Throughout our year at OLIP we have had the pleasure to interact with one of our new partners, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), on multiple occasions. OREA represents 92,000 real estate agents across the province, and advocates for higher professional standards for the benefit of both consumers and realtors. Housing and real estate policy has dominated many of OLIP’s conversations this year, so having OREA as an OLIP partner has been enlightening.
We first had the pleasure of attending an OREA-hosted luncheon in the fall, where we listened to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, speak about his government’s efforts to increase the affordability of housing in Ontario. This was one of the first in-person events that we got to attend as OLIP interns, and it was exciting to hear a Minister speak more informally about government policy.
We next interacted with OREA when they invited us to a luncheon where Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy gave us some remarks. This event was just before the provincial budget announcement, and it was a chance to hear the Minister speak about some of the government’s spending priorities ahead of the election. At this lunch we were joined by former OREA Government Relations Manager Lindsay Stevens, who gave us advice on entering that field as young professionals.
Ms. Stevens also joined us as when we were treated to lunch by OLIP alumna and head of OREA’s Government Relations Jason Lagerquist. Over lunch we spoke about the intensity of the housing crisis in Ontario and the policies OREA is advocating in order to make the real estate market more accessible. Mr. Lagerquist shared his experience working in Queen’s Park as both an intern and government staffer and gave advice for our post-OLIP pursuits. This was especially relevant given that our time in OLIP is soon coming to an end.
Thank you to Mr. Lagerquist and the rest of OREA for all the great experiences this year, and for the support of the programme!