The Blog


Justin Trudeau’s surprise action of expelling senators from the Liberal caucus appears to be a brilliant opening move in the political chess game that is on-going in Ottawa.

In one deft move he has established his credentials as a leader. The reaction around our office was: “Wow! That is pretty cool! Match that one, Mr. Harper!”

His simple, clear decision has changed the Senate game and, to my mind, demonstrated that he is a serious contender in the coming political battles.

Justin Trudeau’s decision has:

  • changed the game in Ottawa;
  • got everyone talking – he has wrestled the agenda from the PMO;
  • amused people by the blatancy and novelty of his decision;
  • shown a political brazenness that people would not have suspected of him;
  • demonstrated political selflessness and shrewdness;
  • acted in a manner that may win the approval of many Canadians;
  • demonstrated a level of assertiveness, courage and clarity as found in an effective leader.

He has dared to manage.

Nick Forrest

My last blog was impassioned, occasioned by the pain the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) inflicts on passengers passing through Pearson Airport.

The cause of this highly visible incompetence is the creation of an organization that provides its employees with no clarity around work roles and, even worse, gives them no authority to carry out their work. A role that exists without the necessary authority is simply unfair and virtually ensures job failure. It is not possible to hold an employee accountable for a level of work if this work has not been clearly defined.

To experience the frustration this lack of management inflicts on passengers, I dare you to fly into Toronto on a Sunday evening, arriving on an international flight. Once through immigration, you are destined to wait for your baggage (my longest wait last year was an hour and a half, my shortest was 35 minutes).  There are no information announcements, no employees are readily available to assuage and inform passengers of the situation, and when you finally track an employee down, they blame the airline. Managers are invisible.

As I say in my book, how dare the CEOs manage this way and inflict such pain on their employees… not to mention on their customers – the passengers!

Nick Forrest

This week Canadians who had the dubious pleasure of flying in and out of Lester B. Pearson airport were exposed to a series of exasperating and seemingly incompetent moves by airport officials. Thousands of travelers had their plans disrupted: there were cancellations and delays galore; luggage was lost or retained without explanation; contradictory messages from those “in charge” abounded.

Then we heard that Howard Eng, the CEO of the GTAA, was not prepared to be forthcoming on what had gone wrong. In my world, the CEO is accountable for everything – yes, everything. And if he has not put the necessary systems and processes and a framework in place to enable smooth operations, that’s indefensible.

For instance, when there is an unexplained two-hour delay with the luggage carousels in the summer, that’s a failure – let along a two-day delay in the winter!

And please don’t give as an excuse the weather. Do we not live in Canada? Is this not winter? Yes, storms occur, but when the GTAA fails to competently manage the situation, that’s plain wrong.

Officials at the GTAA have even used as an excuse that unloading larger planes has caused the luggage woes.  Pardon me, I thought Toronto is a world class city. Can the GTAA not accommodate large planes? Heathrow doesn’t have these issues, so why do we?

Nick Forrest