One of the most important priorities in our community is and continues to be, job creation and filling existing jobs with talent. We are all aware of the challenges our changing economy presents, and we can no longer afford to go from crisis to crisis.
We need a plan that will bring real job opportunities to our city and a city climate that will bring new investment. Right now, we have neither.
In response to this challenge we need to implement strategies in three key areas to support job creation in our city.
First – Making our City Investment Ready
We must take action to resolve the shortage of serviced industrial land, cut red tape to support business, and expand our skilled workforce in partnership with Sault College and Algoma University. If a major employer ever wanted to set up business here, we don’t have land available with adequate services such as transport links, power and sewer services and zoning for a major employer, or even most medium sized companies. We are not ready for companies to invest here.
Secondly – Bringing Manufacturing Jobs to Sault Ste. Marie
We must work with senior levels of government to support an environmentally responsible plan to bring Noront Resources jobs to our city. We also need to leverage local industry to attract their customers and suppliers to set-up plants and distribution locally. We need to place a focus on finding and competing for manufacturing plants that are looking to expand or relocate. We need to execute a strategic lobby effort for decentralization of provincial and federal jobs, and finally we need to work with our local, regional and international partners to make our city a tourist destination.
Thirdly – Stronger Support for Local Businesses
We must create a ‘Sault Ste. Marie First’ purchasing policy, improve service delivery and adopt a citizen centred culture, expand on-line services, such as a city transit app, residential and commercial permitting, a “where is my snow plow” app, and we must allow free parking in downtown; which is currently costing city taxpayers over a $100,000 annually to enforce.
During the last four years there has been a clear lack of leadership on job growth. And now with Algoma settled the mayor is once again telling us that the new owners will take care of our community. We need to stop relying on being a one-industry town. We need to create an environment that allows small business to start up, grow and stay in business, and we need to support expanding existing businesses, they create over 80% of jobs. Not increase their property taxes and create more red tape.
We also need to create jobs by leveraging our current employers and create new opportunities. When the mayor makes poor governance decisions like voting against a City Council resolution that was designed to advocate for more OLG jobs as he did on April 21, 2018, and decides to cut the Economic Development Budget by 27% or $444,656 on July 31, 2017, its sends the wrong message to local residents, our business community, government and others.
“I have a plan that will create jobs, lower taxes and improve the quality of life for everyone” said Ring. “Let’s make life affordable for families and more competitive for businesses in our city”.
You can review the platform at www.ring4mayor.ca .