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 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Below is a summary of the meeting:
Ontario Immigration and Labour Market Update: The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration gave an overview presentation on the current status of Ontario’s immigration and labour market. The Ministry provided an overview of the trends and developments in immigration to Ontario over the past several years. The Ministry also provided a comprehensive list of provincial programs that may be of interest to Ontario’s municipalities as well as potential new directions for Canada’s and Ontario’s immigration system.
Promoting Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure in Ontario: The Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation presented on the opportunities of faster broadband infrastructure in Ontario. The presentation looked at the impact of broadband on Ontario’s economy as well as municipal models that exist across the province. Also explored was an overview of shared broadband infrastructure and relevant international examples.
The Ministry is currently interested in identifying municipalities that are proactively installing cable conduit systems in their jurisdiction for future use.
The Big Move – Transforming Transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area: Metrolinx provided an overview of its 25-year integrated transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Updates were provided on seven Metrolinx funded projects including upgrades to Union Station, Brampton’s Queen Street Züm, the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, and others.
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA): The Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation provided task force members with an update on the current status of CETA negotiations.
Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) Update: EDCO informed the Task Force that it is developing a new membership structure by expanding its membership classes.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Update: The Inter-Ministry Community Development Initiative will be presenting a concurrent session at this year’s ROMA/OGRA Conference at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto from February 26-29, 2012. The session will look at recent municipal regional/collaborative projects in Ontario.
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Update: OMAFRA provided an update on branch realignments to its Economic Development Division. Program administration functions have been refocused in the new Rural Programs Branch and the regional economic development staff have been aligned within the Regional Economic Development Branch.
The Ministry is also beginning to develop a project to support rural communities in measuring their economic development performance through a planning and performance measurement tool. The tool will help communities better understand and increase capacity to manage, track and measure the outcomes of their economic development strategies and activities. The project team from the Ministry will engage with clients during the design and testing of the tool to ensure that it responds to clients’ needs and capacity.
If you have any ideas or thoughts for a potential conference/workshop session or a discussion item for a future task force meeting, please contact Matthew Wilson at AMO.
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