistics and transportation sector.


Representatives at the Calgary Region booth:

Calgary Logistics Council

Van Horne Institute

City of Calgary – Office of Land Servicing and Housing

Calgary Economic Development

Calgary Regional Partnership


This article was originally posted on Calgary Region Focus February 13, 2015.

Why Canadian metropolitan regions are the new economic drivers

Why must Canadian metropolitan region’s work together to be successful in a global market? How do we leverage our resources to attract businesses, investment and people to our Region?

We looked for these answers at the Collaborate to Compete event in Niagara Falls, Ontario in May 2014.

Metropolitan region’s across Western Canada listened and learned from other North American regions who have been successful in acquiring talent and attracting business to their communities.

The event was the third annual gathering of an emerging Network of Canadian Metropolitan Regions.

Through the leadership of the Calgary Regional Partnership, Capital Region Board and Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region, the event was successful in showing how metropolitan regions can be successful economic drivers both for their communities and across the country.

Our guests included:

  • Kenny McDonald, Chief Economic Officer, Columbus Region
  • John O’Grady, Franklin County Commissioner, Columbus Region
  • Tiffany Melvin, Executive Director, North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO)
  • Tom Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
  • Allan Wallis, Associate Professior, University of Colorado Denver

Speaker presentations

Watch the presentation and their slides from our guests who describe how their regions collaborate:

Kenny McDonald – Columbus Region

Janet Holder

Janet Holder

Janet Holder works at Enbridge as the Executive Vice President, Western Access, Enbridge and Northern Gateway Pipeline Project Lead.

Janet Holder has held many different senior leadership roles at Enbridge Inc. Her current role as Leader of Northern Gateway she has faced some significant challenges, both personal and professional. Reflect back with Janet who will share stories about mentorship, leadership and the many lessons learned though her leadership experiences.

A native British Columbian, Janet Holder has been a leader in Canada’s corporate community for over 20 years. In December, 2013, Janet was named to the Women’s Executive Network Canada’s top 100 Most Powerful Women – the third time she has been tapped for that honour.

In 2011, Janet moved back to her hometown of Prince George to head up the Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

Prior to taking on her new role, she served in a number of senior executive roles for Enbridge, including President of Gas Distribution in Toronto. A one-time competitive weight lifter, a chemical engineer, and scuba diver.

Calgary Region as a Transportation Hub

Never heard of logistics and supply chain? It affects you more than you know

By Suzanne Wilton, Content Contributor

Why are logistics and supply chain important?Distribution Centre

It’s the third morning in a row the school bus hasn’t shown up and Gerald’s had to drive his daughter to Grade 1.

It’s not only an inconvenience, it could cost him his job as a financial analyst in the city, which is already an hour-long commute from the bedroom community where he lives with his wife and two kids.

Now, the school is talking about cutting bus service altogether, partly because the service can’t find enough drivers, but also because it’s just becoming too expensive.

The community’s tax base can no longer support it.

Everyone is moving to the city to find jobs and Gerald wonders whether he’ll be forced to as well.

Gerald’s story is fictitious but the scenario is all too real for some Calgary-area communities because of a looming shortage in the logistics and supply chain sector.

External Resources

North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO)

North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) is a tri-national coalition of governments, businesses and educational institutions driven by a common interest in collaboration along key freight, energy and trade networks. Founded in 1994, NASCO encourages North America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Brookings Institute – Metropolitan Policy Program

The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings is redefining the challenges facing metropolitan America and identifying assets and promoting innovative solutions to help communities grow in more productive, inclusive, and sustainable ways.

Lincoln Institute for Land Policy

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is the leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the Lincoln Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy. Our work is organized into three areas of study:

University of Alberta: City-Region Studies Centre

The City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) is a University of Alberta research unit that engages with communities to explore the nature of towns, cities, and regions. CRSC is one of the only centres in North America to focus on regional research.

Sustainable Cities Collective

Sustainable Cities Collective is an editorially independent, moderated community for leaders of major metropolitan areas, urban planning and sustainability professionals. We look to aggregate content and provide resources for all who work in or are interested in urban planning, sustainable development and urban economics. Looking at issues such as transportation, building practices, community planning & development, education, water, health and infrastructure, we hope to create a community where people can get involved and learn about the advances in how cities are becoming smarter and greener in the 21st century.

Van Horne Institute

The Van Horne Institute is recognized within Canada and internationally as a leading institute of public policy, education, and research in transportation, supply chain and logistics, and regulated industries.

The Van Horne Institute assists industry, government, and the public in addressing issues affecting transportation, supply chain management and logistics and regulated industries in all areas of carriage relevant to the well-being and growth of industry and commerce.

Efficient and low-cost supply chain and logistics services are essential to both industry and the public in our geographically large country, so the evolution of sound industrial strategy, public policy, and progressive legislation and regulations are increasing in importance as business moves further towards globalization. Industry needs to be innovative to compete.

One of the key success drivers for the Institute is the development of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Supply Chain Management and Logistics. Other areas of significance include the Centre for Information & Communication’s Digital Futures rural broadband project and its broader relation to advanced network and information technologies.