Gas prices soar in city. TbNewswatch, April 13th, 2017.
Well the price of gas has shot up again, just in time for a long weekend but it is a phenomenon that hit the entire province. If you want some insight on Canadian gasoline prices in general, there is an old post I did on gas prices on Worthwhile Canadian Initiative that also attracted quite a few comments that provided some interesting points. The long and short, in my opinion, prices are higher because the companies can get away with charging more. Price differentials across regions have converged over time and this may signify greater market power on the part of gas companies.
Alexander Henry one step closer to returning home. CBCThunderBay. April 11th, 2017.
There seems to be some support for relocating the former icebreaker Alexander Henry from Kingston to Thunder Bay's waterfront. In principle, this will be an excellent addition to the waterfront as it can serve as the core exhibit for a transportation museum. This might mesh in nicely with the plans for a grain museum which is being worked on by Nancy Perozzo's group. As well, there are plans to relocate the Thunder Bay Art Gallery to the waterfront also. When one looks at the restaurant development in the Waterfront area combined with the location of Magnus Theatre and the long-term plans to place an Events Centre in the area, one can finally see a substantial entertainment district coming into shape. The one caveat - customers and money. I know, presenting caveats and pros and cons does not go over well with local movers and shakers who prefer expressions of cheerful mindless optimism when it comes to economic development in the north but Thunder Bay's tax base is under stress and the city's population base and market size are limited. Can Thunder Bay become a tourism destination with its central Canadian waterfront marked as "The Mid-Coast?" Who really knows?
Thunder Bay taxi bylaw causes concern for council, taxi companies. CBCThunderBay. April 11th, 2017.
Getting a taxi in Thunder Bay is a ordeal. If you ever needed a taxi in the middle of a weekday afternoon on short notice, forget it as they are all engaged in "school runs". This is another example of how dependent even the private sector in northern Ontario is on public sector spending. I won't even get into trying to get a taxi at the airport or late on a weekend after an evening out or the price. Supply constraints have been very profitable for Thunder Bay taxi companies and by taking five years to re-write the taxi bylaws, Thunder Bay City Council has been aiding and abetting a cozy oligopoly.
Other Thunder Bay economic news:
First salty arrives in port. TbNewswatch. April 8th, 2017.
Grain shipments make for busy March at Thunder Bay port. CBCThunderBay. April 5, 2017.
Well, this has all been rather Thunder Bay centric to this point. In other news:
Sudbury loses 400 jobs in March. SudburyStar.com. April 7th, 2017.
Yet, things are going to get better as the Canada Revenue Agency has announced it is adding 543 full-time jobs to the Sudbury tax centre.
Council sets criteria for location of new events centre. CBCNewsSudbury. April 12th, 2017.
Sudbury appears to be moving forward at a rapid clip with a site selection team in place. However, four of the five members of the selection team appear to be directly related to Sudbury's municipal government with a consultant from PWC as the fifth. It would have been useful from an optics point of view to have a more arm's length group of experts. Apparently the criteria for site selection includes cost, economic impact and parking. In the end, it is all about weighting the criteria and if parking carries the biggest weight, then one should expect the greenfield site outside of the downtown as the final destination.
Here are some interesting items from North Bay.
Casinos siphoned millions from Sudbury, Brantford and Thunder Bay in 2014-15. Nuggest.ca. April 12th, 2017.
And in another tourism infrastructure related story. ..
North Bay city council votes to keep Dionne house. CBCNewsSudbury. April 5th, 2017.
The only surprise here is that the City of North Bay was actually considering giving the historically significant house to a group that was going to move it to a "pioneer village" project 70 miles south of North Bay. Why stop there, maybe they should consider moving it to Thunder Bay's waterfront - a nice plot of land between the yet to be completed hotel and the new condos?
And in the relentless and ongoing efforts to attract new business activity via marketing techniques....
Invest Sault Ste. Marie website launched. SaultOnline. April 6th, 2017.
Sault needs to find gaming 'sweet spot'. SaultStar.com. April 9th, 2017.
And in Timmins, this story about the mining sector.
Gold is the new economic driver for Ontario mining. TimminsPress.com. April 12th, 2017.
There were a number of interesting comments made. I was particularly intrigued by the Red Tape Challenge - an Ontario government consultation program for mining asking for input on what could be done to make the mining industry work better with government. Dealing with red tape by engaging in yet more consultation seems like a typically Ontario way to address questions of efficiency and regulatory barriers. However, with respect to gold as a driver, according to the president of the Ontario Mining Association:
“What has changed in Ontario in the last 10 years is that gold is now a larger contributor than nickel and copper. That’s new and it is a combination of the price of the commodities and the number of new discoveries of gold and the new investments around gold,” said Hodgson.
Have a nice long weekend.
Have a nice long weekend.