Toronto Forum for Global Cities To Address Urbanization, Transportation and
Energy Issues with Senior White House Officials, Business and Political
Leaders - November 9-10

    Conference Highlights Include Robert Reich, Adolfo Carrión, Jr. and
    Angel Gurria

TORONTO, Nov. 3 /CNW/ - Senior White House officials, OECD leaders and high profile business executives will be among the over 40 panellists participating in the Toronto Forum for Global Cities, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Building (255 Front Street West) on November 9 and 10, 2009. The Forum will tackle a series of questions about the role of cities in the global economy, including issues pertaining to public transportation, green energy and more.

Forum highlights will include:

Monday, November 9

8:30am: WORDS OF WELCOME with keynote speaker David Miller, Mayor of Toronto

9:00am: OPENING SESSION - Restoring Growth

Speaker highlights: Adolfo Carrión, Jr., Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs and Deputy Assistant to the President, and Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Rapid urbanization is increasing the importance of large cities in the world economy. How can cities contribute to restoring the economy in the aftermath of the economic crisis?

10:30am: Financing Transportation Infrastructure

Speaker highlight: Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of Transportation

Transportation infrastructure is a key component of economic development, as demonstrated by Obama's $64.1 billion investment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. What are the key opportunities to renew infrastructure, and what are the sources of funding?

10:30am: OECD EVENT

Towards a sustainable competitiveness agenda for Toronto: Presentation of the OECD Territorial Review, which recommends a new sustainable competitiveness agenda for the Toronto region. What are Toronto's unique assets, how well-prepared is the city for global competition, and how can it meet its potential?

Speakers: Mario Pezzini, Deputy Director in the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate and Olaf Merk, Economist in the OECD Regional Competitiveness and Governance Division

12:00pm - LUNCHEON - Engineering our Future: Delivering Infrastructure Projects Within a Green Energy Economy

Speaker highlights: The Hon. Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board; Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Jean Lemierre, Advisor to the Chairman, BNP Paribas; The Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

How can industries and governments meet infrastructure demands as fast as they arise? What are the latest trends and most notable successes in infrastructure project development? How can green-energy supplies and fuel be systematically integrated in large-scale projects?

3:00pm - SESSION 3 - Investing in Green Energy

Speaker highlights: Wesley Clark, Co-Chairman, Growth Energy; Dan Hoornweg, Lead Urban Specialist on Cities and Climate, World Bank Group

What are the most important sources of renewable energy, and how can they support the needs of the population and create employment opportunities?

4:15pm - SESSION 4 - Public Transportation and the Economic Recovery

Speaker highlights: Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga, and Ron Lemieux, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Government of Manitoba

What are the latest trends in financing, building and operating public transportation?

Tuesday, November 10

SMARTER CITIES FORUM presented by IBM (8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)


Speaker highlights: Dan Fortin, President, IBM Canada Ltd.; Courtney Pratt, CEO, Toronto Region Research Alliance (TRRA); Warren Jestin, Senior VP & Chief Economist, Scotia Bank

How can cities leverage their knowledge-based economies to reach full potential as engines of growth? How can public investments be directed to reflect the economic and demographic realities of our urbanized nations? How can metropolitan networks distinguish themselves in an era of intense global competition?

10:30am: BREAKOUT SESSIONS (simultaneously)


Smarter Economic Development

Speaker highlights: Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Ontario; Shawn Graham, Premier, Province of New-Brunswick; Chris Gibbon, Vice President, Global Social Services & Social Security, IBM Global

Today's governments have a unique opportunity to transform their operations and services, making them truly citizen-centric. How can governments seize this opportunity? Will the solutions be sustainable?


Smarter Public Safety and Emergency Services

Speaker highlights: Paul McCullough, Business Unit Executive, Public Safety and Defense, IBM Canada; Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

A smarter city uses advanced technologies and community-based approaches to anticipate and prevent - not just respond to - crimes and emergencies. What are these technologies? How can we direct funding to the necessary infrastructure to support them?


Smarter Energy and Utilities

Speaker highlights: Michael Valocchi, Global Industry Leader, Energy and Utilities, IBM Global; Anthony Haines, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro Corporation

Every day, energy is wasted due to inefficient electrical distribution systems. How can intelligent systems help utilities and citizens make smarter, more responsible choices about how to buy, sell and use electricity?

12:00pm: LUNCHEON

Competing in an Innovation-Intensive Economy

Speaker highlights: Robert Reich, member of President Obama's Economic Advisory Board and former U.S Secretary of Labor; Shawn Graham, Premier, Province of New Brunswick

NOTE: Robert Reich will participate in a 15-minute media question-and-answer session following the Luncheon.

Economic stability will largely depend on how the emergency support is withdrawn. Which "exit strategies" are less likely to hurt the private sector's innovative capacity? How can the West remain competitive next to the innovative, rapidly-growing and fast-learning countries of Asia?

3:00pm: SESSION 3 - What is the Future for the Banking Sector?

Speaker highlights: Gautier Dirckx, President and CEO, BNP Paribas Canada; Compton Bourne, President, Caribbean Development Bank

What have we learned from the economic crisis? Is the recent performance of the investment banks a sign of recovery or a symptom of another bubble? What are the possible consequences of the new regulatory requirements for the banking sector?

For a complete listing of Forum speakers and a detailed agenda, visit

Media interested in attending Forum sessions must present official credentials at the Forum's Media Desk.


For further information: For further information: Media accreditation and information: Kristin Gable, Office: (416) 306-6641, Cell: (514) 209-0984, E-Mail/BlackBerry:

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