State of the City Address 2017


[Check Against Delivery]

Good morning. I would like to offer a warm welcome to the annual Mayor’s State of the City Address.

Thank you all very much for joining me this morning. It means a lot to have so many people here. I appreciate your ongoing support.

I would like to recognize the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event, as they have done for many decades.

In particular, thank you to Keith Hoey and his team, Marty Staz and the board of directors, along with the volunteers and membership. Together, you facilitate many different programs and events throughout the year that help bring the community together and build relationships that are essential to the prosperity of business in Burlington.

And thank you to today’s sponsors: Bell, Scotiabank, CN Rail, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, Union Gas and CogecoTV.

Today marks my seventh State of the City Address. Since the first time I stood before you, we have made significant progress, which I will share with you.

My colleagues from Burlington City Council are with us today. I am proud to work alongside these men and women who are deeply committed to our city.

Please welcome councillors Rick Craven, Marianne Meed Ward, John Taylor, Jack Dennison, Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster.

Our City Manager James Ridge is also here today. James is a key part of the leadership at the city along with the Burlington Leadership Team and our staff. I am proud of the dedicated staff working hard every day to make this city the best it can be.

We continue to work closely with all orders of government. Joining us this morning is Oakville North-Burlington Member of Parliament Pam Damoff, as well as Burlington Member of Provincial Parliament Eleanor McMahon, who last year was also named Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

I want to recognize Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould, who was not able to join us today, on her appointment as Minister of Democratic Institutions.

I am pleased to see Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. It is great working with you as we build strong communities and a prosperous region at Halton Regional Council.

It is a privilege and an honour to serve as Mayor of Burlington. This community means everything to me. Continue reading

Burlington Economic Development – The New BEDC Inc.


April 30, 2014

Burlington Economic Development

As many people know, economic development has been a key initiative for me. Ensuring the continued prosperity of our community is vitally important.


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Protecting our Natural Heritage: Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark


February 21, 2014

Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark: Protecting our Natural Heritage:

Thanks for joining me this week for another Inspire Burlington event. We were fortunate to welcome Dr. David Galbraith of the Royal Botanical Gardens to talk about the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark system, which is a collection of existing parks and natural lands in the Burlington-Hamilton region.

Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark SystemBeginning in 2008 the City of Burlington, along with the Royal Botanical Gardens and other partner organizations developed the Cootes to Escarpment Park System Conservation and Land Management Strategy.

This project focused on the conservation and management of approximately 1,560 hectares of publicly owned natural lands in the Aldershot and West Hamilton area. The central natural features of the area include a portion of the Niagara Escarpment and the lands and waters associated with the Cootes Paradise Marsh and Grindstone Creek.

Dr. Galbraith talks about the project at Inspire Burlington event on Feb. 19, 2014

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Fostering Economic Development relations with German water companies

June 14, 2013

This past June 1-6, I traveled to Germany with Kyle Benham, Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) for an economic development trip. It was a productive, whirlwind trip.

The purpose of the trip was to participate in the German Water Partnership, a conference of approximately 300 water technology businesses from across Germany and to meet with several Germany head offices with local operations in Burlington.

Canada has been an attractive location for German companies, and Burlington is a good fit with the skill set of our residential base – a fusion of engineering and business management talent.

The BEDC Investment Attraction Strategy has identified advanced manufacturing and water/wastewater technology as a focus area for future investment attraction. Burlington already has a strong economic niche in the water area. It may be surprising to some to learn that Burlington is home to approximately 250 water related businesses, including Anaergia, Kontek, Ecodyne, H20 Innovation, MarCor Purification, and Water Energy Technologies. We are the birthplace of Zenon and a number of spin off companies.

Burlington was the only municipality represented at the conference and we gave presentation about working with cities and regions in Canada.

Here’s a short video that we shared with the conference:

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Ensuring Our Continued Prosperity

April 2013

Published in City Talk, Spring 2013

We have much to be thankful for in Burlington. We were recently chosen as the number one mid-sized city in which to live in Canada and the number one overall in Ontario – by Money Sense magazine.

Speaking to Burlington Business community at James Burchill’s Spring Into Business Networking event. Photography courtesy of Derrick van der KOLK

In a recent Environics poll, 95% of those surveyed indicated they had a good or excellent quality of life and expressed a positive outlook on the future as it pertains to both their quality of life and personal financial situation.

We have a strong and vibrant local economy that is well positioned to grow. We have a diverse economic base with a mix of professional services and manufacturing in Burlington. We have above average family incomes, a relatively strong housing market, an educated workforce and easy access to Toronto, Canada’s largest city that is central to the country’s economy. Our physical location also gives us access to the US markets and global opportunities. We cannot take all of this for granted. We must remain competitive and innovative in our pursuit of future investment, new business and more jobs. The challenge going forward will be to maintain the positive progress and energy we have and build on this foundation and drive so that we ensure that Burlington continues to be a  destination for both families and businesses.
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