The Task Force met on September 8, 2014 and received presentations from the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Committee members would like to thank Mayor Marolyn Morrison from the Town of Caledon for her leadership as Chair of AMO’s Economic Development Task Force over the past two years. Mayor Morrison has indicated that she will not be running in the 2014 municipal elections. We wish her all the best in her retirement. A new Chair will take over the Task Force after the October municipal elections in time for the November meeting.

The Task Force received the following presentations:

Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance Update
George Hanus, President and CEO and Michelle Cortez, Business Manager, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance

The Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) provided an overview of the organization’s contributions to the economy of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Highlights include 113 investments and 4,871 new direct jobs, contributing $535 million per year to the GDP and $9 million per year in property taxes to the GTA. The presentation included a case study of the GTMA’s Brazil Investment Attraction Mission as well as other foreign direct investment activities the organization has been involved in for 2014. The GTMA will continue its work to improve the performance of foreign direct investment to the GTA at the global level to make the region an attractive destination for international businesses.  
SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Proposal

Geoff Hogan, IT Director, County of Grey and Sonya Pritchard, CAO, County of Dufferin

The SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is a project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) in partnership with the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) to build a high-speed fibre optic regional network for western Ontario. Members of the SWIFT steering committee presented their proposal for the project which would be openly accessible to everyone in the region. Internet Service Providers would build and operate SWIFT with the oversight and governance the responsibility of the public sector. SWIFT’s goal is that by 2040, there will be 100% fibre optic coverage in southwestern Ontario.

Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators Tool
Stephen Morris, Economic Development Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

OMAFRA has released its Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators Tool, a new version of the Community Attractiveness Indicators for Newcomers (CAIN) tool that was launched in 2012. The Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators is an analytical tool that provides information to help communities assess their attractiveness related to newcomers and youth. Communities of all sizes require factual and comparative data to support planning efforts and decision making that creates effective strategic planning in attracting newcomers and retaining youths. The tool allows communities to benchmark themselves against comparable communities across Ontario using over 50 indicators in eight categories. The data for the tool uses updated census data and more reliable data sources. Get your copy by completing and submitting a request form.    

The next task force meeting will be held on November 26, 2014.

AMO is looking for feedback. Are you finding updates and presentations from the Economic Development Task Force meetings useful and informative? Please email your comments to Nicholas Ruder at nruder@amo.on.ca. Your feedback will help in AMO’s evaluation and review of its Economic Development Task Force.