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oppi launches forum friday webinar series

On a bi-weekly basis, OPPI hosts timely and relevant webinars for members on the topics you want to hear more about. We will bring in guest speakers to discuss topics and issues, and it will be hosted by a member of OPPI and/or staff. 

For 2020, OPPI is starting with a series of nine webinars focusing on the issues and topics that are relevant to the OPPI membership. We hope you will join us on a bi-weekly basis starting May 22nd, from 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. as we explore a variety of issues and answer your questions. 

Please note: These sessions will be recorded and then posted on OPPI's Digital Learning for members to view. Members who have questions can contact OPPI at communications@ontarioplanners.ca. Speakers and sessions are subject to change. 

Date Topic and Description Host
May 22 Roundtable with the Regional Commissioners of Ontario (RPCO) - A roundtable discussion on the state of planning as it stands during COVID-19, what are some of the challenges faced, what is working well and where are there opportunities to enhance planning as a result of the pandemic? 

Guest speakers:
  • Paige Agnew, RPP, Chief Planner and Commissioner of Community Services for the City of Kingston
  • Rino Mostacci, RPP, Commissioner, Planning & Development Services for Niagara Region
  • Steve Robichaud, RPP, Director, Planning and Chief Planner for the City of Hamilton
The recording of this webinar is now available on OPPI's Digital Learning. Member log in is required to view this video. 
OPPI President Justine Giancola
June 5 Adapting to Virtual Engagement Under the Planning Act - Has COVID-19 Changed the Way Planners Engage? - A roundtable discussion on holding public meetings under the Planning Act. What has gone well? What has been challenging regarding holding virtual public meetings under the Planning Act? Our participants will have hosted a public meeting and can share their experiences and details to inform members and inspire other municipalities to find ways to make things work during this challenging time.

Guest speakers:
  • Michelle Banfield, RPP, Director of Development Services for the City of Barrie
  • Jason Ferrigan, RPP, Director of Planning Services for the City of Greater Sudbury
  • Andy Reside, Strategic Programs and Project Officer for the City of Ottawa
The recording of this webinar is now available on OPPI's Digital Learning. Member log in is required to view this video. 
OPPI Secretary-Treasurer Claire Basinski
June 12 Community Resiliency and Readiness - What Can We Do Moving Forward? - Resiliency and readiness will be the key to recovery from COVID-19 and ensuring communities are ready for an unknown future. Communities are remaking themselves coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic but are also facing new challenges and opportunities, especially in the areas of employment, housing and mobility. Please join OPPI for this roundtable discussion as we focus on what can be done moving forward to ensure community readiness and resiliency in these areas.

Guest speakers:
  • Dana Anderson, FCIP, RPP, and Partner at MHBC Planning Limited
  • Sharon Mittmann, RPP, Manager, Urban Design for the City of Mississauga
  • Leith Moore, Principal & Co-Founder of R-Hauz Solution Inc. and President of Waverley Projects Inc. 
The recording of this webinar is now available on OPPI's Digital Learning. Member log in is required to view this video. 
OPPI Council Member Eldon Theodore
June 24 OPPI Forum Friday Webinar: How Can Planning Respond to Anti-Black Racism in Practice? We’re hosting a a roundtable conversation with several guest speakers in partnership with York University and the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. Our guest speakers are former students from the Masters in Environmental Studies - Planning program and will discuss the topics of anti-Black and systemic racism and how the planning profession can respond to this and amplify marginalized voices to improve planning outcomes in Black communities. Through this conversation, we will explore the role that OPPI and accredited planning programs can take to further inclusion of equity seeking groups within the profession. Please join OPPI for this roundtable discussion as we focus on what can be done to progress planning and address the issues raised by Black voices in planning.

Guest speakers:
  • Paul Bailey, Principal at Revive
  • Nicole Hanson, RPP, MCIP, Environmental Planner
  • Shannon Holness, Candidate Member and Urban Planner
  • Francis Kwashie, MES Planning
The recording of this webinar is now available on OPPI's Digital Learning. Member log in is required to view this video. 
OPPI Council Member Eldon Theodore
July 3 Planning for a New Normal – COVID-19 Impacts on Community Building, Intensification and Public Health - Public health and safety have taken centre stage during the COVID-19 pandemic raising questions about how we plan and build our communities as a result of the pandemic. COVID-19 is challenging how planners approach density and intensification in transitioning neighbourhoods. What can planners do to fight this narrative as they face this challenge in their communities? Are there underlying public health factors that are causing this reaction that planners can help combat through their work? Join leading experts in planning and public health as they discuss the latest research, ideas and collaborations countering narratives against density.

Guest speakers:
  • Ken Greenberg, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants
  • Sari Liem, RPP, Healthy Built Environment Specialist, Public Health, Community and Health Services for York Region
  • Dr. James Sallis, Dept of Family and Preventative Medicine, University of California, San Diego
The recording of this webinar, including slides and additional resources, is now available on OPPI's Digital Learning. Member log in is required to view this video and access resources. 
OPPI Member George McKibbon
July 17 The State of Ontario's Planning Schools - We've invited several guest speakers for a discussion on the state of Ontario’s planning programs during and post-COVID-19. Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, accredited planning programs in Ontario have been forced to redefine themselves and in how they provided quality education and assisted students. Accredited planning programs teach the future of the planning profession, so how will these programs survive and thrive after COVID-19? Join planning program directors and key faculty in a discussion of the challenges faced so far and future opportunities for these programs – for this upcoming year, next year and beyond - and what the impact is on the future of the planning profession as students become planners and RPPs.

Guest speakers:
  • Dr. Ryan Gibson, Associate Professor and the Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development in the Rural Planning and Development program at the University of Guelph
  • Dr. Markus Moos, RPP, MCIP, Director of the School of Planning in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Luisa Sotomayor, RPP, Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of the Graduate Programs in Planning in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University
OPPI Council Member Rob Dowler
July 31 The State of Land Development in Ontario After COVID-19 - We’re hosting a roundtable conversation on the state of land development after COVID-19 and what planners can expect to face in their practice. Planning is closely tied to land and economic development. Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, portions of these industries were declared essential services, but much of the work taking place in Ontario has been limited to key infrastructure projects. Once Ontario recovers, what can planners expect to face in their practice and municipalities as the economy restarts? Through this conversation, learn about the immense pressure and challenge in building and restarting Ontario's economy coming out of COVID-19. What has changed as a result of this pandemic and what do planners need to know about working with the industry in restarting the economy? 

Guest speakers:
  • Heather LaLonde, CEO of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)
  • Howard Paskowitz, Director of Development at Starlight Developments
  • Dave Wilkes, President and CEO at the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD)
Registration for this webinar opens on July 24.
OPPI Council Member Andria Leigh
August 14 What is the Future Role of Ontario's Planners? - We’re hosting a roundtable conversation on the future of planners and planning as a profession in Ontario. Through this conversation, we will take a “SWOT” analysis approach and flip it to critically focus on the pressures (threats), prospects (opportunities), and then the vulnerabilities (weaknesses) and strengths within the lens of the pressures and prospects, for the profession and members moving forward. Through this conversation, we will also endeavour to focus on emerging issues and areas for planners to consider as part of their professional practice

Guest speakers:
  • Councillor Brad Bradford, City of Toronto Ward 19 Beaches-East York
  • Wayne Caldwell, PhD, RPP, FCIP, Professor and Graduate Coordinator in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph
  • Abigail Moriah, RPP, Senior Development Manager at New Commons Development
  • Marcia Wallace, RPP, Chief Administrative Officer for Prince Edward County
Registration for this webinar opens on August 7.
OPPI President Justine Giancola
August 28 Ontario Rises! Opportunities in the Post-COVID-19 World - We’re hosting a roundtable conversation on the opportunities a post-COVID-19 world offers planners and communities across Ontario. The province and planning profession are forever changed because of COVID-19 and opportunities are presenting themselves in ways that were not available pre-COVID-19. What does recovery and post-recovery look like in Ontario? What are some of the challenges in seeking these opportunities? What are some emerging areas that planners will want to pay attention to? How can planners and the planning profession take advantage of opportunities and address challenges to solidify their leadership roles in communities across Ontario?

Guest speakers:
  • John Michael McGrath, Digital Media Producer, Current Affairs and Documentaries at TVO
  • Andrea Miller, RPP, General Manager of Infrastructure and Growth at the City of Barrie
  • Leela Viswanathan, PhD, RPP, MCIP, Principal and Founder of Viswali Consulting
Registration for this webinar opens on August 21.
OPPI Council Member Kelly Weste