Economy

Recent Posts

It’s all about the local economy, silly

By Robert Washburn

There is only one issue in the upcoming municipal election: the local economy. Sure, across Northumberland each municipality has its own set of issues to be addressed by incumbents and challengers seeking office. But the new rural economy is facing a complex future. Globalization crushed the traditional manufacturing base. Agriculture is vastly different. Continue Reading →

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Sustainability is critical to economic outlook

By Robert Washburn

If the local economy is the central issue for the fall municipal election, then sustainability must right up there along with it. Sustainability is often a term used when discussing environmental issues, but that is a limited interpretation. Sustainability, in this case, is referring to a vision of municipal governance where decisions are made within the context of medium and long-term goals, which meet the needs of citizens, but also provide the opportunity for the area to flourish over time. (more…) Continue Reading →

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County’s official plan shows archaic approach to economic development

By Robert Washburn

Farmer and businessman Paul Burnham is right to seriously question Northumberland County’s official plan when he asks why industrial parks are replacing good farmland. It is a sign the county’s economic development plan is antiquated and/or the planners don’t talk to economic development officers. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Northumberland employers should embrace new minimum wage

By Robert Washburn

It is hard to imagine a hike in Ontario’s minimum wage would do much good across Northumberland. The growing number of empty storefronts on main streets, plazas and inside malls is a sign of the troubled nature of the local economy. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government approved a hike in the minimum wage to $11 per hour starting in June. While local, labour, poverty and social justice advocates praise the increase (although many say it is not enough), neoconservatives and businesses condemn it, saying it will kill jobs. Critics hold on to an antiquated view first proffered in 1946 by economist George Stigler. Continue Reading →

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Christmas layoffs dehumanizing, meanspirited and unfeeling

By Robert Washburn

It is mind-numbing to realize the number of people who were given layoff notices in the last month or so, just before Christmas. A rough survey across Canada shows about 15,000 people were told they are no longer needed or the plant was closing, since Nov. 1. The vast majority of these were in Ontario. The companies included Potash Corp. Continue Reading →

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Downtown revitalization only scratches economic turmoil

By Robert Washburn

With the presentation of the downtown improvement plans last week at the Cobourg’s revitalization committee’s open house, the group is well on its way to finalizing its reports and action plan for Cobourg council next month. The implementation plan will likely outline a number of steps needed, calling on businesses, citizens and the town council to invest and be supportive. The public should expect a centerpiece project to act as a catalyst, providing much needed momentum and a symbolic launch to capture people’s imagination and inspire further investment and activity. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Downtown prosperity is the key to town’s economic health – Frost

By Robert Washburn

Cobourg’s downtown must be ready to take advantage of a rebounding economy in the near future if it hopes to flourish, says the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) event and business co-ordinator. Andrew Hall said the economic downturn in Canada and around the world is taking its toll, but the end of the cycle is approaching. Read more. Continue Reading →

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Successful downtown revitalization hinges on good communication

By Robert Washburn

Communication is the key to successful downtown revitalization, according to the person in charge of one of the projects heralded by the province as an example for others. Paula Lehr, co-ordinator of the downtown revitalization projects for Collingwood, said keeping all the various stakeholders informed, including business owners and citizens, is vital to success. Read more Continue Reading →

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