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What you missed: Dominic Barton addresses our policy committees

On June 4, the Board held a dynamic event bringing together all four of our policy committees to learn about the accomplishments of each policy committee from the past year, in addition to an address from our esteemed guest speaker, Dominic Barton, on current considerations for businesses.

To kick-off the morning, Kevin Teslyk, Co-Vice-Chair of our Board of Directors and Chair of the Board's Policy & Advocacy Committee, delivered opening remarks on the importance of business preparedness at a time full of political and economic uncertainty. Dominic Barton, Former Ambassador of Canada to the People's Republic of China built on this idea in his remarks, speaking to the myriad forces bearing down on the business community.

Barton emphasized that the current transition to clean and renewable energy sources is an opportunity for businesses to remain ahead of the curve. He spoke about the implications of artificial intelligence on business operations, and the importance of building region-to-region partnerships to foster improved international collaboration.

In a conversation with Amanda Galbraith, Co-founder and Partner, Oyster Group, Barton underscored that productivity is not just about businesses, but quality of life. He urged the business leaders in the room to ask themselves if their companies were being ambitious enough, and if not, how they can change the beliefs holding them back. He noted that our region has the “ingredients for success” to drive our productivity and build our GDP per capita, but a lack of ambition and bold vision continues to impede us from reaching our true potential.

To wrap up the event, the policy committees convened individually to discuss the ongoing work of each respective group. Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs then took to the stage to share key wins from their individual committee's work from the year. These included:

  • The Transportation, Infrastructure and Land Use Committee: Milestone advocacy win on fare integration earlier this year and how the Board will continue to convene leaders in the housing and employment lands space. 
  • The Energy & Climate Committee: Over the next 25 years, energy demand will double, and key committee advocacy related to long-term energy planning and an energy project “concierge” service can help fast track regulatory processes and project approvals. 
  • The Talent Ecosystem Committee: Supporting the development of a regional industry forum to improve relationships between post-secondary institutions and employers.
  • Innovation Economy Committee: Innovation is the connective tissue between all these focus areas, and continuing to bolster productivity as a key driver of our local and national economy will remain a focus into next year.

Pictured L-R: Steve Dyck, VP Ontario Government Relations - AtkinsRéalis and Chair of the Transportation, Infrastructure & Land Use Committee. Faisal Kazi, President & CEO - Siemens Canada and Vice-Chair of the Energy & Climate Committee. Roselle Martino, Executive VP Policy, Advocacy, and Stakeholder Engagement - TRBOT (on behalf of the Talent Ecosystem Committee), Padraic Foley, Director, Strategy & Partnerships - Acceleration Consortium and Chair of the Innovation Economy Committee

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