April 29, 2003

Atlantic Mayors Congress endorse economic development plan
Goal to make Atlantic Canada the fastest growing region in Canada

(HALIFAX, NS April 29, 2003) Delegates to the Atlantic Mayors Congress have unanimously endorsed an economic development plan with the goal of making Atlantic Canada the fastest growing region in Canada. The endorsement occurred at the Atlantic Mayors Congress, a meeting of 15 Mayors from the largest municipalities in Atlantic Canada, hosted by Mayor Peter Kelly of Halifax last week.

The plan, presented by economic development representatives from the Atlantic region, has an objective to develop an approach that fosters increased collaboration on economic development activities between large municipalities in Atlantic Canada resulting in higher rates of growth and prosperity. This objective will be achieved by creating a shared regional vision, building the brand for the Atlantic Region, developing and strengthening regional economic corridors, and developing common investment attraction strategies.

A formal report on the plan will be released at a meeting of Atlantic economic development representatives in Charlottetown this June. “By sharing a common goal of becoming the fastest growing region in Atlantic Canada, we will be better able to identify challenges and address issues that we all share,” said Stephen Dempsey, President, Greater Halifax Partnership. He added, “Collaborating to address common challenges like regional cooperation, youth out-migration, immigration and investment attraction will create a more prosperous future for our region.”

Mayor Peter Kelly of the Halifax Regional Municipality and Chair of the Atlantic Mayors Congress said that the plan supports a coordinated approach to economic development in the Atlantic region. “When up against the strong municipal voices of Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada, it is important for a strong Atlantic voice to be heard when discussing and deciding upon the national agenda.”

“This approach will allow us to develop a common vision, voice and growth agenda for the Atlantic region. We will be able to foster better relationships with other municipalities and build better relationships with provincial and federal governments,” said Mayor George MacDonald of Charlottetown.

The Greater Halifax Partnership is the private sector led organization responsible for the economic growth of Greater Halifax. Its priority is to grow existing businesses while attracting new investment to the area. The Greater Halifax Partnership has an extensive network of investors that includes over 120 local, national and international businesses and all three levels of government working together to grow the economy of Greater Halifax.

The Atlantic Mayors Congress was established in November 2001. At the invitation of Mayor Kelly, the Mayors of 15 municipalities gathered in Halifax to explore the possibility of working together as a united front, on common issues; particularly in dealings with the federal and provincial governments.

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