Mississauga, ON - Mississauga Board of Trade hosted its annual Mayor's Address Luncheon on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at Mississauga Convention Centre. This event also marked the launch of Advantage Mississauga.
Over 250 business and community leaders had the opportunity to hear first-hand from the Mayor about the opportunities and challenges facing our municipality, as well as some of the exciting projects, initiatives and announcements in store for the coming year.
"We have great plans for the future... we have consultants working on how we can bring more activities to the city core," said Mayor Hazel McCallion, explaining that the focus will be on the city core. "We need to have our people say, 'Iım going downtown tonight' and itıs downtown Mississauga, not downtown Toronto."
McCallion also spoke about infilling and re-developing the city as a focus for the future, with major plans in place for the harbourfront.
"We're not just talking about developing it, like the city to the east is talking about it. Weıre doing it. And we have great plans for it." she said.
McCallion went on to speak about the plans in place for Mississauga's transit system, explaining that congestion in the GTA has been a problem for many years.
"Congestion in the GTA is a very, very serious situation. In fact itıs affecting our economic base every day; people having trouble getting to and from work... It is a big challenge that we face."
According to McCallion, all the gas money the city receives from the federal and provincial government goes into expanding transit. However, she said, it will take more resources.
"We all have to get involved. And weıre going to do our part," she said. "We want to let you the business community know that itıs going to require additional funding. [The government] is going to give all kinds of options... We're going to have to contribute though, no question about it."
McCallion ended her speech with an update on the city's budget, saying there will be a first for Mississauga as it will no longer be debt-free.
"We are going into debt because of our infrastructure needs. Infrastructure doesn't last forever. It needs to be improved, it needs to be upgraded," said McCallion.
"[Increasing taxes] is a challenge, but we're going to deal with it as it comes. I've never promised, even when I ran in 1978, to cut taxes. I always said I'll give you value for your tax dollars, and that is still the philosophy of this council."
This event also marked the launch of Advantage Mississauga, an industry lead collaborative initiative that will mobilize talent and leverage local resources to enable innovation and stimulate enhanced prosperity in the City of Mississauga.
"Today's launch of Advantage Mississauga is a great example of why collaboration and partnership in our community will be integral to our city's and your businesses' success," said Sheldon Leiba, President & CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade.
"In an increasingly competitive and challenging business environment, now more than ever, business needs to connect, share, and learn to grow our individual businesses and elevate our collective economic prosperity."
The launch of Advantage Mississauga will provide the connections needed to strengthen our innovation community, and building our talent advantage for the innovation economy, all with the ultimate goal of making the City of Mississauga recognized as a top global city for creativity and innovation.
"We wanted an innovation centre in Mississauga," said McCallion. "We wanted to do it differently than any other innovation centre in Ontario, and we have it."
MBOT 2012 Chair, Grant Clark, said the business community will continue to be a strong partner in building this great city for our businesses and residents.
"[Mississauga Board of Trade] looks forward to initiatives like Advantage Mississauga to take our city to the next level," said Clark.
Advantage Mississauga partners include industry, the City of Mississauga, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), Sheridan College, Mississauga Board of Trade, Research Innovation Commercialization Centre, community associations, and organizations all sharing a common interest in innovation and economic development.
EVENT SPONSOR: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
As the voice of business since 1976, Mississauga Board of Trade is a private-sector, not-for-profit business organization representing over 1,500 businesses employing 65,000 people in Mississauga. MBOT is well-positioned to meet the needs of business by using its considerable influence at all levels of government. MBOT is dedicated to providing a Mississauga business perspective on public policy and to promoting a better understanding of the marketplace among policy makers, media and the general public.
- 30 -
President & CEO
Mississauga Board of Trade
905-273-6151 x 27