Saint John Common Council endorsed eight key priorities for accelerating growth across the City at a special meeting today to mark the City’s birthday and set a path forward for continued prosperity.
“City Council is optimistic about the future of Saint John. We are committed to working across governments and sectors to unlock and realize the City’s growth potential,” said City of Saint John Mayor Donna Noade Reardon. “This work will help secure a bright future that enhances Saint John as a destination for people to live, work and play.”
The eight items – including four infrastructure projects and four advocacy efforts – will focus City resources on actions that have the greatest potential to accelerate growth. In addition, the priorities help focus the City’s work with the federal and provincial governments on key investments and actions.
While capitalizing on emerging opportunities to fuel growth, the City will also build on and maintain the strong momentum of its current priorities.
The four catalytic infrastructure projects include:
- Innovative Central Peninsula Learning Commons, a Province-led project underway since 2019, is an innovative new school that will also be a community hub to support and revitalize the South-Central Peninsula neighbourhood. The City is eager to see the design and constructions stages of this project advance.
- Redevelopment of Fundy Quay is also underway with federal, provincial and municipal funding. It will transform Saint John’s urban waterfront and boost tourism. Continued advocacy and investment by all levels of government is crucial to securing full build out of the project and unlocking further investments.
- New, multi-purpose recreational facility is prioritized to replace aging arenas, help attract and retain residents and draw visitors by creating a modern complex for sports, recreation and the arts. A new facility would improve community wellness and service offerings and boost the attractiveness of our region.
- Expanding lands and investment in the City’s industrial parks will fuel economic growth by attracting new businesses and skilled workers in sectors such as green energy, advanced manufacturing and transportation and logistics.
The four catalytic advocacy efforts include:
- Comprehensive tax reform will ensure more local tax dollars stay in Saint John to help maintain strong and sustainable municipal services. In alignment with the Province’s Sustaining Saint John A Three-Part Plan, the time for modernizing our outdated tax system is now.
- Matching dollars for bilateral projects from the Province will unlock tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for the City’s climate change-related infrastructure, further enable the creation of a green economy and support the City’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2040.
- Affordable housing is critical to residents and key to our community’s success. The City is looking for federal and provincial support as we embark on creating and delivering on the Affordable Housing Action Plan.
- Post-secondary education opportunities are critical to growth, attracting and retaining our youth and developing a talent and leadership pipeline. The City will work with post-secondary institutions, other levels of government, and the business community to expand programs at UNB Saint John, and New Brunswick Community College.
These key catalytic projects and efforts will focus the work of City Council and staff. They build on the momentum of current priorities and plans while capitalizing on new opportunities for growth. Efforts will continue on all initiatives important to our City, even if not listed as a catalytic project.