CHIEF ECONOMIST, CANADATA
8:35 a.m. & 3:10 p.m.
Construction Economic Update: Unplugged
The conference begins and ends with remarks from Alex Carrick, ConstructConnect’s Chief Economist. There are a lot of powerful questions that hang over the Canadian economy and impact the construction outlook as 2016 enters its second half – none perhaps more pressing than the instability in the resource sector. This rising concern is paired with the never-ending speculation about housing – is there a housing bubble in the Toronto and Vancouver markets or over-valuation in markets generally across Canada? In manufacturing centers like Ontario and Quebec, how has the lower value of the Canadian dollar helped this sector and what will the recovered American economy mean for Canada as its closest neighbor? These issues and more will be discussed within the framework of the construction outlook for 2017.
Alex Carrick obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada) in 1969. His M.A. in Economics was earned at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 1971.
After finishing the courses for a doctorate while living at U of T’s Massey College, the lure of the job market proved too great and Mr. Carrick was hired by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), a trade association representing structural steel fabricators. He eventually became the CISC’s Secretary-Treasurer.
In 1985, Mr. Carrick became employed as Chief Economist with CanaData, the leading supplier of statistics and forecasting information for the Canadian construction industry. CanaData is a product line of CMD Group LLC, based in Atlanta.
Mr. Carrick is traditionally the closing speaker at CanaData’s Annual Construction Industry Forecasts Conference, which will be marking its 30th anniversary in 2015.
During the last decade-plus, Mr. Carrick’s endeavors have become much broader in scope. He has delivered presentations throughout the continent on the Canadian, United States and world construction markets. The number of articles he’s written for the company’s various websites has climbed into the thousands.
He is frequently quoted by major news outlets. His online video analyses are a popular feature with the Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce.
Thanks in large measure to his heightened social media presence, Mr. Carrick has recently become CMD Group’s North American Chief Economist.
Alex is also an award-winning short story writer. He has twice received Honorable Mention in the international Lorian Hemingway Competition. In the summer of 2012, his personal blog was chosen Writing Website of the Week by Writer’s Digest.
Carrick Publications, which Alex manages jointly with his wife Donna, has published nearly 100 anthologies, fiction and non-fiction works by a variety of talented authors.
VICE-PRESIDENT, SCOTIABANK ECONOMICS & DEPUTY CHIEF ECONOMIST
World, US and Canadian Outlooks
With a professional career that has spanned at least seven boom-bust periods, Aron’s views on the rapidly changing and challenging global economic landscape are shaped by his considerable experience and interaction with business people, policymakers, and investors alike. He is an ad hoc advisor to a number of industry groups both in Canada and the United States.
Leading this discussion, Aron will highlight the many complex economic issues facing the global economy and how they will affect Canada’s outlook. The U.S. economy remains a compelling story – particularly this year with a divisive fall election, housing prices normalizing but with oil prices in flux. And what about Europe? With the threat of Brexit and the political and economic turmoil the U.K.’s exit from the EU has caused in the short-term, what will happen to Europe’s once fledging comeback? Of course, it all relates back to Canada – interest rates, GDP, housing starts – and how the low value of the Canadian dollar will affect our story.
Aron Gampel, Vice-President, Scotiabank Economics and Deputy Chief Economist, is a senior advisor to the Bank’s executive management, and has wide-ranging responsibilities within the organization, including presenting to Scotiabank’s diverse customer base internationally. He is also a featured Bank spokesperson through a variety of media channels.
Prior to joining Scotiabank in 1984, Aron spent six years as an economist with the Canadian investment firm of Pitfield Mackay Ross Ltd., and four years with the Ontario Economic Council, both in Toronto.
Aron is a graduate of York University in Toronto, Ontario, where he received his Master of Arts degree in Economics. He also earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Computer Science from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTCONNECT
CRAIG ROBERTS, CPA, CMA, MBA
Project Specific Speaker Update - Megaprojects in Ontario/Canada
Craig Roberts leads the marketing and business development team at ConstructConnect, Canada’s market leader for non-residential construction data, news, and analysis. An industry “veteran” at the age of 43, Craig has held leadership roles in the construction data industry back to 1999, working both the U.S. and Canadian markets. Craig led the efforts on behalf of ConstructConnect (formerly CMD Group) collaborating with construction associations, resulting in unprecedented and enduring strategic alliances across Canada. For six years, Craig was an independent Director on the Board of International Barrier Technologies Inc. (IBTGF, IBH), a publicly traded building product manufacturer listed in the U.S. and Canada.
Craig earned a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environment Sciences from Queen’s University at Kingston and has graduate degrees from Queen’s University and Cornell University. In 2007 Craig became a Certified Professional Accountant through CMA-BC (now CPA BC). Craig is a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade and lives with his wife and two daughters in Vancouver.
Head of Research, Canada
CBRE Limited | Americas Research
Commercial Construction Outlook
What a difference a year makes. Last year, the focus was on the unexpected pull out of Target. This year, it is all about office building construction and how the economic realities of the country have shaped and changed that environment. Particularly in the resource-rich provinces in the prairies, the downturn has affected office space requirements, with companies downsizing space and expansion. The opposite is true in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec and thus presents a shifting balance between east and west. We will touch on new construction and how this market looks in 2017, particularly space demands and requirements.
In addition to office space, we will cover light industrial, warehouse construction, light commercial and demand for call centre and computer data centre space. And a full analysis of commercial construction wouldn’t be complete without a thorough retail update, particularly shopping centres.
Raymond Wong, as Managing Director, Americas Research Operations for CBRE, is responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day operations of the company's local market research across the Americas.
Ray joined CBRE in 2000 as the National Director of Research for Canada and concentrated on the architecture and development of Canada’s National Research Team. Inclusive to these initiatives and responsibilities, he also played an integral role in assisting in the roll out of the CBRE Econometric Advisors Canadian Outlook.
In 1989, Ray began his career at another major brokerage company as a Research Analyst for the Industrial Commercial Division, eventually becoming the Research Manager for the Toronto Suburban Group. In 1993, Ray became a Senior Consultant for the Advisory Services Group where he provided information and analysis of the commercial real estate market for various financial institutions and pension funds across Canada.
Commodities Demand: Prices Still Flat-Lining or on the Mend?
Based in Toronto, Dina Ignjatovic joined the Economics department at TD Bank Financial Group in September 2007.
Her chief responsibilities include analyzing and forecasting the auto sector, commodities and other industries. Dina also contributes to a wide variety of TD publications, and is frequently quoted by the media on various economic issues.
Dina holds an M.A. degree in Business Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a B.Comm. degree from the University of Guelph, where she majored in Management Economics in Industry and Finance.
JOURNALIST, BROADCASTER & AUTHOR
Connecting the news through finance, global issues, contemporary governance, education and big ideas, Journalist, Broadcaster and Author Ali Velshi's broad range of expertise offers an insider's view of the latest economic trends and news headlines, unraveling the complexities of the financial world, from Wall Street to Main Street. Velshi will offer plain talk on the changing global economy and encompass the most pressing developments in domestic and international business. He will describe with up-to-the-minute detail, the current financial situation and what it means for you, your family, and your business.
Ali Velshi was most recently the host of Ali Velshi On Target a nightly prime-time show on Al Jazeera America that spoke truth to power through debate, interview and on-the-ground reporting. Ali Velshi has reported from the U.S. Presidential campaign trail, as well as covering ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey, the days leading up to the nuclear deal from Tehran, the tensions between Russia and NATO from Eastern Europe and the High Arctic, the debt crisis in Greece, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. He was previously the host of Third Rail & Real Money with Ali Velshi on Al Jazeera America.
Ali Velshi’s latest book How to Speak Money, co-authored with CNN’s Christine Romans, helps readers become fluent in the world’s most universal language – money. In this easy-to-read “manual,” he teaches readers about emerging international economies, how to budget wisely and build wealth, and how to plan appropriately for retirement, complete with practical executions, examples and worksheets. Velshi is also the author of Gimme My Money Back, released in January 2009.
Arq. MES, RPP, MCIP, MRAIC Principal
The Ties Between Logistics, Infrastructure Spending & Productivity Enhancements
As a founding partner of DIALOG and formerly of Office for Urbanism, Antonio is committed to creating healthy places where people thrive – through dialogue. His work with cities, communities, and campuses has been recognized with awards for planning and design excellence by the Canadian, the Ontario and the Alberta Institutes of Planners, as well as by the Environmental Design Research Association, the Design Exchange, and others.
Acting at the intersection of urban design, planning, and architecture, Antonio’s work is characterized by an engaging and collaborative process, which delivers healthier, flourishing, complete communities. By collaborating across sectors and through the broad engagement of developers, residents, community and political leaders, and other stakeholders, Antonio’s plans, designs, and policies have a unique track record of generating buy-in and being successfully implemented.
Antonio is regularly called upon by municipalities, developers, and professional associations to front a strategic conversation on how to deliver city-building objectives through public and private initiatives. In the last few years alone, Antonio has lead the planning frameworks for LRT projects in Mississauga, Brampton, Edmonton, and Hamilton, the creation of neighbourhood plans in Toronto, Vaughan, and Calgary, and campus master plans for post-secondary institutions in Toronto, Markham, King, and Sudbury. His recent speaking engagement topics include: Transit Urbanism; Urban Vibrancy; Contemporary Approaches to Heritage; Community Resilience; and Urban Wellness.
He has acted as the Chair of the Toronto Society of Architects, and is the inaugural Chair of the City of Vaughan’s Design Review Panel
CHIEF ECONOMIST & GENERAL MANAGER AT ALTUS GROUP
PETER NORMAN, MA
Residential Construction Outlook
Real estate and the housing market continue to capture significant attention in the minds of many Canadians. It impacts all facets – from jobs to resources to economic health to commodities. With housing starts up in 2016, will Canada’s hot market boil over or will it continue to defy the odds and persist with strong growth into 2017? Regionalism also plays an important role in the real estate market in Canada. Questions remain about a modification in Alberta’s housing market due to the reduction in prices of commodities and how much foreign money is propping up the Canadian market, especially in places like Toronto and Vancouver. From single family homes to condominiums to the investment made by Canadians in renovations, join Peter Norman in an in-depth discussion about what lies beneath the residential housing market in Canada.
Peter Norman is a well‐known professional land economist and forecaster and is Chief Economist at Altus Group and General Manager of Altus Group Economic Consulting. Widely quoted in the Canadian media, Peter is a frequent expert witness on economic matters and consults for private and public sector organizations across Canada, providing economic intelligence and strategic advice.
Peter Norman earned a BA at Trent University and an MA at the University of Guelph, sits on the Executive Committee of the Toronto Association of Business and Economics, the Economic Research Committee of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and is a member of the Association of Ontario Land Economists and a member of Lambda Alpha International, an Honourary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics. Peter lives with his wife and four children in Toronto.
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