The City of Windsor’s Economic Development Strategy passed last Monday and of course it did because who could be against improving economic development?
As we wait to see what form the Special Delivery Unit that will implement the Strategy will take, I want to bring to your attention this thread from Melinda Munro who suggests that a lobbying registry should be associated with the delivery vehicle:
The other point that I want to raise before I put this particular issue to bed is the very odd choice of Public First to develop our economic strategy in the first place. As others have duly noted, the consulting group has strong ties to the Conservative Party in England… to the point of writing their manifesto.
The resulting Economic Development Strategy developed had a multitude of recommendations that suggest more collaboration with Detroit. And yet, when the City of Detroit pursued its own strategy of economic development, they worked with Project for Public Spaces to successfully revitalize their downtown core:
We have all seen downtown Detroit grow and flourish almost beyond recognition. And yet, rather than use PPS — the obvious partner for us, the City of Windsor opted for an Public First instead. Why?
Maybe it’s because our UK consultants wouldn’t recognize their prescription to appeal for American offices to set up shop in Windsor, is our problem and not the solution:
And from: Tech Connect: An Initiative to Support the Windsor-Essex Tech Sector by WEtech Alliance, January 31, 2020, by Dr. Victoria Abboud, Tech Talent Strategist Yvonne Pilon, CEO WEtech Alliance:
It appears to me that rather than draw on the expertise of our existing economic development professionals, our existing three technology and business incubators, and respond to the needs of our existing small business owners in our local BIAs, the Mayor’s office commissioned a communications firm to package and affirm economic development work that their office was already doing as well as make further recommendations that were consistent with a politically conservative ideology.
I mean, how else could you ensure that you would get an economic strategy that would consider improving social services as out of their remit?
I mean, if we wanted an arms-length economic strategy, why didn’t the City of Windsor commission an actual UK economic development strategy org instead?
- The City of Windsor should work with the Project for Public Spaces to help revitalize our public spaces and build on and connect to their success with Detroit.