25 November 2015 - For Immediate Release
FREDERICTON, NB – On November 24, 2015 the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual State of the City Address. Mayor Brad Woodside provided an update on the City’s activities and vision for the coming year and beyond. With a municipal election set for May 2016 and the mayor yet to commit to running for re-election, it may have been his last.
“Mayor Woodside is Fredericton’s ultimate champion and has been so for many years,” said Krista Ross, the Fredericton chamber’s CEO. “Through his stewardship we have become one of the smartest cities in the world, the Startup Capital of Atlantic Canada and a growth leader in the province. If this is indeed his final State of the City Address he has certainly left his mark on the city.”
The mayor’s speech was highlighted by an artist’s rendering of the planned new downtown hotel to be constructed by Aquilini Properties as well as an announcement that demolition work on the property is to be completed by January. Woodside also emphasized that welcoming Syrian refugees to the city will be a community effort and Fredericton will be better off for it - a position echoed by the Fredericton chamber.
“Immigration in all forms is a priority for the chamber and the community,” said Stephen Hill, Fredericton chamber President. “Immigrants, including refugees, not only add to the cultural and social fabric of the community, but time and again have proven to be a powerful economic force.”
The event also included a presentation of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Resource Champion Award to Ignite Fredericton, the City’s economic development agency. Ignite Fredericton has created a Natural Resource Task Force whose purpose is to leverage and cultivate economic growth and create jobs through responsible natural resource development as it relates to near and long-term projects in the Fredericton Region. The Natural Resource Task Force is committed to responsible and sustainable natural resource development in the province and leveraging Fredericton’s innovative business community to add value to New Brunswick’s resource development.
“Natural resource development has traditionally been the foundation of New Brunswick’s economy,”added Ross. “We agree with Ignite Fredericton that this will be continue to be a key part of our economy and we need our businesses and community to be prepared for emerging opportunities like the Sisson Mine, the Energy East Pipeline and natural gas extraction. Generally speaking, the importance of natural resources to Fredericton is under appreciated, which already contribute $600 million to Fredericton’s GDP and employ 5,000 people within the city.”
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce was a founding member of Ignite’s Natural Resource Task Force.
With more than 950 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.