(WINDSOR, ON) – Layoffs are all, it seems, we are hearing about lately, from every direction. Other than the 80 jobs to be created at Nemak, which was spawned by a Provincial Funding Initiative, each week passes and not one word of a job strategy is spoken by our newly elected Council.
Not one City Councillor, nor Mayor Dilkens, has come forward with a detailed jobs strategy, even after Dwight Duncan nudged and winked.
Within a recent column, Gord Henderson reported that we should be expecting something from City Hall.
Rookie Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is setting up long-range strategic planning sessions for council, a worthy initiative, but Duncan believes we must go way beyond that. He thinks the region’s movers and shakers from all sectors, including industry, agriculture, health care and post-secondary education, must be brought together for brainstorming sessions to design a blueprint for the next decade.
This type of think-tank job creation strategy is not new, but Duncan is right on the money. These think tanks have been used successfully in cities like Pittsburgh, Houston, and St Paul, to name just a few. That is how these cities managed to exit the great recession.
Our City Council obviously can’t take the hint.
Instead Dilkens is “setting up” long range planning sessions for Council.
Long range? Planning? Sessions? Forget it.
Long range planning is otherwise known as an initiative when one has no clear immediate direction. Let’s face it. The Jobs File has not ever been an immediate priority of City Council for at least the past 10 years.
I am even convinced they don’t have the foggiest clue how to set the stage for job creation. Rather, they have set their course toward building more big-ticket items on the already strapped taxpayer’s back.
It is a classic diversion.
Other than traditional city spending, there shouldn’t be anything else on the Order of Business than job creation initiatives, including steps toward creating a niche for Windsor as an attractive to place to not only live, but also to set up small to big shops.
At this point, and as far I can see, Windsor is not even close to moving forward and it is obvious that the building on success mantra is nothing short of a hand-me-down campaign slogan.
Without naming names, that there is a never-ending chatter of more retail and restaurant closings to come. It is nothing short of disheartening.
Oh, how I would like to be the bearer of positive news, considering I am in the small business sector myself. Nothing would make me happier than to hear good news emanate from the mouths of those who are the eyes and ears of the city; the taxi driver, the hairstylists, and hoteliers.
But I’m not hearing it.