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Thunder Bay releases economic development action plan

Natural resources, tourism, immigration development on the CEDC’s to-do list
(Thunder Bay CEDC photo)

Supporting northwestern Ontario’s mining and forestry economy is one of the stated goals of a new strategic action plan tabled by the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC).

The CEDC released its 2023-2025 Strategic Action Plan, Shaping a Sustainable Future, on Jan. 31.

Growing and promoting the northwestern Ontario’s city’s growing service and supply companies engaged in natural resources sectors was listed among five “strategic pillars’ that included workforce and immigration, tourism, and strengthening the community and supporting business.

To help formulate the plan, the CEDC said it engaged and received input from hundreds of citizens, influential stakeholders and meetings with various community partners.

The commission has identified that it wants to attract investment and support research and innovation in manufacturing, mining, commodity processing, agriculture and energy while looking to involve Indigenous partnerships.

“Our 2023 – 2025 Strategic Plan incorporates new ways of thinking about economic envelopment and really focuses on what matters most to our community,” said Julie Taylor, the commission’s CEO, in a news release. “I am confident that our new plan is the step in the right direction in supporting a more inclusive and welcoming economy. The plan has five strategic pillars that we feel will ensure we are shaping a sustainable future for Thunder Bay.”

With tourism, Thunder Bay has been promoting itself as “Canada’s premier outdoor city.” Beyond its scenic natural environment, tourism has evolved into a thriving culinary scene with robust convention and sport tourism events. The goal now on enhancing the year-round visitor experience and adding value to keep visitors around little longer while helping to promote Indigenous tourism development.

Also on the to-do list is development of workforce with a labour attraction and growth plan to meet the needs of employers. The plan is to expand immigration and integration services, and work with partners to support Indigenous employment agencies and training groups.

“The input and guidance provided through your participation has helped us strengthen our plan and we thank you for your time and support,” added CEDC Chair Peter Marchl. “We know this plan is something we can all be proud of”