Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey gave her annual State of the City address to a Board of Trade audience today. I avoided last year’s event because I took issue with having to pay for a seat to hear what my Mayor had to say about my city. I still have issue with having to pay, especially when I doubt any of the many politicians or city leaders in attendance opened their wallets either. This year, I too managed to get in without paying (please keep that to yourself).
If you didn’t attend, here’s what I walked away with:
- The crowd did not represent the general demographic of residents. You can probably guess how it differed. Just take a look at the featured photo.
- The Mayor seems intent on fixing the lack of representation that Brampton has on regional council. This is good news, but from where I sit, this might have been easier to do when she was the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs.
- Heard the term “employment mega zone” for the first time. These are places where a high concentration of jobs and economic activity exists. The largest employment mega zone in Canada is in downtown Toronto with 465,000 jobs. The second largest is around Pearson Airport with 300,000 jobs. Pearson Airport just by itself is responsible for 6% of Ontario’s GDP. According to the Mayor, this needs to be “on our collective radar”.
- The Brampton Board of Trade needs to start helping entrepreneurs. Maybe they do, but I saw no indication of that. I don’t really think TD, Loblaw, Bell and Canon really need the help of our Board of Trade. Small businesses on the other hand can use all the help they can get.
- Representatives from Peel Memorial spoke and provided a construction update. We are about a year away before the first patient gets treated. I for one like the focus on preventative health care and don’t mind that it is not a traditional urgent care hospital.
- The Mayor never finished telling us what the state of the city is. I think it is supposed to end with the word “strong”. Perhaps I’ve watched too many American State of the Union addresses.