An Inclusive Approach
For Debbache, being inclusive is something he learned at a young age. His family moved to the United Arab Emirates, which is populated by 192 nationalities, from Algeria when he was 8 years old. He quickly adapted by learning Arabic and English, and he picked up on the importance of listening.
“For me, being inclusive means being open to hear the other person, especially when someone is being negative. You learn more when someone complains than when they’re happy,” he says. “Usually there’s a reason for the complaint, and it’s important to understand their point of view.”
It was his open attitude that led Debbache to Canada from the UAE in the first place. When exploring his options for university, he didn’t want to set geographic limits. He chose Western University in London, Ontario, for its unique program that allowed him to complete a double minor in biochemical and environmental engineering in addition to his major in chemical engineering.
Debbache completed an internship at a Canadian energy company and briefly considered returning to the UAE for a job in oil and gas after he graduated. However, he loved the Canadian experience. “I see myself here, and everyone makes me feel welcome,” he says. “I love the four seasons. I’ve even tried ice fishing, which didn’t even sound like a real thing when I first heard about it.”
Though early in his career, Debbache already is an important contributor at the mill. “Hassen has become a key player on our team by bringing a true collaborative approach to his work,” says Cyr. “We deal with complex challenges in our operations. His critical thinking and his adaptability help us meet these challenges in a sustainable way.”