Ecodev study approved
Consultants to map out the economic way forward after P&G leaves
City councillors have now ratified a contract worth up to $219,000 for a consultants’ report on the way forward after the closure of Procter & Gamble.
Members on Tuesday approved with little discussion the hiring of consulting firm Up And to the Right, for an upset limit of $218,969, to prepare an “economic assessment of the St. Lawrence Corridor region.”
The consultants’ job is to figure out the most promising avenues for job attraction following the loss of what has been the city’s largest industrial employer.
Members had been set to approve the contract at their Aug. 28 meeting, but deferred the decision to get an opinion from members of the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission, a regional development effort that includes the city, as well as Prescott and the townships of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, Augusta, Elizabethtown-Kitley, Front of Yonge and Leeds and the Thousand Islands.
Council was told Tuesday that David Beatty, the commission’s chairman, has also given the contract the thumbs-up.
The money for the consulting job will come from the provincial government. In April, city council backed a “Communities in Transition” funding agreement with the province.
Brockville is getting $220,000 from the provincial program, with city hall contributing an extra $45,000 worth of in-kind contributions, including staff time and meetings.
P&G announced in May 2017 that it is closing its Brockville production plant, affecting all of its 480 employees.
The closure, to be done in phases, remains on track to be completed late in 2020.
Other closures followed the P&G announcement, albeit on a smaller scale: Sears Canada, which had 60 employees; Transcom, a closure that affected 80 people; Chemours in Maitland (33 employees), and Donaldson Filtration Solutions (20 employees).
The Communities in Transition program is “a discretionary program which helps communities and industries facing economic challenges such as: Plant closures, significant job losses, and or industrywide restructuring,” economic development director Rob Nolan explained in a report in April.
City officials developed the application in coordination with the St. Lawrence Corridor commission.
The consultants’ report will allow the city and the corridor commission “to better understand the region’s economic complexity and to identify three to five key industries that can be the innovative industrial clusters that are best suited to the region and that will create employment for employees impacted by the recent announced closure of P&G (and other companies), by attracting new businesses, helping existing businesses grow and assisting with the creation of new innovative business,” Nolan adds in a separate report recommending the consulting firm.
P&G announced in May 2017 that it is closing its Brockville production plant, affecting all of its 480 employees.”