This half-day Policy Forum featured four in-depth policy solution sessions with industry leading guest speakers followed by lunch with guest speaker Frank Ingratta, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Thursday, May 15, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Caboto Club

Presented by the University of Windsor.

The purpose of this forum is to address key member issues and provide ideas and solutions for decision-makers. No politicians or civil servants will be making presentations. This has never been attempted before as far as we can tell at any Chamber at any level. This is a big undertaking for our Chamber.

The forum is comprised of four components, each about 55 minutes:

Session 1 – Business & Labour: Perceptions and Reality

Session 2 – Energy Costs – How to Address Higher Power Costs

Session 3 – Tax Base Challenges – Other Communities Successes

Session 4 – Investing in Our Future: Infrastructure, Emerging Sectors, Skills

Policy & Solutions Forum – May 15, 2014

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Session 1: Business and Labour: Perceptions & Reality

Moderator: Dr. K.W. Michael Siu

Dr. K.W. Michael Siu is currently Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Vice-President, Research at the University of Windsor. Until the end of 2012, he was Distinguished Research Professor and NSERC / AB SCIEX Senior Industrial Research Chair in Analytical Mass Spectrometry at York University. He was the Founding Director of York’s Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry. Siu served on the Board of York University, 2004-2006, and as Associate Vice-President Research, Science & Technology, 2005-2011. Siu’s research interests span from fundamentals of mass spectrometry and ion chemistry, to next-generation mass spectrometry equipment, and to applications in proteomics and cancer biomarker discovery and verification. He has published over 230 scientific papers and 7 peer-reviewed book chapters, co-edited two books, and given over 440 presentations, of which 50% were invited, keynote or plenary.

George W. King

George W. King has practised law in the City of Windsor since 1982. Throughout his career, Mr. King has devoted his practice to the representation of Employers in labour and employment law matters. Throughout his career, George has represented numerous Employers throughout Southwestern Ontario. He has been designated one of Canada’s Best Lawyers in that field. He has negotiated over 500 collective agreements in virtually every type of public and private workplace in this region. He has also represented Employers in many high profile cases and disputes.

In 1989 George became the youngest President of the Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on numerous other community boards.

George is married to Kimberly and they have six (6) children.

Click here to view George King’s presentation.

Bill Murnighan

Bill Murnighan is Director of the Research Department of Unifor. Bill provides economic, financial and policy research in support of the union’s negotiations, campaigns and government relations initiatives. Prior to joining the union in 1998, he worked as a Research Economist, Financial Analyst and Policy Advisor in the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Over the last 16 years with the union Bill has engaged in countless sets of negotiations in industries as diverse as railways, mining, healthcare, aerospace, trucking, hotels, air traffic control and more. But the auto industry has always been one of his main areas of focus. Bill represents the union in a variety of capacities at auto industry forums including the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, Auto 21 and the Automotive Policy Research Centre. He has also served as a member of the Master Bargaining Committee at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler negotiations in each of the last six rounds of negotiations. Bill holds a graduate degree in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University.

Click here to view Bill Murnighan’s presentation.

Dr. Peter Frise


Session 2: Energy Costs – How to Address Higher Power Costs

Moderator: Barrie McKenna

Barrie McKenna is correspondent and columnist in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau. From 1997 until 2010, he covered Washington from The Globe’s bureau in the U.S. capital. During his U.S. posting, he traveled widely, filing stories from more than 30 states. Mr. McKenna has also been a frequent visitor to Japan and South Korea on reporting assignments. A native Montrealer, he has degrees from McGill University (history) and Carleton University (journalism). He is also a five-time finalist for Canada’s National Newspaper Award.

Bruce Sharp

Bruce is Aegent Energy Advisors’ Director of Electricity and an expert on the Ontario electricity market. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo (1987) and is a professional engineer (Ontario) and a Chartered Industrial Gas Consultant. Bruce’s Aegent work covers policy analysis and implications for end-use customers and small generators and has included electricity price forecasting work done as part of Ontario Energy Board hearings and on behalf of clients such as Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

Personally, Bruce participated in the Ontario Energy Board’s implementation of the Energy Consumer Protection Act – where he played the key role in having side-by-side bill comparisons made a mandatory part of retail energy offerings to Ontario consumers — and also appeared at the Ontario legislature’s Justice Committee hearings into the relocation of natural gas-fired generating plants originally slated for Oakville and Mississauga.

Click here to view Bruce Sharp’s presentation.

Adam White

Adam White is President of AITIA Analytics, translating energy policy and market information into business intelligence. As President of the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario, Mr. White advocates for customers’ interests. Mr. White’s career includes senior private sector assignments in public affairs, marketing, and regulatory affairs, as well as senior policy advisory roles in public service. Mr. White teaches energy policy at the University of Toronto.

Click here to view Adam White’s presentation.

Pierre-Olivier Pineau

Pierre-Oliver Pineau (PhD, HEC Montréal, 2000) is a professor at the Department of Management Sciences of HEC Montréal and holds the Chair in Energy Sector Management since December 2013. He is an energy policy and management specialist, with a focus on electricity reforms. His research focuses on electricity market integration and on optimal approaches to balance energy production and consumption.

He worked in Canada, Africa, Latin America and the Nordic countries and has published papers on all these regions. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Energy Sector Management. He is a member of CIRODD (Interuniversity Research Centre for the Operationalization Sustainable Development) and CRÉUM (University of Montreal ethics research center). He held positions in Canada at the University of Victoria (School of Public Administration, 2001-2006) and at Concordia University (Economics Department, 2000-2001). He sits on the Board of directors of the Canadian Association for Energy Economics.

Click here to view Pierre-Olivier Pineau’s presentation.

Session 3: Tax Base Challenges – Other Communities Successes

Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Collier

Dr. Cheryl N. Collier is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor. She teaches and researches in the areas of Canadian and Comparative Politics, focusing primarily on provincial politics, federalism, social policy and political parties. Her research has been published in international and Canadian academic journals and she is currently co-editing a new book on Ontario Politics to be published by the University of Toronto Press. Dr. Collier is a frequent media commentator on Canadian, provincial and municipal politics and currently appears weekly on CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning as its municipal affairs columnist.

Dr. Enid Slack

Dr. Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. The IMFG focuses on the fiscal health and governance challenges facing cities and city-regions in Canada and around the world. Enid has been working on municipal finance issues for 35 years and has been retained by agencies such as the World Bank, IMF, CIDA, UN Habitat, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank in countries such as Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, and South Africa. She has written several books and articles on property taxes, tax incentives, intergovernmental transfers, development charges, financing municipal infrastructure, municipal governance, municipal boundary restructuring, and education funding. Enid is an Adjunct Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs. In 2012, Enid was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on cities.

Click here to view Dr. Enid Slack’s presentation.

Jared Rodriguez


Click here to view Jared Rodriguez’s presentation.

Fred Morley

Fred Morley is Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of the Greater Halifax Partnership. Mr. Morley has designed and driven many of Nova Scotia’s and Halifax’s high profile economic and business initiatives, several of which have won international economic development awards. He is a regular media commentator and the author of more than 100 articles on economic issues. His views are sought by organizations, companies and governments around the world.

Click here to view Fred Morley’s presentation.

Benjamin Erulkar

Benjamin Erulkar is vice president of economic development for new development strategies at the Detroit Regional Chamber and leads the Chamber’s effort to refocus its strategic priorities on economic development, education and regional collaboration. In this role, Erulkar oversees the Chamber’s investor development program, entrepreneurship initiatives, education and talent portfolio, and other programs including the Pure Michigan Business Connect strategic partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, InnoState Consortium and Translinked programs.

Erulkar joined the Chamber in 2011 after two decades of working at all levels of domestic and international economic development in the public and private sectors. During the George W. Bush administration, he served in the U.S. Department of Commerce as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development from 2005-2009.

Click here to view Benjamin Erulkar’s presentation.

Session 4: Investing in Our Future: Infrastructure, Emerging Sectors, Skills

Moderator: Allan O’Dette


Dr. William Anderson

Bill Anderson is the Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy at the University of Windsor. He was formerly on the faculties of McMaster University and Boston University. An economic geographer, his interests include the Canada-US border; economic analysis of transportation infrastructure investments; Canada-US economic integration; urban and regional economic development; transportation and border security; international trade and transportation planning. He is founding director of
the Cross-Border Institute, which conducts research on the movement of goods and people across the Canada-US border and the economies of the border regions.

Click here to view Dr. William Anderson’s presentation.

Tanya Antoniw

Tanya Antoniw is the Executive Director of Workforce WindsorEssex. She graduated in 2009 from the University of Windsor with a Combined Bachelors of Arts with Honours in Political Science and History. Tanya completed a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. While completing her major research paper, Tanya completed a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In 2012, Tanya published Promising Sectors & Occupations, 2012-2015 Windsor-Essex Report at Workforce WindsorEssex and has collaborated with colleagues to release several publications on the local labour market. Tanya was appointed Executive Director of the organization in July 2013. Tanya also serves on the Board of Directors for Legal Assistance of Windsor and Essex Community Futures Development Corporation.

Click here to view Tanya Antoniw’s presentation.

Melissa Ventura

Melissa has over 8 years experience in the Settlement sector in a variety of capacities, with a particular focus on assisting Internationally Trained Professionals to gain employment in Canada. She has managed the Labour Market Access Department at New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc. for the past 2 years. She has diverse knowledge on all faucets of immigration and experience in front line service delivery; management; creation of program curriculum and delivery; strategic program planning; strategic and innovative settlement/labour market/entrepreneurship development; stakeholder collaboration and partnership building; community engagement; policy innovation; client satisfaction and growth and conference planning. Melissa has also served on many different settlement committees in the Windsor Essex Region and currently sits on the Windsor-Essex Global Attraction of Investors Network committee (WE GAIN).

Click here to view Melissa Ventura’s presentation.

Keynote Speaker

Frank Ingratta

Frank Ingratta is President of Ingratta Innovations Inc., which provides public policy and strategic advice primarily to the agrifood sector. Ingratta was a member of Ontario Public service for 34 years where he worked in both technical and senior management roles. In 2006, he retired after 8 years as deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He headed the Crop Insurance Commission which had multi-billion dollar indemnification and more than 20,000 subscribers. Ingratta spent 14 years as research scientist and Chief research scientist with the Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario and in that capacity chaired the national Expert Committee on Horticulture and the Canadian Committee on Crop Production.

Ingratta Innovations Inc. has worked on projects across Canada in both the livestock and crop sector. He currently chairs the Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee, the Grapes for Processing Industry Advisory Committee, the Advisory Board of Monaghan Mushrooms and is Vice Chair of the George Morris Center.

Click here to view Frank Ingratta’s presentation.

Dino Chiodo

Dino Chiodo began his union career in 1999 as a shop steward at the Windsor Chrysler minivan plant. Six years later he was elected committee-person in the Trim Division representing 1200 workers. In that position, Dino gained the experience needed to quickly become the first vice-president and shortly thereafter, president of CAW/Unifor Local 444 in 2012. In September 2013, Dino was elected chairperson of the Ontario Regional Council, responsible for almost every sector of the economy, representing approximately 160,000 Unifor members.

Dino is currently the elected chairperson of the Chrysler Master Bargaining committee and he led negotiations with Chrysler in September 2012. Faced with the toughest round of bargaining yet at the Big Three, Dino was able to secure positive gains and hold the line on future concessions for the 17,500 active and retired members of his local union and throughout all of Chrysler Canada.

Dr. Allan Conway

Dr. Conway graduated with a Doctorate in Business Policy from the Harvard Business School and is the Dean of the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor (since July, 2005).

Dr. Conway has authored or co-authored four books. While earlier work centred on new product innovation, doing business in Japan, and world product mandates, in more recent years he has been involved with work on research leadership, as a member of the Western Collaborative on Management and Leadership Training among Research Leaders in Canada and in current activities centred on supporting new firm foundation in the Windsor-Essex region. One of his current projects is an examination of CEO succession.