Ward 4 candidate, Luke Dufour believes that a stronger commitment by City Council to Sault Ste Marie’s downtown is imperative to development. Ward 4 encompasses the downtown from Pim St. to the Canal District.
Historically, at least one city councillor has sat on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Association. Representation has been absent on this board for several years.
“The City has committed dollars to the downtown core,” Dufour explains, “but there is not a municipal leader at the table.”
In the past year, two significant downtown events were put on hold because corporate sponsorship and key volunteers had withdrawn.
“Maintaining a closer working relationship with the Downtown Association would make it easier for organizations and businesses to have more events downtown” says Dufour.
Dufour proposes that organizations and businesses should have clear lines of communication with the City to make these events happen. More collaboration between the City, the Downtown Association and businesses would lessen the burden of finding sponsors and volunteers.
Emerging opportunities for the downtown include provincial and federal funding for downtown property improvements, the Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Incubator and private sector investment in the Canal District redevelopment.
“Now, more than ever, Sault Ste Marie needs energetic and engaged councillors in Ward 4 to represent the downtown.”
“We have enormous potential in our downtown core. Potential for businesses, tourism and culture that we have only just begun to use. If elected, I will volunteer on the board of the Downtown Association to spur growth and develop new initiatives in partnership with downtown businesses and organizations,” confides Dufour.
Luke Dufour will participate in a televised debate for Ward 4 Candidates on Wednesday Oct 8th 8:15 p.m. on ShawTV . For more on Luke’s platform, visit www.lukedufour.ca or www.facebook.com/lukedufourssm