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So long, and thanks for all the fish: Saying goodbye to Talent Canada and OHS Canada

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April 30, 2024
By Todd Humber

Health and safety is one of the best beats in B2B journalism. If you knew me about 10 years ago, when I was still the editor-in-chief and publisher of Canadian HR Reporter and its family of workplace publications, that statement would have shocked you.

Thomson Reuters, the media company I worked for at the time, had purchased a health and safety magazine and I found the stories to be a little technical and dry compared to the other workplace coverage we were doing.

There was lots of ink spilled talking about properly fitting N95s, confined space rules, and arguments over what type of FR fabric was the best. I think I yawned on a few occasions while reading the copy.

But I can admit when I’m wrong. And, boy, was I wrong. It didn’t take long to figure out what a gem of a profession workplace safety is — and it was the people doing the work that convinced me. Search as long as you want, but you’ll never find a group of people more passionate about their careers.


That’s for a good reason. I hate spewing cliches (mostly) but you can’t talk about OHS without stating the obvious: In the workplace, there is no more important job than ensuring everyone goes home safe at the end of the day.

While I still love writing about HR issues, there is a veil that can be tough to be pierce in that profession. Not everyone is willing to share their trade secrets, to open up about what is and isn’t working at their company, for fear of either losing a competitive edge or landing in some hot legal water.

But safety? The minute somebody figures out a way to keep people safer, they start talking about it as loudly and as often as they can. As a journalist, that’s a godsend. There are no state secrets in the world of safety, just a community of caring and dedicated professionals who want to keep raising the bar.

This is my last issue as senior editor of OHS Canada. I’m also hanging up my hat at Talent Canada.

It’s been a fun ride working with a great team at Annex Business Media. That starts at the top with the leadership of CEO Scott Jamieson, who trusted me to join the senior management team as a group publisher in 2019, and didn’t bat too many eyes when I decided to step down and get back to my writing roots.

It extends to senior publisher Paul Burton, who has become a good friend both inside and outside the workplace walls. He’s always pointing the ship in the right direction, and if you’re looking for someone to sit beside for a post-conference pint, he’s tough to beat.

Silvana Maiolo, the national brand sales manager, always has a smile on her face — despite my constant sarcastic barbs. She has a great sense of humour, and a terrible sense of direction. If you ask her to meet you at taco stand in San Diego 10 minutes from her hotel, get comfortable. It’s gonna be a while.

It’s always dangerous to start naming names, because I’ll run out of room, but a special nod to Graham Jeffrey, the designer behind the look and feel of this issue. And Cheryl Fisher, the account co-ordinator for OHS Canada, who is that magic behind-the-scenes person that makes everything hum.

The headline of this column may have confused you. If it doesn’t, congratulations. You’re in on the inside joke.

If not, I’ll spill the beans. I stole it from John Hobel, the former publisher of Canadian HR Reporter. He was a massive fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I had never read the series, and was flummoxed by the headline when he handed in his very last column for editing. He lectured me for not reading it, and promptly lent me his copy.

Uttered by the dolphins on their departure from Earth as it was being demolished to make way for an intergalactic bypass, it remains a favourite way to say goodbye.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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