Economics of Illusion: Addendum

When I prepared my original blog on this topic, I did not have a copy of the economic impact report prepared by Shore-Tanner & Associates for the Salvation Army. I have since obtained a copy of the report. The following summarizes my main comments. Continue reading

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The Economics of Illusion: The Salvation Army’s Proposed Social Services Complex in Vanier

The Salvation Army recently hired Shore-Tanner and Associates to study the potential economic impacts of a $53 million social services complex/community hub on Vanier (see Ottawa Citizen article). The complex will provide 350 beds including 140 for an emergency shelter, an upgraded Thrift Shop, and space for the provision of a wide range of social services. According to the Ottawa Citizen article, the Shore-Tanner report predicts “there would be 137 new full-time jobs in agriculture, professional services, trades, utilities and property maintenance that would be open to Vanier residents. Another 275 full-time jobs could be created in other related areas and there would be demand for a new 7,000-square-foot retail and service space near the Salvation Army complex.” Continue reading

Rethinking Economic Development Strategy For Eastern Ontario, Again

Over the last 50 years or so, there has been an ongoing effort on the part of the federal and provincial governments directed towards regional economic development in Eastern Ontario. For example, the Province of Ontario embarked on a decentralization approach to regional development during the mid-1960s, known as Design for Development, to deal with the negative consequences associated with the extremely rapid growth of the Toronto region and with the impacts of such concentrated growth may have in other regions of the province. The Ontario Development Corporation was established during this period to provide funding and financial incentives for manufacturing in slower growth areas like Eastern Ontario. Continue reading

Beyond Likes and Followers – Social Media and Local Economic Development

Social media has quickly emerged as a dominant mode of communications and interaction in today’s society whether it be in current events, political elections, entertainment news, open government and a slew of other subjects. Over the last ten years, local economic development agencies have increasingly turned to social media as a means for branding and marketing their communities, assisting in site selections or location decisions, forging networks with local businesses and establish direct contacts with business decision makers. Continue reading

Getting Around La Paz Bolivia

I have long had an interest in regional development in South America starting back when I was a graduate student at McMaster University’s Geography Department many years ago. My interest was founded in publications on economic theory and regional disparities by authors like Gunnar Myrdal, Albert Hirschman and John Friedman. Continue reading

Uneven Population Growth in Southern Ontario

On a simplest level, population trends tend to mirror employment trends at the community or regional levels. Communities experiencing sustained job growth are likely to also experience a net in-migration of workers or new hires. At the opposite end, long lasting periods of economic stagnation tends to lead to persistent outmigration of population especially younger working-age people, a result experienced by several smaller communities and rural areas in Eastern Ontario. Continue reading

What does really matter when it comes to the City of Ottawa’s Economic Development Strategy?

The City of Ottawa’s Economic Strategy 2015 Update known as Partnerships for Innovation has its vision to be a leader in innovation for economic prosperity. This vision statement is based on the following assessment:

Today’s economy is global, competitive, and rapidly evolving through technology and innovation. To excel and outperform, municipalities are proactively investing in economic development initiatives that encourage investment attraction and business expansion and retention, foster entrepreneurship and innovation, strengthen tourism, and provide the necessary tools and research to make informed decisions.

The City’s Economic Strategy is also derived from the argument that Ottawa’s dependency on the federal government has in fact discouraged new investment on the part of private industry and indeed, has created a situation where the local economy is in imminent peril because of its downsizing and spending cuts.

Continue reading