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Alan Coutts of Noront Resources will be one of the keynote speakers at a conference hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in early February. (Gino Donato/Sudbury Star file photo) On Feb. 6-7, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce will host its inaugural PEP (Procurement, Employment and Partnerships) conference and trade show at the Holiday Inn on Regent Street.

PEP is a two-day conference and trade show created to explore ways to grow the northern resource development and infrastructure sectors through innovative supply chain management. This will include a discussion of the advantages of partnerships; lessons from those who have successfully designed and executed local procurement frameworks; and sessions on how best to prepare our youth and the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

This event is presented by SNC Lavalin in partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).

“SNC Lavalin is extremely proud to be the presenting sponsor of the first ever PEP conference," said Stephen Lindley in a release. "As vice-president of Aboriginal and northern affairs at SNC, I have spent many years working to advance resource and infrastructure projects in Northern Ontario and I am proud of the partnerships and relationships we have built with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and businesses throughout Canada.”

As the resource and infrastructure sectors expand, the challenges associated with growing local and regional supply chains increases concurrently. As these projects continue to move forward, training and employing local indigenous and non-indigenous workers is crucial to the success of northern Ontario’s economic development.

The chamber is encouraging members of the business community to attend PEP so they can join the discussion of the challenges, barriers and opportunities for innovation that will help business adapt to a changing economy.

The PEP conference and trade show is the chamber’s largest event to date.

“This is the largest event the chamber has ever planned. With multiple keynote speakers, more than 20 panelists and several moderators, this conference should not be missed,” Michael Macnamara, chair of the board of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said. “The combination of panel discussions and concurrent sessions is a great way to hear directly from organizations that have successfully designed and executed local procurement frameworks, to take part in discussions about how we can address the skills mismatch, and to hear about the significant advantages of partnership.”

There are different ways to get involved with PEP: you can attend the conference, purchase a booth, attend the gala or become a sponsor. To learn more, visit

Keynote speakers include Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources; Phil Fontaine, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, who is also minister of energy.

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