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2017 Annual Report

Andrea at the Podium
President's Annual General Meeting Report

Good afternoon,

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.
Your Future is Created
In the fall of 2015, OPPI Council initiated a major review of its strategy, mission and vision. Extensive input was provided by members and other stakeholders. We reached out to and engaged over 1,700 people and received almost 1,300 responses to various surveys. Hundreds of OPPI members participated in face-to-face workshops or web-based sessions. Key stakeholders from allied professions, strategic partners and even those with whom we don’t always see eye to eye, provided valuable input. 

Through the Inspire OPPI process, Council gained a keen appreciation for how the planning environment is changing, how the profession and OPPI needs to evolve and what our members need and expect from OPPI. The outcome of the Inspire OPPI planning project is the new Strategic Plan that you just heard about. Respecting our governance mandate and organizational structure, Inspire OPPI focuses our activities and helps us to allocate resources into areas necessary to move the profession and the organization to the next level. This Strategic Plan reflects the role of planers as crucial integrators and visionaries, facilitating, collaborating and working in the space between diverse policy, practice and stakeholders.

Through this plan, OPPI is empowering members to expand their knowledge and expertise and to take ownership TODAY, of their role in the Institute and for the protection of the public interest. While is true that the Strategic Plan is forward thinking, Council has, with your extensive input, recognized the importance of acting TODAY in order to ensure that the future of the planning profession in Ontario is strong and responsive to both members and to the communities we serve. I encourage you to delve into all that Inspire OPPI embodies. Continue to define your future as a professional planner and as a member of OPPI.
Trust is Built On
The soon to be introduced Registered Professional Planners Act, 2016 serves to reinforce professional planners’ commitment to the public interest and build public confidence in the planning profession.
RPP is powerful designation. More than simply a name or a logo, it reflects who we are, what we do and why that matters. It represents the education, experience and continuous learning commitment, together with our adherence to the OPPI Professional Code of Practice, which define a professional planner.
It connects us to those that seek technical excellence, credibility and accountability in the complex world of planning. It reflects not only intentions but perceptions. And, it serves as a beacon in the decision-making processes for stakeholders, clients and the broader public because it reflects the integrity and credibility of established professionals committed to acting in the public good.

Building RPP as the recognized brand of professional planners is one of four strategic directions in Inspire OPPI. As stakeholders and decision-makers become more aware they will better understand and respect our role as integrator in the space between government planning policy, the public and other regulated professionals. In turn this will create greater opportunities for RPPs to manage change in the built, natural and social environments.
Accountability is the Glue
Good planning needs good planners. We, as members of OPPI, have the knowledge, experience and the independent professional opinion needed to address issues in a variety of complex situations, all while keeping the public interest clearly in focus. And it is not always easy. I know some of you have faced push back this year. Whether it be from a client, a politician, your boss, perhaps even from other members. Planning is not black and white. There are lots of grey areas that need to be explored in an integrated way. And our unwavering commitment to undertaking our work in a transparent and professional manner is what sets us apart. The new legislation will serve to make planners accountable to all Ontarians, and reinforce confidence in the profession and the results our work produces.
You Have a Voice

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.
Thank you.
Andrea Burrie's Signature