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Building Strong Municipalities

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Building Strong Municipalities

With the October 25th Ontario municipal elections in the rear-view, the Empire Club of Canada will host an evening panel with current and former municipal leaders to debate the role of municipalities in the broader public service landscape and their influence on the public discussion. This comes at a time when commentary has been centred around the lack of participation in municipal public service, with one-fifth of races facing no contestants. The panel will explore some of the contributing factors to this lack of participation and has the role of the provincial government undermined or bolstered the role of municipalities with controversial legislation on council sizes, perspectives of regional governments and the power and influence of mayors at council.

The content presented is free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Views and Opinions Expressed Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the speakers or panelists are those of the speakers or panelists and do not necessarily reflect or represent the official views and opinions, policy or position held by The Empire Club of Canada.

headshot of Brad Bradford

Brad Bradford

Toronto City Councillor, Ward 19, Beaches-East York

Brad Bradford is the City Councillor for Ward 19, Beaches-East York. Brad believes that as our City grows and prospers we must work hard to ensure the benefits are felt by everyone. By bringing a pragmatic, non-partisan approach to local government, Brad supports community-led change throughout Beaches East-York.

At City Hall, Brad serves as the Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee, a Commissioner on the TTC Board and as a member of the Planning and Housing Committee.

With experience as an urban planner, he has a passion for addressing local issues, advocating for those typically left out of the process and making neighbourhoods more accessible. His priorities are to make our roads safer, deliver the City’s relief line, and revitalize our main streets.

headshot of Larry Di Ianni

Larry Di Ianni

Former Mayor, Hamilton

Larry has decades of service in the fields of education, municipal governance, and the non-profit a well as for-profit sectors. First elected as a Councillor for the City of Stoney Creek, Larry later became a Councillor for the amalgamated City of Hamilton and served as Mayor from 2003-2006. His nearly 25 years of political experience serve him well in his current interests.

As mayor Larry championed the construction of a major roadway infrastructure for the city which had been debated for decades, and set up a poverty roundtable to address issues of housing and homelessness for needy citizens.

Larry also has extensive background in education having risen (and retired from) the position of secondary school principal with a local large school board.

Larry currently manages a Consulting service providing strategic advice and advocacy to large and medium-sized business interests from Ontario as well as the United States.

As well as his business interests, Larry is committed to the community and volunteers as Chair of a local Children’s Aid Agency, has been on the board of an anti-poverty initiative and currently hosts a weekly, politically-oriented television program in the Hamilton area.

headshot of Shawn Jeffords

Shawn Jeffords

Journalist, CBC Toronto

Shawn is an experienced journalist who is well-versed in political reporting. He joined CBC Toronto this summer as the station’s Municipal Affairs Reporter. He covered the city’s mayoral and council races on all of CBC’s platforms.

He previously worked at The Canadian Press, where he was a legislative reporter at Queen’s Park. During his four years at CP, he covered both Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford’s governments and provided daily stories on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shawn also worked at the Toronto Sun, where for several years he was the newspaper’s political bureau chief, covering both the Ontario legislature and Toronto City Hall. Prior to that, he was a general assignment reporter at the Sun and spent time at City Hall covering the 2014 municipal election and Rob Ford’s tumultuous term as mayor.

In 2012, he won a National Newspaper Award for his coverage of the opioid epidemic as a reporter at the Sarnia Observer.

headshot of Jennifer McKelvie

Jennifer McKelvie

Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto

Jennifer McKelvie is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 25, Scarborough Rouge-Park, representing over 100,000 constituents in the City’s most eastern riding. In her role as Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, she is taking an active role in the City of Toronto’s climate change, resilience and ravine strategies.

Jennifer was recently appointed as Toronto’s Deputy Mayor.

headshot of Chris  Moise

Chris Moise

Toronto City Councillor, Ward 13, Toronto Centre