During the recent Memorial Cup, the Sea Dogs were in town with the Windsor Star talking of a relationship between the team’s home town of Saint John, NB, and the once rosy city. It turns out Trevor Georgie, the president of the Dogs, is the brother of Vincent Georgie, of the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business MBA program.
Having a local Georgie is about all Windsor shares with the Maritime city.
On the economic development front, Saint John presents a much more professional and organized approach to making things happen. Windsor Council has done little for the city’s economy and puts up with a new regional economic development office leader who has found a scant ten jobs after almost a year on the job.
Windsor Council has seriously abdicated growing the local economy while Saint John city leaders have a plan.
The Saint John Roadmap for Smart Growth is a new economic growth and development strategy to, “… enhance the City’s ability to achieve measurable growth in three target areas: population, employment, and tax base.”
What sets the two communities apart is one word; measurable.
Windsor Council is notorious for never doing anything measurable. It spends money simply because it thinks it will produce results.
Not Saint John.
The east coast city takes an opposite approach in which economic development initiatives must be purposeful, measurable, and reflect the city’s unique character. It also says the city must be, “… ready to take advantage of opportunities, to be innovative, and to be open to new ways of attracting the investment Saint John needs to create a robust economy.”
This is the way Saint John mayor Don Darling views economic development. He says EcDev requires a, “… clear vision with targeted actions that will provide accountability to key community outcomes so we can improve economic prosperity for citizens, businesses, and newcomers.”
Darling is on point when he says his city must, “… do more than just weather the economic storm. The City of Saint John needs to take ownership over its economic future and map-out a clear direction to guide our community’s collective efforts … we have started by identifying 45 concrete actions that will set us on the road to growth.”
Windsor’s mayor has a twenty-year plan written by a consultant from 500km away. What it lacks in measurable goals and targets it makes up with splashy graphics.
It also suffers a City Council unwilling to take control.