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Waterloo Experiences Economic Growth And Prosperity

Waterloo Experiences Economic Growth And Prosperity

Waterloo Experiences Economic Growth And Prosperity
July 18
16:37 2016

In an increasingly globalized world, Waterloo Region has enjoyed several decades of sustained economic growth and continues to be one of the top centres of economic growth and prosperity for Ontario and Canada.

As the community begins the process of implementing ION, its new rapid transit system, and preparing for significant future growth and development, community leaders are focussing on a new approach to economic development to help ensure Waterloo Region stays on the leading edge.

In 2012, the Region of Waterloo, seven Area Municipalities and Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT), the private sector organization focused on attracting foreign direct investment to Waterloo Region, commissioned a study that identified, among a range of recommendations, the need for a regional approach to economic development and the need for a comprehensive regional economic development strategy.

Led by a Steering Committee consisting of the Chief Administrative Officers of the seven Area Municipalities and the Region of Waterloo and the Chief Executive Officer of CTT, and benefiting from the experience of consulting firm Malone Given Parsons (MGP), work began on the first-ever Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy (WREDS) to help define a new vision and strategic framework for the delivery of economic development services throughout Waterloo Region. The strategy was developed using a collaborative approach to engage local community experts and stakeholders from a variety of businesses and community organizations, and an Advisory Committee made up of community leaders and industry experts also supported the work of the Steering Committee.

Through this consultative process it was recognized that, while there are clear strengths in our community: a culture that embraces change, exceptional educational institutions and dynamic business clusters, the competitive challenges the community as a whole is facing require a renewed consensus on its economic future to ensure continued growth of the regional economy.

The Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy is nearing completion and advocates a more regional approach to attract investment, boost economic output and develop regional employment lands. The draft Vision statement, “To be locally rooted, internationally competitive, and globally renowned” puts into context the breadth and scope of the initiative. A new independent or arms-length not-for-profit regional economic development corporation, the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation, will also be fully functional January 1, 2016.

The new directions in the Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy have been unanimously endorsed by Regional Council, the Councils of the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo and the Councils of the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.

A renewed focus on economic development will facilitate making shared priorities, collective choices, and the alignment of actions that are necessary to improve the economy and improve prosperity. All of this will help Waterloo Region to further develop as a global player in innovation and entrepreneurship, resulting in higher economic output for the region as a whole.

Please visit for more information on the Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy.

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    Lloyd Stevens has been writing Canadian business news for over 20 years with articles appearing in Perspective which appears in The Globe & Mail and contributing to and

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