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The 2024 Housing Summit, presented by Enbridge Gas,  will explore how are we coordinating as a region to ensure a sufficient housing supply for residents now and in the future, as well as offering the variety of housing that people want and can afford, and that fits with the lifestyle they want in their particular stage of life.

The Summit will look at population trends and housing demand in Eastern Ontario – both from people moving out of major centres in the area into the smaller surrounding rural communities, and the influx of population and subsequent housing demand into Eastern Ontario from other parts of the province. We’ll also look at both how the regional economy impacts housing demand, and conversely how housing affordability and supply in the region will affect our economy.




Pierre Dufresne
Co-Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Group for OHBA


Pierre Dufresne is Senior Vice-President of Cavanagh Communities and is also the current President of the Lanark Leeds Home Builders Association. Pierre is also a Past President of both the Greater Ottawa and Ontario Homebuilders Associations. As a representative of the housing industry and for housing affordability Pierre has always advocated for the importance of the role of all levels of the Homebuilders Association. Prior to joining Cavanagh Communities Pierre worked at Tartan Homes for 30 years where he gained extensive experience in Planning, Housing Policy and Land Development. Pierre is from Montreal where he grew up and enjoys skiing in the winter, golfing in the summer and attending jamband festivals year-long.


Hon. Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Paul Calandra is the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Government House Leader, and the Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Stouffville. Before being elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2018, Paul was a Federal Member of Parliament, serving as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and later as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council. Before entering public service, Paul was a small business owner and insurance broker.

Paul is a community advocate in Markham-Stouffville. He often highlights the sacrifices others make in building our community, including honouring local veterans and community volunteers. One of Paul’s most significant accomplishments in the community was the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park. In securing lands previously expropriated for an airport, Paul helped protect local farmlands that had been farmed for over 200 years, a move that also ended the possibility of a new international airport in York Region.

Paul lives in Stouffville with his wife Melanie and two daughters, Natalie and Olivia.


Jean Francois Perrault
Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank


Jean-Francois Perrault joined Scotiabank on December 31, 2015 as Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist.  He leads a team of Economists to support Scotiabank’s domestic and international business lines and clients from retail to capital markets, providing Scotiabank’s senior executives, business lines and customers with perspectives, insights and forecasts on economic, financial market and policy developments.  Prior to joining Scotiabank, Jean-Francois held prominent roles with the federal government, the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.  His educational background includes Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics from the University of Ottawa.

mike moffatt

Mike Moffatt
Senior Director, Smart Prosperity Institute


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. In 2017, Mike was the Chief Innovation Fellow for the Government of Canada, advising Deputy Ministers on innovation policy and emerging trends. He has also previously held the titles of Director (Interim) of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management, Directory of Policy at Canada 2020, and Chief Economist for the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto. Mike has worked with politicians and policymakers of all political stripes in several countries to craft more effective public policy. From 2013 to 2015, Mike served as an economic advisor to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. Mike holds a Ph.D. in Management Science from Ivey Business School and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester. Outside of his clean economy work at SPI, Mike is a disability-rights activist.

Sonya Shorey
Interim President and CEO, Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O

Interim President and CEO, for Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards, and Area X.O, is a strategy executive and management consultant with more than 22 years of leadership experience with private and public organizations. With expertise in regional, national, and global technology, entrepreneurial, economic development, and innovation-based organizations, she specializes in corporate and communications strategy development and execution. This includes investment strategies that secure new cash and in-kind contributions from public and private sources. Since 2005, Sonya has led, strategized, authored and/or made a significant contribution to successful multi-year funding proposals and initiatives valued at more than $203 million from municipal, provincial, federal, and international governments.

Within her executive leadership role with Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O, Sonya plays a pivotal role in developing, leading, and executing strategy for all three organizations. This includes:

•Area X.O, the futureplex of innovation and collaboration for next-generation smart mobility, connectivity and autonomy technologies;

•The Women Founders and Owners Strategy and Action Plan. This includes co-founding SheBoot, the investment-ready bootcamp for women tech founders designed and delivered by women entrepreneurs and investors, and founding International Women’s Week in Canada’s Capital; and International Women’s Week.

•The first Pan-Ontario Scale-Up Platform of its kind aimed at enabling and accelerating the growth, scaleup and commercial success of more $100 million revenue-generating tech companies in Canada.

Sonya launched her career as the Manager of Communications and Member of the Vice-Presidential Cabinet with the 10G Organization of Optical Networks for Nortel from 1999 to 2002, and then served as the Director of Marketing Communications for CMC Microsystems until 2007.  Building on a decade of experience, Sonya launched her own strategy company in 2008, addressing the needs of S&T organizations, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development agencies across Canada, and their partners around the world. She currently serves Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications for Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital.

Sonya is a Director of the Institute of Mental Health Research of the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Elevate International, and Mindtrust Leadership. She also serves as mentor and pitch coach with Women in Cloud, AI North America, and Technovation. She holds a Combined Honours in English and Political Science from Carleton University and has won 10+ international awards for communications, leadership, and women’s economic impowerment.



Peter Emon
Chair, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, Wardens of Renfrew County


Peter Emon is the Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC). Peter has extensive experience in child protection and community health crisis work, holding a degree in social work and a Municipal Administrative Program Certificate from AMCTO. Since 1988, Peter has served diligently, currently as the Town of Renfrew’s Reeve since 2014. Beyond local boundaries, he is as a member of the Association of Municipalities Board and sits on the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Board. Peter has been a member of the County of Renfrew Council since 2006 and has held the elected position of Warden of the County for four consecutive terms. As Warden, he has served the EOWC for five years and is the current Chair, representing 103 municipalities and 750,000 residents in Eastern Ontario. With a focus on collaboration and innovation, he’s dedicated to steering the EOWC towards impactful solutions around issues of mutual concern.


Meredith Staveley-Watson
Manager of Government Relations and Policy, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus


Meredith Staveley-Watson has lived and worked across Ontario in the municipal sector for over six years and currently serves as the Manager of Government Relations and Policy for the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) supporting and advocating on behalf of 103 municipalities across eastern Ontario. Meredith has held a variety of municipal positions at upper-tier municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Meredith holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Youth Council Coalition of Canada with a mission to promote and support the development of municipal youth councils across Canada.

kevin farrell

Kevin Farrell
Manager of Continuous Improvement, County of Frontenac

Kevin Farrell is the Manager of Continuous Improvement with the County of Frontenac.  He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt who promotes continuous process improvement to support strategic initiatives and improve efficiency. He is an organizational leader with experience in project management and a demonstrated history of working in government administration as an agent for positive change. He is actively involved in the work of the Frontenac Municipal Services Corporation (FMSC) and the Technical Support Committee (TSC) exploring the advantages of communal services to promote rural growth.


Bob Cottrell
Co-Founder, All-Together Housing

Bob is a retired language teacher, who started his teaching career in French-speaking West Africa. Following his retirement Bob worked part-time with the local United Way as Co-Director of Labour Community Services. It was in this capacity that he helped found the Workers Help Centre and co-founded the affordable housing agency and registered charity we know today as All-Together Housing. As a volunteer, Bob has been President of the Quinte Labour Council and Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors. He is the current volunteer President of All-Together Affordable Housing Corporation. All-Together is the lead agency for an innovative, supportive housing model called the Quinte Community and Housing First Partnership. All-Together is also co-owner with Springale of 111 Great St. James Street, the most socially inclusive and economically diverse multi-residential dwelling in the Quinte Region.


Phil Spry
President of Springale Development


For over 30 years Phil has been a landlord in the Quinte area, where he as created positive relationships with his tenants. He has managed his units/buildings structurally and has been responsible for tenant/landlord relationships. Phil has been involved in affordable housing initiatives in Hastings County for many years and he has been successful in owning and running many affordable housing buildings. Each of these buildings has a unique relationship with the community not for profit agencies and caters to vulnerable individuals. Phil has expertise in not only the construction/building component of creating affordable housing, but also has expertise in creating relationships with partners in the community.

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Jason Burggraaf
Executive Director, Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association

Jason Burggraaf is Executive Director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA), where he focuses on municipal policy related to housing and development. Prior to joining GOHBA in 2018, Jason worked at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) for fifteen years in a number of roles, including Government Relations and Policy Advisor. He is an advocate for supply across the housing continuum, and works closely with officials and politicians across all levels of government to promote housing affordability and supply.

Jason is a member of the City of Ottawa’s Planning Advisory Committee and is Chair of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association’s (OHBA) Executive Officers’ Council. In 2022 he was awarded Executive Officer of the Year by OHBA and in 2024 he was awarded Executive Officer of the Year by CHBA.

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His Worship, Jeff Leal
Mayor, City of Peterborough


Jeff Leal was elected as Mayor of the City of Peterborough in 2022. He was born and raised in Peterborough and is a graduate of Kenner Collegiate, Trent University and the University of Windsor.

Jeff was the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the riding of Peterborough from 2003 to 2018, and served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister of Small Business. Prior to entering provincial politics, he served as a City Councillor from 1985 to 2003.

Mathieu Fleury

Mathieu Fleury
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), City of Cornwall

A community leader and housing champion, Mathieu Fleury is a passionate advocate for municipal issues that affect the National Capital Region and Eastern Ontario. In his role as Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Cornwall, Mathieu leads a team dedicated to providing exceptional to residents. He is passionate about Cornwall’s unique role as a “Hub City” and sharing the lifestyle and the potential of Eastern Ontario and the Seaway communities.

Prio to his arrival in Cornwall Mathieu represented as an elected official for 12 years "Ottawa’s Manhattan", a neighbourhood with a highly respected university, embassies, the tourist mecca that is the Byward Market, but also a wide range of issues related to the low socio-economic status of many residents, including homelessness and substance abuse. “I am known for my strong advocacy for new investment in affordable housing solutions.”.

Mathieu is passionate about modern government and helping people. He is a listener and puts high value in effective governance.

royce fu

Royce Fu
Acting Manager of Policy Planning in the Planning, Development and Building Services Department, City of Ottawa

Royce Fu joined the City of Ottawa in 2011 and currently oversees the Policy, Community Planning, and Zoning Branch, a portfolio that focusses on policy documents such as the Official Plan, growth management, secondary planning, and zoning. Royce recently led bigger picture housing files such as the Province’s Municipal Housing Pledge, and the City’s successful application to CMHC’s Housing Accelerator Fund, and is excited to begin public consultation on the first draft of the City’s new Zoning By-law. Royce has over 24 years of experience in urban planning in the GTA and Eastern Ontario, is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a Registered Professional Planner.

miguel trmblay

Miguel Tremblay
MCIP RPP, Partner at Fotenn Plannning and Design

Miguel Tremblay is a Partner at Fotenn's Ottawa Office. Miguel is a fully bilingual urban planner with over 26 years of experience in land use, development, urban design and municipal planning in Canada and the USA.  Miguel provides strategic planning advice and comprehensive project management on a variety of developments, including multi-building high-rise residential projects in proximity to rapid transit stations and corridors in the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau and the Greater Toronto Area.  Miguel’s Clients include Theberge Homes, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH), Windmill, Zibi and Claridge,

Miguel has extensive experience in mixed-use and commercial developments, working most recently with RioCan Management Inc., Morguard Investments, Trinity, Taggart, and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.  Many of these projects include complex Master Plans. Miguel also has extensive experience in residential suburban communities, including residential subdivisions for Richcraft, Minto and Mattamy Homes.

Miguel also has a strong and successful record as an expert witness for the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) and other tribunals.



Pierre Dufresne
President, Lanark-Leeds Home Builders’ Association


Pierre Dufresne is Senior Vice-President of Cavanagh Communities and is also the current President of the Lanark Leeds Home Builders Association. Pierre is also a Past President of both the Greater Ottawa and Ontario Homebuilders Associations. As a representative of the housing industry and for housing affordability Pierre has always advocated for the importance of the role of all levels of the Homebuilders Association. Prior to joining Cavanagh Communities Pierre worked at Tartan Homes for 30 years where he gained extensive experience in Planning, Housing Policy and Land Development. Pierre is from Montreal where he grew up and enjoys skiing in the winter, golfing in the summer and attending jamband festivals year-long.

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Her Worship, Christina Lowry
Mayor, Mississippi Mills


Christa Lowry is the Mayor of Mississippi Mills and Past Warden of Lanark County.  Elected as a ward councillor in 2014, she is currently serving her second term as Mayor having been acclaimed in October 2022.

First elected to both the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association in 2020, Mayor Lowry was acclaimed as the Lanark-Prescott-Ottawa representative to ROMA in 2023 and also currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chair.

Highlights include serving on ROMA’s Attainable Housing Task Force and participating in the development of a report addressing barriers to attainable housing and purpose-built rentals in rural Ontario.  As a past member of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, she represented Eastern Ontario on AMO’s Housing Taskforce and currently sits on AMO’s Social Policy Taskforce.

She also serves on the Board of the Mississippi River Power Corporation which owns and operates a 4.6-Megawatt hydro-generating station in Mississippi Mills, the Ottawa River Power Corporation and Lanark Transportation. She is a past Director of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation, which provides local entrepreneurs access to funding, training, and mentorship.

Mayor Lowry has keen interest in matters affecting rural communities and is a strong advocate in the areas of housing, community development, economic development opportunity, and agriculture.

eric withers

Eric Withers
MCIP, RPP, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer & Director of Development, Environment & Infrastructure, Renfrew County


Eric has spent over a decade and a half at the intersection of policy and land development, splitting time between the GTHA and Renfrew County. Eric spends a lot of time asking developers, large and small, questions about their projects and the challenges they encounter, with a view to isolating the common threads and initiating the change necessary to address those challenges by eliminating policy, legislative and process barriers. Most recently, Eric has been providing transformative leadership to the Town of Renfrew through a period of both organizational and community change. Like several other highway towns in Eastern Ontario, Renfrew expects to see significant growth following the extension of Highway 417 along with three interchanges, positioning Renfrew to serve as an economic and residential hub in the County, with under an hour of travel time to the City of Ottawa.

Prior to the town of Renfrew, he enjoyed time with the City of Sarnia, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and in consulting.

marc rivet

Marc Rivet
RPP, MCIP, Associate; Manager, Ottawa Planning Department; Senior Planner

Marc Rivet is a Registered Professional Planner with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Universite de Montreal.  Over the past 26 years, Mr. Rivet has worked as a professional land use planner in the Laurentians Quebec. Colorado USA, Eastern and Northern Ontario including several contracts across Nunavut Territory.

Mr. Rivet has been working for the past 17 years at J.L. Richards & Associates Limited where he is an Associate and Manager of the Ottawa Planning & GIS Department.  As a senior planner and discipline lead, Mr. Rivet provides planning services to private industry, institutional uses, and planning advisory services to many municipal clients across Eastern and Northern Ontario.  Over the years Mr. Rivet has prepared several Official Plans and Zoning By-laws including amendments to incorporate Additional Residential Units within Zoning By-laws and like many is trying to find solutions associated with ARUs when it comes to parking, stormwater management, snow storage, refuse collection, rural servicing concerns, protection of agricultural lands, etc.



Michael Curran
Publisher, Eastern Ontario Business Journal


Michael Curran publisher of the Ottawa Business Journal and the president of Great River Media, its parent company. He joined OBJ in 1999 as its editor, helping to launch related media brands, online products, awards programs and events.

For OBJ, Michael oversees all its media products, notably its authoritative quarterly publication, its breaking news website, OBJToday email newsletter, social media, podcasts and special projects such as the Book of Lists. Through OBJ’s joint venture with the Ottawa Board of Trade, he helps organize dozens of events annually attended by thousands of local business leaders.

Michael is the principal organizer of well-known local business awards programs, such as Forty Under 40 and CEO of the Year, both stretching back more than two decades.

In 2010, Michael partnered with local entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe to buy OBJ from TC Media, making OBJ a locally owned media company once again. Since that time, Michael has worked to modernize OBJ and diversify its service offering, particularly focusing on growth opportunities around multimedia content marketing.

Michael is a graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communications. He has extensive volunteer experience, ranging from fundraising to advisory and board positions.


Shelley Hirstwood
Director of Business Development, Invest Kingston


Shelley Hirstwood, Director of Business Development at the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, specializes in Investment Attraction and Business Growth. Her core responsibilities encompass the identification of prospective business opportunities and the facilitation of foreign direct investment to encourage enterprises to establish a presence in Kingston. In her capacity, she engages various stakeholders, including all levels of government, real estate professionals, site selection experts, and key industry partners, to streamline the investment opportunities.

With a career spanning 18 years in the field of economic development, Shelley brings a wealth of experience to her role. Prior to joining the Kingston team, she served as an Economic Development Manager in Gananoque, ON and Gravelbourg, SK. Throughout her career, her focus has remained centered on investment attraction, business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship and community development.

Shelley's academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Trent University, complemented by the EDAC Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo. Furthermore, she has honed her expertise through Training for Small Business Counsellors at Acadia University and completed the Queen's Executive Program at Queen's University, Smith School of Business.

In addition to her professional commitments, Shelley is actively engaged in the industry as a board member of the Economic Development Association of Canada. She has also served as the past president of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission.

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Rhonda Keenan
President and CEO, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development


Rhonda Keenan is the President and CEO of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development.  Rhonda started in this role in 2016.

Prior to arriving in Peterborough, Rhonda worked for the City of Oshawa’s Economic Development and Real Estate Services for 12 years.

She received her professional Ec.D. certification in 2011 and has also completed her Master’s Certificate in Municipal Management from Ontario Tech University,  and received her International Certified Economic Developer designation in 2014.

Rhonda has always enjoyed the Ontario cottage lifestyle experience and considers herself fortunate to have both her recreation and permanent home in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.

bob peters

Bob Peters
Manager, Cornwall Economic Development

He is also the Interim Manager of Planning for the City.

Mr. Peters is responsible for marketing the City to prospective commercial investors and new residents. He works with interested parties to evaluate and facilitate development projects in the City.  A key part of that effort is the website

He is an active board member of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission. He regularly speaks on matter relating to economic development and has served in the past as a guest lecturer at St. Lawrence College.

Mr. Peters has been recognized with the Citizen of the Year Award (2005) and Economic Developer of the Year (2022).

jay amer

Jay Amer
Ec. D., President, Amer & Associates Economic Development, Executive Director & Board Secretary, Ontario East Economic Development Commission


Jay's 25 years of experience as an economic development professional includes twelve years as a senior executive with a regional economic development agency and operation of his own consultancy, Amer & Associates Economic Development, founded in 2010. He has delivered a successful portfolio of work for a diverse group of clients that includes economic development strategic plans, economic research and analysis, investment attraction and trade, marketing communications, government relations, planning and funding programs, as well as organizational development and governance. Prior to discovering his passion for economic development, Jay served in a variety of technical and communications management roles with Ontario Power Generation. He has also volunteered on numerous non-profit boards in his hometown of Peterborough, Ontario. Jay has hosted current affairs shows on COGECO YourTV Peterborough-Lindsay since 2012. He is a past President of the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) and has been an active member of Ontario East Economic Development Commission since 2000. He is currently a director on the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council (EOLC) a consortium of regional organizations formed in 2015 to address mutual issues influencing the economic success and prosperity of Eastern Ontario.

matt rae



MPP Matt Rae
Parliamentary Assisstant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Perth-Wellington


Matthew grew up on his family’s dairy farm just north of Harriston. From a young age, he was instilled with a strong work ethic and the importance of service to one’s family, community, and country. He is a graduate of The University of Guelph, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and has worked for both John Nater, Member of Parliament for Perth–Wellington, and Randy Pettapiece, the previous MPP for Perth–Wellington. Matthew is an active member of the community serving on multiple local boards and committees.

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