Mayoral candidates Charlie Clark and Don Atchison are out with their plans to keep people working well into the future.
Atchison wants to see Saskatoon recognized as an international business-friendly destination, and he thinks a downtown arena district would go a long way to accomplish that.
At a news conference on Friday, Atchison told reporters a downtown entertainment district centred around a new arena would aid the city’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Staying firm on his promise of zero per cent property taxes if he is elected, Atchison said residents would be able to vote via plebiscite to determine the fate of the project.
“If you don’t get started and know exactly what it’s going to cost and what taxpayers are going to be on the hook for what do you do then?” he said. “Wouldn’t you know how much it’s going to be before you get started?”
Not voting in favour of the downtown arena district would “set the downtown back probably another 25 years.”
A list of possible locations hasn’t been revealed, but city hall has estimated a downtown arena to cost between $172 million and $178 million, or between $330 million and $370 million if a convention centre is included.
“I believe, just like they do in a lot of other communities, that when these projects have been voted on, they’ve been approved,” Atchison said. “I think most people, in the end, believe what’s best for the community is best for everyone.”
Clark is less aggressive about building a downtown arena in Saskatoon, even though he agrees that planning should continue.
“We have an opportunity to do that,” Clark said, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the arena less of a priority.
“I do not support investing in a significant way in the existing SaskTel Centre. The next time we make a significant investment in a new arena facility it should be in the downtown.”
Atchison said he has spoken to members of the business community who are willing to invest tens and hundreds of millions of dollars into the city. Stability and certainty are the biggest concerns for business owners, according to Atchison.
Clark’s plan to keep people working — unveiled less than two hours after Atchison’s — relies on a strategy to unify planning, advance city technology and further utilize sustainable energy.
Clark’s long-term goals include building a food processing hub in the region and a centre for agriculture technology in addition to working toward a greener Saskatoon.
“We’ve lost opportunities in the past because there hasn’t been a coordinated approach, so really it comes down to building the right partnerships,” Clark said.
Other companies have looked elsewhere for things like a food processing hub, according to Clark. He would like to see more unity with neighbouring communities like Corman Park to draw on what is happening in other cities.
Clark would also like to see infrastructure projects become more environmentally friendly. Electric charging networks, more electric buses and more solar energy are just some of the ways Clark would like to modernize Saskatoon’s economy.
Saskatoon Light and Power’s plan to build a one-megawatt solar plant near the Montgomery neighbourhood would help accomplish that goal, Clark said.
More than ever, Clark feels companies are not only accommodating sustainability but are making it a key priority.
“This is no longer an option for companies as to whether or not part of their plan is to build towards sustainability. I want the City to be a partner in those opportunities,” he said.
Immediate plans include making Saskatoon more active in the winter. He’s spoken to partners like Tourism Saskatoon, the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) to explore how to keep Saskatoon’s economy active during the cold winter months and to help restaurants, hotels and shops survive.
“It’s just going to take (an) all hands on deck approach to come up with the best ways to animate our city,” Clark said.
Source:- CKOM News Talk Sports
Result of 2020 U.S. election has implications for Canadian economy – insauga.com
Coverage of the U.S. election has split Canadians into three main camps: those who are relieved they live north of the border, those who don’t care, and those who are nervous either outcome with have consequences for us, the neighbour to the north.
A recent report from RSM Canada indicates the election outcome, combined with Canada’s reliance on the U.S. economy, might alter Canada’s recovery and longer-term outlook.
Based on the findings, Canada-China trade has been trending down since the beginning of the U.S.-China Trade War in 2018, while total trade between Canada and the United States increased during this period.
This indicates, based on the current administration’s inability to cap the domestic spread of the virus, a Donald Trump re-election could present economic risks to Canada, due to our dependence on them.
However, Trump’s protectionist tendencies suggest Canada may see further headwinds with its largest trading partner, should he be re-elected.
Additionally, Joe Biden’s proposed ‘Made in America’ tax incentive, which offers tax credits for companies in the U.S. that expand employment and salaries domestically, could potentially discourage future Canadian market expansion.
Further, Biden’s willingness to adopt Trump’s tough stance on China if elected suggests Canada will likely continue to be negatively affected by U.S.-China trade relations.
Moreover, Canadian oil pricing will be hit hard if Biden follows through on his campaign promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline–a critical venture for Western Canada oil producers that would provide direct access to the Gulf Coast refineries and world markets.
“Despite a rocky relationship between Canada and the current U.S. administration in recent years, it’s clear that a victory for either Trump or Biden would pose risks to Canada’s economy,” Alex Kotsopoulos, vice president of projects and economics with RSM Canada, said in a news release.
“The issue is that Canada has become increasingly dependent on its neighbour south of the border, and when you combine this with the strong ‘America First’ policies of both presidential candidates, Canada will feel the brunt of those decisions. Therefore, it’ll be important for the Canadian government to proactively engage with the new administration to shore up trade and supply chains, which will be vital in Canada’s own recovery,” he continued.
Ottawa's economy to shrink 5.7% in 2020 before rebounding next year: Conference Board – Ottawa Business Journal
Even the insulating effect of the federal government won’t be enough to prevent Ottawa-Gatineau’s economic output from contracting for the first time in nearly a quarter-century in 2020 as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc with key sectors, a leading think-tank says.
The National Capital Region’s GDP is expected to shrink by nearly six per cent this year, the Conference Board of Canada predicts in its latest economic outlook released this week. To put that number in context, the city’s economy has grown by an average of 2.7 per cent annually over the last five years.
“Ottawa-Gatineau’s position as the nation’s capital and home to the federal government often insulates the city from big swings in economic growth,” said the organization, which forecast back in May that the region’s economy would contract by 2.4 per cent in 2020. “However, the city will not escape the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It would be the first time Ottawa-Gatineau’s GDP has contracted since 1996, but the think-tank says the capital region is still in better economic shape than most other Canadian centres.
The Conference Board forecast says Canada’s overall GDP will shrink by 6.6 per cent in 2020 as households tighten their pursestrings and many sectors struggle to recover from a devastating spring and summer. The organization paints an even grimmer long-term picture for industries such as air transportation, accommodations and food and beverage services, declaring they “might never fully return to normal.”
The organization says public administration is the only sector of the local economy that’s expected to grow in 2020. Not surprisingly, the accommodation and food services industry – which has been largely shuttered for much of the pandemic as part of public health efforts to contain the virus – is expected to take the biggest hit, with the Conference Board’s forecast calling for the sector to decline by a whopping 35.6 per cent.
Other sectors facing big declines include retail, which is expected to shrink 6.4 per cent – only the third time in the last two decades its output has fallen year-over-year.
Still, the think-tank says it expects both the local and national economies to bounce back in a big way in 2021, with Ottawa-Gatineau’s GDP expected to grow by 5.2 per cent and the national GDP forecast to rise by 5.6 per cent.
The Conference Board is predicting Ottawa-Gatineau to continue on a growth path in the years ahead, albeit at a slower rate, forecasting GDP increases of 3.6 per cent in 2022 followed by consecutive 1.3 per cent bumps in 2023 and 2024.
The organization made several other economic forecasts, including:
- Ottawa-Gatineau’s unemployment rate – which peaked at 9.5 per cent in June – will finish at 7.4 per cent for the year, compared with a mark of 4.8 per cent in 2019. Employment in accommodation services will feel the biggest impact, plummeting 34 per cent from last year;
- Housing starts – which reached a 35-year high of 11,200 units in 2019 – will fall to 10,700 units this year before dipping below 10,000 in 2021 and the next few years ahead;
- The region’s population will grow 1.5 per cent in 2020, its smallest annual increase in the last five years;
- Ottawa-Gatineau’s per capita household income will rise 3.8 per cent this year, while per capita disposable income is forecast to grow 5.8 per cent.
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