The Comptrollership Training Centre is excited to report that the first annual Comptrollership Training Symposium was a resounding success. Originally planned as a day-long conference, the symposium was transformed to a digital event spread over two half-days in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the change in format, the symposium saw more than 350 attendees streaming live and robust online participation from the crowd.   

The CT Symposium kicked off with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who held an armchair discussion on leadership and trust hosted by ACFO-ACAF Vice-President Natacha Ruiz Tardif. Prime Minister Mulroney drew on his own experience to share fascinating insights on leading in difficult situations, finding common ground for compromise and the importance of decisive action.  

Prime Minister Mulroney was certainly a tough act to follow, but Associate Deputy Minister of Transport Canada, Arun Thangaraj, proved he was more than up to the challenge with his incisive, thoughtful talk on The CT as Trusted Advisor. He spoke about how CTs can build trust throughout their career and the importance of taking both risks and responsibility.   

Rounding out the first day of the symposium was an energetic, impassioned presentation by public speaker Sylvain Boudreau titled “Le Moi, Inc” on the importance of building your personal brand.  

Day 2 of the symposium began with an interactive presentation on how to build business relationships by internationally recognized author and speaker Debra Fine. Through a mix of practical tips, attendee participation and personal insights, she demonstrated how even the biggest introverts can engage with others and build their professional relationships.   

Following this presentation was a lively, instructive panel hosted by ACFO-ACAF President Dany Richard on the importance of relationships in the public sector. Panelists for this roundtable included Cheri Crosby, the Chief Financial Officer of Department of National Defence; Ram Mathilakath, the Director General, Planning and Engagement, of Shared Services Canada; and former ACFO-ACAF President Milt Isaacs.  

Finally, former NDP MP David Christopherson closed out the event with an enthusiastic, fresh and no-nonsense perspective on the relationship between public servants and politicians and provided valuable information on the innerworkings of Parliamentary committee meetings.  

We thank everyone who attended this year’s event and those who participated and asked questions to our speakers. We hope to see you at the 2021 Comptrollership Training Symposium next fall.