2015 Queen's Park Day
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On Monday October 5, 2015, Consulting Engineers of Ontario held its inaugural Queen’s Park Day at the provincial legislature. The day’s objective was to strengthen existing and establish new relationships with Members of Provincial Parliament, while advocating for a sustainable business environment for CEO’s members.
The program began with CEO’s Director of Government and Stakeholder Relations, David Zurawel, leading an orientation for CEO’s member delegation, reviewing key messages and the schedule of meetings for the day.
Following the orientation, CEO members and staff met with MPP for Etobicoke Centre and Parliamentary Assistance to the President of the Treasury Board, Yvan Baker, who provided access for the delegation to observe Question Period in the Legislative Chamber from the Members’ Gallery. Mr. Baker also recognized and introduced CEO’s delegation to the rest of the house from the floor of the legislature.
The Queen’s Park Day agenda was packed with meetings with MPPs, senior leadership and staff from all three political parties. CEO’s 12 representatives from nine member firms met with officials and staff representing the Premier’s Office, Opposition leadership, economic development, employment and infrastructure, transportation, finance and Treasury Board, Attorney General and environment and climate change portfolios to raise awareness of the issues crucial to the consulting engineering industry.
Deputy Opposition Leader, Steve Clark, MPP (Leeds-Grenville) met with the CEO delegation over a working lunch to discuss the importance of effective municipal asset management planning and the crucial role it plays in prioritizing investment towards community’s most urgent infrastructure needs.
Delegate’s afternoon meetings with senior Queen's Park officials discussed issues of particular importance to CEO’s members including:
- Investment in core infrastructure being essential to Ontario’s prosperity;
- CEO supporting infrastructure investment that is the product of proper planning; and,
- Public infrastructure projects becoming more difficult to undertake and complete.
Notable among those who took meetings with our delegates include:
- Andrew Bevan, Principal Secretary to the Premier
- Jackie Choquette, Chief of Staff to Government House Leader, Hon. Yasir Naqvi
- Yvan Baker, MPP (Etobicoke Centre) Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Treasury Board
- Hon. Madeleine Meilleur, MPP (Ottawa-Vanier) Attorney General of Ontario
- Saad Baig, Senior Policy Advisor to the Hon. Brad Duguid, MPP (Scarborough Centre), Minister of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure
- Jonathan Espie, Chief of Staff and Colin O’Meara, Senior Policy Advisor to the Hon. Glen Murray, MPP (Toronto Centre), Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
- Steve Clark, MPP (Leeds-Grenville) Deputy Opposition Leader and Tourism, Culture and Sport Critic
- Sylvia Jones, MPP (Dufferin-Caledon) Deputy Opposition Leader and Children and Youth Services Critic
- Michael Harris, MPP (Kitchener-Conestoga) Opposition Transportation Critic and Opposition Research and Innovation Critic
- Monte McNaughton, MPP (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) Opposition Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Critic
- Wayne Gates, MPP (Niagara Falls) NDP Transportation Critic
The day concluded with an evening reception in the legislative dining room sponsored by Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker. The reception was a great success drawing support from more than 100 attendees, 36 of whom were MPPs representing all political parties.
Mr. Baker presented a Certificate of Recognition to CEO chair, Bruce Potter, past chair, Dave Bannister and chief executive officer, Barry Steinberg for contributions Consulting Engineers make to improving quality of life for Ontarians. Speaking on behalf of the Ontario PC Party was Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller for the NDP caucus.
CEO’s inaugural Queen’s Park Day demonstrated that the association’s issues and advocacy efforts are strongly recognized and supported by government. This event has proven how necessary it is for CEO’s members to come together to foster partnerships with elected officials and their staff.
CEO remains committed to promoting a sustainable business environment for its 200 member firms, and looks forward to continuing the tradition of Queen’s Park Day.
Many thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this event such a success.