While we’ve had our share of bad economic news lately, there are also positives.
Innovative Hydrogen Solutions of Toronto will have its hydrogen injection systems produced inside the Cross Country Trailers facility in Blenheim, a deal that could lead to more than 250 jobs locally.
The work almost came here four years ago, but continued effort by Chatham-Kent economic development staff finally helped land it.
As well, Chatham-Kent’s purchase of the former CSX rail line in north Kent may be paying off only weeks after being finalized, with news a consortium is interested in purchasing the line.
Although council agreed to buy the railroad seven years ago, the purchase was completed in early October.
The line will allow agriculture shipments and will be a vital part of the possible location of a fertilizer plant here.
Both cases will create spinoff jobs and both also represent the positive role that can be played by local government economic development officials.
Some issues are beyond the scope of such efforts and require the involvement of senior government on a larger scale.
Such was the Heinz closure last month that so far has resulted in a tepid response from the federal and provincial governments.
Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne wrote a cheque for $200,000 to Leamington after claiming she “did everything we could” to avoid the closure and the federal response has been akin to helping workers form orderly lines to collect their EI benefits.
Government concern apparently doesn’t spread to scores of local suppliers – small firms whose business depended on the tomato giant.
While Heinz can do as it wishes, governments must accept some responsibility for economic conditions and strategies that lead to such decisions.
They’re certainly not shy about doing so when the news is good.