To help ensure the community’s concerns are addressed in the upcoming Ontario Budget, a representative from the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) presented today to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The committee is currently engaged in a pre-budget consultation process and seeking input from individuals and groups.
During his presentation, Tom Dodds, Chief Executive Officer of the SSMEDC, addressed a number of major concerns for Sault Ste. Marie. The main topic of discussion was the current crisis in the steel industry, which is severely impacting the community’s largest employer, Essar Steel Algoma.
“Steel production capacity in the province should be a key strategic consideration for the Government of Ontario,” Dodds told the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. “At this critical stage, the government needs to ask itself if it wants Ontario and Canada to continue to have a steel industry. Given that the sector is a significant economic driver with a large multiplier effect, the Province of Ontario should do what it can to retain this industry.”
Another topic of discussion during Dodds’ presentation was the modernization and privatization of the province’s lottery and gaming sector. Home to the head office of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, along with a casino, Sault Ste. Marie has much to lose – or gain – by the changing landscape of this knowledge-based industry.
The SSMEDC is also taking part in another discussion on the 2016 Ontario Budget on January 22 with the Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance. Sault Ste. Marie’s concerns will be addressed at this meeting as well.
Photo: SSMEDC CEO Tom Dodds presents to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.