APBOT launches task force to liaise with federal lands advisor
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AJAX PICKERING – JULY 27, 2015 The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade announced today the creation of the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade Federal Lands Economic Development Task Force to provide a structure to work with the federal government’s soon-to-be-named independent advisor.
On July 13, 2015 Transport Minister Lisa Raitt met with community stakeholders on the progress the Government of Canada has made and to begin discussion on the use of the remaining 9,600 acres north of Highway 407 in Pickering designated for economic development, including a potential future airport. Minister Raitt announced she intends to name an independent advisor who will meet with local stakeholders on the potential economic development opportunities around a future airport and to report back to the government within a year.
“The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade is the recognized voice of business and we take seriously our role in educating, consulting and advising our membership of the opportunities that will be presented as a result of this development” says Joan Wideman, Task Force Chair.
The boards of trade and chambers of commerce of Durham Region are well aware of the long-standing airport lands development, the vast potential it holds for the local business community and broader Ontario economy, and the pressures that continued growth will soon have upon Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. It has been a recurring topic of discussion and focus for many years and, as such, the Board of Trade is well-positioned to suggest that the time has come for a final decision on the airport.
Durham Region has been recognized over the past number of years for significant work to foster innovation and creativity, in an effort to diversify our regional employment mix. This came in response to significant job losses in the automotive manufacturing sector and has made our economy much more balanced. A Pickering airport would be a crucial next step to continuing our diversification, as it represents one of the largest-ever economic investments in our communities.
“We look forward to liaising with the advisor when that person is introduced”, says Denise Jones, President of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade. “We are prepared to represent the voice of business and assist in developing an effective plan for an airport in north Pickering.”