ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – SUB COMMITTEE
Elected officials need greater involvement and ownership in our city’s economic development process.
I always felt, the now-discarded tagline, “well connected “was appropriate for our city.
We are well connected!
Within an hour of us are 9 million people, within 8 hours that grows to more than 30 million people. Within minutes to the north, we have the Lake Simcoe Airport, which has Canada Customs, and just 45 minutes south, we have Pearson International. Add to that the 400 series of highways and our fibre optic connectivity is something a few of the big banks depend on as they located data centres here.
Few communities are as well positioned as we are; indeed, I’d even say we are perfectly positioned from an economic perspective to attract new business and assist in growth of existing businesses.
Should I have the honour of being elected as your mayor, I would establish an Economic Development Sub-Committee that will work with staff to ensure our Economic Development strategy is inline with a value proposition that best promotes our city.
The committee would be tasked with revisiting and re-setting long term goals and establishing priorities, complete with a measurable plan for the next four-year period.
Recognizing that Barrie is truly a tale of two cities, the economic development plan will need defined North end and South end deliverables. I envision that the Sub-Committee would consist of the mayor, 2 council members selected from the northern based wards of 1 to 5 and 2 councillors selected from the southern-based wards of 6 to 10.
We have industrial, commercial, and institutional lands throughout our city, all within easy access of the highways, the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport and some sites even have rail access.
At a macro level the committee could:
Identify how we best pursue economic pillars such as healthcare, smart manufacturing and construction.
Develop a plan to accelerate the integration of Science Technology and Innovation (STI) into our community.
Provide input and recommendations to Council.
Articulate the value proposition of Barrie as a fantastic place to do business.
Strategic advice to Council on how to support and leverage our diverse broad-based community.
Provide recommendations on initiatives to improve market conditions.
Work with the Provincial and Federal governments to ensure Barrie is a constant point of destination on out-of-province and international familiarisation tours.
At a micro level the committee could:
Host small business summits.
Host Manufacturing summits.
Host new immigrant events to connect job seekers with employers and to assist new immigrants to open their own businesses.