Manager of Business Development and Strategic Planning
After five years as a radio and TV journalist, in 1975 Bill Hickey joined the Department of Employment and Immigration as a communications officer, commencing a 35 year career with Canada’s public service, based in Newfoundland and Labrador. After a year, he transferred to that department’s employment development branch as a project officer responsible for the administration of community development projects. That program entailed negotiating project details with MP-appointed community committees, providing management support to project participants, and auditing the projects.
In 1979, he was recruited by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as manager of the Canadian Home Insulation Program. In that position, he was responsible for program management as well as the promotion of the program to industry, interest groups, the public and the media.
In 1982 he was the successful applicant in a national competition for the position of Regional Public Affairs Manager with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (EM&R). This position rapidly evolved into providing issues management and communications support in the aftermath of the sinking of the Ocean Ranger drilling rig. His role developed into providing public environmental advice during the resolution of the federal-provincial dispute over offshore petroleum ownership.
When the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board was established in 1984, Mr. Hickey was one of two federal managers who transferred to the Board. For the following six years, his principal responsibility was communications with governments, the industry, interest groups, and the public.
In 1992, he returned to EM&R, now Natural Resources Canada, as the regional Manager of Corporate Affairs, a position primarily focused on liaison and consultation with the natural resources industries, the provincial government and other federal departments.
NL’s cod moratoria were established in 1992 and for almost two years, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans temporarily assigned a number of senior communications managers to St. John’s to deal with the ensuing issues. In 1984 Bill was recruited to fill the position of Director of Communications, the start of twelve years with that department. As the communications challenges related to the moratoria, and other matters, decreased over several years, the imperative to deal with the impending Y2k issue offered the opportunity to further develop project management skills as the Y2k Director for both DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard. Among the learning experiences associated with that position was the transition of a myriad of databases into the Oracle® data management environment.
Following the Y2k program, and with a view to post-retirement, Mr. Hickey took assignments related to policy issues, as a Manager of Strategic Planning and then as a Senior Policy Advisor, the position from which he retired in 2006.
Following retirement, Bill established Tamarack Enterprises Inc., a company primarily involved in consultation and public policy matters. Among the contracts undertaken have been a review of the ocean regulatory environment on the South Coast; a study of the aquaculture industry; drafting NL’s new Minerals Strategy; a review of the quarrying regulatory system; and management of a BCIP project.