On July 1, 2017, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday. We, as a country, looked back on 150 years of history and culture and, together, acknowledged and celebrated the accomplishments that we worked hard for and achieved.

A few weeks prior, on June 21, 2017, we also celebrated National Aboriginal Day – or National Indigenous Peoples Day as it will now be known. Some wonder why June 21st was chosen by Canada for this day.  In fact, June 21st is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and a day of cultural significance for many Indigenous cultures across Canada.

National Indigenous People’s Day is recognition and healing, about honouring the past, good and bad, and about looking forward with hope and action. It is one day. And yet, at PQA  and PLATO Testing, every day presents an opportunity to honour the past, live in the moment, and look forward to the future with hope and a new optimism.

It has been over 18 months since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission tabled its final report to Parliament and the Canadian People. This report represents an important chapter for all Canadians. It is a document which acknowledges that the promise of Canada has not been shared equally and that our great country’s creation is often not viewed as a cause for celebration by our First Peoples.  It is a document which acknowledges and honours the past, while providing a vision and recommendations for a better future.

This is where PLATO Testing and the transformation that has taken place with PQA Testing come in. Very few companies in Canada are doing what PLATO and PQA are doing. PLATO Testing began as an idea – a company could be created that would provide opportunities for Indigenous Canadians to pursue real careers in Information Technology.  Powered and supported by PQA Testing and strengthened with partnerships with College Communautaire du Nouveau Brunswick (CCNB) and the New Brunswick Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), the vision of PLATO Testing has been refined to include training and investment in people, and the pursuit of testing excellence.

This idea has now been transformed into a national Canadian company. PLATO Testing has trained, and now employs, more than 50 full time, Indigenous Canadian professional software testers. Collectively, we are competing with the world to win testing contracts and bring testing jobs back to Canada from the Global Economy. We are learning what other countries already know – that the purchase of testing services is dependent on the quality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness of the team doing the work.

PLATO and PQA are helping to level the playing field and we are showing that social change can be driven by a private sector company. Not only that, but the company is designed to employ talented individuals who are not looking for charitable contracts; PLATO testing’s work speaks for itself and this is why the company is positioned to make a lasting change in communities, in business, and technology over the next 10, 20, 30 years.

We are honouring the past through the investment in our people. And we are looking forward to a changed and better future through working together and delivering quality services for our clients. As we reflect on two important celebrations over the past month, we are immensely excited about the future. As the tremendously important conversation about implementing reconciliation continues to gain momentum, PQA and PLATO Testing aspire to assist in balancing business efficiencies through testing while maximizing the social benefit.

Denis Carignan is the President and COO of PLATO Testing, responsible for ensuring that PLATO Testing’s vision and strategies are being implemented across all regions. Denis is a professional public servant specializing in Aboriginal program management. Denis has devoted his career to working with First Nations and Aboriginal communities and organizations and has worked in throughout Saskatchewan as well as in Atlantic Canada. A member of the Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan, Denis has a strong understanding of Aboriginal culture, community make-up as well as historical and contemporary issues and challenges. Denis recently re-certified his French Language Certification (July 2015) and achieved a rating of CCC and was a participant and Study Group Co-Chair for the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.


Categories: PLATO Testing