2011 was a busy, focused and successful one for our community. There are a number of reasons to say this and I figured important enough to number.
1. Unemployment numbers in our community dropped each and every month since January.
There are still more jobs to create and the recovery is a fragile one. No question however, that we are on the right track.
2. The Cairns Family Health and Biosciences Research Complex was built and is almost completed.
No longer is Brock the university up on the hill. The facility will boast almost 110,000 sq feet of Bioscience research, second to no other research facility or university in the country. It will in fact, rival the facility in place at the University of Florida. The link with the community and our local economy is through the incubator facility that will house small start up businesses. The true value of this investment is when we see the creation of manufacturing jobs through this facility. My close friend Jeff Cairns' dad Roy passed away in 2011.? One of his last significant commitments to his community was the Cairns' family investment and contribution to Brock. Roy had a feeling this is going to work and it's up to all of us to make sure we prove his feeling true.
3. Majority government on May 2nd of this year.
Yes of course, those who didn't vote Conservative may disagree with this from a partisan perspective, but truly what this country needed was a stable federal government for a number of years. We can all judge the results once we reach re-election time in 2015.
4. Completion of a number of economic stimulus projects in town.
The new parking garage, the Armenian community centre, the children's centre at the YMCA, the football/soccer facility at the 4-pad, a brand new airport, nGen technology and multi-media investments, to name a few, have helped bring our community into the modern era. They also created short and long term jobs that were sorely required.
5. St. Catharines/Niagara is at the forefront of the agenda in our nation's capital.
The direction we take as a government is inspired by and involves our community. In other words, we matter and we play a role. I have to compliment both Dean Allison and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for being great spokespersons for our communities.
Turning to 2012, the economy and continuing to help create jobs will remain our community's most important focus. It's the responsibility of all of us local politicians at the federal, provincial, regional and municipal jurisdictions to work together and never lose sight of the fact that whatever we do must have a long term economic benefit to our city and our Niagara.
We've spent a ton, yes a ton, of taxpayers money in St. Catharines from all orders (levels) of government. All of those investments were made with the rebuilding of our local economy in mind. In other words, we aren't dreamers or creative folks any longer. We are now project managers who have to ensure that taxpayer's investments will do what we (politicians) said it would. In 2012 I'm focused on the results of these investments to ensure that the investors (taxpayers) get value for their hard earned dollars vis-?-vis property tax, regional tax, provincial tax and federal tax. Every one of us has to focus on providing the actual outcomes from each of these investments that prove they're delivering the results promised.
Heading into my 6th year as the MP for our city, I'm looking forward to playing my part and ensuring we do focus on our economy and continue to bring St. Catharines issues to Ottawa.
city I'm looking forward to playing my part and ensuring we do focus on our economy and continue to bring St. Catharines issues to Ottawa.
Here's to 2012!!?
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