"TransForm was producing transmission components within ten months of the initial announcement. This could not have been accomplished without the tremendous support that we received from the City of London and the LEDC. They have responded with urgency to our business needs and have proven invaluable in the success of our launch."
SWEA Assembly delegates launch Intelligent Region initiative
Delegates to the seventh annual SWEA Assembly in Stratford officially launched the Intelligent Region initiative after participating in over 20 sessions and presentations on the topic.
Over 150 delegates from every part of the region learned first hand how a move to build intelligent communities will help meet the challenges of a changing economy while building support and engagement among residents such as business leaders and youth.
Participants in a four hour session of the SWEA Advisory Council set an ambitious series of goals and defined critical success factors for the Intelligentt Region initiative. These will be published later this month. The ambitious stated vision of the strategy is to achieve recognition as an Intelligent Region by 2017.
Delegates also ratified a new slate of officers, with Peter White, President of London Economic Development Corporation, taking over for out-going board chair Dan Mathieson, mayor of Stratford. Oxford County Warden Don McKay assumes the Vice Chair role. The full SWEA board list will be circulated early next week.
The SWEA board also created four mission-critical Working Groups : Peter White will chair the Economic Development Working Group; Dan Mathieson will chair the Intelligent Region Working Group; incoming board member Harry Joosten, of the Libro Financial Group, will chair the Private Sector Engagement Working Group; and SWEA President Serge Lavoie will chair the Post Secondary and Research Working Group.
All working groups are designed to increase the level of member engagement in the key strategic activities of the alliance.
Finally, delegates to the Assembly expressed deep disappointment at the apparent side-tracking of provincial Bill 11, legislation that was to have created the SWEA-backed Southwestern Ontario Development Fund. An apparent political deadlock over the budget bill, as well as opposition to Bill 11, threatens to delay a vote on Bill 11 until the start of the fall session in the Ontario Legislature.
Addressing delegates at the Assembly, SWEA chair Dan Mathieson stated: "SWEA and its regional partners proposed this economic development fund prior to the 2011 provincial election and we have continued to advocate for it during its progress through the legislative process. We’re frankly outraged that the parties have failed to arrive at an agreement that would allow the bill to come to a vote in this session. This fund would create vital access to capital and generate much needed jobs in the short term. This is absolutely the wrong time to play political games with the future of our economy.”
Watch for full results of the SWEA Assembly, along with copies of all presentations, during the coming days.