For many years, Ward 2 was dominated by the former Inco nickel plant, now Vale. The spinoff from this industrial employer was the development of more than two thousand homes and small businesses. Since the downsizing of the Vale plant in the past few years, this area has lost many of these small family owned and operated companies. In 2006, my colleagues and I on City Council initiated the East Waterfront CIP (Community Improvement Plan). It’s primary function is to provide a set of tools and incentives that would spawn revitalization of the area. The plan has already resulted in some improvements in the ward and more revitalization projects from both the private and public sectors are being planned.
Even though there are a lot of challenges to be overcome in this part of the city, there have been some great successes in the past few years. The most recent is the opening of the new Vale Health and Wellness Centre in 2013. It replaced a community center and two arenas. Having one multifunction community center has not only provided significant cost savings, as compared with operating three buildings that offered fewer activity options, it has provided yet another way for this part of the city to attract new commercial and residential development.
I have worked diligently with my colleague, Angie Desmarias, who also represents Ward 2, to provide open lines of communication and engagement with the residents of this area. Two of our initiatives have been: EVAC (East Village Action Committee) and the Constituents Ward Meeting held twice per year. These have been valuable resources for me to understand the needs of this community and it has provided engagement of the constituents in a very informal atmosphere. I intend to continue supporting these initiatives for the benefit of everyone living and working in Ward 2.
If you are a resident of or work in Ward 2 and you have any questions, comments, concerns or you need help navigating city hall, please contact me.