Skip to content

Wawa restructures its economic development department

Corporation dismantled after 20-year run, duties taken on by the municipality
Wawa-goose (1)

The Municipality of Wawa is folding its 20-year-old standalone economic development corporation and is bringing all of its functions in-house.

A news release this week said the annual general meeting of the Economic Development Corporation of Wawa on April 21 was its last as the EDC board is “preparing to hibernate the corporation.” Local economic development activities “are being transformed to a new model of delivery.”

No reason was given for the decision but a statement said “this not a reflection of “the productivity or leadership provided to the community by the Economic Development Corporation of Wawa.”

The municipality’s CAO Maury O’Neill recently told Northern Ontario Business she’s adding her old job, as economic development officer, onto her current list of duties.

The community of 2,700, 230 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie, is experiencing the growth pressures of a boom in the area’s gold mining fortunes as well as a recent investment by a Quebec company into revitalizing a shuttered oriented strandboard mill outside town.

In the release, the work of outgoing economic development director Shah Mohamed and his team were praised, crediting the group for launching more than 20 community projects revolving around an enhanced online shopping presence for small businesses, a shop local campaign, and coordinating various discussion tables on local food security, health and wellness, arts and culture, housing, downtown revitalization, skilled trades, and tourism.

“EDD Shah and his EDC Team faced the pandemic challenges head on,” said the release. “The office was a vital source of support, resources and information guiding local retailers and businesses through the anxiety and confusion of an unstable economy.”