New Year and new beginnings: a paradigm shift

Nicole McNeill, MPAC President & CAO sitting in a board room with an employee.

From the President & CAO

Happy New Year to everyone. What a year 2020 was, and while I’ve heard a lot of people say they can’t wait to say goodbye to 2020, my thoughts are let’s embrace the journey we all just had, and use its difficulties and challenges as a position of strength as we enter 2021.

Often, we start the new year by making new resolutions and plans – turning the page on our personal and professional lives – and building off the year prior, starting off strong. While we push ourselves to meet our refreshed goals, we also need to have compassion toward ourselves when these goals change direction. 

Reflecting on last year, it was undoubtedly a paradigm shift where the pandemic changed the concepts and practices of how we accomplish our goals. For the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), we imagined, innovated and have been more inspired than we could have planned for. 

I like to remind myself that it is the journey, not the destination. Over the past 20 years, MPAC has grown to be a leader on a global stage. In 2021, our journey continues. For example, while we’re not out there doing interior inspections just yet, our Valuation team continues to do what they do best – valuing Ontario, albeit in a new or innovative way. All the work we did in the past couple of years to prepare for the province-wide reassessment will serve us well when we are ready for the next one. We’re doing things differently for the better, and are still an accountable, transparent and customer-focused organization. 

Most important is our people and culture. The first pillar in MPAC’s Strategic Plan is “Investing in People” – as part of this, my investment to the organization is keeping mental health and wellness a priority.

We need to give ourselves the permission to heal and respect our limits, permission to acknowledge when we aren’t feeling our best, especially with the year we had in 2020. Self-care is more important than ever. Staying active, eating healthy, taking time to relax and getting enough sleep are my self-care basics. 

A year ago, we put mental health and well-being at the forefront on Bell Let’s Talk Day. This year, on January 28, we’re proud to do it again with TSN Sports Journalist, Michael Landsberg, who speaks publicly about his personal battle with depression to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. 

We’re continuing with our regular all-employee virtual meetings that have helped to keep employees connected while working remotely. They’ve created opportunities for meaningful conversations and we’ll continue to listen to employees about the topics they want to hear about. 

We’re also not losing sight of the three guiding principles that worked for us as an organization for all our decision making. I’ve seen an incredible amount of resilience and flexibility across our organization as a result. 

Our employees shape the culture and they are the reason why MPAC is one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2021. I’m extremely grateful for our employees, partners and everyone on the front lines that are working together to keep us safe and healthy. Cheers to the New Year!

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