|Mississauga, ON (September 25, 2013)
- Mississauga Board of Trade hosted its annual Mayor's Address Luncheon on September 24, 2013 at Mississauga Convention Centre.
Close to 300 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.
Mississauga wants to know what concerns small to medium sized businesses are facing, said Mayor McCallion in her address. In order to do this, there have been numerous roundtables held in different areas of Mississauga, organized by the Economic Development Office.
"It's been a wonderful experience," said Mayor McCallion of the roundtables. "It's been an interesting exercise to hear their problems, to hear what they are facing in regards to [issues]."
One of the major problems businesses in Mississauga have been facing is a lack of talent.
"Companies just can't find skilled workers," said Mayor McCallion, who went on to point out that a large initiative in Mississauga for this area of concern is Advantage Mississauga.
Advantage Mississauga, an industry-led collaborative initiative mobilizing talent and leveraging local resources in Mississauga. Its many members include the City of Mississauga, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), Sheridan College, Mississauga Board of Trade, the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre and select industry partners.
Mayor McCallion went on to say the City recently decided informing students of available opportunities should become a major focus.
"Local school boards need to work closely with the city," said Mayor McCallion, because guidance councilors don't necessarily know what the talent needs in the city are.
"I'm so proud of the way the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College work with the city, and with all of our economic efforts, to produce the talents and be aware of the talent needs."
In her address on Tuesday afternoon, Mayor McCallion also spoke about the major flooding in July 2013, adding that due to this incident, one of the major targets of the City over the next year will be improving its infrastructure to ensure a crisis such as that will not occur again.
Infrastructure such as roads and ditches in older areas in the city will be replaced, she said, in order to avoid future problems when it rains. In order to get funding for these important projects, Mayor McCallion said taxes will be raised, elaborating on how property tax was never originally designed to handle that.
"I don't like to tell you bad news... but I'm sure you understand," Mayor McCallion said of the tax increase.
In addition to the tax increase, the City will be seeking funding from the provincial and federal governments.
Mayor McCallion said Mississauga will be asking the federal government to set up an account that cities are able to withdraw from when faced with major crisis situations like flooding.
"We are the ones who know what your challenges are, and I'm sure that you support that more money should be coming back to the municipalities where the money is produced in the first place," she said.
Mayor McCallion ended her speech on a positive note, saying the future of the City of Mississauga looks bright and full of promise.
"The sky is the limit to what we can accomplish," she said, "when the educational facilities work with the business community, when the Board of Trade provides the leadership... when the organizations work together as a team."
Mayor McCallion said she hopes Mississauga will be proof miracles can happen.
"We can do it. And I know we will do it, as we've done in the past. Remember our motto: pride in our past and great hope in the future of this great City of Mississauga."
MBOT would like to thank its event sponsors: Bell, GlaxoSmithKline, TD Commercial Banking and Century Audio Visual.
As the voice of business since 1976, Mississauga Board of Trade is a private-sector, not-for-profit business organization representing approximately 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. As the forum for business, MBOT works together to influence public policy and promote a better understanding of the marketplace among policy makers, media and the general public.
President & CEO
Mississauga Board of Trade
905-273-6151 ext. 27