OLIP’s Input to the Mayor’s Economic Rebound RoundtableFebruary 25, 2021
On February 9th 2021, the City of Ottawa hosted a virtual Economic Rebound Roundtable led by Mayor Jim Watson with the participation of the City’s General Manager Office, City Councillors and the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department.
The purpose of the roundtable was to gain a firsthand understanding of the economic priorities, challenges and opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic from diverse economic development partners and to identify opportunities for collaboration and shared advocacy to advance Ottawa’s economic rebound efforts over the coming years.
Over 20 participants representing diverse sectors such as housing, transportation, high technology and innovation, post secondary education, real estate, construction, retail, tourism, film, music, to name a few, gathered to present best practices and strategies to overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
OLIP took this opportunity to highlight the key role immigration has in the City’s and Canada’s economic growth and recovery. With an ageing population and low fertility rate, Ottawa is growing primarily through immigration with almost a quarter of the city’s population being foreign-born residents, according to Statics Canada. Assuming it maintains its pre-COVID share of newcomer attraction (3% of Canada’s new PRs), we should see Ottawa eventually welcome about 12,000 newcomers per year in the next three years.
OLIP’s inputs were collected at the last Economic Integration Sector Table meeting during which key recommendations to make leveraging the contribution of immigrants to the city’s prosperity were brought forward. Those recommendations were provided to the City to enable immigrants to continue contributing as investors, business owners, innovators, front-line and essential workers and students. It is their diverse and rich experience that boosts innovation, scales up businesses and improves productivity while generating a prosperous vibrant city and inclusive values of multiculturalism and multilingualism. You can find OLIP’s input here.
There was an agreement between the City and sector representatives that talent attraction and immigration will be at the heart of the strategies moving forward for recovery and rebound; while multi-sectoral collaboration will be the vehicle to enable the fastest recovery for all.
For example, a triangular collaboration between post-secondary education institutions, employers and immigrant integration services can help connect training/education with jobs and newcomers candidates to fulfill the labour market demands.
The City of Ottawa will process all the input provided during the session to create a summary report that will include action areas with a possible follow-up session during the Fall of 2021. The recently created Economic Recovery Task Force will advise on how the City can help the business community as the pandemic evolves. Several economic support tool kits that can be accessed through the City’s website.