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Candidates

Meet the Candidates

Have a question for our candidates? Visit our "Ask the Candidates" page! Candidates will be forwarded all questions and their responses will be posted below.

Each electoral district is assigned a specific number of seats within Council. Only architects with an address of record within the electoral district can vote for candidates running for those seats. If you are unsure which electoral district you belong to, please verify your addresss of record and consult our electoral district map. 

Architects can nominate and vote for Architects, Licensed Technologist OAA and Intern Architects.

Licensed Technologist OAA can nominate and vote for the Licensed Technologist OAA Non-Voting Seat.

Intern Architects can nominate and vote for the Intern Architect Non-Voting Seat.

Candidates will be announced once the nomination process is complete. 

Click below to see all candidates per electoral district as well as their candidate statements and answers to your questions.

Eastern Ontario

Total seats: 2
Seats available: 1
Candidates: 0 


Candidate 1
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 

Central Ontario

Total seats: 2
Seats available: 0


 

Northern Ontario

Total seats: 1 
Seats available: 0

Western Ontario

Total seats: 2
Seats available: 0



City of Toronto

Total seats: 4
Seats available: 2
Candidates: 3

Amir Azadeh
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


 

Kfir Gluzberg
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 



David Rich
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Response to JS:

I support the continued advocacy that is being undertaken by Council in this area of practice.
Increasingly public sector clients particularly, are using their positions to download inappropriate risk onto architects and other consultants as well as the contracting industry. Ultimately if this trend is not reversed it will have serious consequences not only for those now taking these risks, but will be detrimental to the public interest.

David Rich, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Response to DB:

I believe that climate change is happening, although no one can be certain of its likely future extent. I suggest that we should be responding to opportunities to modify its impact across the board, and as architects we do have some means to contribute to these opportunities.

David Rich, Architect

Province of Ontario

Total seats: 4
Seats available: 2
Candidates: 9

Non-Voting Licensed Technologist OAA Seat: 1 (see separate tab below)

Non-Voting Intern Architect seat: 1 (see separate tab below)


Loloa Alkasawat
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS,

This issue has been under review by the OAA over the past few years. OAA is questioning IO practices that could be harmful to OAA members and more importantly to the public. The association practice advisory office is issuing bulletins to advice architects on how this affects them and the profession. Pro-demnity as well issued many bulletins and seminars such as "Loss prevention".

The issue at hand in my opinion is educating architects on how to avoid such conditions and unite to protect our profession , empowering the small and medium businesses, educating IO on how this not only harms the architect, the profession (and all connected to our profession) but the public that IO is responsible for, and also keep the dialogue going between the OAA and all of the above on how to best reach an agreement or legislation that protects all, even if it needs to be elevated to a higher authority. We need to all continue to work together for the best interest of the public firstly and our profession secondly.

If I am elected, I will continue to lobby for this issue and work to reach through dialogue a firm stance by the OAA for the protection of the general public first and foremost.

Loloa Alkasawat, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB,

I do believe in the fight against Climate change, in fact, I believe that we need to take stronger measures to save our environment, and ask ourselves everyday are the best practices we have in place enough? How can we further improve our practices, and sustain our future through better and more effective measures, and how can we as architects better our designs and fulfil our role in protecting our environment.

Loloa Alkasawat, Architect 


Nehad (Ned) Allam
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


Afsaneh Asayesh
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS;

I believe that the OAA’s recent advocacy in this regard has been both timely and successful. While the OAA has challenged a number of clauses and proposed practices in RFP’s, they have also worked towards a dialogue with IO to further the mutual understanding of the issues at hand.

If elected, my approach would be to continue protecting the public interest by pursuing the efforts currently underway in this area.

Afsaneh Asayesh, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB;

I believe climate change is a very real challenge that needs to be addressed by all of us. The facts and evidence around this upheaval taking place on our planet are too numerous and tangible to deny, and we each need to strive to mitigate its destructive effects.

Afsaneh Asayesh, Architect 


Shakil Asgharali
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS:

Collectively, architects as a first step should highlight the issue to the client and propose amendments to conditions in compliance with the legal framework of the Architects Act. Failure on that account, work must be refused by all participants.

Accepting onerous conditions undermine the profession.

Continued vigilante to bring to attention of our regulatory bodies such practices, strengthens the professional community against practices deemed inappropriate procurement.

Would like to investigate if a legislative action can be put in place, where it becomes the standard for RFPs that an Architect-Client Agreement is nullified if conditions of engagement deviate from OAA documents.

Shakil Asgharali, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB:

I support the cause. Raising awareness and fighting against Climate Change is an investment for the future.
According to “Conservation International”, 800 million people which is 11% of the world’s population, is presently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as extreme weather events, heat waves, droughts, floods rising sea levels.

Shakil Asgharali, Architect 


Reza Asadikia
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


Mélisa Audet
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Response to JS:

In addition to the ongoing efforts of the OAA, I would look at a concurrent combination of actions within this area of practice. Such actions would include:

1-Approaching the area of practice from an academic perspective whereby the role of education requires improvement, not only for OAA members, but also for organizations that are using such impactful contracts;
2-Trying to understand the perspective of non-profits, as they may not have the necessary resources at their disposal to help council understand the pitfalls of such contracts and legal ramifications;
3-Advocacy towards promoting the use of OAA, RAIC and CCDC contracts as viable alternates to their in-house agreements. Awareness could be raised via a lunch and learn format, formal presentations, workshops, etc.
4-Looking to members, who raise these important questions, for their perspectives in hopes of working together towards viable next steps.

Mélisa Audet, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Response to DB:

The reality of climate change and advocacy to improving the environment that we all share is not a waste. Everyone can do their small part in both their personal and professional lives; from riding a bike to and from client meetings all the way to specifying recycled and natural materials that are produced locally. The opportunities are endless; just depends on how you look at the issue and finding viable ways to contribute.

One can also fall back on our vision statement:

"As a representative of the OAA, it is our association's vision that licensed architects are valued contributors to society, by creating a safe and healthy built environment that performs at the highest levels and elevates the human spirit." (Refer to link.)

Mélisa Audet, Architect


J. William Birdsell
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS:

While President Stephenson’s letter of October 13, 2017 in response to the letter of August 23, 2017 by Toni Rossi President, Real Estate Division Infrastructure Ontario, made some noise. I have yet to see any evidence that Infrastructure Ontario or any of the related procurement officers have changed their position. There is at least one false statement in the OAA memo to members dated October 24, 2017. This is unfortunate as it leaves all Ontario Architects to make their own decision on how to deal with unfair contracts as they pursue work.

If elected, I will support the continued creation of new Contract Advisories to OAA Members but in addition I will push the OAA to provide more tools to practitioners to develop effective business practices. Only by being strong business leaders can architects truly pick and choose the sort of work that we want to take. Some Ideas come to mind:

• The OAA can do more to support the work of the SMALL PRACTICES INFORMATION FORUM and aide to create more forums in centres outside of Toronto.
• The OAA can enable the Practice Advisors to come out and speak to the Societies similar to one that I organised a few years ago, when Chuck Greenberg came out and met with members of the Grand Valley Society of Architects for a very lively evening of discussion on practice matters.
• The OAA can update Mastering the Business of Architecture and post the complete volume on line for members to use to tune up the business practices of their firms.
• Renew and support involvement by the OAA in an annual Provincial Construction Procurement Day. The last one held in 2012, that I attended, brought together, Contractors, buyers, designers, consultants, insurers, government and association representatives. They met to build understanding of the issues they face in the design and construction services procurement process, and to identify mutually satisfactory ways to address those issues.
• More representation by the OAA at Ontario Pubic Buyers Association and Association of Municipalities of Ontario meetings.

Thanks, Bill Birdsell, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB:

It is the stated position of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change that “Climate change is a fact in our daily lives — raising the cost of our food, causing extreme weather that damages property and infrastructure, threatening outdoor activities we love, and melting winter roads that provide critical seasonal access to remote northern Indigenous communities. It affects every aspect of our lives, so it is our collective responsibility to fight climate change together to ensure our children benefit from a cleaner planet. …”

Ontario’s Architects should meet this challenge and become leaders in the design and implementation of transformative solutions that drive change. We should not be just reactive to the changes in the Ontario Building Code and the other regulations that affect the implementation of Architect’s designs. Our transformative design solutions can aide our clients to construct buildings that offer cost-effective greenhouse-gas reductions that aide in positioning Ontario as a global leader in building a low-carbon future.

The OAA can promote the individual efforts by Ontario Architects through the recognition and publication of their success stories in local and provincial media. In this way Architects can be positioned in the minds of the public as an able resource for clients to succeed in many ways through their construction projects.

If elected, I will push the OAA to have a more effective communication strategy to deliver these messages in a way that is more visible and measurable to Ontario’s Architects.

Thanks, Bill Birdsell, Architect


Barry Cline
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS;

As relates to some OAA practices perceived as possibly contravening the Architects Act relating to certain RFPs, let me be clear:

• As relates to the subject at hand, when a RFP is received by the OAA through an Architect’s office who has questioned its legality or legitimacy after thorough review, it is sent to the OAA’s professional Advisor for review, initial discussion, and if necessary, communication with the appropriate party for discussion as to our concerns - and in some cases an agreed change is hammered out.
• there might very well be supplementary conditions in the RFP imposing third party obligations between the architects and client, undeliverable by the architects (if you can’t deliver, you shouldn’t sign that you will, just to get a project). i.e: promising things which you cannot (nor may not) deliver might be cause for review by the OAA.
• quoting from our Mission as an Ontario profession: "To serve the public interest through the regulation, support, and promotion of the profession of architecture in Ontario”. This says it all - the public interest comes first!

I agree with this requirement (and philosophy) and would support it’s continuation (as is required for other provincial professions). Our mission is why we have "Lieutenant-Governor in Council” appointments (in this case 5 of the 20 on Council) - they are to make sure we adhere to our professional requirements in this province and the protection of the public interest. Nobody is requiring an Architect to not respond to an appropriate RFP that he/she can deliver as required and by following our Mission and the Architects Act.

Barry Cline, Architect

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB;

I will NOT sell my soul for a vote - I have to live with my choices in life.

Scientific research has proven that climate change is going on, not just natural changes, but also those from mankind’s inventions (CO2). Ice will melt as the world warms - but when will the catastrophes rear their ugly faces? Science has guesstimated it could be as early as 20 to 50 years from now - not enough time for us to fully resolve the problems.

Let me quote from GRIST:

"Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick. Before human burning of fossil fuels triggered global warming, the continent’s ice was in relative balance: The snows in the interior of the continent roughly matched the icebergs that broke away from glaciers at its edges.

Now, as carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet, the scales have tipped. A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.
All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.

“With marine ice cliff instability, sea-level rise for the next century is potentially much larger than we thought it might be five or 10 years ago.”

A lot of this newfound concern is driven by the research of two climatologists: Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and David Pollard at Penn State University. A study they published last year was the first to incorporate the latest understanding of marine ice-cliff instability into a continent-scale model of Antarctica. Their results drove estimates for how high the seas could rise this century sharply higher. “Antarctic model raises prospect of unstoppable ice collapse,” read the headline in the scientific journal Nature, a publication not known for hyperbole.

I know about their study - I spent almost a month in the Antarctic some 10 months ago - i spent days there directly discussing and questioning the situation with some USA scientists stationed there - whose job it is to try and get to the bottom of this.

We must do as much as we can to try and resolve our atmospheric problems - and that means research which means money - plain and simple.

“A useless waste of money?” Not on your life. Protection of the future of life on Earth? You betcha!.

Barry Cline, Architect


Michele Gucciardi
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile 

Province of Ontario - Licensed Technologist OAA (Non-Voting)

Total seats: 1
Seats available: 1
Candidates: 4 

Brian Abbey
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

JS,

In my opinion the OAA is doing the right thing in taking a forceful approach in minimizing the Architect’s risk of entering into contracts that could, not only, jeopardise their professional conduct, that could lead to complaints and disciplinary action but could also invalidate their insurance coverage. I believe that the OAA does have a duty advocate this assertion in an effort to protect the general public.


Brian Abbey, Licensed Technologist OAA

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

DB,

No, I totally disagree with you, I have attended many seminars on the subject and am fully aware of the likely consequences if we ignore the deterioration of the earth’s atmosphere. I believe that anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that Green House Gases are causing Global Warming that, in turn, is causing serious Climate Change, is completely ignorant of the scientific facts before them. Sorry, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Brian Abbey, Licensed Technologist OAA 


Jeremiah Gammond
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Response to JS:

In general, I am not supportive of punitive measures from the OAA and believe that education and advocacy are the best approach on these matters. However, given that C-of-P holders continue to submit proposals for RFPs that potentially have contracted obligations in contradiction to our regulated responsibilities, it seems to be the only way to resolve the issue at present. Continued advocacy is vital. The regulatory bulletins and RFP alerts are effective and should continue.
As the OAA conspicuously advocates about its responsibilities in regulating the profession in the best interest of the public, I wonder how IO and the other broader-public groups can be brought to remember their responsibilities in acting in the best interest of the public; they are failing in this regard. Understanding the role of the OAA as a regulator would be a first step. On this matter, I believe the OAA needs to be very assertive. Their message that the IO model hurts the public and that an architect’s compliance in doing so is misconduct needs to be heard loud and clear. Though they should be the leader, the OAA shouldn’t act as a lone wolf in this quest. I am very supportive of a collaborative role and believe that allied design professionals need to band together with a clear and unified voice.

The development of appropriate (and scalable) procurement policies for broader-public sector groups is important to the profession. The OAA needs to be a leader in making positive changes and its clear relying on the BPS groups themselves is disastrous. Blanket approaches to the procurement of services builds barriers to participation of smaller firms, which make up the majority of the OAA membership.

Jeremiah Gammond, Licensed Technologist OAA

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Response to DB:

I do not believe the fight against climate change is a waste of money. As professionals, I believe we have a responsibility to use our education and experience to positively impact the lives of future generations and this includes responding to those aspects of climate change that humans affect. Given the large impact that the construction and operation of our buildings has on the environment – including climate change – we should strive to be leaders in designing sustainable buildings. The primary focus should be on energy-use reduction and even generation.

Jeremiah Gammond, Licensed Technologist OAA 


Daniel Guillemette
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Q1
JS asks:

Inappropriate procurement practices that are not in the public interest continue to be a challenge for our profession. Of late, the OAA has adopted a much more assertive stance on many RFPs in relation to such concerns and in particular has challenged Infrastructure Ontario on some of the terms of its proposed contract for the current Vendor of Record RFP for small to medium size projects. The IO template seems to be being adopted by the full range of the broader non-profit and municipal sector clients.

At the same time OAA has issued a regulatory bulletin to members communicating the view that participating in contracts that would have a member acting contrary to the Architects Act or contracting out of certain of the professional obligations of an architect may amount to professional misconduct.

What would be your approach and attitude towards continued advocacy in this area of practice?

Dear JS;

I think it is important that the OAA continues to advocate and implement professional obligations to protect its members and the association. As members of the OAA, we should stand in solidarity when it comes to RFPs that are not in the public’s best interest or that may detrimentally affect the reputation of our association.

Dan Guillemette, Licensed Technologist OAA

Q2
DB asks:
Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Dear DB;

No. I don’t believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money. I believe that we have responsibilities as design professionals to continue to encourage more energy efficient designs and make our clients understand the long term financial and environmental benefits.

Dan Guillemette, Licensed Technologist OAA


Katarzyna Sendrowicz
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile

Province of Ontario - Intern Architect Seat (Non-Voting)

Total seats: 1
Seats available: 1
Candidates: 7 

Pere Bekederemo
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


Chetna Chauhan
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


Samer Elmasri
Candidate Statement 
OAA Profile 


Yahya Jundi
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile 


Adam McGean
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile


Mojtaba Shafaeeyamcheloo
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile

Q2
DB asks:

Do you believe the fight against climate change is a useless waste of money? If your answer is yes, I'll vote for you.

Response to DB:

As a human being we all are responsible for climate change and global warming and for sure by carrying the Architect Etiquette we should bear the burden of having strategy to overcome and need to have a plan in OAA. However in order to have your vote I would say "yes".

Mojtaba Shafaeeyamcheloo, Intern Architect


Ana Stefanovic
Candidate Statement
OAA Profile