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Human Capital’s Role in the Canadian Economy: Investing in Canada’s Future

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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Human Capital’s Role in the Canadian Economy: Investing in Canada’s Future
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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Human Capital’s Role in the Canadian Economy: Investing in Canada’s Future

Leaders, decision-makers and experts from the Canadian business community and government form this Empire Club panel to discuss the vital importance of human capital on the Canadian economy. The panel will focus on how Canada can attract skilled workers to lead future economic development, growth, and innovation in Canada and unlock the economy’s full potential.

The pandemic severely disrupted immigration to Canada and worsened the country’s shortage of available skilled labour. This panel of thought leaders will discuss; how Canada can reverse this trend, what our economic and societal needs are across key sectors, and the role that public-private collaboration must play in filling these gaps.

The panel will assess and consider how human capital can contribute to diversity and inclusion goals, humanitarian assistance as well as labour force development and industry innovation. Panelists will share their sector-specific insights as well as their opinions on how Canada can improve its competitive advantage by boosting its population and luring highly-skilled immigrants from across the world.

*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 The Hon. Ahmed Hussen

The Hon. Ahmed Hussen

Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Government of Canada

A passionate advocate for his community, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen has been proudly representing the residents of York South—Weston since 2015.

Before he started in politics, Minister Hussen worked at the grassroots with neighbours and allies to create “local solutions to local problems.” This would lead to the Minister helping to secure $500 million to revitalise Toronto’s, Regent Park in 2006.

Minister Hussen is a firm believer that diversity is a fact and inclusion is a choice. During his time as the National President for the Canadian Somali Congress, he worked with national and regional authorities to advocate on important issues to Canadians of Somali heritage, which helped foster better civic engagement and integration.

Having lived in social housing himself, Canada’s first dedicated Housing minister understands the positive impact of having an affordable, reliable place to live. In his new role, Minister Hussen is focused on bringing home ownership back within reach while ensuring that everyone in Canada has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Fervent défenseur de sa communauté, l’honorable Ahmed Hussen représente fièrement les résidents de York Sud—Weston depuis 2015.

Avant de se lancer en politique, le ministre Hussen a travaillé sur le terrain avec des voisins et des alliés pour créer des « solutions locales à des problèmes locaux ». Cela a mené le ministre à contribuer à sécuriser 500 millions de dollars pour revitaliser Regent Park à Toronto en 2006.

Le ministre Hussen croit que la diversité est un fait et que l’inclusion est un choix. Pendant son mandat en tant que président national du Congrès somalien canadien, il a travaillé avec les autorités nationales et régionales pour défendre des enjeux importants pour les Canadiens d’origine somalienne, ce qui a permis à favoriser un meilleur engagement civique et une meilleure intégration pour la communauté.

Ayant lui-même vécu dans des logements sociaux, le premier ministre dédié au dossier du Logement au Canada comprend l’impact positif des logements abordables et sécuritaires. Dans son nouveau rôle, le ministre Hussen s’est concentré à ramener à portée de main l’accès au logement tout en veillant à ce que tous les Canadiens ont un chez-soi sûr et abordable.

headshot of Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor

Chair of the Board, RBC

Kathleen (Katie) Taylor is Chair of the Board of the Royal Bank of Canada, Vice-Chair of the Adecco Group and a director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Air Canada. She serves as Chair of Altas Partners, a Toronto-based private equity investment firm. Ms. Taylor is also the immediate past Chair and member of the Board of the SickKids Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Sick Children and a Co-Chair of the SickKids Capital Campaign. Ms. Taylor is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. During her 24-year career, she held a number of senior leadership roles and was instrumental in building the firm’s global brand and its international portfolio of luxury properties.

Ms. Taylor is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s National Council, Chair of their Human Capital Policy Council and a member of the Task Force on the Digital Economy. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Schulich School of Business and on the Principal’s International Advisory Board at McGill University.

Her many accolades for business achievement include the Schulich School of Business Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership and the inaugural Medal for Career Achievement from the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University. She has been inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and was named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) after being honoured by WXN in 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Ms. Taylor received the Governance Professionals of Canada Peter Dey Governance Achievement Award and was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Report on Business magazine named Ms. Taylor among the 50 most powerful people in Canadian Business in 2017. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors and a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Ms. Taylor holds an M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Toronto, McGill University, York University and Trent University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University.

headshot of Mark Wiseman

Mark Wiseman

Chairman, AIMCo

Mark Wiseman is a Canadian investment manager and business executive and an industry-leading expert in alternatives and active equity investments.

He was a Senior Managing Director at BlackRock, Global Head of Active Equities, Chairman of its alternatives business, and Chairman of BlackRock’s Global Investment Committee. He also served on BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee.

Prior to joining BlackRock in 2016, Mark was President & CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Mark joined CPPIB in June 2005 as the organization’s Senior Vice-President, Private Investments. He was later named Executive Vice-President, Investments, responsible for managing all of the investment activities of CPPIB. He was named President & Chief Executive Officer in 2012.

Prior to joining the CPPIB, Mark was responsible for the private equity fund and co-investment program at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Previously, Mark was an officer with Harrowston Inc., a publicly traded Canadian merchant bank and a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, practicing in New York and Paris. He also served as a law clerk to Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a law degree and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Toronto. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University, where he obtained a Master of Laws. Mark is a regular lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the University of Toronto, and is an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University.

Mark was a member of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, which advised the Canadian Finance Minister on economic policies to achieve long-term sustainable growth. He is co-founder and former Chair of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term initiative. Mark also serves on the board of several non-profit organizations, including Alpine Canada, the United Way of Greater Toronto, Sinai Health Services, the Capital Markets Institute and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is also a co-founder and Chair of the Century Initiative, an organization dedicated to growing Canada’s population. Mark is a certified member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors. Previously, he chaired the United Way of Toronto’s 2015 Campaign and Youth Without Shelter and is a past Board Member of Right to Play International.

headshot of Hassan Yussuff

Hassan Yussuff

Senator, Senate of Canada

Hassan Yussuff was appointed to the Senate of Canada to represent Ontario in June 2021 and sits as a member of the Independent Senators Group.

Senator Yussuff is one of Canada’s most experienced labour leaders. An immigrant from Guyana, he has had a long and accomplished career as a union activist, recently serving two terms as the President of the Canadian Labour Congress from 2014-2021; the first person of colour to lead Canada’s labour movement. In addition to his work in Canada, Mr. Yussuff is a prominent international activist. In 2016, he was elected for his second term as President of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, an organization uniting 48 national organizations and representing more than 55 million workers in 21 countries. Mr. Yussuff has also served on numerous task forces and organizations, including the Government of Canada’s NAFTA Council and its Sustainable Development Advisory Council, and co-chair of the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities.

Senator Yussuff is a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, and the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

headshot of Elena Cherney

Elena Cherney

Coverage Editor, Wall Street Journal

Elena Cherney is the Coverage Editor at the Wall Street Journal, overseeing a network of reporters and editors in US and bureaus around the world who cover business, finance, the economy, politics and general news. She has previously led the Journal’s energy coverage and was the Canada bureau chief from 2014 through 2016, and was a reporter at the Journal based in Toronto from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2014, Elena worked at the Globe and Mail, where she held a series of senior roles, including Editor of the Report on Business and Managing Editor.

Elena was born in Victoria, British Columbia and grew up in Montreal, and is a graduate of Yale University, where she studied English and history.