Shoemaker on Amazon Bid, “We will use the bid as a learning experience “


Ward 3 councillor, Matthew Shoemaker spearheaded the local pitch for Amazon’s 2nd HQ in North America last Summer, knowing it was a long shot at best.

Today, a short list of cities was disclosed and Sault Ste. Marie didn’t make the cut, but Toronto did.

“Sault Ste. Marie put together an excellent bid that pitched the greatness of our City to Amazon. We were up against major metros like New York, Washington and Chicago.” Shoemaker told Thursday morning.

4 sites in the city were identified in the Sault Ste. Marie pitch that would be large enough to accomodate the 50,000 squre foot building required. Amazon said it would create employment for about 50,000 people.

“We knew it would be an uphill battle but we got national recognition for our efforts. We will use the bid as a learning experience and I’ll keep making every effort to push for diversification of the Sault’s economy.” Shoemaker said.

Hundreds of cities from Canada and the United States vied for the HQ location and the billions of dollars that would come with it.

At its September 25 meeting, Council voted unanimously to submit a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Councillors Matthew Shoemaker and Ozzie Grandinetti tabled the motion that hopes to land the $5 billion project with as many as 50,000 jobs. A committee consisting of Councillors Shoemaker, Myers and Grandinetti spearheaded the City’s effort to submit the bid.

Toronto remains in the running however the other cities under consideration are New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Nashville.




  1. I am not in the Soo, but I read with great interest of your courageous effort. Well done! And right on….it is a great tool and will be used again and again to encourage interest in businesses establishing in the Soo. I read quite a bit of naysaying about your bid….I am glad you ignored them. Naysayers always diminish creativite thinking in others. There was a very slim chance of SSM being the successful bid, but you did it anyway. You gto world-wide attention as a David and Goliath story…so ho knows who is waiting in the wings now. I don’t think you are the tyhpe that let’s the naysayers bother you. Neither am I. Go for it!!

  2. How on earth would anyone want to locate such a business here? Especially with that many employees. Council has cut daycare, bussing, fire services, snow removal, etc. We have low services and have failed to hold a major business accountable for their taxes. Now looking for a pat on the back on every local news source for a failed bid on the biggest long shot of the century. Come on. Election year?

  3. Wow Ted Cameron you are being such a Nast Nelly! lol. I think it was a good effort on everyone’s part, and the package they presented can be used for other tourism projects and stuff.

    • I can’t stand seeing people’s tax money being burned is all.
      I would rather feed and house the needy with it.
      I’ve seen Shoemakers type before, they aren’t usually around very long.
      I’d say the majority agree but I guess we will see come election time.

    • It was absolutely ridiculous and shows a lack of understanding of basic business principles. It’s like sending a little league ball player to try out for the Blue Jays. “Oh it was a nice try.” No, it was an uninformed, uneducated, terrible idea.

  4. Sometimes you don’t get the desired results immediately, but through trial and error, making contacts, and exposure you do. Good job Matt !! The first time Jeff Bezos (Amazon) told somebody he wanted to sell products via the internet (to which they couldn’t feel or touch), they thought he was crazy….Now look.

    • I would have preferred more people listened to Duane Moleni when he left as Queenstown manager and made changes to make the Soo more appealing for business. Or focussed on being innovative like in Hamilton where one of the high schools shares a library with the municipality instead of cutting services or hours. Also it would be more productive to be like many small/medium communities who have developed patios, initiated busker licensing or food trucks to revive and bring people downtown. Or create partnerships with other organizations to increase and diversify their local transit instead of down grading. The Amazon bid seems like wasted effort since the momentum from the initial media attention has been wasted as one current article has the Soo highlighting one of its important stories of being able to take your canoe to work and another has the city as one of the worst 5 cities in the country to have people to relocate to. The difference is Jeff Bezos saw an area of need he could fill and scale it properly as he filled that need, how did the Amazon bid even come close to that?

    • Trial and error? How about making evidenced-based decisions instead of “trying” for ridiculous things. There was no evidence that this would work and a ton of evidence that it would show the business world that the Council is full of idiots.

    • I think the majority are well aware of this.
      And, I’m sure the taxpayers would like to know exactly how much of our tax money was tossed into the grinder on this one.
      Let’s hope any further fantasies get nipped in the bud.

  5. Shoemaker, in his comments said that, ““Sault Ste. Marie put together an excellent bid that pitched the greatness of our City to Amazon.” WHAT GREATNESS is that? A thriving downtown, Tour Train, 1/4 empty Station Mall, etc., etc., etc.

  6. Could someone enlighten us as to how much this pipe dream cost us?
    Hopefully this will be a lesson to Mr. Shoemaker and he will learn to slow down his overactive imagination and stop grasping at straws, costing the taxpayers a pile of money for nothing, making Sault Ste. Marie the laughing stock of the north.

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