AMO’s Economic Development Task Force met on April 23, 2012 and received presentations from the City of Mississauga, the Town of Goderich, TecVana Corporation, and AMO.

Chaired by Marolyn Morrison, Mayor of the Town of Caledon and Councillor, Region of Peel, the Task Force also received updates from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Below is a summary of the meeting:

Case Study:
The City of Mississauga’s International Marketing Strategy: Larry Petovello, Director of Economic Development for the City of Mississauga and Task Force member, provided an overview of the City’s international marketing strategy. The City is aligning itself to become a global business magnet by targeting opportunities in high growth sectors, ensuring that an environment that is supportive to businesses is maintained in Mississauga, and by providing a global brand that will attract business, investment and jobs.

Electricity Issues - Feed-in Tariff Review and AMO’s proposal for Local Improvement Charges: 
The AMO/LAS Energy Coordinator, presented an overview of the provincial government’s two-year review of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program and the proposed program rule changes to FIT 2.0. For a complete copy of the two-year review report, please visit the Ministry of Energy’s website.

The Task Force also heard AMO’s proposal for an initiative that would utilize Local Improvement Charges (LICs) for residential energy projects such as home energy retrofits and small renewable energy projects e.g. roof-top solar panels.

Rural Tourism and Geo-Adventuring:
Doug Matatall, CEO of TecVana Corporation provided an overview of survey results designed by marketing students from Fanshawe College’s Lawrence Kinlin School of Business regarding rural economic development and tourism. TecVana is exploring ways of marketing outdoor tourism in Ontario’s rural communities to the age demographic from 20-40 years old.

Case Study: The Goderich Tornado, Rebuilding a Community:
Larry McCabe, CAO of the Town of Goderich and Task Force member, gave a presentation on the impacts of the tornado that struck the Town of Goderich on August 21, 2011 and the rebuilding efforts that have been ongoing in the community.

Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) Update: 
EDCO informed the Task Force that the organization has developed a new, corporate membership structure that will allow staff from municipalities, the provincial government and private corporations to participate in Council matters. The new structure will also allow for three elected municipal officials from each EDCO member municipality to be included for membership.

EDCO with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has launched its third level of regional strategic planning that will be looking at data analysis of regional economic development.

Additionally, EDCO, along with other Canadian economic development associations, are looking into ways that professional development opportunities and certification in the field of economic development can be standardized across Canada.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Update:
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has recently welcomed Alan O’Dette as their new President & CEO replacing the retiring Len Crispino. The OCC with the Mowat Centre has recently released Emerging Stronger, a report developed out of consultation and feedback with participants at the Ontario Economic Summit in November 2011. The report looks at ways of creating a transformative agenda for Ontario as the province transitions out of the recent economic downturn. The OCC is currently committed to a renewed focus of revitalizing its Chamber Network and providing assistance to local chambers of commerce to help their communities move economic development opportunities forward.

The OCC will be holding its 100th AGM & Convention from May 3 to 6, 2012 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre in St. Catharines. At this year’s AGM the OCC will debate and vote on the policies that will become part of the organization’s platform for the next three years.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:
The Ministry is looking for feedback from communities regarding the performance of the Provincial Economic Transformation Teams (PETTs) as part of the government’s Inter-ministry Community Development Initiative. If you would like to submit your feedback, please contact John Ballantine, Manager, Special Projects with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at (416) 585-6348 or by email at john.ballantine@ontario.ca.