New year, new hope for Chinese deal
As the 2015 Chinese lunar calendar ushered in the year of the sheep, forecasting peace and harmony, North Glengarry is hoping to forge business ties when it hosts its second Chinese delegation from Jingmen City.
Representatives of the township’s “Sister City” in Hubei province visited North Glengarry in July while local delegates returned the visit in November.
CAO Daniel Gagnon says originally the township believed the group would be coming back for a visit in early Spring.
“Initially, I was recommending March or April,” says Mr. Gagnon “It’s not the most ideal time really to take in anywhere in Canada. Maybe June might be best, so there is no ice on the lake and snow on the fields.”
The municipality is hoping Chinese entrepreneurs might be interested in purchasing land in the township’s industrial park in Alexandria. Businessman Jim MacEwen of MacEwen Agricentre was reported to have some success when he visited China as part of the North Glengarry contingent last year.
“We’re not sure of the exact details,” says Mr. Gagnon of the upcoming visit. “It won’t be a similar delegation as the last time. It would be a more focused (event), hopefully with a potential investor to look into investment opportunities.”
“We’re hoping that somebody from the private sector will be coming to look around,” he says. “Because North Glengarry has a Sister City relationship established, the next visit would provide an opportunity for potential invest- ments.”
Mayor Chris McDonell observes the township is eager to attract new business.
“Anything that will help us in the township is great,” adds Mr. McDonell. Mr. Gagnon says the township also has discussed with the Upper Canada District School Board and Glengarry District High School about a student exchange program that may begin in September.
“It is a good sign if we can make it happen, that would be very encouraging,” he says. “We’re hoping that is the next step and we can hang our hat on it.”
Once again the delegation will cover its own travel and lodging costs. Last year, the township rented cars for its guests.