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Jonathan Thibault

Employee Profile: Jonathan Thibault
Manager, Economics, Data and Research

Jonathan Thibault describes himself as an “all or nothing” kind of guy.

The third of four boys (all close in age), he grew up in Ottawa’s west end surrounded by friends and family, and almost constantly playing sports.

As a kid, it was hockey in the winter; soccer in the summer.

And, later, he added snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing to the mix.

So, those closest to him weren’t surprised that, when he started training for strong man competitions a couple of year ago, he went all in; he lifted as many logs, stones, and sandbags as he could.

Work-wise, Jonathan flexes his mental muscle as an economist who enjoys giving meaning to data.

Passionate about developmental and international economics, Jonathan has worked on trade, competitiveness, and growth files for most of his career.

Working first at a think-tank and most recently at Ontario’s ministry of finance, he says he quickly realized the value of the ‘KISS principle’ and relished the challenge of simplifying large amounts of sometimes disparate data point into clear, cohesive, and relatable messages.

His knack for data analysis and synthesis make him a natural fit at the Railway Association of Canada, which he joined in September 2020.

Drawn to the economics of the rail industry, Jonathan now gathers, crunches, and presents data of all types from for various initiatives, including high-profile publications like Rail Trends and the Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Report.

“I love taking data and deriving insights on an industry that’s as important to Canada’s wellbeing and future as rail is. It’s to the point that numbers and datapoints now make their way into my dinner conversations at home.”

And dinner is a big deal at Jonathan’s house.

Adventures in cooking are outlets for his culinary creativity, which is decidedly less orderly than the rigours of data collection and synthesis.

“I don’t follow recipes,” he admits, as he navigates some household food allergies to create meals including what he calls “epic breakfasts.”

While Jonathan does most of the meal prep, his wife Katie is the baker of the family.

The couple recently moved into a new home, have two dogs (a Yorkshire Terrier and a Pomeranian), and are excited to welcome their first child in the spring.

The heavy lifting, it seems, is just beginning…

Find out more about other RAC Staff Members.