EDC answers to fiery question at council

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At city council tonight there was a bit of fire between city councillor Frank Fata and the Economic Development Corporation.

The EDC was grilled by Frank Fata about job creation, the OLG, Searchmont Resort and specifically, what we will refer to as ‘the fat.’

“It’s been stated by members of the chamber that I have spoken to…members of the public…that the EDC has become a very large bureaucracy…” ┬áto which he was directed to ask a question by acting-mayor Ross Romano and Fata continued, “in terms of the control mechanisms in place it seems to be an ever expanding bureaucracy…not my words…do you have control mechanisms in place where you are aware of where you’re going and what kind of results you are getting in these areas that you’ve expanded upon over the years?”

After Dan Hollingsworth spoke about the EDCs infrastructure plan Don Mitchell, EDC board president snapped back “I want to explain to councillor Fata…questions about the EDC and comments about the ‘fat’…number one, in a community everyone is striving I think, the group around this table and yourself, acting mayor, are all out to see the same thing: a successful community. None of us on the EDC board get one penny for the amount of time and hours we spent. There’s no fat. If you can go out every year and put a dollar down and someone is going to give you two dollars back for every dollar you give them, that’s damn good. And that’s what we do. Are we successful every time? Absolutely not. Are you as councillors and a mayor? No you’re not! We have our faults. But we also got our good. You asked a question about jobs, I’m going to answer it a little more directly. At the Sutherland Group, which EDC was a major player in…that organization added 250 jobs this year. Those weren’t retained. Those were new…we do not go out and tell everything because we can’t. If you want to learn something and know what’s here, please walk down to the offices. And Tom and Dan can show you a lot more than we can in an open council meeting. But believe me, there is no fat on the EDC. There is no fat on the Innovation Centre! These are hardworking, volunteer groups that are running it… But unless we learn to back each other up we are not going to get anywhere… We have a tremendous city and a lot to sell. Let’s do it together.”

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