I know I shouldn’t be shocked so let me use the word “appalled” instead.
I am appalled by those people who have absolutely no compunction in hurting our community to advance their own personal agendas – whatever they might be. I am referring to comments we too frequently read in the media and on social media that bad mouth our community to people looking to do business here.
Fortunately, they are few in number.
Fortunately, we are successful in attracting investment and jobs to this community despite their efforts to malign this community’s strengths and the good work of others.
The vast majority of people that I meet and have the pleasure of working with both within and outside City Hall are committed to making a difference in this community. The best of them are the ones that don’t pull any punches, tell you how they see it and take accountability for their words by engaging others to bring about change.
And I have some good news for them (my apologies to those bent on trying to tear down a city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country as this news will be quite inconvenient).
I am pleased to advise that the sale of 12.70 acres of land to Wurth Canada Ltd. closed yesterday. The value of this sale to the City is $ 3,238,500.00. The company will bring 100 jobs to the community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in this transaction. They include Peter Cartwright and his staff from Economic Development and Tourism Services, Engineering Services, Planning and Building Services, Legal and Realty Services as well as Finance.
We took the time during the recession to update our Economic Development and Tourism Strategy – Prosperity 2020. We looked at how we could build on our community’s strength and position ourselves to take advantage of a strengthening economy. So far so good with the job growth we have seen.
We identified several strategic directions in Prosperity 2020. One included Investing in Hard and Green Infrastructure to support and maximize economic benefit. Implementing the Employment Lands Strategy was a key objective and servicing the Hanlon Creek Business Park lands to attract businesses like Wurth was our first priority.
Another strategic direction was to Re-position Guelph: as a premier business investment location. We identified an objective to improve the business approval process. We will achieve this objective to support this strategic direction. That is why we conducted the interviews with stakeholders within and outside of City Hall to scope the issues that needed to be addressed.
So to the usual naysayers, I say, with as much respect that I can garner, get with the program. Sit down and read Prosperity 2020 and figure out how you can actually add value by helping us achieve it for the benefit of this fantastic city.