Mayor’s Breakfast June 2023: Fireside Chat with the Hon. Caroline Mulroney
The Mayor’s Breakfast series, hosted by the Ottawa Board of Trade (OBOT) and Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) brings together Ottawa’s business community to inform and discuss key issues impacting the growth and prosperity of our city.
Sueling Ching, President and CEO of OBOT, welcomed business and community leaders to the last Mayor’s Breakfast before the summer break. She kicked off the sold-out breakfast by giving an update from OBOT.
In June OBOT hosted our 166th AGM, where we brought together our members to celebrate and thank them for ensuring Ottawa has a strong voice of business. Our new chair Brendan McGuinty took us back in time, painted a picture of Ottawa 166 years ago and the important role business leaders played in shaping the city we have today. The Ottawa Board of Trade was created to harness the collective energy and expertise of these leaders and that mission remains true today. And the role of business leadership remains central to the future of Ottawa.
We also issued call to action for every level of government to prioritize it as well. Sueling said, “Downtown Ottawa is the heartbeat of our city and our entire region. It has been disproportionately impacted by pandemic and continues to struggle. What happens downtown has a direct and immediate impact on every business, every citizen, and every visitor.”
Ahead of their talk, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe provided an updated from City Hall. His worship recognized Team Ottawa and the organizations driving economic growth in our city. At the breakfast, he teased a big announcement that would be great for tourism in our city. Later that day the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the World Juniors would be coming to Ottawa in 2025.
In their chat, the Hon. Caroline Mulroney talked about her role as Minister of Francophone Affairs. She said, “In the last five years we've looked at the francophone community in Ontario not just as a historical and cultural community that we treasure and support but it is one that we really need to appreciate and harness. The Board of Trade talked about the initiatives they’re doing to harness the initiative of business leaders in this community so that Ottawa can continue to grow and prosper, that's how we feel about the francophone community.”
They went on to discuss her portfolio as the Minister of Transportation where she acknowledged that building transit is an incredibly disruptive activity that is tough for businesses, residents, and commuters, but it has to be done. She said, “Building transit is a game changer for communities. Given the scope of the transit that we're building in Ontario today, I kind of think of it almost as a province building exercise. We’re connecting communities in ways that we need for the future.”
Before wrapping up their conversation Mayor Sutcliffe asked about her family’s accidental impact on the Canadian music industry. David Foster attended her wedding as he was friends with her parents. The family met Foster when he produced a charity concert or for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation organized by Mila Mulroney. She said, “At that concert she also introduced David Foster to Celine Dion, so that's another connection my mom put together.” The Minister continued, “he heard Michael sing and the next day he invited him to his studio in Los Angeles and the rest is history.”
To close the event, Michael Curran, Publisher of OBJ provided an update from the media organization, including the launch of OBJ’s the summer issue and a reminder to register for Ottawa’s Best Networking Golf Tournament.
Watch the full chat here: