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LETTER: Warden says grant for aerospace business 'good news'

'It is essential that government not only be diligent in its evaluation, but also be agile and responsive to the needs of our businesses,' says county warden George Cornell
2018-12-11 County JO-007
Simcoe County Warden George Cornell. Jessica Owen/VillageMedia

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor. This letter is from Warden George Cornell in response to a story published March 9, titled 'County creates grant, then awards it all to Montreal company.' Send letters to andrew@midlandtoday.ca

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On behalf of the County of Simcoe, in response to the article published on Village Media sites on March 9 regarding County Council’s decision to support economic growth in Simcoe County, I would like to offer an alternative perspective to the position presented in this article.

Now, more than ever, we need good news, and a boost to our economy. As published in the Village Media article, County Council was presented with a very time sensitive opportunity to solidify the investment of a high-profile aerospace company that was considering locating many of their operations at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) in Oro-Medonte.

This investment will ultimately create jobs, partnership opportunities to support students at Lakehead University and Georgian College and help to attract other businesses to our region. We did not want to miss out on this bright and prospective opportunity and the jobs and investment it will bring to Simcoe County.

There truly is no negative side to this endeavour for our region. Our Council needed to act quickly and decisively. We deliberated on this opportunity and many Councillors expressed theirs views on the floor during a productive discussion regarding the timing of a new LSRA Aerospace Development Fund, which helped make this investment possible.

However, we felt the article on this website did not capture the true balance of the opinions expressed by our Council. The recommendation was overwhelming supported by Council and it met all municipal requirements.

To support economic development, it is essential that government not only be diligent in its evaluation, but also be agile and responsive to the needs of our businesses. The private sector moves quickly, and we must find ways to respond if we want to remain competitive as a region and growing manufacturing hub. This decision also supports the aerospace sector and our interest in the LSRA, an industry hit very hard by the pandemic.  

We look forward to welcoming Volatus Aerospace, one of the largest tech-enabled drone solution and unmanned aerospace technologies providers in Canada, to Simcoe County. Volatus will be retrofitting an existing empty hangar and anticipates being operational by September 2021.

We encourage local businesses to consider our active grants and training programs under our Tourism and Economic Development departments. Visit simcoe.ca for details on all our grant programs and opportunities.

Despite all the challenges of a global pandemic, the County of Simcoe is continuing to build a solid foundation and support for businesses and industries. This is a good news story and we hope that your readers appreciate this positive perspective I’ve shared on this tremendous regional opportunity.  

George Cornell
County of Simcoe Warden
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