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Date: Thursday, November 5th 2020

Time: 12pm EST

Cities are on the frontline of government response to the Covid-19 crisis. Join us for a critical discussion with the leaders of some of Canada’s largest municipalities to discuss their crisis response as well as their long-term recovery strategies to foster inclusive and sustainable growth.  


Carole Saab, Chief Executive Officer at Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Carole Saab joined FCM in 2010, serving as Manager of Government and Media Relations and Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations, before being appointed founding Executive Director of Policy and Public Affairs in 2018. In 2020, Carole was named Chief Executive Officer.

Carole has long been a strong champion for municipalities of all sizes. She brings a clear and ambitious vision for the local order of government as a force on the national and international stage. Carole’s ability to generate results for municipalities—and for FCM—is evident in her record, which includes her pivotal role in negotiating and securing historic investments in national infrastructure, municipal programming, capacity building, and more.

Prior to joining us, Carole spent years working on Parliament Hill. She is recognized by The Hill Times as one of Canada’s top 100 federal lobbyists.


Mayor John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

Born and raised in Toronto, Mayor Tory has spent his life giving back to the city he loves, through his tireless work in public, private sector and philanthropic roles.

Elected as the 65th Mayor of Toronto in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, John Tory is making the city more liveable, affordable and functional.

He has improved the way people move around this city, fighting traffic congestion and speeding up major construction projects; introducing free transit for kids 12 and under and discounted transit for low income residents; championing a transit network expansion plan that includes the Relief Line, SmartTrack, the Eglinton East and Eglinton West LRT, Bloor Danforth Subway Extension to Scarborough and the Waterfront Transit Network; and securing $9 billion in transit investments from other levels of government – the single biggest infrastructure investment in this city’s history.

He has kept taxes low, while investing in priority services including affordable housing and poverty reduction, and modernizing the government services on which people rely.

Under his leadership, Toronto has attracted jobs and investment and emerged as an undisputed centre of innovation and opportunity on the world stage.

Mayor Tory and his wife Barbara have been married for 42 years and have four children and five grandchildren.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary

Naheed Nenshi, A’paistootsiipsii, was sworn in as Calgary's 36th mayor on October 25, 2010 and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

Prior to being elected, Mayor Nenshi was with McKinsey and Company, later forming his own business to help public, private and non-profit organizations grow. He designed policy for the Government of Alberta, helped create a Canadian strategy for The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and worked with the United Nations to determine how business can help the poorest people on the planet. He then entered academia, where he was Canada's first tenured professor in the field of nonprofit management, at Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business.

For his work, Mayor Nenshi was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, was awarded the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contributions to community mental health. In 2013, after his stewardship of the community during devastating flooding, Maclean’s magazine called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister. He was also awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize by the UK-based City Mayor’s Foundation as the best mayor in the world.

In 2014, he was also honoured by Elder Pete Standing Alone with the Blackfoot name A’paistootsiipsii, which means "Clan Leader" or "He who moves camp and the others follow". In 2016, Elder Bruce Starlight of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation honoured him with the name Iitiya: "Always Ready".

Mayor Nenshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, where he was President of the Students' Union, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow.

Mayor Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

Jim Watson was re-elected as Mayor of the City of Ottawa for a third consecutive term on October 22, 2018 with more than 71% of the popular vote.

Mayor Watson has dedicated most of his career to public service in Canada’s capital.

First elected as a Councillor in 1991, he was re-elected in 1994. Three years later, he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Ottawa’s history with 82% of the popular vote.

Following the amalgamation of Ottawa and surrounding communities, Mayor Watson was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission, a federal crown corporation.

In 2003, he was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and immediately appointed to cabinet as Minister of Consumer and Business Services.

In 2005, he was appointed as Ontario’s first Minister of Health Promotion and he successfully implemented the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

Re-elected as MPP in 2007, he was promoted to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. In that portfolio, Watson signed the largest federal-provincial housing agreement in Ontario’s history. In addition, he co-authored a historic agreement between the Province and Ontario’s 444 municipalities that saw over $1.5 billion in social service costs removed from local property taxes.
Following his time in provincial politics, Jim Watson returned to municipal politics and was elected as Mayor of the City of Ottawa in October 2010.

In his first term as Mayor, Watson oversaw the beginning of construction of the Confederation Line light rail transit project and the successful completion of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment. He brought renewed fiscal discipline to City Hall, bringing in the lowest tax changes for several years while investing in renewed infrastructure, new community facilities and transit improvements in all parts of the city.

Mayor Watson’s first term saw the creation of Invest Ottawa, the opening of the Shaw Centre, the EY Centre, the revitalized Lansdowne Park and TD Place, the Vimy Memorial Bridge, the Richcraft Sensplex East, Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven, the Francois Dupuis Recreation Centre, and the Richcraft Recreation Complex – Kanata.

During his second term, Mayor Watson continued to move the City forward and oversaw important city initiatives such as the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, the new Ottawa Art Gallery and the revitalization of Arts Court, the Ottawa River Action Plan and the unforgettable Ottawa 2017 celebrations, which marked Canada’s 150th anniversary. Mayor Watson was instrumental in securing of provincial and federal funding for Stage 2 LRT, which will bring rail father west, east and south.

An active member of his community, Watson has served on the boards or as honourary chair of several community organizations, including the Riverside Hospital, the National Arts Centre, the Christmas Exchange of Ottawa, the Forum for Young Canadians, Invest Ottawa and Ottawa 2017. In 2016, Mayor Jim Watson was appointed to the National Capital Commission (NCC) Board as an ex-officio member, becoming the first Mayor of Ottawa to ever sit on the Board of the NCC. He served as chair of United Way’s 2002 campaign, which raised a record $21 million.

An avid volunteer with several groups, he has helped serve meals at the Shepherds of Good Hope, a local soup kitchen. His commitment to those less fortunate was evident when, in August of 2000, he contributed his entire municipal severance payment of $31,000 to Ottawa’s Union Mission for Men.
His years of active involvement and community service have made him the recipient of several awards and accolades, including Maclean’s magazine’s “100 Young Canadians To Watch,” Carleton University Honours Award, the City of Ottawa’s highest civic honour, the Key to the City; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; the Visionary Award by the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association, and the National Leadership Award by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control for his role in implementing the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

Mayor Watson was recognized for his support of the tourism industry by being named Ottawa Tourism Leader of the Year in 2012. In 2013, he was recognized by the Canadian Housing Renewal Association for his work on breaking the cycle of poverty. In 2014, Mayor Watson was named “Communicator of the Year” by the International Association of Business Communicators’ Ottawa chapter. In 2016, he was presented with the Water Leader Award by the Ottawa Riverkeeper, for his persistent leadership to prioritize the City’s efforts to clean up the Ottawa River.