Mayor looks through ‘investment lens’


By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mayor Darrin Canniff says the key to Chatham-Kent’s success is planning for the future.

That means big-time infrastructure investment, embracing diversity, and creating a top-notch quality of life.

“I want my kids and grandkids to want to live here,” Canniff said at the recent 19th annual Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Address at Retro Suites. “I want a community that people are saying ‘I want to live here because of the quality of life.’”

According to Canniff, every step the municipality takes is being put through “an investment lens.

“That’s the most important job we have as council,” the mayor told the group. “The things that we decide on today set the tone for the years to come.”

As part of his talk, Canniff laid out eight ways to attract new residents and business to Chatham-Kent. Business partnerships, recognizing achievement and engaging with local youth are on the mayor’s list.

“There are currently 700 jobs listed on CK Jobs,” Canniff stressed, adding he wants every youth in the community to be aware of those opportunities to help build on the reasons why young people want to stay and put down roots in Chatham-Kent.

Planning for the future includes getting commercial and industrial lands serviced and shovel ready, which could necessitate borrowing money, Canniff added, but noted it would all be worth it.

“Chatham-Kent is a big place,” the mayor said. “We have a lot of industrial land; it’s not serviced. So, we need to start taking those priority areas and start making sure we’re investing in the water and wastewater infrastructure.”

He stressed that the municipality needs to invest a “significant” amount on infrastructure moving forward, but noted the costs will be borne by new industry, not the taxpayer.

Ensuring there is an adequate power supply is another key piece, Canniff said, as is bringing unique public art and cultural projects – things that “make people smile.”

Canniff, who thanked municipal staff for their work in moving Chatham-Kent forward, said the municipality must remain proactive in order to access federal and provincial funding – something that’s become tougher to obtain in recent years.


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