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It is my pleasure to stand before you to deliver remarks as OPPI president. It has been an incredible year. Together, we have tackled significant issues and celebrated important milestones. I am proud of how the OPPI membership has engaged to:
· define our future through Inspire OPPI;
· deliver our professional mandate with credibility and passion;
· remain accountable to each other and to the public interest; and
· offer a strong voice to varied and important topics locally, regionally, provincially and nationally.
We are the recognized voice of the planning profession in Ontario and our voice matters. It helps to shape key conversations and ultimately shape policy. Our voices can stimulate action and our voice can speak for those that might not otherwise be heard.
As our minds and actions turn to implementation, how can we, individually and collectively, further build awareness and confidence in our brand? How are we, as the planning profession in Ontario going to use our voice to ensure that decisions related to the built, natural and social environments are made with the care and commitment to public interest that is needed to protect this Province’s economic wellbeing, vital resources and healthy lifestyle.
I leave you with that question as I move on to offer a few words of thanks.
Thank you to Council and to staff for your hard work and dedication. I want to publicly acknowledge three outgoing Council members, Darryl Bird, Bob Forhan and Scott Tousaw for their unwavering commitment to the planning profession, to you as OPPI members and to OPPI Council. You have made significant sacrifices over the years and I want to personally thank you for your commitment and wise counsel. I would also like to thank, in absentia, former OPPI staff member Shannon Vaughan, for her role in creating and distributing much of OPPI’s communication over the last number of years. Shannon played a critical role in the Inspire OPPI process and also in keeping me organized and on track. We continue to take pride in the talented young professional she blossomed into during her time at OPPI and wish her well in her new life out west.
To the hundreds of volunteers that make OPPI a dynamic, responsive and fun organization. You have spent day and night (and I know that statement is literal and not figurative) writing responses to countless policy reviews, organizing district learning and social events, engaging with decision makers, talking with students…the list goes on. OPPI is a volunteer organization and you do incredible work.
Finally, to you, the members of OPPI. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President. To lead your elected Council and to chart a path forward that I am confident will serve us all well for years to come. It continues to be both a pleasure and an honour to be part of this profession and this organization.