Thomas Edward (Tom) Stephenson


Joined the Department of Communications (DOC) in 1981. Left Industry Canada (IC) in 1996.

Entré au ministère des Communications (MDC) en 1981. A quitté Industrie Canada (IC) en 1996.


I was born in 1959 and grew up in Sudbury Ontario. I started with the DOC in the Northern Ontario District Office in Sault Ste. Marie in 1981 right out of the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Cambrian College in Sudbury.  The District Manager at the time was Norm Weese (he passed away a few years before I left).  George Collett was one of my supervisors – Sadly he just passed away a week ago, and Doug Slomke was another.  Mike McLarty was a senior inspector in the office when I started.  I was hired on along with Charles Rochon, who was posted in the Sudbury Sub Office, under Rick HansenGilles Rathier also started at our office a few months later, coming from Hull.  Others that started in our office over the next few years included Guy Roy, and Gerard Piette Steve Killeen also started in our district in the North Bay Sub Office.   


I left the position at the very beginning of 1996 looking for new challenges.  I got into business, starting an Internet Café in Sault Ste. Marie, then moved on to work and eventually own a startup ISP known as SooNet Corp.  I sold that business in 2002 and have since continued doing various entrepreneurial endeavours, including another small café operation, a year as a photo journalist with a local weekly, ownership of a small magazine operation here in Sault Ste. Marie called Townies, and currently do computer consulting work, web design, photography, some part time teaching at Sault College, and anything else that comes my way.


I spent my entire time at the DOC / Industry Canada in the Northern Ontario District Office in Sault Ste. Marie.  For the last few years I was seeking challenges and took to heart the buzz word of the day – “empowerment”.  I spent a few weeks a year teaching recruits from across the country, and also developed and delivered a training course for the TAS staff across Ontario.   Through my career I also maintained an interest in computer technology.  I had developed a DOS based program called “ENVPLOT” that graphically plotted the assigned spectrum and was being used in our office to assist with frequency assignment.  I rewrote the program in Visual Basic and renamed it “FreqShow” and began to demonstrate it to new recruits during training sessions.  The software was liked by my colleagues, but for some reason it was not being accepted by management.  Despite being “empowered”  I pretty well got my hands slapped, and had my “extracurricular duties” pulled by the District Director at the time.  I left employment with the government in frustration.


The 14 1/2 years I spent as a Radio Inspector were fun, but being an entrepreneur has been far more fun for me.  I do miss the regular paycheque and benefits though.


Tom Stephenson

29 March 2012


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