Monthly Archives: September 2018

Adding Local Jobs In North Grenville

My Platform of Ideas

This is a list of ideas that if implemented, could bring additional employment to the area, improve the quality of life for all residents and improve the relationships between the municipality and all of its potential partners. This list was created through my own observation & research and through extensive coversations with many residents and business owners over the past four years. Having a like-minded council working together could make some great things happen for all residents of North Grenville.

1) Take action about the fact that 78% of our workforce leaves North Grenville every day and spends some of their money elsewhere. Supporting local job creation and reducing the amount of time that residents spend commuting is critical to improving quality of life for residents.

Too many of our residents spend ten hours or more commuting to and from work each week. This is negatively impacting the health and wellness of these residents, not to mention the negative impact on their families.

In order to attract investment and new jobs to North Grenville, we must take a more active approach. Our current philosophy for Economic Development appears to be sit back and wait for investors to find us. Every other municipality in Eastern Ontario is also waiting for investors to find them. We should be out making connections and networking to encourage the interest of potential investors. Members of council should be a very big part of this by being ambassadors and talking about North Grenville at every opportunity.

We already have strategies, plans and materials created by the Economic Development department that were never implemented or used by the current and previous council. Some of these things could still be useful, but some data and approaches may be outdated.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), up to 80% of job creation in rural areas comes from the expansion of existing businesses within those areas. Our local businesses must be treated as a partner, not a child that needs to be kept in line by outdated bylaws, red tape and intimidation.

I believe that the agriculture and local food sectors represent significant potential for creating new jobs and new businesses. Kemptville Campus could help accelerate growth in these sectors by providing hands-on training, workshops and learning opportunities. By consuming more locally produced food, we reduce our vulnerability to worldwide crop failures and price fluctuations.

Cultivating Tourism In North Grenville

As part of my platform of ideas, I want to pursue tourism as an economic development opportunity for North Grenville. I believe that we have a number of tourism elements already operating, it’s just a matter of bringing them together to build something bigger. Day trips to North Grenville for residents of Ottawa and even Montreal could bring a big boost to the local economy.

I believe that the first step should be a gathering of tourism stakeholders including the Municipality of North Grenville. This would include community organizations, local business groups, the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville and individual business owners who potentially could directly or indirectly contribute to the growth of tourism in the area.

The second step should be the creation of a tourism organization that includes the range of stakeholders that could potentially be involved in tourism locally. This could be a North Grenville organization or even a regional organization. Sharing of resources would be key at the beginning stages of development of the group.

The third would be to develop a strategic plan on how to bring our local tourism assets together and create a tourism attraction(s) that would bring people to the area. One of these attractions could be an agri-food tour where people get a full day tour to several of the agri-food businesses in the area to see how these businesses operate and try samples of their work. Blue Gypsy Wines and Grahames Bakery could be two of the stops on this tour.  There are also assets like the Ferguson Forest Centre and the Kemptville Campus that could be developed into active transportation or nature-based tourism activities.

The final step would be to create a marketing plan to promote these attractions in order to draw people here. In the east, the market could be from Ottawa to Montreal as they are close enough to be able to do a daytrip to North Grenville. According to research, one of the hottest trends in tourism is taking “a look behind the curtain” and learning about how things are done or made. An attraction like an agri-food tour could capitalize on this trend.