The Niagara Economic Developement Corporporation's
'Economic Growth Strategic Plan'
See NEDC Short Version Below
by The Niagara Winners Circle

The following document is the NEDC short version of an 'Economic Growth Strategy'

When this document was first publicly presented our concern prompted the addition of the following red comments


Nov 25 08
NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE
NIAGARA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY! If this document is a strategy, then what is a wish list?
2009 – 2012 (Revised)
NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE AT A GLANCE

WHAT:
An economic growth strategy for Niagara.   This document is NOT a STRATEGY!

WHY:
Niagara needs a plan to retain business as well as stimulate additional economic growth.

HOW IT WILL HELP:
By providing direction for decision-makers who affect Niagara’s economic future.  Direction?

WHO PREPARED IT:  Good Question!
In 2005 a 12 member steering committee appointed by Regional Council, with input from some 200 public and private sector stakeholders. In April 2008 the strategy was reviewed and updated based on feedback from 200 stakeholders at the Niagara Economic Forum- Cash meeting of people of self-interest

WHEN IT WAS COMPLETED:  Of course People will acquiesce to this wish list!
Sad that there are many that would consider this document as a strategic plan!

First released April 2005, with a five-year implementation timeline and annual review; updated in 2008 
How about listing the substantive achievements of this expensive enterprise?

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT IT:  IMPLEMENT WHAT?
Regional Council along with other business, government and community leaders who choose to take a pro-active role in fostering Niagara’s economic growth- Be Pro-active but don’t ever criticise!!!

WHO WILL BENEFIT:
All of Niagara and its 12 communities - Not unless this shopping list is strategized and with the strategies acted upon!!!
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE:
www.niagaracanada.com or www.niagararegion.ca


THE NIAGARA WINNERS CIRCLE WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO PLEASE OUTLINE THE VALUE OF THIS DOCUMENT AS ‘An economic growth strategy for Niagara’

We would appreciate a list of NEDC’s accomplishments and achievements.

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INTRODUCTION
Navigating our Future: Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012 is the updated
version of Niagara’s economic growth strategy.

The first {useless Wish List} strategy was developed in 2004/2005 through consultation with individuals, businesses and community organizations. A public participation {What Public Participation} strategy, led by an Economic Growth Strategy Steering Committee {Who where the Members?}, identified the economic realities, constraints, and opportunities that faced Niagara. Since the release of Navigating our Future: Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy in 2005, a concerted effort has been made to re-affirm the priorities and directions outlined in the strategy document. The revised strategy is a result of further community consultations, {especially from self-interested stakeholder} input at the Niagara Economic Forum in April 2008.

The evolution of the strategy is inspired by an economic vision for Niagara that reflects our
goals, aspirations and directions for the future. Motivated by a strong sense of collective
ownership, civic leaders and area citizens have contributed important shared ideals and values that are the foundation of Niagara’s vision for the future. Exactly! Ideals and values?

The Economic Strategy is not, however, a static document. It must reflect changing circumstance
and new opportunities that can help Niagara navigate with more focus and enhance our
understanding of what is needed to ensure success. Prevarication!

Dominant themes have been identified as part of the emerging requirements of a new, energetic
Niagara. Discussions led to consensus on important directions for the regional economy and a
belief that partnerships and linkages between stakeholders are important in order to achieve
results. Priority initiatives and action plans to spur economic activity and strengthen our
competitive advantages were identified. What are they?

The resulting strategy offers insightful, practical and manageable directions, built on six strategic
action plans which provide a blueprint the future Niagara: Nonsense! There is no strategy here!
What Strategic Action Plans? This document is a great shopping list of wants and wishes!

• Build a Stronger Collective Voice -- *How?
• Create a Competitive Business Environment-- *How?
• Target Strategic Employers... Good Idea... what is the strategy? What are the suggestions?
• Improve Transportation and Related Infrastructure... Great... what is the strategy...financing?
• Marketing the Niagara Brand... *How? As the Region of no as {n}!
• Develop Niagara’s Talent Pool... A long standing target... regurgitated!

The strategy {Wish List} provides a context for local decisions and serves as a tool for local leaders and decision-makers to bring about positive change. It also provides a framework for residents, businesses and community leaders to understand the fundamental link between economic prosperity and quality of life, which together create a healthy sustainable community. Great Wish but *How?

Follow-up consultations with key community leaders {Who?} have endorsed the strategy’s overall action plan framework and related initiatives. The Economic Strategy {Wish List} continues to give Niagara direction to address its unique issues and develop solutions to the challenges of economic growth. What unique issues and what solutions!


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Focusing the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy on the Future- Show the Stratagem!

Since the release of the {USELESS and UNUSED} Economic Strategy in 2005, new developments in the wider Niagara economy have required that some changes be reflected in this revised document.

The revised Niagara Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012 embodies a commitment to pursue new directions for Niagara’s industrial base and emerging industries. What new direction? For example, new economic clusters are helping transform and rejuvenate local economies and creating new industries and employment. *How?

The strategy {Wish List} has also identified the importance of Niagara’s small and medium sized enterprises as a critical component of Niagara’s future economy. How insightful!

The development, growth and success of current and emerging industries are being helped by increasingly closer links with high schools, colleges and universities. The relationship between Niagara’s growth, economic development and the availability of an educated, flexible workforce has come into sharper focus. The strategy {Wish List} reaffirms the importance of our educational infrastructure and specialized research institutions as a major asset and a primary source of local talent pool development. It calls for the strengthening and leveraging of unique expertise, resources and partnerships especially from Brock University and Niagara College. *How?

Marketing Niagara’s unique assets and its competitive business environment has taken a new level of urgency. {Indicates success or Failure?}

International competition for both new businesses and investment achieved through business retention and expansion initiatives has intensified. {True!} The strategy also places increasing importance on branding Niagara’s unique and original characteristics, developing more intensive domestic and international investment marketing activities, and maintaining strong relationships with governments and the business community. Regurgitation!

Summary
As a result of consultations based around the April 2008 Niagara Economic Forum and additional economic analysis, the basic directions of the regional economic strategy envisioned
by community stakeholders back in 2005 have been affirmed. Show reaffirmation!

Emerging provincial planning priorities, industry trends and international events continue to provide a wider context for assessing regional challenges and new opportunities for growth. New information, gathered from a number of sources in the interim years, has been integrated into the specific sections for each of the six {Non} Strategic Action Plans that are the foundation of Niagara’s economic {Non} strategy going forward to 2012.



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STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS
Below are six strategic directions and the supporting action plans that will help steer Niagara into a more prosperous future:
1.0 BUILD A STRONGER COLLECTIVE VOICE. *How?
For Niagara to emerge as an economic leader, business, government and the not-for-profit sector must rally around the common cause of Niagara’s economic future. {*How?}
Shared focus on this common goal will create stronger working relationships, leverage resources and strengthen regional stewardship initiatives.
It will also foster a powerful and persuasive “common voice” in relation to specific economic
development issues that affect Niagara.

1.1 Develop a cohesive Niagara voice, providing investors and governments with confidence
and clarity about the region’s position on key issues. So Far a Complete bust!

• Present a cohesive Niagara agenda and ensure a united front when approaching the provincial
and federal governments in relation to their policies, programs, and investments that affect
the region. Is this an admission of past failures?

• Establish a comprehensive and collaborative research agenda for Niagara that is robust and
supports the cohesive Niagara collective voice agenda. What, another useless bureaucracy?

• Secretively host an annual summit to secretively identify and strengthen core regional directions, values and achievements that directly impact Niagara’s future prosperity. A secretive wish list without strategy...

2.0 CREATE A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT.
In order to retain and attract new investment, Niagara must make it appealing for investors to do business here. *How, by costing us out of bueiness? Niagara’s economic {Non} strategy is focused on how best to compete and win new business in order to realize its growth potential.
*How? We already know what has to be done! What is the Strategy?

2.1 Foster competitiveness, efficiency, and innovation in Niagara’s government and business sectors. What a novel idea! *How?

• Develop a systematic approach for benchmarking and assessing the cost competitiveness of
the Region of Niagara’s services to business. Try Lower Taxes, less red tape and fewer impediments!

• Develop effective and comprehensive support services to help drive innovation and
entrepreneurship in targeted areas (eg. Incubators, venture capital) in order to foster SME
growth in Niagara. Instead of More Bureaucratic bungling why not reduce meddling?

• Encourage and support the expansion of pure and applied research and innovation both in the
private sector and post-secondary institutions (eg. Silicon Knights, Norgen, Brock University,
and Niagara College, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre). Hardly new!

• Develop and promote “best of class” examples in Niagara’s private and public sectors. Goverment Assistance?

• Establish an annual Niagara Economic Scorecard tracking the region’s economic progress
based on key indicators. Good idea! When do we get to see this Scorecard?



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2.2 Keep Niagara’s overall business cost competitive. How? What is the Strategy?

• Reduce industrial and commercial taxes in Niagara. Wonderful! *How?

• Implement a full range of ‘Smart’ Growth/Brownfield redevelopment initiatives including
community improvement programs and incentives. Explain ‘Smart’ Growth!

2.3 Develop an efficient and seamless process for businesses seeking development permits and related approvals. Wishful Thinking!!!

• Work co-operatively with local municipalities to create a timely and integrated mechanism
for receiving and reviewing development permit applications. Incorporate an economic
development perspective as an integral part of the evaluation of major applications. Major applications?

2.4 Promote continuous two-way communication between Niagara business and government.
• Nurture and develop a stronger relationship between the Region of Niagara and the local
business community. More Government Intrusion?

• Develop a new progressive partnership agenda with the Niagara business community. Cheap Talk!

• Seek formal business community input into the Region of Niagara’s infrastructure development and business development programs. Is this another admission?

The Niagara Winners Circle is offering INPUT and CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM! Free!


STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS
3.0 TARGET STRATEGIC EMPLOYERS.
It is critical for Niagara to build on existing strengths and make them growth priorities, rather than pursuing economic growth on all fronts at once. 'All at once'  How about one once in awhile!

The initial directions envisioned by the Economic Growth Strategy Steering Committee, and the
recommendations of community leaders from economic forums, have identified a {List} set of priority growth sectors, including manufacturing that provide significant business development and investment opportunities over medium and longer term. What is the identified list?

3.1 Explore and pursue opportunities for growth and new investment in both current and
emerging strategic industry clusters:
Current Industry Clusters

• Transportation, automotive and related manufacturing;

• Tourism, hospitality and recreational services;

• Business services;

• Value-added agriculture processing;

Emerging Industry Clusters What about the impoverishing tax consuming clusters?

• Niche bio-product manufacturing;

• Digital media and software development;

• Environmental, energy and other “green” technologies;

• Health and wellness, and life sciences.

• Logistics. Logistics are good! What are they???
3.2 Work closely with local municipalities and economic development partners to advance the economic priorities of Niagara’s Growth Management Strategy and Ontario’s Growth Plan.

3.3 Enhance the vibrancy of Niagara’s diverse economic base, with economic growth
distributed throughout the region. *How?

• Encourage the development of new value-added manufacturing processes (e.g., wine industry
model and Port Colborne’s “carbohydrate valley” bio-products industry). *How?

• Support infrastructure developments (e.g., water and sewer, transportation, energy and the
creation of employment lands) that encourage industrial growth in Niagara, especially above
the Niagara escarpment.

• Develop a plan to create and implement the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and the
Niagara Gateway Economic Centre to stimulate investment, new industrial development and
employment growth within the region. Develop a plan does suggest stratagem!

3.4 Build on Niagara’s historic business strengths to develop new strategic growth areas.
• Continue to implement the recommendations of the Regional Chair’s Agricultural Task
Force.


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• Develop Niagara’s public and private research capacity to increase innovation and the competitiveness of key economic sectors. *How?

• Encourage the development of new small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in all emerging and targeted business sectors in Niagara. *How?

• Expand and enhance Niagara’s communications and financial services cluster through the
development and attraction of data centres and data warehouses. Bafflegab is not strategy!

• Strengthen Niagara’s transportation and distribution services cluster, building upon border
security, warehousing, and logistics services. More Bafflegab! Still no answers!

3.5 Capitalize on Niagara’s comparative advantages, in particular its natural and historic
features, which make it attractive to a wide range of lifestyle-related investors. ??

• Implement the major directions outlined in the Niagara Tourism Destination Development. ??

• Diversify and expand the scope of activities and experiences for both tourists and residents by
identifying, facilitating, and packaging tourism development opportunities across Niagara. ??

• Target Niagara tourism marketing initiatives towards higher value and overnight visitors. ??

• Foster the creation of co-operative marketing consortia in tourism industries to ensure a year round, quality Niagara tourism experience. Does this mean reducing tourism departments?

• Diversify the tourism leisure segment through a stronger meetings and conventions market
for Niagara. *More expensive junkets?



STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS
4.0 IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED
INFRASTRUCTURE.
Niagara’s transportation system is a priority concern among businesses, government agencies and residents throughout the region. Transportation inadequacies are limiting local economic growth.

This strategy advocates consistent and rigorous pursuit of Niagara’s short- and long-term transportation goals.

4.1 Work toward the achievement of an effective, multi-modal transportation network for Niagara.
• Accelerate implementation of the Niagara Region Transportation Strategy and adequately fund its key strategic directions. Key projects to be advanced include:

• Expansion of Highway 406 to Welland/Port Colborne;

• Development of an intra-regional transportation system to ensure that citizens, workers students, and visitors are able to move easily throughout the region;

• Construction of the South Niagara East-West Arterial Corridor;

• Development of improved multi-modal transportation hubs and cross border infrastructure;

• Construction of a multi-modal Niagara-GTA corridor;

• Integrate Niagara’s transportation strategy into a larger transportation strategy for the “Golden Horseshoe” region of Ontario and into the bi-national transportation strategy under development for the Niagara Frontier.

• Integrate Niagara’s marine, rail, air, and trucking transportation systems at strategic locations.

Of course... we want it all! Champaign taste on a beer budget!


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STRATEGIC {Wish List} ACTION PLANS
5.0 MARKETING THE NIAGARA BRAND.
The word “Niagara” has brand equity around the world thanks to the region’s majestic waterfall. Yet the dominance of this natural icon keeps potential investors from seeing more. To truly prosper, Niagara must be perceived for what it is: a diversified business community and multi-faceted tourism and cultural destination. This strategy lays the groundwork for Niagara to “brand” itself as an innovative business location and tourism destination in the minds of investors, tourists and the general public.

5.1 Create and execute the “Niagara Original” branding program.

• Create a “Team of Champions” to execute the new Niagara brand. n? There is a better way!

5.2 Position Niagara as a diversified, attractive, and progressive business community.

• Increase the profile/involvement of Niagara business leaders in external business organizations and associations.

• Generate targeted speaking engagements for Niagara business leaders external to the region. More Tourism ‘Junkets’ for bureaucrats  and politicians?

• Develop media/public relations programs that produce more third-party business coverage of
Niagara. *How? There is another way!

• Implement a systematic public/private “ambassador calling program” with targeted federal/provincial trade commissioners.

5.3 Position Niagara as a multi-faceted, four-season overnight destination.

• Create a media/public relations program for Niagara targeting travel media and writers.


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STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS
6.0 DEVELOP NIAGARA’S TALENT POOL.
Niagara has an experienced labour force of more than 200,000 people, including a high proportion of technically skilled workers that is attractive to employers. Tell it to Canadian Tire Finance!
The direct correlation between educational achievement and positive economic development is well documented. Show us Credible Documentation! It is clear that Niagara’s future prosperity depends on the strength of its people and on its capacity to produce and attract skilled graduates and versatile workers. It is even more clear that tax & spend has more effect on prosperity!

The Integrated local Labour Market Plan (ILLMP) currently being completed by the Niagara Workforce Planning Board will provide important leadership in the continuing development of Niagara’s overall labour market.

6.1 Encourage collaboration between, secondary and post-secondary institutions to create the most highly qualified individuals in order to provide the labour force for the future economic growth of Niagara in all sectors of the economy.

• Recognize and build upon the strength of current educational infrastructure, community
involvement and other innovative forms of education in Niagara.

• Develop a collaborative program promoting secondary and post-secondary school co-op and
work placements among Niagara employers.

• Continue the process of collaborative partnerships between Niagara College, Brock
University, and other educational institutions.

• Encourage Niagara educational institutions to create programs that help provide a qualified
supply of skilled labour for the regional economy.

• Broaden the base of apprenticeship programs to support skilled trades.

Suggestion indicates that Niagara Taxpayers have overpaid for a long time!


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6.2 Maximize the skills of Niagara’s existing labour force within a transitioning economy.

• Increase our capacity to effectively match people to jobs based on skills and competencies, not credentials alone. Sure-Sure!
• Build awareness among Niagara employers about available education and training initiatives.

• Attract companies that can utilize Niagara’s existing talent base and develop training and retraining programs in growth industries.

• Support the skills development needs of displaced workers to facilitate their return to
Niagara’s labour force. Bureaucratically Diminished Labour Force!

• Create short-term, intensive and skills training programs that meet specific employee
upgrading needs, and help initiate workforce skills to jobs action plans. There is another way!

• Explore opportunities for repatriation of workers who have left Niagara, as specialized labour
shortages intensify. More wishful thinking!

• Build on Niagara’s significant competitive advantage with respect to trade, college and
diploma certificates to help retain highly skilled individuals to support the growth and success
of Niagara’s economy. We are witnessing ‘Niagara’s significant competitive advantage’!

6.3 Encourage Niagara employers to proactively participate in building a learning culture.

• Foster employer commitment to staff training and lifelong learning and highlight Niagara based “best practices.”

• Assist small- and medium-sized employers to build human resource capacity, including the assessment of education/training needs and workforce development programs, and applied research capabilities.
Niagara employers already have such capacity. It’s Gov. that misses the point!

6.4 Attract immigrants and actively integrate them into the Niagara community and economy.

• Provide relevant information on Niagara’s social and economic opportunities to immigrants
entering Canada.
• Work with Niagara-based immigrant support services to encourage the retention and
relocation of immigrants to Niagara. Indication of past failure...

6.5 Improve Niagara’s overall educational attainment levels.

• Encourage stronger links between local employers and Niagara’s educational institutions,
with a specific focus on improving the overall level of educational attainment by residents. Hollow rhetoric!

• Create bi-national educational partnerships in strategic employment fields (e.g., international
trade, tourism, border security). More hollow rhetoric!

• Support the development of applied degrees that meet the needs of the local economy  Banal rhetoric!



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BENCHMARKING THE STRATEGY
NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE: Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy 2005-2010, was the result of extensive stakeholder discussions over a seven-month period in 2004. What a colossal waste of Time!

The original Niagara strategy had a five-year time horizon and was ‘intended’ as a dynamic plan that would be revisited on a regular basis in order to address changing circumstances that affect the region’s economic performance and potential. Let’s hope the 2009-2012 Wish list is more productive!

This revised economic growth strategy 2009 – 2012, is an updated plan based on a review and
assessment of recent economic changes and related opportunities that are considered important to the regional economy.

There are many important tasks identified in the {Non} strategy that require identified lead agencies, along with ‘timelines’ for delivery and anticipated performance measures of success. Lead partners and other stakeholders need to be engaged to help implement the overall strategy and identify relevant ‘performance measurements’ so that an annual progress review can be undertaken.

The Niagara Economic Development Corporation and the Niagara Region will continue to provide ‘Leadership’ in the implementation of the strategy {Wish List}, as well as identify other lead community partners and stakeholders who can be accountable in the implementation of specific action plans and report back based on ‘established performance measures’.

Overall, Niagara will continue to benchmark itself against other Census Metropolitan Areas (St. Catharines-Niagara CMA) as it pursues its strategic directions. Performance measurement indicators to be used at the CMA level include per capita GDP growth, population growth and composition, employment growth, industry cluster concentration and income levels. This will help to document our relative growth, competitiveness, and market positioning as a regional economy. Planned mediocrity!? We should be aiming higher than other CMA’s
With genuine collaboration between the region’s business, government and community organizations, Niagara can steer itself into a more prosperous future! Can not and Will not without critical input!


ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY
This text is adapted from a longer document. For the full version of the original Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy, visit the Niagara Economic Development Corporation website at
www. Nov 25 08
NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE
BENCHMARKING THE {Non} STRATEGY

NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE: Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy 2005-2010, was the result of extensive stakeholder discussions over a seven-month period in 2004.

The original Niagara {Non} strategy had a five-year time horizon and was intended as a dynamic plan that would be revisited on a regular basis in order to address changing circumstances that affect the region’s economic performance and potential.

This revised {Non} economic growth strategy 2009 – 2012, is an updated plan based on a review and assessment of recent economic changes and related opportunities that are considered important to the regional economy. Define Plan! Define Strategy! Define accomplishments!

There are many important tasks identified in the strategy that require identified lead agencies, along with timelines for delivery and anticipated performance measures of success. Lead partners and other stakeholders need to be engaged to help implement the overall strategy and identify relevant performance measurements so that an annual progress review can be undertaken.

The Niagara Economic Development Corporation and the Niagara Region will continue to provide leadership in the implementation of the strategy, as well as identify other lead community partners and stakeholders who can be accountable in the implementation of specific action plans and report back based on established performance measures. Sure, Sure!

Overall, Niagara will continue to benchmark itself against other Census Metropolitan Areas (St. Catharines-Niagara CMA) as it pursues its strategic directions. Performance measurement indicators to be used at the CMA level include per capita GDP growth, population growth and composition, employment growth, industry cluster concentration and income levels. This will help to document our relative growth competitiveness, and market positioning as a regional economy.

With genuine collaboration between the region’s business, government and community organizations, Niagara can steer itself into a more prosperous future!

Sorry NEDC but so far you have shown no substantive successes for our 10’s of $millions!


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ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY
This text is adapted from a longer document. For the full version of the original Niagara’s Economic Growth Strategy, visit the Niagara Economic Development Corporation website at www.niagaracanada.com or the Region of Niagara website at www.niagararegion.ca .

The revised Economic Strategy 2009 – 2012 has been based on input from over 200 participants at the recent Niagara Economic Forum (April 2008) and ongoing consultations.

CONTACT US:
Niagara Economic Development Corporation
3550 Schmon Parkway, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 1042

Thorold, ON CANADA L2V 4T7
Tel. 905.685.1308
E-mail: info@niagaracanada.com
www.niagaracanada.com

Regional Municipality of Niagara
2201 St. David's Road
P.O. Box 1042
Thorold, ON CANADA L2V 4T7
Tel. 905.685.1571 or 1.800.263.7215
E-mail: info@niagararegion.ca
www.niagararegion.ca.com or the Region of Niagara website at www.niagararegion.ca .

The revised Economic Strategy 2009 – 2012 has been based on input from over 200 participants at the
recent Niagara Economic Forum (April 2008) and ongoing consultations.

CONTACT US:
Niagara Economic Development Corporation
3550 Schmon Parkway, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 1042
Thorold, ON CANADA L2V 4T7
Tel. 905.685.1308
E-mail: info@niagaracanada.com
www.niagaracanada.com

Regional Municipality of Niagara
2201 St. David's Road
P.O. Box 1042
Thorold, ON CANADA L2V 4T7
Tel. 905.685.1571 or 1.800.263.7215
E-mail: info@niagararegion.ca
www.niagararegion.ca




Definition
Strategy: Plan – Scheme – Policy – approach – Tactic- Line of attack – Stratage
1.Planning in any field: a carefully devised plan of action to achieve a goal, or the art of developing or carrying out such a plan ...business strategy

2.Planning of war: Military, the science or art of planning and conducting a war or a military campaign

3.Adaptation important to the evolutionary success: Biology in evolutionary theory, a behaviour, structure, or other adaptation that improves viability

4.This list of wishes, repetition of known facts, summary of obvious situations, regurgitation of past failed policies, restatement of past inadequate education, expansion of bureaucracy, and increased ill-timed spending does not constitute a strategy, or a plan, much less a Strategic Plan, an Economic Growth Strategy and as it stands, it is of no use to Niagara!

*How, is a question looking for answers as to actual strategies leading to success in fulfilling NEDCO’s wish list, which NEDCO is passing off as a ‘Strategic Plan’ titled: NIAGARA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY?

The obsequious pandering of sycophants is explicable.
The lack of a gutsy critical voice speaks volumes of the hubristic mindset permeating NEDC.



About NEDCO – Board of Directors:

*Chair Dennis Parass {not originator of enterprise}
President, handling Specialty Mfg. Ltd.

Donald Wilson
ViceChair
Broker, DTZ Barnicke Niagara

Pam Gilroy
Secretary to the board
Regiona Clerk, Regional Municipality of Niagara

Peter Partington
Regional Chair, Regional Municipality of Niagara

*Rejean Picard {not originator of enterprise}
CEO, Westbrook Floral Ltd.

Colleen Blake
Executive Director, Shaw Festival Theatre Foundation of Canada

Damian Gouldbourne
Mayor, City of Welland

Brian McMullen
Mayor City of St. Catharines

*Paul-Andre Bosc {not originator of enterprise}
Vice President, Marketing & Admin, Chateau des Charmes

Ted Salci
Mayor, City of Niagara Falls

Jack Lightstone
President & Vice Chancellor, Brock University

Dan Patterson
President, Niagara College

Mary Turner
Vice President, Credit Risk Management & Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Tire Bank

*Tim Clutterbuck  {not originator of enterprise}
CEO, Lakeside Steel Corporation

*Red ...4 in private enterprise/29% Representation {not originators of respective enterprises}

Blue...  6 living on public funds/ 71% of board experiencing less personal effect of economic turmoil

Orange: 4 Employees somewhat and so far cloistered by their respective companies

The character and quality of the board members is not in question. Predicated on member makeup, it could be concluded that this board of directors is psychologically imbalanced!
It could be that this imbalance is happenstance or it could be imbalanced by design. What is relevant is to correct the imbalance of the NEDC board.
email me

Your Tax Dollars at Work!

  We asked Mr. Gedge, CEO of the Niagara Economic Development Corporation, TWICE and all Niagara Regional councillors, three times, for an answer to our question.

QUESTION: “Would you kindly describe some of NEDC's achievements and successes as they have related directly to NEDC's ability to attract specifically how many companies and employees to the Niagara Region?”

Since no one has come forward with an answer we must assume NEDC has no substantive accomplishments!

Following is our second request letter to Regional Councillors

Dear Councillors,
Having read the article in the Niagara Falls Review this morning and the e-mail we have received today highlighting the recent provincial EDCO conference, We are prompted to write to you one more time.
The article under the heading ‘Selling Niagara around the world’ precisely emphasizes the problem with continuing to provide any further funding to NEDC.
It seems that those attempting to defend NEDC are the same folks living on the back of taxpayer. Not one individual quoted in the story could point directly to any of NEDC’s accomplishments and successes, which the Niagara Winners Circle has been requesting.
In today’s self-aggrandizing e-mail ‘NEDC Receives Prestigious Provincial Marketing Award for the Niagara Original Brand’ we discover the truth that NEDC has finally found its voice to tout its only accomplishment, which is to produce a misleading brochure and a purchased logo of suspect benefit for economic development in Niagara.
“We are delighted to be recognized as best in class for such a prestigious award in the field of economic development” stated Patrick Gedge, CEO of NEDC.  “It is another positive industry affirmation of NEDC’s marketing strategies and creative practices, and recognizes our effective utilization of the Niagara brand signature”.
Where is the "bar" if NEDC is considered the ‘best in class’ for this industry? While awards from peer-group organizations that host $600 per head conferences are always interesting, the Region of Niagara taxpayers are more interested in being awarded with long-term sustainable employment. We are still waiting for NEDC's entry in the job creation ‘strategy’ category.
It is apparent by the handful of councillors who responded without answers to our serious inquiry earlier this week that there are no ‘accomplishments, achievements or successes’ which can be directly attributed to this publicly funded economic development agency? After 15 years and $30million dollars, hyperbole seems to be all that NEDC has to offer.
While it is heartening to witness such camaraderie within Regional circles, please allow the Niagara Winners Circle to remind council that every dollar tacked onto our tax base to fund this silent behemoth is one more impediment to achieving new prosperity-producing commerce,
On top of this apparent abrogation of public accountability, council has an absolute obligation to its constituents to investigate more effective ways to attract new commerce at the same or less cost.
Perhaps the continuous funding of any tax-based group that cannot point to their direct achievements is extraordinary on its face but what is more troubling for us and the public is your inability or lack of desire to address this disturbing tax addiction?

When we tried to bring this information before Regional Council we were ruled out of order