Sault Ste. Marie economic development officials have a new sounding board drawn from the ranks of the local business community and public sector. An advisory committee has been established as part of the city’s economic diversification strategy, Destiny Sault Ste. Marie. The committee will be a source of feedback on various development initiatives. Bill Therriault, Destiny Sault Ste. Marie’s manager, says the group, which will meet quarterly, will provide the “big picture” on ideas and initiatives funneled through the city’s development and funding agencies and how it fits into the city’s strategic framework. The group held its first meeting Sept. 25.
“We don’t want this to become a bureaucratic exercise. We want it to be a pragmatic and open exchange and accountable over the next couple of years.” No votes will be taken and the advisory committee is not a decision-making body, “but their say has an awful big weight,” says Therriault. “If we’re going in the direction we shouldn’t, we’re sure going to hear about it.” The members selected included 11 representatives from the major growth engines in the Sault, including Algoma Steel president Denis Turcotte, St. Marys Paper president Marc Dube, Jorge Mitre from Algoma Tubes, Geoff Munro from the Great Lakes Forestry Centre and David Murray from the Group Health Centre.
Destiny Sault Ste. Marie is a FedNor-sponsored initiative incorporating many of the ideas and information from the city’s ongoing Building an Extraordinary Community initiative, growth mandate committee and other development agencies and initiatives over the years.