Open letter from Best Waterloo Region

re: Critical Importance of Shovel-Ready Land and Future Employment Opportunities

This is a critical time in Waterloo Region that requires bold action.

We are on the path to one million residents and this inevitable growth requires investment and, most importantly, jobs. Preparing shovel-ready land is critical and will be pivotal to the ongoing success of our future economy and communities across Waterloo Region.

The Business and Economic Support Team of Waterloo Region (BESTWR), comprised of five leading business organizations, continues to be a partner for economic prosperity and community needs. We consistently hear that employment lands are essential to attracting anchor investment and job creation opportunities for our Region. These jobs will create the economic prosperity we need for our growing community.

This essential investment and the jobs created will carry Waterloo Region into the future, providing opportunities required for our growing workforce. Our community must continue to attract anchor investments that will produce both direct jobs and the supply chain jobs that inevitably follow.

We are frequently turning away investment because we do not have large and shovel- ready parcels of land. We cannot as a community continue to reject opportunities for stable, secure and well-paying jobs.

This trend will have a significant impact on our community over the long term and we need to plan for our future.

Global site selection is a serious business with an extensive review and qualification process. Considerations are varied and complex including the identification of a suitable contiguous large parcel that is flat, close to a major power supply, is not in an environmentally protected area and situated within a 45-minute radius of a large, skilled and talented workforce.

Shovel-ready land means jobs and investment that are essential for creating a community where all residents can thrive and experience productive careers. Investments create thousands of local jobs, supply chain multipliers and expanded services in Wilmot Township, Waterloo Region and across southwest Ontario.

These land assembly efforts, when successful, provide an important investment in education, arts and culture, recreation centres and healthcare facilities.

Consolidating land for jobs attracts billions of dollars to our local economy and communities. Our economic future depends on the success of assembling land and having the political will to proceed while balancing the environmental priorities of our community.

We appreciate there is a difficult conversation unfolding but it must move forward. Waterloo Region has an exemplary reputation globally and is a destination of choice for investment and accompanying jobs.

We believe that assembling shovel-ready land is essential for securing jobs and economic wealth.
Consolidating land as reported in Wilmot Township will be transformational with an enormous economic impact. We must remain committed to completing this process.

BEST Waterloo Region strongly supports shovel-ready land assembly and will continue to collaborate with all levels of government and community partners to secure an economic future of all residents.









Media Contact:

Ian McLean