Rogers Place | ?m | ?s | Katz Group | HOK

What do you think of this project?


  • Total voters
    19

David A

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
810
Reaction score
3,228
Yeah the "we" is all of us, particularly those who have connections outside of Edmonton and not just relying on the mayor alone.

I am not sure what it got us in the 1990's other than a few call centres when we had a mayor focused only on civic boosting driving around in his city funding vehicle. I don't think he was taken very seriously outside Edmonton.

Sure Sohi's background and experience is elsewhere, but neither of Calgary's last two mayors were from the business community or had really close ties to it either, before becoming mayor.
 

occidentalcapital

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
565
Reaction score
2,428
I think in the last 30 years, there has maybe been one major regional head office that has relocated to Edmonton - Finning CAT? The reality is that this has been a homegrown success story kind of place for a very long time now. The 1970s, 1980s era of Edmonton being the recognized centre of the oil industry in the rest of the country are in the rearview mirror. It isn't always a bad thing that most of Edmonton's big companies are homegrown players... it keeps the head offices decision-making here and helps to develop a unique business culture, can-do attitude, and a lot of loyalty. However, I believe that Edmonton is now big enough, diversified enough, and economically powerful enough that we probably could snag some major relocations/ regional office expansions. i.e. the era of only homegrown business growth is ending. Provincial government should be expected to help lead this. I want to see both UCP and NDP come out with Edmonton-specific economic development strategy, the Mayor needs to demand this.
 

CaptainBL

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
1,126
I think in the last 30 years, there has maybe been one major regional head office that has relocated to Edmonton - Finning CAT? The reality is that this has been a homegrown success story kind of place for a very long time now. The 1970s, 1980s era of Edmonton being the recognized centre of the oil industry in the rest of the country are in the rearview mirror. It isn't always a bad thing that most of Edmonton's big companies are homegrown players... it keeps the head offices decision-making here and helps to develop a unique business culture, can-do attitude, and a lot of loyalty. However, I believe that Edmonton is now big enough, diversified enough, and economically powerful enough that we probably could snag some major relocations/ regional office expansions. i.e. the era of only homegrown business growth is ending. Provincial government should be expected to help lead this. I want to see both UCP and NDP come out with Edmonton-specific economic development strategy, the Mayor needs to demand this.
I very much agree here and it is a message I have mentioned many times and believe in. The ironic part about the argument that Edmonton should focus on home grown companies rather than chase companies to invest and locate here is...why can't it do both? Look at cities that have been successful at growing and diversifying their economic base and they can and do execute both. Calgary has done this quite well. Don't like the Calgary comparison? Look at Austin which has both grown and attracted companies across many industries. Look at many economically robust cities and they have the infrastructure, relationships, and ecosystem to both grow their own talent as well as attract companies. A healthy, competitive and attractive business jurisdiction doesn't only cater to growing companies or attracting companies, it supports both.
 
Last edited:

kcantor

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
771
Reaction score
3,331
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Apologies as not to derail this thread but in response to your comment I am curious who this "we" is that is going to be focusing on attracting investment to the city? So far in every interview or speech I have seen from Sohi his main focus seems to be extremely heavy on social issues. Not at all saying that it should not be but I have yet to hear him say one thing about competing / attracting / focusing on growing or attracting companies and investment to Edmonton, especially as we continue to climb out of the pandemic. Is it Edmonton Global? If so, I can only think of two larger public investment or company announcements (Polykar and Air Products) that have been tied to Edmonton Global since their inception in 2017. Again, I am just interested to hear who it will be that is attracting the investment and companies you are referring to cause it certainly will not be the province lobbying on our behalf as per my post #829.
maybe because the social issues and there manifestation is really the biggest and most immediate thing that could be addressed that would have a substantially positive and immediate impact on downtown? not supporting him on this issue is the most negative downtown booster thing you could do. when not doing so is what converts our convention centre and commonwealth stadium and expo centre and our downtown lrt stations etc. to shelter spaces - even on a temporary basis - the rest won't happen. if you want him - or the rest of us - to talk about competing/attracting/focusing on growing or attracting companies and investment to edmonton generally and downtown in particular, you better have a city and a downtown that those decision-makers are comfortable taking an evening walk from their hotel to dinner and a hockey game or an evening at the winspear or the citadel. if you can't offer that, you might as well save your money on the rest.
 

kcantor

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
771
Reaction score
3,331
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
I very much agree here and it is a message I have mentioned many times and believe in. The ironic part about the argument that Edmonton should focus on home grown companies rather than chase companies to invest and locate here is...why can't it do both? Look at cities that have been successful at growing and diversifying their economic base and they can and do execute both. Calgary has done this quite well. Don't like the Calgary comparison? Look at Austin which has both grown and attracted companies across many industries. Look at many economically robust cities and they have the infrastructure, relationships, and ecosystem to both grow their own talent as well as attract companies. A healthy, competitive and attractive business jurisdiction doesn't only cater to growing companies or attracting companies, it supports both.
i think it's too easy to forget that austin struggled for a long time. it became successful by focusing on those things that made austin an attractive place to live and work and they nurtured their growing companies and provided an environment for them to flourish. it was after both of things happened that it became possible to attract companies from elsewhere because they had the right ecostructure. austin has three things edmonton also has and we could take a lesson from them in how to use that foundation - a river valley that splits the city, a strong cultural component and a strong post secondary component. possibly the two most well known austin startups that are still headquartered there are dell computers and whole foods.

edmonton already has a stronger base than when michael dell founded his namesake company. it's the other side where we're moving backwards, in no small part because of our provincial government, not for not boosting the city enough but for starving our universities and our health care system and our social services. i'll take those things being adequately funded over a trade show booth in a heartbeat for attracting new companies and for supporting existing ones.
 

David A

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
810
Reaction score
3,228
I agree that successful economic development isn't either only supporting local or attracting new companies. It is probably a combination of both, perhaps the exact mix depending on the situation.

First, I wouldn't underestimate the importance of keeping thriving local businesses here, it seemed the city really suffered in the early to mid 90's when several large companies that were here for a long time left.

However, I think we also need to have to confidence to go out there and try attract new businesses that could be a good fit. Like Austin, maybe at this point its not 50/50, but I don't think if either is neglected you can really be successful.
 

kcantor

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
771
Reaction score
3,331
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
I agree that successful economic development isn't either only supporting local or attracting new companies. It is probably a combination of both, perhaps the exact mix depending on the situation.

First, I wouldn't underestimate the importance of keeping thriving local businesses here, it seemed the city really suffered in the early to mid 90's when several large companies that were here for a long time left.

However, I think we also need to have to confidence to go out there and try attract new businesses that could be a good fit. Like Austin, maybe at this point its not 50/50, but I don't think if either is neglected you can really be successful.
my point was it's not either/or (regardless of the split), it's both or neither and the both need the same things to be successful.
 

TAS

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
5,545
my point was it's not either/or (regardless of the split), it's both or neither and the both need the same things to be successful.

I don't disagree with your important point at all. Yet I see Alberta's other major city still heavily advocating for itself in its effort to bring new business and industry investment into its boundaries even under difficult economic and social conditions there. I sometimes feel we get outhustled by a long shot. But I am glad for Edmonton Global.

Sohi is the one who had this in his platform:

"As part of my economic development policy, I will work with City Council, industry and our existing economic development partners to create a City of Edmonton Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund will support the expansion of innovative Edmonton businesses and help bring in jobs and investment from companies looking to establish in Edmonton."

I didn't see an asterisk that said that this initiative will begin when the province gets its act together and starts adequately funding post secondary institutions and housing etc. Or if the province elects a new government in 2023.

So it will be fair to monitor the progress of this key part of his economic platform.

Sohi also had this to say on the campaign trail:

"We know how much Edmonton has to offer: a skilled workforce, postsecondary institutions that support world-class research efforts, and a collaborative and hardworking private sector. There are also many lifestyle advantages such as a reasonable cost of living, an active and diverse cultural scene, and many recreational opportunities. An Innovation Fund will help us harness all those advantages to promote Edmonton’s recovery and continued prosperity."
 
Last edited:

David A

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
810
Reaction score
3,228
As much as some politicians might think they are so important, I don't think we should let ourselves be hindered by those in the provincial government who does not seem helpful. Work around them if we have to, if we can't work with them.

There will never be perfect conditions for pursuing economic development. However, I would argue the more effort is needed precisely when times are challenging like these, not less.
 

Top