World Trade Centre could be coming to Sudbury
SUDBURY -- Sudbury city council is looking into a proposal to bring a World Trade Centre to Sudbury.
Earlier this week, the city’s finance committee were presented the idea by World Trade Centre Greater Sudbury (WTCGS), led by former Sudbury mayor Marianne Matichuk and former mayoral candidate Cody Cacciotti.
The group is arguing the project would be a boon for Sudbury, putting it on the international stage.
"It creates an opportunity to raise the profile in the community with respect to having global opportunities," said Matichuk.
"There’s over $750,000 businesses in the world trade centre network so what this would do is provide opportunities for companies and businesses to grow their businesses."
Acknowledging many may be confused by the vague name, Matichuk says she believes the project is feasible and realistic, referencing numerous other cities across the country, including Edmonton and Halifax, that have their own ‘World Trade Centres.’
"The rest of the world would benefit from the expertise, the knowledge and the experience that Sudbury brings. We have such creative people here. We have such innovative people that we need to have that venue so that they can actually be known," said Matichuk.
City council has decided to spend approximately $35,000 to complete a feasibility study into the proposal, to determine if Sudbury is a good match.
"We do have some wonderful organizations already operating in town who do organize trade missions and delegations to the community," said Mike Jakubo, chair of the city’s finance committee.
"But perhaps we’re at the stage where if we want to step onto the world stage we need to take a step forward and create more of a hub for that kind of activity to happen in the city."
Jakubo says the study will consider whether the project may line up well with the city’s Junction West project, including a convention centre.
Cacciotti believes the project will bring numerous benefits to the city.
"They lead to a significant increase in foreign-direct investment into the communities that they are operating," said Cacciotti.
"One thing that we’re really excited about is that there are 750-thousand members worldwide that are part of this international network. So through operating a world trade centre, we get access to that extensive network and all of those new business contacts as well for Sudbury businesses."
Matichuk says, with a wide geographical landscape compared to the population size, a World Trade Centre would be an economic boom for the city.
"We have to grow our population in order to have the money we need to grow this community and also to fix the infrastructure and those things.
The only way that can happen is through the growth of our community and the only way we can do that is if we have more jobs and have more people living here."
The project is estimated cost is approximately $60-million but Matichuk says there won’t be any impact to the taxpayers.
She is proposing a net-neutral agreement, which would see the city provide $10-million over 10 years, that would be paid back in taxes.
In addition to the unanimous vote from council to look into the project further, Matichuk says they have received more than 45 letters of support from stakeholders in the community.
"The Chamber of Commerce, Laurentian University, Glencore, I’m just naming a few," said Matichuk.
"So these are people who understand the value of having a world trade centre in northern Ontario that would actually help to grow and expand the businesses here."
The staff's report on the project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020.