April 2014

Pundits, Predictions & Politics: A Discussion About the Future at All Three Levels

11:45am-1:30pm | Marriott Hotel - 525 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G 2L2, Toronto

With a municipal election underway, a federal election around the corner and provincial election looming overhead, it’s safe to say the political landscape in Canada is more exciting than ever. Who will take the crown? Who will surely drown? Which of the top players will stick around? Join our panel of experts as they weigh in on these questions and so much more at this Economic Club exclusive.

Panelists: Heather Scoffield, Ottawa bureau chief at The Canadian Press; John Capobiano, political commentator and public affairs national practice at FleishmanHillard Toronto; Scott Reid, political commentator and principal at Feschuk.Reid

Moderator: David Akin, National Bureau Chief, host of “Battleground” at Sun Media

David Akin

Parliamentary Bureau Chief
Sun Media

David Akin

Gemini Award-winning journalist David Akin is the National Bureau Chief for Sun Media and host of “Battleground”, a program that focuses exclusively on elections here and around the world at the federal, provincial and municipal level broadcast Monday to Friday on Sun News Network. Since arriving on Parliament Hill in 2005, Akin has covered events as varied as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual tours through the Arctic to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt to terror trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. On Sun News Network, Akin has anchored live coast-to-coast wire-to-wire election night coverage for the 2011 federal election as well as the most recent provincial elections in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

Akin received a Gemini Award for his reporting while he was a correspondent for CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson and he was a National Newspaper Award finalist while working as a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail. His 20-year career in journalism also includes being a member of the inaugural staff at The National Post.

Akin has long been one of Canada’s journalism pioneers when it comes to exploring ways to use digital media and computer-assisted tools for newsgathering and publishing. His blog, On The Hill, is nearly a decade old and he is a frequent speaker on the use of social media in communications.

A Montrealer by birth, Akin studied history at the University of Guelph. He lives near Ottawa with his wife and two children.

Heather Scoffield

Ottawa Bureau Chief
The Canadian Press

Heather Scoffield

Heather Scoffield is the bureau chief for The Canadian Press in Ottawa. She leads an award-winning newsroom of 18 people who regularly break news and dominate national coverage of federal politics. Heather started out covering fires, police and the school board at a small regional paper, moving on to The Canadian Press as a general assignment reporter. She spent a few years covering markets, economics and politics at Reuters before joining The Globe and Mail. Over 12 years, Heather wrote extensively for the newspaper and website about global financial crises, fiscal and monetary policy, and politics of all kinds.

She then joined The Canadian Press to cover social policy, environmental policy and federal politics, focusing on the fall-out of the 2008 financial crisis. Heather has won five National Newspaper Awards, including one in 2014 for the bureau’s work in covering the Oct. 22 shooting on Parliament Hill.

She has a Masters in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a BA in international relations from York University. She lives in Chelsea, Que., with her husband and two children.

John Capobianco

Senior Vice President & Senior Partner

John Capobianco

John Capobianco is public affairs national practice lead in FleishmanHillard’s Toronto office. With over 25 years of grassroots political experience at all three levels of government, Mr. Capobianco offers a strong, seasoned and influential voice in public affairs. This experience has enabled him to build an extensive political network, which he can leverage to the benefit of organizations looking to engage with senior government officials.

Before joining FleishmanHillard in 2010, Mr. Capobianco was senior vice president of Edelman’s public affairs practice. Since joining Edelman in 2006, Mr. Capobianco has helped numerous private and non-profit organizations build and maintain strong relationships with key government decision-makers at the federal, provincial and municipal level. Mr. Capobianco has a vast knowledge of helping companies navigate thought the intricacies of government, including successfully helping the Heart and Stroke Foundation secure $15 Million in federal government funding for a Centre for Stroke Recovery, providing strategic Counsel to the Ontario Teachers’ Private Capital for its historic $52 billion acquisition of Bell Canada and assisting a world-leading security company get their new tobacco control stamps issue through to the federal government at both the political and bureaucratic levels.

As a political enthusiast, John has twice won the Conservative Party of Canada nomination for the Toronto-area riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore and ran as a federal Conservative candidate in the 2004 and 2006 elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. John is recognized as a leader in the conservative movement and is a regular political commentator in Canada’s national media.

He is currently president of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, past president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and sits on the boards of the Albany Club of Toronto and Ontario Chamber of Commerce. John also advises Seneca College on their newly implemented post-graduate certificate Government Relations course. Mr. Capobianco earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics at York University and resides in Toronto, ON.