Skip to Main Content

Update on the Status of Infrastructure: Building Ontario

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Watch Now
Two women and a man sitting on stage for a panel disussion
Listen Now

The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Update on the Status of Infrastructure: Building Ontario

The construction sector, worldwide, is experiencing changes and challenges. Despite ongoing pressures across industries, the provincial government, alongside their public and private sector partners, have continued to work together to persevere and expedite their efforts to build Ontario.

Please join us in a discussion with Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma and Infrastructure Ontario CEO Michael Lindsay on how an innovative and forward-thinking approach to building is helping to ensure that Ontarians have access to modern infrastructure, while also ensuring Ontario remains a global market of choice for industry partners.

Discussion to be moderated by Kelly Jackson, Past Board President & Board Director, Empire Club of Canada.

*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 Honourable Kinga Surma

The Honourable Kinga Surma

Minister of Infrastructure, Province of Ontario

Kinga Surma is the Minister of Infrastructure for the Province of Ontario and the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Etobicoke Centre.

She is dedicated to fighting for the people of Ontario and making sure they have the quality infrastructure and high-speed internet that will support generations to come.

Minister Surma is committed to building and strengthening communities across the province and ensuring that shovels get into the ground promptly and that projects are built quickly and efficiently, all while guaranteeing the best value for taxpayers.

Previously, Minister Surma served as the Associate Minister of Transportation. Her mandate focused on collaborating with partners to build a better, smarter and more integrated transit network and subway plan. This included the construction of the province’s major priority transit projects and the Transit-Oriented Communities program.

She is a devoted community leader, who has comprehensive knowledge of all orders of government that allows her to effectively address concerns of Ontarians and support the people of Etobicoke Centre.

Minister Surma came to Canada from Poland at the age of 4 years old. As a successful immigrant and Canadian citizen, she understands the challenges that newcomers face when beginning their life in Canada. She holds a degree in Public Policy, Business and Commerce from the University of Guelph as well as Public Relations Designations from Ryerson University.

headshot of Michael Lindsay

Michael Lindsay

President & CEO, Infrastructure Ontario

Michael Lindsay is President and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario (IO). He was appointed CEO in November 2020. In this role, he works closely with his Executive team and with partners in both the public and private sectors to build, manage, finance and enhance the value of the Province’s assets.

Michael Lindsay rejoined Infrastructure Ontario as President, Project Delivery, in 2019, bringing his extensive experience supporting a range of innovative public and private partnerships.
Prior to returning to Infrastructure Ontario in 2019, Michael served as Special Advisor to the Government of Ontario on the upload of the Toronto subway system.
Michael also previously served as Head of Strategic Partnerships & Government for the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (“IMCO”).

As the Global Director of Infrastructure Planning & Advisory at Hatch, Michael helped governments create public private partnerships (“P3s”), and helped private investors effectively negotiate the terms and scope of those partnerships.

From 2014 to 2016, Michael was Senior Vice President of Commercial Projects at Infrastructure Ontario. In that role, he was responsible for commercial transactions related to the financing, development, and divestiture of public assets in Ontario (e.g. land, buildings, services). His team structured P3s related to energy, transit and social infrastructure, and contracted private entities to deliver services through a range of outsourced models.

Prior to this, Michael was an Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company, where he was a core leader of the Canadian Public Sector Practice. He helped provincial and federal ministries reduce costs, improve service, and analyze the effectiveness of money spent on economic development and innovation.
Michael is a graduate of Oxford (MPhil) and Queen’s University (BAH).

headshot of Kelly Jackson

Kelly Jackson

Past Board President & Board Director, Empire Club of Canada

Kelly Jackson is Vice-President, External Affairs and Professional Learning at Humber College, one of Canada’s largest polytechnics. In her role, Kelly oversees a wide range of service departments that support Humber’s external relationships, continuous professional learning, workforce development and access strategies, and reputation management.

Prior to joining Humber, Kelly held numerous roles in provincial politics including Director of Communications to the Ontario Minister of Finance. In this role, she led the communications team for the Minister responsible for one of the largest provincial budgets in Canada. Kelly was also Director of Policy to the Minister of Education and Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Kelly spent a number of years overseeing strategic and integrated planning, public affairs, privacy and freedom of information issues, and communications at Seneca College. She also has experience in research project management having coordinated international conference series and academic publications at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Graduate Diploma in German and European Studies from York University and has studied at Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg and the University of Sheffield. Kelly is currently President of the Empire Club of Canada Board of Directors and a Board Director of the North York Harvest Food Bank. She is co-author of the children’s book, Our Canada: A Year With Canuck Kids (Blossom Books Press, 2021).