On the Economic Development front, I have some great news to share with all of you.
From July of last year until December, the Regional Business Centre registered 129 businesses, an increase from 111 in the second half of 2015.
This represents almost 30 confirmed new business starts and almost 60 new jobs in the Greater Sudbury area.
In the first quarter of 2017, almost 50 businesses have registered with the Regional Business Centre.
This figure represents 11 confirmed new business starts and about 19 new jobs in our area.
This is in addition to new businesses that have opened up recently including Millennium 1 Solutions in Garson, Twiggs Coffee Roasters, Party City, and Five Guys on the Kingsway, major expansions of automotive businesses like Northern Nissan and Imperial Collision, Crosscut Distillery, One Stop Naturals in Val Caron, Vanguard Building Innovations in Capreol, Legends Boats in Whitefish, and the list goes on.
We’ve also seen almost 900 jobs created in the last year, with the addition of Millenium 1 Solutions to the community, and an expansion of the Canada Revenue agency and Employment Insurance office.
Commercially, the net total value of building permits issued in the first quarter of 2017 was $60 million, which is up from $47 million issued over the same period last year.
New residential permits are up from last year as well. Miscellaneous institutional permits totaling $36.11 million were up from $16.53 million last year.
The Airport Board, CEO Todd Tripp, and his team are looking at also enhancing the consumer experience at the airport by potentially adding in a coffee shop, gas station, hotel, and car wash.
With the addition of West Jet Airlines this year to complement the existing services at the airport, we are continuing to see rises in the number of residents and businesses choosing to fly which is a strong sign of an improving economy.
On the mining front, the service and supply sector is strong.
We’ve had some exciting new research and development businesses as well as mining service and supply companies invest multi-millions locally in the last year.
A lot of these businesses are really taking off in the tech area of mining and as NORCAT CEO Don Duval discussed at the opening of Mining Week, there are more startup businesses in this sector than at any other time in our City’s history.
On the ground, Vale has undoubtedly affirmed their position in Greater Sudbury as they continue to forge ahead with the billion dollar Clean AER Project.
Wallbridge Mining Company has invested millions into their properties in our area, including active exploration near the Glencore Nickel Rim South Mine, Vale’s Victor Deep and Capre development projects, and the Parkin Properties north of Capreol.
Glencore Integrated Nickel remains intenton opening need two deep mine projects.
I can also assure you that we are working hard on our bid to make sure Greater Sudbury is included in the Ring of Fire development and we are in continuous contact with Noront resources.
In fact, the size of our community and the mining and mineral processing tradition align with the project and demonstrate our abilities as the largest integrated mining complex in Canada and certainly Northern Ontario.
Sudbury has been referred to as the `Paris of the Mining World’ and as a host community offers all the amenities of a major urban centre with the added bonus of a large skilled work force and a community that supports and understands mining and mineral processing.
It is very clear thatthe inclusion of Indigenous peoples is vital to this project’s success.
As well, Indigenous Economic Development presents a huge opportunity for our city, as well as our educational partners at Collège Boréal, Cambrian College, and Laurentian University to partner with First Nations communities in northern Ontario.
We would also like to attract newcomers to our community. I was pleased that in 2016 City Council passed a resolution to establish a new Newcomer, Refugee and Immigration Advisory Panel to advise City Council on matters related to these groups.
The Panel has had four meetings since being established and is now exploring the gaps in service delivery, expanding engagement to a broader cross-section of community, and the discussions around inclusion and integration.
Our community also has a very big heart.
In fact, we currently have welcomed 42 Syrian refugees in Greater Sudbury and there are ongoing efforts by multiple groups to bring another 25 in the future.
Thank you to the countless individuals who have done so much good work to assist these families in integrating. And thank you so much to Jim and Donna Gordon for their tireless work in this regard as well.
A recently completed study by the Northern Policy Institute noted that Greater Sudbury had the highest number of immigrants per capita compared to other census districts in Northern Ontario.
The study recommended that the City be marketed as a desirable destination for secondary immigration and I agree that is why we are doing more to market ourselves to newcomers.
One area that can really help open up Greater Sudbury to the world is post-secondary education and I am very excited with all of the great activity taking place at Collège Boréal, Cambrian College, and Laurentian University.
All of these institutions have very strong international student strategies. We are working to keep these students in our community after graduating.
Our post secondary institutions, led by strong leaders, are doing amazing things, through their continued collaboration. And as you’ve heard, the province has invested significantly in all three.
Laurentian had a historic year in 2016 and into 2017 with unprecedented investment in the school, specifically in Metal Earth and the McEwen School of Architecture not only had its grand opening but also had its charter class graduate this spring, and has been approved to offer a Masters program.
The grand opening of the new Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre is happening tomorrow! Fantastic news.
Cambrian College recently announced it was receiving $2.1 in federal funding for applied research in environmental sustainability in the mining industry. This is the largest investment in research at Cambrian and will provide many opportunities for students through partnerships with our local mining companies.
On the other end of Lasalle, President Giroux and the team at Collège Boréal continue to impress and put our community on the map. Recently it was announced that they achieved the highest graduation rate and student satisfaction rate in the province and are among the highest in employer satisfaction as well.
I look forward to hearing about all of the future success of our post secondary institutions.
On the healthcare front, next Monday is the grand opening of the new Health Sciences North Research Institute facility on Walford Road.
I am confident as this new sector in our community grows, we will continue to attract top medical researchers to our City and with that, breakthroughs in health care.
Next on the list for our community: NEO Kids! I know the team at HSN is working extremely hard on this new facility and look forward to seeing this project move along.
Also on the healthcare front, our Council contributed over $1 million to open the latest City of Lakes Family Health team location in Chelmsford, providing more care to our community. This location opened earlier this month.
I’d now like to speak to our successes in Arts & Culture.
In the 2017 Budget, Council voted to provide almost $800,000 to 37 organizations in our community through the GSDC’s Arts & Culture Grant Program.
These investments will have tremendous impact on the community.
Council has also invested in La Place des Arts with a $5 million dollar contribution to the project. This is a transformational space for the community, one that will be an important community gathering place and act as an anchor destination for downtown revitalization.
I am pleased to know that the Province has committed to contributing to this endeavor and I look forward to the Federal Government, Private Sector, and Public donors coming forward and getting this project under construction.
With the arts sector, the numbers don’t lie. Just look at our local film industry.
In 2016, there were 18 film and television projects filmed locally which resulted in $21.1 million dollars in local spending. A number of these productions were recognized at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards including Letterkenny, Slasher, and the Amazing Race.
As the Entertainment Economy continues to grow, Greater Sudbury needs to continue to promote itself to the film industry and advocate to the Province and NOHFC to keep us competitive in this market.
Fortunately we have some incredible entrepreneurs like David Anselmo and Hideaway Pictures and Mark Montefiore and Patrick O’Sullivan at New Metric Media helping to establish Greater Sudbury as the film capital of the north.
Now onto Tourism – 2016 brought with it over 1.2 million visitors to the community! That’s approximately 7.5 times our total population!
Our calculations tell us that there was almost $180 million in visitor spending which is a huge boost to our economy.
The City of Greater Sudbury asserted itself as a successful, willing and capable to host many major events such as last year’s International Mines Rescue Competition and the Prime Minister’s Cabinet retreat, both held concurrently. It was a very busy weekend!
We are constantly getting noticed nationally and internationally for our work.
For example, last year I was pleased to represent Greater Sudbury in London, England on a number of trade-related meetings and the official opening of the Canada House exhibit highlighting Dr. Art McDonald’s work at our very own SNOLAB, which garnered him a Nobel Prize in Physics.
It was a very proud moment for Greater Sudbury, as our city showcased leading edge science and technology on behalf of Canada and the world. And the display was built by our very skilled and capable team at Science North!
Other amazing things happening in Greater Sudbury?
Staff has worked with organizers and secured major events over the next few months including the UP Here Urban Art & Music Festival, Feast Fest, an International Physicists Conference, 2018 Telus Cup Hockey Championships, 2018 OFSAA Nordic Championships, 2018 Ontario Professional Planners Institute Symposium, and the 2019 FONOM Conference.
These events will contribute in bringing to our community over 2,000 delegates, close to 4,000 hotel room nights, which will have over $1 million in projected economic impact.
If you haven’t noticed ladies and gentleman…the secret is out. Greater Sudbury is the place to be!