February 11, 2018 country94 news
It’s a very important day for the city of Saint John.
That’s how Mayor Don Darling describes this week’s unveiling of the population growth strategy, which he calls the most comprehensive document in the city’s history.
Darling says he’s excited about the longer terms goals laid out in the plan, but he’s really focused on the short-term.
“When you have well over 500 jobs, when you have major employers who have thousands of jobs to fill, and these are excellent jobs, and we have people in other places in the country like Toronto and Vancouver that are struggling to survive, we’ve got a beautiful recipe here for great results,” says Darling.
Darling says he’s proud of the work the city has done in a short period of time and admits there will be some challenges as the city moves forward with the plan.
“This is not easy work, if it was easy it would be already fixed,” he says, “but look I’ll take a plan and targets and motivated and passionate staff any day over just wandering around wondering if more people are going to move to the city, so yes there will be lots of hurdles.”
One of those challenges, according to Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary, is many people who work in Saint John live outside the city.
“We have a large percentage of our employees that work for the city of Saint John, but they live outside Saint John, so are they not proud of the city they work for?” says McAlary. “I ask that question all the time, I never have ever been able to get an answer.”
She says there should be some sort of campaign telling employees how much better it is to live in the city.
Population growth manager David Dobbelsteyn says a marketing strategy is part of the plan.