Feds Paid $33K For Pep Talks

A motivational speaker who advises clients not to listen to news media has received tens of thousands of dollars in contracts from Employment Canada, according to newly-released records. Payments included $13,703 for services delivered on the same day, last March 31. Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre did not comment.

Darci Lang, a Regina businesswoman who co-produces a yearly bridal fair with her husband Darren, was awarded $33,037 in untendered contracts as a motivational speaker last year. Blacklock’s was unable to reach Lang despite repeated attempts.

The employment department did not explain the purpose of Lang’s speeches. In blogs and videos posted on YouTube, Lang urges audiences to manage “negative” people and ignore media. “If you have a company where your employees are required to drive a lot, I recommend that you buy those drivers stacks of motivational CDs to listen to while they drive,” Lang wrote in one commentary. “So often people say they listen to the news while they drive. How can we create a motivated group of employees when all we listen to is how terrible the world is?”

Lang wrote in another blog entry, “I think every Canadian newscaster should end every newscast like this: ‘You have just heard how the other half of the world lives in fear, war and famine. Now, I want you to turn off your radio, turn off your TV and go into your life in Canada and be so grateful for what you have.’ Some of the happiest people I have met lived somewhere that was not as great as Canada.”

Financial records tabled in the Commons indicate Employment Canada also paid $4,200 to Independence Inc., a Winnipeg consultant, for “coaching for a senior advisor to the assistant deputy minister”. And $13,263 was paid to another motivator, Michael T. Chase, for services including a speech entitled Putting Clients First.

Know Any Complainers?

Payments to Lang’s Regina company XL Enterprises Inc. were the largest of their kind for motivational speeches last March 31; again on May 7; October 16 and last December 5. “Have you ever met anyone who complains?” Lang asks in one YouTube video posted on her website.

“I’m sure you agree with me, a negative person can bring down the whole community,” says Lang, who urges listeners to accentuate the positive: “I don’t think the customer is always right. I think ten percent of the time they are cranky and unreasonable. But where do we give our power? Who do we talk about?”

“Imagine for me that you held a magnifying lens out in front of you in your life, and imagine that you had a choice what you focused that magnifying glass on – what I like to call the 90 percents, the positive aspects of your life, or the not-so-positive 10 percent,” Lang says; “What do you do with people that are unhappy? Here’s what I’ve learned. I’ve learned I can’t change them; I can only change me.”

Employment Canada offered no explanation on why Lang was hired, or who she was expected to motivate. Lang is a former tuxedo rental store owner and 1997 Saskatchewan Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year. Her company organizes a yearly Most Incredible Bridle Show in Regina, “a day full of the latest in wedding trends, fashions and supplies,” described by the Regina Leader Post as “the biggest wedding show in Saskatchewan”.

By Tom Korski

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