So the Mayor has successfully launched his first Economic Council meeting and I must say the energy in the room was high and enthusiastic. About a hundred by my count of many recognizable Londoners took part in a rather robust but interesting exercise designed to tease out some new ideas as well as respond to questions about how we as a community could do better and what obstacles were in our way that may be blocking us from taking London to the next level.
Although the organization was a little chaotic at times, there were certainly enough new faces and new ideas to make the exercise worthwhile. Other similar exercise have been attempted in the past where the same energy and same fresh ideas seemed in abundance, however, none of its (the Economic Councils) predecessors were able to move beyond good will and high energy into a truly actionable agenda. That could be because they didn’t know how to ask for action or perhaps it was simply assumed that the action would just follow naturally. No matter, it’s a new game and there’s a new sheriff in town. The moment of truth will be on March 10th when the group is re-assembled to review what was said and to see what actions will come out of it. Will we stand and be counted or will we just be counted and stand? Hmmm…Fingers crossed!!
And after relentless pressure from yours truly and with apologies to Attorney General Chris Bentley (I drove him nuts over the past six months to help bring the Premier here) we finally have a luncheon date with Ontario’s top politician. The Hon. Dalton McGuinty will join Chamber members and members of the Canadian Club for a jointly hosted lunch at the Convention Centre on February 8th at noon. You may want to register early and be there for 11:30 ish as he (the Premier) likes to talk first (keynote at 12:05p.m.) and eat later.
He’s coming for a number of reasons I suspect and they go well beyond his undying gratitude to the Chamber for hosting him…..lol!! Chief among them is that it’s an election year and he’s getting an early start at polishing his campaign platform. He’ll also recognize his cabinet colleagues Bentley and Matthews for their stellar service in their respective portfolios. And we also hear that he wants to outgun Hudak’s attendance mark that was set earlier in January with a near sellout at the Hilton. Seems the Premier has a little competitor voice speaking to him.