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Solving the Housing Crunch: What Actions Can We Take Right Away?

Thursday, October 26, 2023

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Canada’s housing crisis has been thrust to the top of the national agenda as rising rents and mortgage rates squeeze pocketbooks, and our growing population outstrips the supply of new homes.

While we are starting to see a glimmer of coordinated action at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, the enormity of this challenge can be daunting given the structural barriers preventing new home development.

Against this backdrop, the Empire Club has assembled a panel of housing experts for a discussion on the way forward, focusing on concrete steps policy makers can take to increase rental supply, affordable housing, and new builds alike.

Join us and be part of the solution as we gather housing experts to discuss actionable policies for increasing rental supply, affordable housing, and new construction, aiming to build a brighter future for all Canadians!

Polling Presentation: David Coletto

Panel Discussion: Moderated by Lisa Raitt

headshot of David Coletto

David Coletto

Chair & CEO, Abacus Data

Infinitely curious, passionate, and eternally optimistic—these are just a few words to describe David Coletto, the founder, Chair, and CEO of Abacus Data. With a career spanning over two decades, David has devoted his life to exploring what people think and feel about their work, their lives, and their politics. He believes that understanding what motivates and informs people’s worldview, we can create a more understanding, empathetic, and action-driven world. David is one of Canada’s best known and most respected public opinion analysts, pollsters, and social researchers.

headshot of Tim Hudak

Tim Hudak

CEO, Ontario Real Estate Association

Aside from the small group of individuals who have gone on to become Premier, few Ontarians today can lay claim to the executive leadership experience and skills acquired in the public arena by Tim Hudak.

Mr. Hudak was first elected to Queen’s Park in 1995. He was appointed to Cabinet in three successive economic portfolios: Northern Development and Mines, where he cut mining taxes to the lowest in Canada; Tourism, Culture and Recreation, where he executed a plan to help these industries recover from the September 11th attacks; and Consumer and Business Services, where he took action to protect vulnerable seniors by overhauling outdated consumer protection laws.

headshot of Jennifer Keesmaat

Jennifer Keesmaat

Managing Partner, Markee Developments / CEO, The Keesmaat Group

Jennifer is the former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, where she led a team of planners overseeing unprecedented growth and urban development. As a founding partner of Dialog and the Office for Urbanism, Jennifer has worked in municipalities across Canada and around the world on urban design guidelines, official plan reviews, and strategies for creating resilient, 21st-century cities. She is a recognized expert in transit planning, heritage preservation, strategy development, sustainable economic development, and the creation of walkable, complete communities.



headshot of Mike Moffatt

Mike Moffatt

Founding Director, PLACE Centre

Dr. Mike Moffatt is the Senior Director of Policy and Innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey Business School, Western University. Mike’s research at SPI focuses on the intersection of regional economic development, building child-friendly, climate-friendly housing and communities, and clean innovation.

headshot of Ene Underwood

Ene Underwood

Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity GTA

Ene Underwood’s professional purpose throughout her career has been applying business thinking to some of the most challenging social and economic well-being issues facing our society. Building on a career that began in the private sector with one of the world’s preeminent strategy consulting firms, Ene spent close to two decades in leadership roles in some of Canada’s most respected hospitals.

headshot of Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C

Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C

Vice-Chair, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets

The Honourable Lisa Raitt joined CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, having previously worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Raitt’s current focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors, which align closely with her deep expertise.