Conversations with Power
Experience lectures from our archive.
Established in 1903, as a response to Canadian political unrest, the Empire Club ofCanada (ECC) quickly became a leading speakers’ forum. Beginning with speeches to address Canada’s relationships with the British Empire and the United States, the ECCcontinues to tackle issues that affect the lives of Canadians.
The club invites speakers to present various perspectives—including those that may not be popular but should be heard. Since its inception, the ECC has hosted 3500prominent Canadian and international leaders, including Prince Edward, the Prince ofWales (later Edward VIII), Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn,Margaret Mead, Christopher Plumber, Roberta Bondar, Maureen Forrester, AdrienneClarkson, Margaret Thatcher, Vladamir Putin and Bill Gates, to name but a few. Topics encompass business, politics, education, trade, labour, culture, international issues, as well as, other relevant topics that emerge.
Get up close and personal to the most relevant issues of the day and network with other like minded members.
Topic: The Future of Housing in the GTA: Challenges and Opportunities
Join us for this signature evening panel discussion that will provide attendees with the insider perspective on what the GTA’s housing of tomorrow will look like, and how affordable it will be. Panelists will discuss many of the most important topics in today’s housing industry including the evolving needs of millennial and senior populations; the impact of innovation in community planning and homebuilding; and the ideal relationship between the government and home-builders.
Joe Vaccaro is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Home Builders' Association. In the summer of 2013, Joe Vaccaro was named Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. Prior to that, Mr. Vaccaro acted as OHBA’s Chief Operating Officer, after serving as the VP of Policy and Government Relations at the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). AS CEO, Mr. Vaccaro oversees operations of the Ontario-wide organization which is comprised of 4,000-member companies organized into 29 local associations representing professionals within the new home and renovation industry. OHBA is focused on improving new housing affordability and choice for Ontario’s new home purchasers and renovation consumers by positively impacting provincial legislation, regulation and policy that affect the industry.
Prior to his industry association career path, Mr. Vaccaro served as a senior advisor and assistant to the Ministers of Economic Development and Trade, Chair of Management Board and the Minister of Government Services.
A graduate of York University where he received his Honours Degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy, Mr. Vaccaro identifies his summers working in the family residential framing and new construction business as shaping his understanding and appreciation for the social, economic and environmental impact the building and land development industry has on local, provincial and federal public policy development and decisions.
First elected in 2010, Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 18, Davenport and Toronto's Housing Advocate. When asked to Chair the Affordable Housing Committee in her first term, it was at a time when external housing funding was shrinking. Ana has since created new opportunities by reducing obstacles and providing new City incentives for the private and non-profit sectors to build affordable housing. A dynamic and energetic voice for women, low-income families, and new Canadians, Deputy Mayor Bailão has used her years of experience to deliver results and create communities where people can live, work, and play.
Riz Dhanji is a Sales and Marketing specialist responsible for over $3 billion in sales and 11,000 condominium units sold. Notable projects include Canada's Tallest Condominium at 80 storeys- Aura at College Park, DNA Condos in King West, and YC Condos at Yonge and College. Selling some of Toronto's most prominent projects for Builders across the GTA under RAD Marketing. Responsible for the sales and marketing for Canderel Residential's projects across Canada, including Tour des Canadiens 1,2,and 3 – the most successful condominium developments in Montreal's history.
Jason Mercer is the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels. He leads TREB’s market analysis program that provides products and services that help REALTORS® and their clients fully understand trends in the GTA housing market and underlying economic drivers. Jason also manages the delivery of information and data products to the TREB Membership and Member support functions including the Stratus Help Desk and MLS Services.
Jason has private and public sector experience in the real estate industry, having previously held positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science in Planning degree from the University of Toronto.
Chris Spoke is the Founder and Executive Director of Housing Matters, where he leads an outstanding team of staff and volunteers to advocate for greater housing availability and affordability in Toronto. Prior to Housing Matters, Chris worked as a Software Project Manager for industry-leading digital agencies. Chris holds an B.Soc.Sc. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Ottawa.
Topic: 21st Century Yukon: Reconciliation and a Modern Economy
Progressing the territory through strengthening government-to-government relationships with First Nations and attracting world-class resource investment has made the Yukon’s economy one of the fastest growing in Canada. Premier Sandy Silver will unveil the great potential this new Yukon means to a breadth of sectors.
Biography: Sandy Silver was first elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly as MLA for Klondike in 2011, and re-elected in 2016. He is proud to serve the constituents of Klondike. To represent the riding effectively, Sandy works closely with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, the City of Dawson, the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, the Klondike Placer Miner’s Association, and other non-profit organizations.
As the leader of the Yukon Liberal Party, Sandy assembled a strong team of outstanding candidates, which saw the Yukon Liberal Caucus grow from a single member in 2011 to a Yukon Liberal majority government with 11 seats in 2016.
Sandy’s vision for the Yukon Liberal Caucus is built upon four key priorities: balancing economic growth with environmental protection, working in partnership with First Nation governments in the spirit of reconciliation, a greater emphasis on the importance of local decision-making by communities, and a government that is open and accountable to Yukoners.
Sandy Silver was sworn in as Premier on December 3, 2016, becoming the first MLA for Klondike to serve as Premier of Yukon. He is also the minister responsible for the Executive Council Office (which includes aboriginal relations and intergovernmental relations), the Minister of Finance, and a member of the Members’ Services Board and Management Board.
A long-time Yukoner, Sandy Silver moved to Dawson in 1998. The incredible community spirit he found there, which allows anyone who is ready, willing, and able to contribute, made it abundantly clear Dawson would become his home.
After moving to Dawson, Sandy led the mathematics department at Robert Service School, where he coached, mentored, and tutored youth from all walks of life. He was also actively involved as an educator in the First Nations community in Dawson, supervising practicums for the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program. His commitment to education led him to get involved with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Justice department and the restorative justice process, including Community Group Conferencing, and working with youth alongside the Young Offenders Act.
Sandy has volunteered for many community organizations and continues to be an active member in the Dawson community. He is a dedicated participant in the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Moosehide Gatherings, and continues to volunteer for the Dawson City Music Festival each summer.
Sandy Silver has degrees in Math and Psychology from Saint Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Maine.