Mayor Jeffrey Looking to Transform Brampton with Federal Investments

 

Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey has been looking for a way to ‘disrupt the status quo’ as she likes to put it. She wants to do things differently in Brampton when it comes to building the city for the next generation and beyond. 

One of those initiatives is to diversify Brampton’s economy beyond the strictly manufacturing foundations and logistics warehousing that Brampton is known for. Mayor Jeffrey believes the growing innovation sector holds the key for creating Brampton’s next economy. She made a statement (shown below) following the announcement from the Trudeau government on funding for Regional Express Rail (RER) last week.

As Mayor Jeffrey indicated in her video, she believes the funding commitments made by the federal government could jumpstart an ‘innovation corridor’ from the GTA, through Guelph, and into Canada’s well known high tech sector of Kitchener-Waterloo. The overall plan is to have a Canadian version of the Silicon Valley corridor that runs along San Francisco Bay and San Jose. Below is a map comparison of the two regions.

If California ever sinks into the ocean at some point due to climate change messing around with the tectonic plates of the Pacific Coast, at least we’ll have a Canadian equivalent of Silicon Valley to fall back on when it comes to promoting and relying on a robust high-tech industry.

But all joking aside, an innovation corridor of this magnitude undoubtedly will require strong transit investments. This week, the Minister of Transportation along with mayors from Toronto, Mississauga, and Kitchener alongside the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) announced their endorsement of a regional transit hub at Pearson International Airport, in order to create a ‘Union Station West’ which will connect all forms of transit to one of the busiest airports in North America.

Any innovation corridor cannot succeed without investment in transit, and luckily the area along Highway 401 from Peel Region and Toronto down to the tri-cities area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is ripe for such development. One of the benefits is that the foundational infrastructure already exists (i.e. Pearson International, the CN rail line, Highway 401 itself) that with the right policy and investment mix could indeed rival Silicon Valley as an North American tech innovation corridor. 

Of course, I wouldn’t mind seeing some specific tech companies or startups make some public statements that they are looking at the potential of this development as an incentive for them to set up shop in Brampton and the other parts of Ontario along the corridor.

Time will tell if something concrete indeed comes to fruition that will benefit Brampton in the long run.

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