Magnets and Glue
I was on McMaster campus today to discuss the importance of putting the kinds of investments in place today for tomorrow’s generation.
The retention of young people, including young graduates, to Hamilton, is critical to our city’s long-term economic prosperity and Hamilton’s ability to finance future city infrastructure and services.
Skilled labour is now ranked as one of the most important factors in a company’s locational decision. Hamilton must identify what magnets it has to attract young people and what glue it needs to keep them in place.
1. A Predictable, Forward-Looking Investment Environment
Our young residents need jobs. Job creation requires investment. And private investors are looking for predictability in any investment environment.
Let me be blunt. A municipal council that vacillates on a major, once-in-a-generation infrastructure project in the form of LRT, even after almost 50 votes in favour of the project, sends the wrong signal to investors. This kind of political volatility is also not conducive to public sector partnerships. A federal and provincial government will simply choose the next municipality on the list asking for help and avoid the risks.
2. Better Transit
When I graduated, freedom meant a car. Today’s graduates, facing a future of contractual employment, want and need access to affordable, reliable and quality public transit. Better transit is critical to attracting young people and serves as an incentive to private residential (places to live) and commercial development (jobs) along high order transit corridors in the form of LRT.
3. Deliver a range of housing affordable to all
Young residents need entry-level housing close to their place of employment. Some graduates or skilled youth may earn too much to qualify for housing assistance but not enough to afford market housing. The city of Hamilton requires a housing strategy that will deliver a range of housing affordable to all residents. Please see my housing position paper on my website: maureenwilson.ca