We Need to Make More Room for Jobs and Investment in Kingston
An important reality that we are facing as a City right now is that we are quickly running out of industrial land that is available for sale. Over the last few years the interest from new businesses looking to locate here has been unprecedented, and even now there are many companies in conversation with us about setting up shop here. Just a few weeks ago I met with representatives of a large North American manufacturer interested in opening up a facility here. This is an operation that would bring hundreds of good paying, manufacturing jobs to our community. The biggest problem is finding available land for them.
Last week City Council voted to fast track a study that will map out options for us to increase our supply of industrial land. One of those options could be to expand the urban boundary here at the edge of the St. Lawrence Business Park in the east end. A small expansion of the urban boundary could allow us to include the City owned lands behind me into the business park making room for more jobs and investment. I recognize there are concerns about avoiding urban sprawl and about expanding the urban boundary because of climate change. However, businesses here would be near a transit route and in close proximity to where people live. If new businesses can’t locate here then it’s possible that they’ll go somewhere else in the region with less density, and that will mean more commuting and higher GHG emissions. As mayor, one of my top priorities is bringing new jobs and career opportunities to Kingston. That means we need to do what we can to make room for new businesses to come to our community.