Regional Chair John Henry highlighted the key projects contributing to Durham Region’s economic growth and the behind-the-scenes work that is supporting future success. Chair Henry addressed the crowd of nearly 400 at the Regional Chair’s Luncheon, hosted jointly by the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday, February 20, at the Ajax Convention Centre.
“We are here to make life better for Durham residents,” said Chair Henry. “It’s a big challenge but we are fortunate to have a pragmatic and creative team at the Region who are dedicated to that mission. And we have great partners like our boards of trade and chambers of commerce.”
Chair Henry reflected on a number of Durham Region’s priorities, including responsible government, the environment and a clean energy economy, public transit and transportation, attracting local jobs, health care, and the broadband strategy. High speed internet access is still a challenge and Chair Henry used the opportunity to promote Durham Region’s public survey which is calling on residents and businesses to help identify under-served areas.
West Durham developments were celebrated by Chair Henry at the luncheon. The 330,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Gordon Foods Distribution Centre warehouse was recognized a great addition to Ajax. Phase 1 of the Durham Live entertainment complex, which is scheduled to open March 2020, will create about 2,500 jobs and with Phase 2 is ultimately expected to host 10,000 jobs and contribute $625 million to annual tax revenues. In Winter 2021, Kubota’s new $67 million, 565,000 sq. ft. facility will open in Pickering’s Innovation Corridor, located along Highway 407. Contributing to Durham Region’s emerging technology sector is the Innovation Village in Ajax.
A key to future economic development in Durham Region is the development of the federal lands in Pickering. “These 9,600 acres represent an unprecedented opportunity to unlock Durham’s economic potential,” said Chair Henry as he called for a federal decision on the Airport Lands.
The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade was happy for the opportunity to work with the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce to bring this educational event to the businesses and business leaders represented within our individual membership. By speaking with one voice, our message is strong and clear when advocating to government, whether at the regional, municipal, provincial, or federal level.
Original content created by Samantha Paterson, Communications & Policy Specialist, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade