PAMELA BLAIS | Principal, Metropole Consultants; Author
Pamela is an urban planner and Principal of Metropole Consultants Ltd. Her focus is on creating better cities by integrating planning, economic and environmental thinking in the analysis of urban issues and the development of innovative policy. She is the author of Perverse Cities: Hidden Subsidies, Wonky Policy and Urban Sprawl, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Donner Book Prize, awarded for the best Canadian public policy book of the year. She recently authored Planning for Prosperity, a report for the Neptis Foundation that examines the implications of the Toronto region’s changing economy for the Growth Plan.
CHERISE BURDA | Executive Director of the Ryerson City Building Institute
Cherise is Executive Director of the Ryerson City Building Institute, where she addresses critical urban challenges through teaching, research and public engagement on urban issues. Prior to assuming this role, Cherise was the Ontario Director of the Pembina Institute, where she led a team of experts conducting research, advocacy and communications strategies for transportation, sustainable cities and clean energy solutions in Ontario. She has authored dozens of publications on these issues and in 2013 Cherise was appointed the Premier of Ontario’s transit investment strategy.
CAROL LAYTON | Former Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Carol Layton is recently retired after 36 years with the Ontario government, with 13 of those years as a Deputy Minister, most recently with the Ministry of Transportation. There, among other things, she oversaw policy work to support transit and transportation planning in the province. Over the past five years Carol has worked closely with Metrolinx on a number of key files, such as the Big Move, Regional Express Rail, and transit investment strategies. Carol is an urban geographer and the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award recipient from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. She is also the 2011 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal of Distinction in Public Administration.
ED LEVY | Transportation Planner, Co-Founder BA Consulting Group Limited
Ed has directed transportation planning studies for large scale, mixed-use private and public sector projects across Canada and the United States as well as in Europe, Israel and Asia. He served on the Advisory Committee during the development of the GTHA Regional Transportation Plan (The Big Move) issued in late 2008. More recently, he served on a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to develop terms of reference for a feasibility analysis of GO Transit electrification and was appointed to the Stakeholders’ Advisory Group reporting to Metrolinx in connection with its comprehensive Yonge Relief Network Study. He recently completed work on a comprehensive 100-year history of rapid transit planning and implementation in the Toronto region.
JOHN LORINC | Journalist and Author
John is a Toronto-based journalist. He writes about urban affairs, local history and business for a range of publications including The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Walrus Magazine and Canadian Business. He is also senior editor and politics columnist for Spacing Magazine, and one of the co-editors of The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House, 2015).
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