News Release
June 24, 2020

Today, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, launched the City of Toronto’s Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group, co-chaired by Blake Goldring, Executive Chairman, AGF Management Limited.

The advisory group will provide objective advice to help establish how the City can best support businesses and culture organizations to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and the resulting recession.

The members of the advisory group are:

  • Rusul Alrubail, Executive Director, Parkdale Centre for Innovation
  • Mark Bennett, Managing Partner, Cassels
  • Dr. Eliza Chandler, Assistant Professor, Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies
  • Julien Lutz (Director X), Artist
  • Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters District Council of Ontario
  • Rafael Gomez, Associate Professor, University of Toronto and Director, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
  • James Dodds, Senior Vice President Stakeholder Relations, TD Bank
  • Zabeen Hirji, Executive Advisor, Future of Work, Deloitte
  • Steve Gupta, Chairman, The Gupta Group
  • Agapi Gessesse, Executive Director, Centre for Young Black Professionals
  • Joe Manget, Operating Partner, Alignvest and Chairman, Edgewood Health Network
  • Bill Robson, CEO, C. D. Howe Institute
  • Nadine Spencer, President, Black Business and Professional Association
  • Dori Tunstall, Dean Faculty of Design, OCAD
  • Camille Usher, Executive Director, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective
  • Andrea Elliott, Executive Vice President, Moose Knuckles Canada
  • Councillor Mark Grimes, Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
  • Lekan Olawoye, Founder, Black Professionals in Tech Network

The work of the advisory group will complement and build on the significant input already received from stakeholders through Mayor John Tory’s roundtables as well as the work being undertaken by the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Taskforce, consultation initiatives by other members of Council, the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR), the Toronto Region Board of Trade, and others.

Scheduled to meet virtually again in July, August and September, the advisory group will produce an interim report in July and a final report for consideration by the Economic and Community Development Committee at the end of the year.

This advisory group is a part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’s economic support and recovery plan for Toronto businesses.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“I look forward to the expert advice from the engaged and informed members of the advisory group as we continue the essential work to recover from COVID-19. Toronto’s economy was diverse, strong and growing before this pandemic and I know we will build on that solid foundation, together.”
– Mayor John Tory

“I am proud to work with such an esteemed group of Toronto leaders to help inform the City’s efforts to support businesses and cultural organizations as we work together to rebuild from COVID-19.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

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