The State of the Economy: What It Means for Economic Developers, Workforce Development and Tourism
Prices are soaring with inflation at levels not seen in decades. Interest rates are up. The labour market is extremely tight, with both shortages of workers and skills. Supply chains are disrupted and potentially being restructured. And geopolitical uncertainty is impacting foreign investment, international trade and the Canadian dollar. In this session, Dr. Trevin Stratton, Americas Economic Advisory Leader at Deloitte and the former Chief Economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, will set the stage by presenting Deloitte’s latest economic projections. Following this economic outlook, he will be joined by Paul Blais (Managing Director, Deloitte), Trudy Parsons (Managing Director, Deloitte), and Clark Hoskins (Senior Manager, Deloitte) for a fireside chat on the challenges and opportunities that changing economic conditions create on the ground for local economies, their workforce and the tourism sector.
About the Speakers
Trevin Stratton is the Americas Economic Advisory Leader at Deloitte and a Partner based in Ottawa, where he applies economic thinking to identify the trends that are reshaping industry and helps business leaders tackle some of today’s most complex and challenging economic issues. Prior to joining Deloitte, he was the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the largest and most influential business association in Canada representing a network of over 200,000 companies. He has advised the Prime Minister’s Office, federal and provincial Cabinet Ministers, Governors and Deputy Governors of the Bank of Canada, senior policy makers and government officials, and C-suite business leaders on economic policy, economic development, and growth, diversification, and competitiveness strategies.
Trevin studied at Carleton University in Canada, as well as at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland. He has held appointments as an International Scholar at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, as an E.C. Harwood Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, and as a lecturer in economics, politics and international studies at the American University in Dubai. Trevin also holds a Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo.
He is currently a Vice Chair of the Business at OECD Economic Policy Committee and he sits on the Board of Governors at Ontario Tech University and the Leadership Council at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Trevin is a frequent media contributor on economic issues and has appeared on programs such as Power & Politics, BNN Bloomberg, CTV National News, as well as providing commentary for the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Washington Post, Politico, and Macleans.
Clark Hoskin, Ec. D.
Clark Hoskin, Ec. D.
Since 1994, Clark has worked in destination marketing and economic development, including over 25 years as a practitioner at the local and regional levels. He is passionate about rural economic development and business collaboration that embraces change, shares ideas, and develops solutions that fit the need. He is a creative problem-solver who strives to find options and opportunities for clients.
Clark helped found the South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation, and worked closely with the Province of Ontario and nine local tourism authorities to create Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation, co-chairing the transition team, and spearheading several priority projects.
His leadership in economic diversification at Norfolk County helped turn around the community’s reliance on a single industry: tobacco production. By listening to farmers, chefs, and travel writers, and collaborating to develop and promote local food and drink, his team created several effective initiatives that won provincial accolades, including the Ontario Culinary Tourism Leadership Award.
Clark joined Deloitte upon its acquisition of MDB Insight in April of 2022. Clark’s prior experience saw him bring advancements in engagement technology and practices to several organizations from small municipal departments to a regional tourism association covering thousands of square kilometres. This expertise is reflected in his current work as a tourism sector specialist and informs his many economic development projects.
Clark is a member of the Economic Developers’ Council of Ontario, Economic Development Association of Canada, and the International Economic Development Council.
Paul Blais, Ec. D.
Paul Blais, Ec. D.
Paul Blais is a co-founder and former Executive Vice-President of MDB Insight, which was acquired by Deloitte in April 2022. He has worked to make municipalities more competitive throughout his 25-year economic development career. For 11 years, he held positions of increasing influence for the municipalities of Woodstock, Kingston, and Lennox and Addington. During this time, he attracted over $300 million in new investment that created 600 direct jobs. Paul served on the Ontario East Economic Development Commission Board of Directors for eight years, including two as President.
Since the mid-2000s, Paul has built on that experience while working with more than 200 businesses, communities, and NGOs. Most of Paul’s municipal clients are rural communities and his work has received recognition from economic development associations across Canada. He is inspired by sharing and learning from citizens in public forums and community leaders around the boardroom table.
Paul continues to stay on top of the latest trends in economic development. He has completed recertification for his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council and has now held that designation for 10 years. In addition, since 2004, Paul has held his Economic Development Certification (Ec.D.) through the Economic Developers Association of Canada. He is often invited to speak at industry conferences, particularly on subjects related to business retention and expansion, strategic planning, approaches to business friendliness, and local economic impact. Paul has been a member of EDAC since 1997 and is also a member of IEDC and several provincial economic development associations as well as Business Retention and Expansion International.
Evelyn is a manager at Deloitte’s Economic Advisory Practice. Her experience in economic development has been focused on industry sector analysis, investment attraction, business retention efforts, labour market analysis, and future of work principles. She has facilitated economic development and workforce development strategies for dozens of municipalities and regions across Canada and the United States. Evelyn is focused on providing outcome-based strategies, accounting for the interconnections and intricacies of sector development, investment readiness, talent readiness and skills assessment, place-making, and the entrepreneurial economy.
Evelyn has lived and worked in various countries around the globe and has experienced different cultures and has gained valuable knowledge by performing tasks in a multicultural work environment. She graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Economic Development and Innovation Program in 2017 and is currently pursuing her Ec.D. designation.