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(Of interest to readers: Proposals from the following May, 2009 Conference article highlighted in red will all be recognized by regular visitors to this site as topics treated within the Mark Mañuel State website with signifigant detail, since 2006 --and there is an impressive amount of red!)
MAY, 2009 "GTR SUMMIT" PROPOSALS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO LEADERS PROPOSE PATHS TO RECOVERY AT GREATER TORONTO REGION ECONOMIC SUMMIT
(MARKHAM, ON) – May 7, 2009 – The Greater Toronto Region Economic Summit, held today at Seneca College in Markham, produced an array of proposals that will guide the development of a strategic action plan for the region’s economic revival.
Over 250 representatives from Toronto’s business, labour, academic and institutional communities began working on an action plan that will stimulate the Greater Toronto region’s economy over the next six to 18 months.
“This has been a very productive day,” says Mayor Hazel McCallion. “This region is the economic engine of Canada, but we all agree that we have not been firing on all cylinders. Lots of useful ideas came to the fore today that will impact the Summit’s final report of recommendations later this month.”
The Summit culminated in three key themes and some top-line ideas:
URGENCY: There is a critical need for action. Processes need to be streamlined so that available funds flow more quickly and smoothly.
INTEGRATION & INNOVATION: Better coordination is needed between all levels of government, public and private sectors, across the entire region. Specific investment is essential for key sectors, but governments must be selective and champion fewer, more targeted sectors/clusters.
MARKETING: The region needs to better promote itself internationally. Locally, organizations need better access to existing incentive programs and funding opportunities.
Sessions were separated into four key discussion areas in which delegates produced a list of actionable ideas and proposals, including:
.Leveraging our financial services sector:
. Market the region as a global financial services centre;
. Tax incentives to support desired outcomes and behaviours, such as: building the green technology sector and creating a Canadian capital gains tax credit.
. Restructuring our manufacturing base: . Remove red tape and create a single window for manufacturers to access government resources;
. Create programs that bring together the design community and the manufacturing industry to foster innovation;
. Allow Business Development Canada to make higher risk investments in small businesses (including micro-financing).
. Investing in our human capital: . Develop a Greater Toronto Region talent strategy;
. Focus funding and tax incentives to support internships, apprenticeships and students at all levels;
. Building capacity for skilled workers through fast-track foreign credentials recognition and better skills assessment.
. Promoting research, innovation, and creativity:
. Increase capital for innovative ventures;
. Link academic and business communities to spur demand-driven, more marketable research; .Identify key sectors/clusters and target investments there to stimulate innovation.
The delegates’ input was collected and collated by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman and presented at the conclusion of the Summit by Ian Smith of Oliver Wyman.
The Summit’s co-chairs will now review the proposals and produce a final report later this month.
“There was a sense of optimism in the breakout sessions,” said Summit co-chair John Honderich, Chair of Torstar Corporation. “But there was also a strong sense of urgency to the deliberations. There is no shortage of ideas to act upon. The next step is to shape them into a plan.”
All three levels of government participated in the landmark event and addresses were heard from: . Honourable Jim Flaherty, Finance Minister and Minister responsible for the GTA; . Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty; . Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant; . Burlington MP and GTA caucus chair, Mike Wallace; . Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti; . Toronto Mayor David Miller. The Summit is being funded by delegate fees and sponsorship assistance from the Government of Ontario, Invest Toronto/City of Toronto, RBC Financial Group, Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), Toronto Board of Trade, The Carpenters’ Union, Oliver Wyman, Seneca College, NANOS Research, Dots (Data on the Spot), Vineland Estates Winery. For more information on the summit, go to www.gtreconomicsummit.com
For more information or media accreditation, please contact: Emma Jowett, Counsel Public Relations Cell: (416) 909-6463 email@example.com 3 |Page
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