By: Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy
When planning, the Oakville Chamber encourages the Town’s Strategic Plan to have a long-term vision for the future that consists of a blueprint of the Town’s goals and planned projects. Ultimately, to achieve these goals and maximize value, the Town must include metrics to determine success. That said, this roadmap for the next term of Council must be driven by data to address the development of smart Town growth which encompasses sustainability, resiliency, innovation, and agile adoption.
Ensuring that business interests are reflected in the Town of Oakville’s Vision and Strategic Plan, the Chamber consulted with our membership. The results underscored the Chamber’s current call for improved transportation infrastructure and, on a longer term, better planning to incorporate live/work communities. Specifically, the strategy needs to address the plan for mobility taking into consideration increased density accompanied by transit, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles.
Furthermore, Chamber members want to see a plan that incorporates population and employment projections, an aging demographic, and a well-educated workforce to support the sectors that clearly will dominate our Region.
To succeed as a community and business we need to be focused, connected, empathetic, inclusive, supportive, and nimble. Planning for the long-term requires a proposal on connecting data, sharing data, and using this data to create policy objectives that support businesses and the community.
To that end, we will continue to encourage the Town to establish an Advisory Council to ensure collaboration with business leaders, experts, and academia to achieve a digitally connected community. Also, we will urge the Town to develop measurements for its plan and use the required analytics to sort the data and determine the next steps to achieve success.
A digitally enabled Town leads to new services, platforms, and a “connected” infrastructure reducing congestion and improving safety on our roads. Furthermore, an efficiently run municipality results in increased financial savings. In well-planned digital municipalities, the efforts become a profit centre within a year or two.
The Chamber looks forward to working with the Town on creating a Vision and Strategic Plan that promotes economic growth and creates an improved climate for the business community.