City of Ottawa Embarks on New Economic Development StrategyFebruary 17, 2023
The City of Ottawa is developing a new Economic Development Strategy. The strategy will support and advance Ottawa’s economic growth and resiliency by addressing the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic economy. It will also build upon well-established partnerships and programs and prioritize and guide the City’s future investments in economic development. Founded on fresh research and broad engagement with stakeholders, the strategy will aim to support the City’s vision to make Ottawa the most liveable mid-sized city in North America. The strategy will contain a series of recommendations and tactical actions for implementation by the City of Ottawa throughout the new Term of Council (2022-2026).
Guiding the strategy’s development is a Sponsor Group which consists of key economic development partners who are providing input and feedback at set project milestones including: an economic and trend analysis, and targeted stakeholder consultations. One of the vital partners in the Sponsor Group is the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP). Throughout the process, Hindia Mohamoud, OLIP’s Director, has been providing important perspectives of immigrant challenges and opportunities, including the importance of immigrant attraction, retention, and economic integration.
The stakeholder engagement for the strategy, which targeted key economic development stakeholders as well as the broader business community, included a series of consultations to gather perspectives on the current state of Ottawa’s economy as well as key challenges, opportunities, and potential future initiatives. Specifically, the consultation involved one-on-one interviews, group workshops and an online survey.
The early themes that have emerged from the consultation include, future of downtown, city branding, connectivity, city-building projects, partnerships and collaboration, small business, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, tourism, arts and culture, and talent. Specifically, we have heard from stakeholders on the importance of leveraging immigrant talent as a key driver of Ottawa’s economic and social development. It is well understood that as the average age in Ottawa increases, immigration and higher population growth will be important factors to fulfil labour market requirements.
With the recent completion of the stakeholder engagement phase, work has commenced on the development of the draft strategy. The strategy will be presented to the City’s Finance and Corporate Service Committee for consideration in late spring 2023.
This important work could not be undertaken without the support of the City’s well-established partners. We thank all stakeholders who have provided input throughout this process, including our partners at OLIP who have highlighted the importance of economic integration of immigrants. We look forward to continuing our partnership with OLIP as we shape and revitalize our city into one where everyone experiences, and contributes to, a growing, diverse and inclusive economy, where barriers are eliminated, and immigrants thrive.
This article was submitted by the City of Ottawa’s Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department.